Thesis statement: “Why Our Memory Can Fail Us” provides factual evidence through credible sources, the use of ethos and logos, and using situations that are relatable to the reader to ultimately explain how our memories can fail us from the perspective of Chabris and Simmons.
In the article “Why Our Memory Fails Us” both Chabris and Simmons make an argument for how often times our memory can fail us because we may recall things differently than they occurred.In the 9/11 attack, two opposing stories are presented and Tyson is pegged as not being truthful for what he recalled George Busch saying. But Tyson simply misinterpreted what he heard due to his bias in the situation. This situation among many others comes to question peoples personal recollections of certain situations. The expert panel curated by the National Academy of Sciences, where Simmons served reviews the proposed research and examines examples like the one presented in this article.
Chabris and Simmons come from a ethos and logos perspective, presenting the reader with hard hitting facts like the 9/11 attack and supporting those facts with concrete evidence. Throughout the article they provide examples of infamous situations and create credibility within themselves to be able to make these sorts of claims.The tone of Chabris and Simmons is factual and analytical. Both the authors are taking a ethos and logos perspective, and in doing so focus on providing factual instances where memory has failed us. They create credibility by stating that Simmons served on the panel of errenous witness recollection.
The first readers choice comment was written by Dr.Tyson, in his comment he explains how it isn’t the everyday norm that an article is surrounded by himself and he is able to provide more insight on such a situation. In my opinion, the comment made by Dr.Tyson takes a logos and ethos perspective by not only supporting the argument made by Chabris and Simmons, but allowing for the article to become even more credible because the example being spoken about supports the article as well. The second comment was made by Keith Dow who criticizes Simmons and Chabris for their lack of memory, stating Busch was not an intelligent person. He comes from a pathos perspective and taps into his heightened emotions on the situation. The final comment written by Jacob Sommer’s also comes from a pathos perspective as he asks others to look within themselves to think of a time where they have in fact been wrong in a situation.
The NYT comment picks are comprised a comment made by Peter C which makes the claim that we as humans must be educated in understanding how the mind works and working with those flaws. Peter C takes a ethos perspective claiming that we must be fair on the emphasis we put on memory. Magicisnotreal then makes the comment that Peter is false, and instead we as humans must not be lazy. She takes a logos perspective explaining that we allow ourselves to make it a habit to mistake our memories. Lastly, Elizabeth takes a logos perspective bringing up the experiment where someone runs into a room and students were asked to recall what they saw. In my onion, the NYT picks are not needed because all of these comments are based on personal opinion not factual evidence.
Thesis: The topic of the article is one that is relatable because it touches on something that everyone does often without even realizing it.
Sometimes memories are completely unreliable. Most of the time, memories get mixed up making people confidently believe something happened when it did not in fact happen. This is the subject of the New York Times article “Why Our Memory Fails Us” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons.
The authors build their case by using an example in which Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson claimed on his show “Cosmos” that President Bush said “Our God is the God who named the stars”. People found out that President Bush did not say this which caused some backlash for Dr. Tyson. Realizing the error of his ways Dr. Tyson apologized for the mistake. The strength of this example is that even a genius like Dr. Tyson can have false memories. Everyone normally thinks people like Dr. Tyson are free of flaws like this, but since that is not the case it shows how easily susceptible people are to making up false memories. The authors lead the audience to the logical conclusion that everyone at one point or another has had or still has false memories.
Throughout the article the authors rely heavily on research to back their use of emotional appeal. The authors pull upon studies multiple times throughout the article to solidify their point, and then use the facts drawn from those studies as a foundation of their emotional appeal to us. For example, the authors use the point of the average person’s tendency to overreact and get angry when their memory is challenged to exploit the audience’s emotions. Chabris and Simons begin their plea by using Dr. Tyson as an example to make their point. The authors then bring it home by stating that everyone should follow Dr. Tyson’s example by admitting when they are wrong. The authors also use tone as a device for their emotional appeal. Chabris and Simons use a relatable tone that makes the audience feel like the authors are talking to each of them individually.
The top three comments chosen by readers in this article are intriguing because they are similar. Of the top three comments two of them lean heavily on pathos while the other one poorly attempts to use ethos. The top comment was by Dr. Tyson himself in which he put two links that ultimately serve as pathos because they put the reader in his shoes. The third ranked comment also uses pathos in the sense that she related the article to herself and pleaded to others to heed the article’s advice. The New York Times picks are different from the reader’s because their picks are commenters that use mostly logos to prove their point. The difference between the Times’ picks and reader’s picks is interesting because it shows that while the Times values logic based comments the readers prefer opinion based comments. I believe this system of ranking comments is effective because it brings the comments that are insightful and well thought out to the forefront where they belong.
Thesis: Contrary to conventional belief, memory failures can happen to anyone regardless of one’s intellectuality or state of mind.
It is funny how people always get on the defensive whenever memories they have always believed to be true are challenged. While some people may dismiss other people’s viewpoints as mere hogwash, others get emotional while acting as though they are right while everyone else is wrong. This psychological phenomenon is best explained in Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons article “Why Our Memories Fail Us”. In this articulate and compendious article, the authors affirm that memory failures can happen to anyone regardless of one’s intellectuality or state of mind. To enhance the persuasive power of the article, the authors engage the readers by appealing to their emotions and intellect while at the same time presenting themselves as reputable writers.
The authors’ first pillar of persuasion is ethos. No reader can doubt the credibility of the two authors given that they are psychology professors. As such, their ethical appeal is already established. What is more, the writers have maintained a formal tone throughout the article in order to demonstrate the seriousness of the topic of discussion. The authors’ second pillar of persuasion is logos. While the authors have authority over what they are saying, the do not base their arguments on their expert opinions only. Instead, they also include proven facts and logical analogies in order to cement their argument. A case in point is when Chabris and Simons use the film “Rashomon” and the Showtime series “The Affair” to argue that most people often use the excuse that “people can remember the same event differently” to get on the defensive whenever their memories are challenged (Christopher and Daniel).
The last Pillar of persuasion is pathos and it is used to enhance the sympathetic appeal of the article. For instance, the authors play on the readers’ sense of responsibility when they mention how “Memory failures that resemble Dr. Tyson’s mash-up of distinct experiences have led to false convictions, and even death sentences” (Christopher and Daniel). For a moment, the reader pauses and contemplates the dire consequences of memory failure and how she can avoid being in such a situation. Furthermore, the last two sentences demonstrate that the writers are well aware that the end of their reasoning is what the readers will remember the most. For this reason, they catch the readers’ emotions by appealing to their hearts. As such the readers are more likely to heed the admonition to “be more understanding of mistakes by others, and credit them when they admit they were wrong” (Christopher and Daniel).
Lastly, the article’s comments section also contributes towards the articles primary objective, which is to explain to the reader why our memories fail us. Readers found the top three comments in the Readers Picks to be more convincing because they were unique in their own humorous as well as logical way. For instance, the first commenter disregards the content of the article and instead invites readers to read another article on the same topic. However, the second and third comments are well explained and they use reputable external sources to enhance their logical appeal. Notably, the NYT Picks are brief, sensible and up to the point. For instance, the first NYT Pick mentions how students provide different narrations of the same event that they were exposed to. This comment is unlike the ones in the reader’s section, which merely agree with what the article is talking about (Heffernan).
Christopher, Chabris F and Simons J Daniel. Why Our Memory Fails Us. 1 December 2014. 1 September 2018. <https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/02/opinion/why-our-memory-fails-us.html>.
Heffernan, Virginia. Comment is King. 23 April 2009. 1 September 2018. <https://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/magazine/26wwln-medium-t.html>.
Medias Influence on Brett Kavanaugh’s Sexual Allegations
Many sexual harassment and assault cases are high-profile, often founded on false accusations and lack sufficient evidence (Is this a fact? SOURCE.). Christine Blasey Ford’s case against Judge Brett Kavanaugh stems from Kavanuagh’s behavior from his high school and college years, nearly 36 years ago. These allegations have ignited the public’s involvement and caused concern as to how many victims of sexual crimes don’t report their causes, as well as even concerning individuals about the severity of false accusations and what can be done about this issue. The significance of these cases results into the information that will allow for a believable side to be expressed and supported. Media and News outlets have been distributing information which express opinions and thoughts that can’t support the claims, but do not really credit the accusations that are being made or denied.
This case has been shaped through the world’s recognition of sexual assault and the challenges that victims of assault face. Great importance has been placed on this case as Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who is a federal appeals court judge, is being chosen by president Trump to fill the seat Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the U.S. and must be investigated before being allowed to fill a position that involves making decisions of power to influence American society. Because Ford kept this traumatic experience as a secret for many years, exposing her secret has caused her and her family to become the center of a political firestorm. A great variety of audiences have participated in this debate ranging from attackers through social media and even President Trump himself questioning her integrity and has even been seen mocking her on live television and terming her as an “evil” person. According to President Trump, false accusations made on him in the past have influenced his opinions on the allegations being made against Kavanaugh.
Through the media there has been a great use of the rhetorical triangle by the implementation of appealing towards Americans emotions (Pathos) to build an audience and a following towards cases involving sexual accusations. Individuals outraged by believing a perpetrator will be in the senate and demanding justice for Ford has allowed for a massive following on this matter. It’s only a matter of asking one self, how reliable is the information being provided and have they done the research necessary to give unbiased and credited information out, especially with the importance of such a high-profile government members reputation at risk and working towards the understanding of covering cases to resolve sexual accusations.
It is necessary to focus on the two-sided stories that media is providing, which cause speculations in which many people may claim that Ford has waited way too long to report the incident on such short details and curiously timed and others might take the information provided by Ford as sufficient enough information to build a case against Kavanaugh and acknowledge Christine Blasey Ford as a “hero” for coming forward with her claim and giving hope to others who have been victims, but never brave enough to report their case. Ford and Kavanaugh’s case has had such an impact that the #MeToo movement which deals with sexual violence and how to end it has seen women come forward with their stories of sexual assault and how to make a change and others are viewing the case as one’s word against another’s. By the time Fords testimony had ended there was a major notice through social media on the impact she had. Twitter exploded with the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport as a median to let their sexual assault case be known. Realizations were established that no matter the power, wealth, and status of accomplishment would be enough to silence sexual assault. Ford’s Testimony, writes Journalist Meredith Wallace Kazer, “has opened doors for us”, as we can no longer deny the serious on going epidemic of sexual assault in the U.S. (Kazer, 2018).
There has been uncertainty as to which side to take because of the lack of credibility and contradictions involved with Ford’s statement which can’t even be corroborated, not even by her own friend who mentioned having been with her in the same house where the incident took place. Take into count NBC’s release of a Twitter post who was written by Cristina King Miranda claiming to have been a schoolmate of Ford and having heard of the incident days after it happened in school. Despite Miranda deleting the post, not allowing any interviews to be done, and then stating on a National public radio that she did not know whether or not any of these accusations happened. This just shows value of the information that the audience is receiving, just look at how NBC publicized a post written on Twitter which could have had any claims made, with no follow-up as to what was written and just let it out to the public for them to create their own perspective.
Major flaws with the reporting’s and coverage have been noticed by the media. But one of the biggest influencers as to the views that the audience is receiving has to be the fact that there are no legitimate witnesses to support any claim. Many prospective individuals who could serve as witnesses aren’t even capable of confirming that the party even took place. Memories can be distorted, therefore, Ford’s and Kavanaugh’s recollections could manipulate the audience as they can be providing information from false memories that could or have been altered through the time span that the claimed incident occurred. The Senate has been affected by this ongoing case as the nomination process for a Supreme court nominee was slowed by Ford’s testimony. The court system has to do its part and follow the necessary procedures to conduct an impartial investigation on the case. These aren’t the only political effects that this case has brought up. Pressure to vote against Kavanaugh from female voters who are already opposed towards President Trump will be highly noticed as they won’t be able to bare having someone accused of sexual harassment in the senate.
The thesis nor the paper explain how we know what we know about the event.
There are very few mentions of class concepts and they are not thoroughly explained.
There are too few in-text citations.
There are lots of unsubstantiated claims.
Staff, ByGuardians of Democracy. “Kavanaugh Accuser’s Schoolmate: I Remember Hearing Of Alleged Sexual Assault.” The Guardians of Democracy, 19 Sept. 2018, theguardiansofdemocracy.com/kavanaugh-accusers-schoolmate-remember-hearing-alleged-sexual-assault/.
Adams, Becket. “Confirmation Bias: Brett Kavanaugh and the Major Media’s Worst Moment.” Washington Examiner, 11 Oct. 2018, www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/when-it-comes-to-fighting-fake-news-the-brett-kavanaugh-battle-showed-major-newsrooms-are-all-talk.
“The Kavanaugh Confirmation Fight Is Not a Media Story.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 9 Oct. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2018/10/09/the-kavanaugh-confirmation-fight-is-not-a-media-story/?utm_term=.b5a8e597131a.
Stepman, Jarrett. “The Media’s War on Brett Kavanaugh Hits Another Low.” The Daily Signal, The Daily Signal, 25 Sept. 2018, www.dailysignal.com/2018/09/24/the-medias-war-on-brett-kavanaugh-hits-another-low/.
Sky News. “Why the Brett Kavanaugh Case Matters.” Sky News, Sky News, 5 Oct. 2018, news.sky.com/story/why-the-brett-kavanaugh-case-matters-11510835.
Kazer, Meredith. “Editorial: Are We Listening?” Building Healthy Academic Communities Journal, vol. 2, no. 2, 2018, p. 5., doi:10.18061/bhac.v2i2.6607.
Concern, and debate has engulfed the United States and its media, as a result of the controversial immigration policies implemented by Donald Trump’s administration, meant specifically for those who are caught entering and residing in the country undocumented. While visiting one of ICE’s many detention centers for immigrant children in early June of 2018, First Lady, Melania Trump, was reported wearing a jacket which read “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?”. Rather than focusing on the severity of the facilities living conditions and what the First Lady was able to witness and accomplish during her visit, news outlets instead shed their light on the statement worn across her back and its social commentary. Its news coverage almost erased the severity of the conditions these underage children are being forced to live in from social platforms and from reaching consumers altogether. Taking Marshall McLuhan’s, Medium is the Message, into account it is notable that the portrayal of the First Lady’s scandal within our media shifted consumers’ emotional investment from the detrimental aftereffects of Trump’s policy to a mere piece of clothing.
Having officially started his presidency back in January of 2017, Donald Trump has created and reconstructed countless of laws and reforms to fit the political views projected throughout his campaign. The president’s unlawful actions, and reversal of various statutes has driven America’s media into a craze, especially the unethical Zero Tolerance policy signed into place in April of 2018. The policy was meant to push harder prosecutions onto those caught entering, and inhabiting the country with no form of documentation to prove their citizenship. Children were being torn apart from their mothers, and fathers and it was not until late June in which President Trump agreed to place sanctions to prevent the separation of minor children from their parents at the borders, and at the detention centers made to house the immigrants waiting to be deported from American soil.
With news outlets flooding all forms of social media with the images of families being separated, and children under the age barricaded and confined within fenced rooms in isolated warehouses, America- or at least majority of it-became enraged. The press successfully brought attention to the issue at hand, igniting activists across the country to protest and speak against the cruel acts of the President’s administration both on and off the streets through a variety of social platforms; an example of how the use of media and technology could shape, and provoke the thoughts and opinions of those who use it, a key idea within Marshall McLuhan’s, Medium is the Message. Throughout his theology, McLuhan explains his beliefs and principles toward media usage, and how its use could either inhibit mass audiences from forming their own perspective toward a particular subject, or enable them to think both critically and emotionally, and push past what is being said to construct their own judgement on the matter. News coverage of the incarcerated children positively influenced global audiences, in terms of McLuhan’s theology, as the information conveyed allowed for the masses to articulate and act upon their opinion against the actions carried out by those in power, rather than allowing the power to persuade them into believing what is ethically, and morally wrong as being right.
On June 21st, shortly after President Trump prohibited the separation of undocumented families, First Lady Melania Trump paid a number of visits to the facilities housing the several thousands of children who had yet to be reunited with their loved ones. During her unannounced tour it was said the First Lady intended on focusing on the living conditions of these unfortunate children, as well as different means the administration could employ to safely return each child to their legal guardians, according to Emily Hail, author of The Washington’s Post, How Melania Trump’s Jacket Choice Overtook Her Visit to the Texas Border Shelters. It seemed as if the media and the rest of America had promising hope that once Melania had encountered the harsh reality created by the Zero Tolerance policy, she would be able to influence radical changes amongst her husband and his carried actions. Rather than influencing President Trump, her visit impacted the media- not through her recollection of what she had witnessed during her time at McAllen, Texas though, but through her sartorial choices instead.
Images of Mrs. Trump sporting a green, jacket polluted social media timelines within minutes of catching glimpse of her board the plane used to land in Texas. The garment read “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” in white, capitalized letters sprawled across its back. In reference to Rhonda Garelick’s article, The Jacket Heard Round the World, the intention behind the jacket and its message were unclear to all skeptics across the political spectrum. Some speculated it was a ploy on Melania’s behalf to mock the lives of the innocent, whereas others believed it might have been her way of poking fun at Democrats and fake news media, as said by President Trump himself through a series of tweets shortly following the incident, with one stating:
“I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares!
Although the real reason behind her choice of attire remained unclear, the piece itself caused an uproar within America’s media to the point in which the focus of mass consumers was forcibly shifted from the living conditions of the minor children, to finding out why the First Lady of the United States would wear the item on such occasion.
Let's get one thing straight: Melania Trump did not accidentally wear a $30 jacket she just happened to have around with all her other very expensive designer clothes on this trip.
By mid-day the scandal had reached all forms of media on an international level; from broadcast to print, and of course, the internet, the jacket was seen all around. News media completely obliterated the sole purpose as to why Melania Trump had arrived in Texas and instead focused on the irrelevance of the article of clothing. The British Broadcasting Corporation’s (otherwise known as BBC) news article, Melania Wears ‘I Really Don’t Care Do U?’ Jacket on Migrant Visit, was a prime example of how the information leaked its way into global media, and circulated around various countries as ‘worthy news’. The writing discusses the infamous garment, and how its use ultimately overshadowed news coverage of the immigration crisis, as well as what the First Lady witnessed during her visit. Besides its global impact, we could see other forms of media outlets being polluted with the outfit that was made to seem important.
Jimmy Kimmel, host and executive producer of Jimmy Kimmel Live! dedicated an entire segment of his show to address the outrage caused by the clothing, in addition to the hypocrisy seen from Fox News in regards to how their journalists reported on the scandal. Both Kimmel’s televised bit and BBC’s passage proved McLuhan’s theory to be true. Consumers and global audiences allowed for the ramifications of Melania’s sartorial choice to direct their attention from the undocumented children to what she had worn and why it supposedly mattered. Rather than utilizing our technology to push past the overused image of Melania, many were taken back by the First Lady and took their short-fused thoughts to platforms such as Twitter. Once thoughts were shared, and discussions had taken place off and online in regards to the “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” statement, news on the livelihood of those unfortunate enough to live the American nightmare created by Trump seemed to have died down immensely.
#MelaniaTrump created the "Be Best" campaign and then wears a jacket that says, "I Really Don't Care." On her way to meet with immigrant children being held at border facilities. Cool, cool. I guess it was Opposite Day when she created that little ditty.
We could see Marshall McLuhan’s, Medium is the Message, come to life when critically examining the event, and its impact on social media. Consumers’ judgement was clouded and corrupted with the offensive images of Melania Trumps “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” jacket worn in route to immigration facilities. Media and technologies were first being used to spark debate in regards to the president’s administration’s effort to separate and deport undocumented individuals. It had seemed as activists and other consumers were finding their voices in reaction to the provoking tragedies of the immigrant children. Unfortunately, though, the media diverted its news reporting to that of Melania Trump and her fashion, in turn, manipulating the undivided attention of global media audiences proving McLuhan’s theory to be true.
I would have liked to see different class concepts used alongside McLuhan’s theory, but this is an excellent paper nonetheless.
Agirre, A., et al. “News Coverage of Immigration Detention Centres: Dynamics between Journalists and Social Movements.” Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, no. 70, Jan. 2015, pp. 913–933. EBSCOhost, doi:10.4185/RLCS-2015-1078en.
Garelick, Rhonda. “The Jacket Heard Round the World.” The Cut, 22 June 2018, www.thecut.com/2018/06/melania-trump-do-you-care.html.
Heil, Emily. “How Melania Trump’s Jacket Choice Overtook Her Visit to the Texas Border Shelters.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 21 June 2018,
Hamilton, James. All the News That’s Fit to Sell : How the Market Transforms Information into News. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2004., 2004. EBSCOhost, http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat06026a&AN=fiu.021345346&site=eds-live.
“Jimmy Kimmel Calls Out Fox News Over Melania Trump Jacket Hypocrisy.” Daily Beast, 22 June 2018. General OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A543875280/ITOF?u=miam11506&sid=ITOF&xid=9859b081.
“Melania Wears ‘I Really Don’t Care Do u?’ Jacket on Migrant Visit.” BBC News, BBC, 21 June 2018, www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44570688.
McLuhan, Marshall. The Medium Is the Message. Gingko Press, 2005.
Hafner, Josh. “Police Killings of Black Men in the U.S. and What Happened to the Officers.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 30 Mar. 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/03/29/police-killings-black-men-us-and-what-happened-officers/469467002/. (Popular article)
Key elements to protest causing media coverage is because of police not being held responsible for their actions. With Hafner article, he lays out the outcomes of incidents of cops killing black men. With the upcoming wave of cop watcher they hope to decrease that number of cop killings, so to illustrate what’s actually being done is an important way to strengthen the importance of my topic.
Birds, Jonathan M., and William H. Sousa. “Police Use of Body Cameras.” Oxford Handbooks Online, May 2016, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199935383.013.159. (Academic Journal)
With police officers now adding body cameras to their uniforms this adds another perspective to the situation. Birds, Jonathan M, and William H. Sousa researches if body cams actually will produce better policing. They even knew how phone recordings forced police to invest into body cams. This acknowledgment of the power of phones shows the true nature of Copwatching movements.
This website is an African American timeline starting from early African tribes to the election President Obama. The website also covers events between the times which involves art, education, and culture. With major information on events that lead up to the Black Lives Matter moment and cops killing unarmed black men.
Teng, Poh Si. “Behind the Scenes of Copwatch.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Aug. 2015, www.nytimes.com/times-insider/2015/08/03/behind-the-scenes-of-copwatch/. (newspaper)
With my topic being about Copwatching I would have to apply an article that provides a better understanding of the movement. Policing the police is just as complicated as physics. So the addition of Poh Si Teng article provided a more in-depth view of the topic at hand.
Greene, Ronnie. Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-up in the Wake of Katrina. Beacon Press, 2015. (Book)
This book sheds light on the corruption of police officers around the time of Katrina. Telling a story about how a cop killed 6 unarmed black people. Then cover up their murder by planting a gun on their bodies and a fake eyewitness. This is one incident shows how an organization like Copwatch has a place and is only in place to make sure cops play in between the laws of the constitution.
Taking into account the deeper battle of the issue this article researches how racial differences affect police shootings. Using Race effect formula, which is a formula to calculate the role race plays. Mr. Fryer adds mathematical approach to my essay. These could further explain how we know what we know about cop killing and what role cop watcher play.
Our memories can be as precise as a needle or as blink as a paper but at one point our memory has failed us. “Why Our Memories Fail Us” a New York Times article goes over an incident where Nelson Degrasse Tyson quoted George W. Bush, to describe how we misplace bits of our memory and how we should handle situations where someone does.
In the article titled “Why Our Memories Fail Us” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons ethos plays an important role. Using Nelson Degrasse Tyson, a well-known scientist and host of the TV show “Cosmos”, shows that our memory as humans even fails the keenest people. Also, ethos plays a part in the article because “Erroneous witness recollections have become so concerning that the National Academy of Sciences convened an expert panel to review the state of research on the topic. This fall the panel (which one of us, Daniel Simons, served on)”. Having someone on the panel of the National Academy of Science creates a greater sense of creditability towards what is being said in the article. In the article memory is described as “…effectively whispering a message from our past to our present, reconstructing it on the fly each time. We get a lot of details right, but when our memories change, we only “hear” the most recent version of the message, and we may assume that what we believe now is what we always believed”. So, in the authors, case memories can be easily altered which is why our memories fail us.
The tone of the authors was informal, especially coming from members who specialize in the field. I believe the authors do a good job using logos and ethos in their article with the minimal points covering emotion. Except for at the end when the author closed his article with how he believed we should treat memory mistakes. Even saying “We should be more understanding of mistakes by others, and credit them when they admit they were wrong. We are all fabulists, and we must all get used to it”.
The three top comments that seem to be convincing were comments made by John Parmigiani, Paul Kramarchyk, and DB. In each of these comments Logos, Pathos, and Ethos were used. John’s reply to the article was, “The point is well made that the memory of person, even when involved in the event that they relate, is often erroneous. Erroneous witness recollection call to question why so many articles in newspaper present anecdotal evidence from one or two persons as if it were worthy of a high level of credence”. I believe John used more of a logos approach in response to the article. The reason being is because he understood what the topic of the article was, but he had a responsibility to understand the concept more. The next comment is from Paul which he states, “Please tell me where this piece explains “Why our Memories Fails Us” The fact that our memories fail us is not news. Worse, it takes two psychologists 1800 words to say our memory is not always accurate. Boggles.”. His response uses the lower emotion of Pathos which involves nouns like greed, revenge, and hate. I don’t believe using lower emotion works in everyday interactions but online everything goes. For the last comment, a user named DB replied to the article describing a story when he recalled a moment of his past differently from what happened. The comment was, “My father died at a very young age, five days before the assassination of President Kennedy. In my very distinct memory, the funeral services were held on the same day. In the early 1960s, children often didn’t attend funerals, and so my brothers and I were left in the care of an aunt. As our other relatives were mourning my father, we watched on television as the president’s casket made its way to Arlington Cemetery. I was exactly the age of Caroline Kennedy and remember remarking to my aunt how sad she must have been. Decades later, I shared these memories with my mother. “That’s interesting,” she said, “because it didn’t happen that way at all.” The two services were not held on the same day, and my aunt could not have been with us as we and the rest of the nation watched our president’s funeral. I realize now that I must have conflated two very personally traumatic events, which happened within a short time and to a young child, to come up with my own personal memory. The problem is that I can’t un-remember it or somehow replace it with my mother’s version of events. I realize I cling to it still.”. This comment touches on Pathos due to the traumatic event DB been through.
Facebook is one of the largest social media networks in the world with over 2 billion users and counting. On September 15th, 2018, Facebook engineers discovered over 50 million users accounts’ private information was hacked. Very little is known about whom the hackers are and what their incentives were. Media outlets around the globe responded to the news with extensive media coverage regarding the Facebook hacking. Media outlets were successful in generating fear into social media users by the usage of pathos, logos, and ethos. As a result, many social media users have called into question the security of the internet. Words are very powerful in the world of journalism and headlines are a quick way to get readers to read your content. When the news broke out about Facebook’s hackings, various major news outlet headlines put fear into people’s head. New York Times for example headlined for the Facebook hacking was “Facebook Hack Puts Thousands of Other Sites at Risk” and Forbes headline was “How Facebook Was Hacked And Why It’s A Disaster For Internet Security.” The headlines made readers question if there would be more to the hackings in the future. This is a clear example of how some media outlets used pathos to gather anticipation for a disastrous scenario that could possibly our future. Media outlets also made sure to add statistics into headlines to also generate fear into Facebook users. Numbers are seen as accurate and precise which helps to visually see the number of accounts affected by the hacking. Many headlines read “Facebook Security Breach Exposes Accounts of 50 Million Users” (The New York Times) or “Facebook hack update: Nearly 30 million users’ data stolen. How to find out if you’re one of them” (USA TODAY) media outlets included logos into their headlines to statically support how big of a deal this hacking was and how this hacking is unlike anything we have ever seen. It helps make it more personal when a number over a million is involved because you could possibly be a victim. Media outlets incorporated ethos more into the content of their news story. The New York Times mentioned quotes from government officials such as Rohit Chopra, a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, for her opinion on the recent Facebook hackings. Chopra believes the breaches don’t just affect the individual that the information was taken from but it can negatively impact the national security and economy. Having government officials speak on behalf of the national security showcases the severity of the situation generating more fear. Many Facebook users have been deeply invested in the news story updates from trusted media outlets. As months have gone by information about the hackers still has not been presented to the public. In October, Facebook has recently announced the launching of their Portal product and still no new information has been released about the Facebook hackings. As a result, many Facebook users became furious. Many Facebook users felt that Facebook was ignoring the hacking situation and only cared about making a profit. Many Facebook users rushed to Twitter to start #deletefacebook movement. This movement has encouraged not only Facebook users to delete their Facebook accounts but also large influential companies too. Companies like Space X decided to remove their company off Facebook.
Celebrities such as Jim Carrey, a comedic actor, shared his thoughts by starting #reggualtefacebook. The purpose of this hashtag was to question the security of Facebook and formulate regulations for not only Facebook but also the Internet.
The #deletefacebook educated many social media users on how Facebook takes their personal information to make a profit. Videos like TED talks were shared through this hashtag to further educate the masses on the dangers of Facebook and why they should delete their Facebook accounts. The lack of information given has escalated the tension of the Facebook hackings. The delete Facebook hashtag isn’t very effective in advancing the Facebook hacking investigation outside of social media. All it has done is ruin the reputation of Facebook and lower their stocks.
Hackers are getting closer and closer to stealing internet users’ personal data. The Facebook hackings were not the first time a major site has been hacked. Dating back to 2015, Ashley Madison, a dating site for individuals seeking to cheat on their partners, hackers disclosed private email addresses registered to the accounts of the website. The disclosure of private information has lasting consequences on people’s personal lives. The fear and frustration of social media/internet users’ security are very understandable and gruesome. Little has been done to help social media/internet users understand what their personal data can be potentially used to do and to prevent it from happening again. Professionals in the field of technology also sense some negative changes in the security of the internet/social media. According to Wu He’s research (Department of Informational Technology and Decision Sciences) in a global study 4,640, IT employees were surveyed concerning about the social media security errors (Ponemon, 2011). The surveys revealed approximately 50 percent of IT responder believe a rise in malware in their networks, attributed to the use of social media. Wu He insists that the findings suggest several companies don’t have a successful security policy. This is credible evidence that even the professionals in security networks see an increase in the malware throughout social media use. It only gets worse from here as the numbers of corporate hacking occurrences increase as the years past. The Facebook investigation is still an ongoing investigation. There is no information on when there will be any updates. Facebook has overall, lost a lot its credibility due to the continuation of the lack acknowledgment on this current breach and past breaches. In 2016 Facebook was slow to react to during the Russian misinformation campaigns aka “fake news” that was spread during the presidential election. This was one major incident that took a toll on Facebook as well. The media ultimately was able to convince Facebook users to be concerned about the Facebook hackings by utilizing rhetorical speech to generate fear into the minds of Facebook users. Facebook is no longer looked at as the social media platform where you can share all your adoring memories anymore. Instead, we have to think twice before we post anything because there is a possibility your information can be misused.
Gilbert, Ben. “The #DeleteFacebook Movement Has Reached a Fever Pitch, as Former Facebook Insiders Turn on the Company.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 21 Mar. 2018, www.businessinsider.com/deletefacebook-facebook-movement-2018-3.
Toplin, Jaime. “Exploring Recent Cyber Security Data Breaches – and What Companies Can Do to Protect Themselves and Customers.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 16 Feb. 2018, www.businessinsider.com/data-breaches-report-2018-2.
Tufekci, Zeynep. “We’re Building a Dystopia Just to Make People to Click.” TED TALKS. 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRsfFzKgoY8.
Coverage of Hurricane Florence skyrocketed the story into the national and global eye. Starting as a usual warning from weather channels and news stations, multiple-angled narratives unfolded of the devastation and disaster response through photojournalism, longform print stories, aerial video and interviews, and scientific data of its environmental impact, besides tips and guidance for affected residents and where others can donate to help in relief efforts. The precise attention of different news outlets can reveal inherent bias in what they deem as important, given the vast and varied coverage of this event. Thesis statement needs to be separate from the body of the paper.
with political, environmental, and global impact.A scholarly article, “The Sky Is Falling: Predictors of News Coverage of Natural Disasters Worldwide” examined the disparities between domestic and global disasters by news stations. Hurricane Florence took hold of national attention during the time it hit landfall, more so than the number of stories offered to natural disasters in other countries, centering the nation on its own devastation and temporarily fading out international crises.
The events of Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael’s subsequent coverage nodded to the political climate of news outlets taking on a watchdog role towards to the president.
The New York Times took this story as an opportunity to draw attention to Trump’s efforts against climate change. The paper published a story on October 15th, warily logging his interactions with residents affected Hurricane Michael, which ravaged the Florida Panhandle after Hurricane Florence, calling back to his decision to stand by his withdrawal of the Paris Climate accord. “After witnessing so many storms, Mr. Trump has begun to sound like an amateur meteorologist” (Landler).
This move by The New York Times to allow a reporter to saturate a piece with a jaded tone towards the President marks a powerful tool that could easily influence readers once the next voting cycle comes up and what they expect from their government in natural disasters. Besides that, it marks a new ground between historically objective reporting (taking out any kind of emotional or biased tone) and opinion pieces. It also steps viewers away from those within Hurricane Florence, or any hurricane, for a second and projects a personal view onto a nationally-gripping piece, instead of focusing in on more of the survivors’ voices, like photos of the destruction or profiles on affected residents.
An article by CNN published the same day about the same story, “Trump tours hurricane-ravaged Florida and Georgia,” laid itself out with strictly objective diction throughout, but even called back to the negative feedback President Bush received after Hurricane Katrina for his handling of the disaster. Ironically, when newspapers have almost been scared to walk the line of asking why or focusing completely on tragedy, CNN has managed to powerfully document the human devastation and turn around to hold the Trump administration responsible for Hurricanes Florence and Michael. The same network putting the emotional devastation of a hurricane alongside the decisions of any politician can work as a powerful tool psychologically to make a local story clothe itself with a national political impact.
An opinion piece published on October 18th by CNN hammered Trump for a lack of care for basic human rights and for a casual, heartless manner during natural disasters, referencing when the president threw paper towels for a photo-op in Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria. The op-ed demanded justice through action addressing climate change, emphasizing the death toll from Hurricane Michael. In a different form, CNN still heralds the costly effects of natural disasters on human life, and fixes their gaze on government authorities to hold accountable for the atrocities. Hurricane Florence, and hurricanes in general, roll into a conversation linking legislative decisions with documented hurricanes, a chain of online remembrance where the Snapchats of local residents of trees falling on their homes, or the heavy day-to-day reality of trying to survive become talking points in political debates. Unless Americans only listen to conservative news outlets, they no doubt associate hurricanes with climate change, because of this phenomenon.
CNN asked in another article how to even address “natural” disasters anymore, in an environment where the human effects of climate change cannot avoid making the news cycle. With environmental awareness greatly enmeshing itself more and more into a human interest news cycle that sharply focuses on tragedy, news outlets no longer just ask “Why were authorities not more prepared?” as they did in Katrina. An awareness of environmental effects, a major issue on the political platform, has weaved itself into hurricane coverage.
Hurricane coverage reveals the fixation of news outlets on the Trump administration, as the President ignores their checks on his power time and time again. Empathetic and emotional pieces do not stand alone without their journalistic counterparts looking at the big picture and angrily commanding change. This, without a doubt, could powerfully influence public opinion to begin associating natural disasters with government policy, taking events that once could pass as neutral ground for both Democrats and Republicans to grieve together, as a partisan issue informed by one’s preferred news outlet.
The intentions and methods for reporting of The New York Times and CNN still differ from those of FOX. A clip from FOX business criticized liberal-leaning outlets for blaming Hurricane Florence on Trump before it even hit landfall, following a trail of comments laden with insults like “libtards” and “dummycrats.”
FOX, not unlike The New York Times, has used their political opponents’ actions in the middle of a natural disaster to create headlines. By both liberal and conservative outlets piggybacking on political responses during hurricane coverage, less voice goes to the lives of victims affected, and less emphasis on specific environmental solutions or causes get attention. Critical analysis of causes and effects of the storm get overlooked in the news cycle. They may, but only if they dig through a series of emotionally or politically driven articles. Active news users may correlate “climate change” with Hurricane Florence, but struggle to recall a comprehensive or data-based view of how Hurricane Florence was caused by climate change or how it affected North Carolina or the economy.
A casual look at Fox’s coverage of Hurricane Florence includes reports of Tinder meetups during the hurricane a barbecue hosted to relieve victims, and a military couple who safely evacuated to give birth to twins.
Meanwhile, for Hurricane Michael, CNN, featured anguish-filled clips of affected residents. FOX peppered in lighter pieces about more hopeful events during the hurricane, their coverage of the actual devastation of Hurricane Michael featured a clip of drone footage exhibiting the damage to infrastructure.
News outlets have to make decisions like “Will we risk alienating our viewers by answering why these things happen?” Views on issues like climate change and the presidency come up. A thorough analysis in an article in Television Quarterly, where 65 college students analyzed the CNN and Fox News coverage of Hurricane Katrina explained that Fox focused on the losses in property damage and looting by residents, while CNN focused on the lack of preparation by the government and the anguish expressed by endangered residents.
The analysis discovered sharp differences in the methods of reporting on both networks. FOX focused on hard evidence, quantifiable stories, fact-based questions, and significantly less close-up coverage, emphasizing looting and lawlessness. CNN focused on the responsibility of the federal government’s response, the feelings of affected residents and the plight they experienced. Overall some of these methods still have stood the test of time with both networks in approaching the coverage of Hurricane Florence.
Hurricane Florence demonstrated the clear political bending that surfaces within the news cycle of hurricanes, a renewed national conscience about climate change, and difference in priorities of how different networks covered the events.
Overall good paper. Where is the bibliography? It was essential to provide a bibliography for the final paper.