10 Tactics Corporate Media Talking Heads Use to Woo and Win You Over


IMAGE SOURCE: institutoliberal.org.br

By Cheri Roberts, of Challenging the Rhetoric and Cheri Speak

Modern media, in it’s many forms, has one purpose for their product; consumption and we are the consumers. It is media’s job to sell you; first and foremost, on their brand of media while nudging you away from their competitors. This is not much different then any other business model however, media was never meant to be a business. It was meant to inform for the public for the greater good.

In 59 B.C. the first newspaper — called Acta Diurna (latin for  Daily Acts or Daily Public Records), was published in Rome. Carved into wood or stone, verdicts and outcomes of legal issues were publicly posted to inform the city’s citizens. Soon the “Acta” was a source for important news as well as announcements of births, marriages and other happenings. Etched at the end of each text was the saying,  “publicare et propagare” or “make public and propagate“.

Over the centuries media evolved into a propaganda machine driven by corporate interest dollars and chess-board ideology. Millions have been spent learning how to manipulate you. Here are 10 tactics corporate media talking heads use when presenting their stories to woo and win you over:

1. Anacoenosis

Many times a writer or news ‘personality’ aka, the anchor or field reporter will ask their readers/viewers — the ones who will judge them, their opinion on what is to be judged. They will do so using some of the other tactics below, but the purpose is to immediately take you off your footing by creating a common interest or onus. They have now placed the responsibility of their report, on you.

Attorneys making their closing arguments are a great example that most people can relate to, but lawyers aren’t the only ones who use this tactic to sway an opinion.

2. Anthypophora

This is a manner of reasoning aloud. In other words, a way for the person presenting the ‘facts’ to outwardly speculate on opposing facts and then poo-poo them away with their own answers. It is done in such a way that you feel included in the making the comparisons and agree with their summation.

It’s a way of conveying you are already on their side and oh by the way, look how dumb the other side is.

3. Ianoea

Some reporters will rattle off a stream of animated and impassioned questions. These may be the same question asked in a variety of ways or numerous different questions seemingly related to their story or idea.

These questions however, are not meant for you to answer. They are merely their impassioned segue to get you pumped-up for the story.

4. Aporia

The commentator or news anchor who deliberates with himself in his story-telling is practicing something called ‘aporia’. It is similar to ‘anthyophora’ however, these deliberations are not meant to make you a part of their decision making, but to allude they are keeping themselves in check.

By pretending to check themselves they convey to you they are looking at all of the angles.

5. Epiplexis

Epiplexis is the big, “why me” delivery. We have all spoken this way. When was the last time you asked the heavens, “Why me?”. Same thing, except media personalities use it to paint themselves martyrs or victims. FOX New’s, Bill O’Reilly, is a good example. Instead of proving his own stories true against all of the opposition, he instead asks his fans, viewers and listeners, “Why me?” only to proceeds by telling them why using unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks instead of clearing his name.

Popular infotainment ‘newscasters’ often allude their enemies are out to set them up and sully their name. They use it to cement your belief that their job is so important people are trying to shut them up.

6. Exuscitatio

We’ve seen the proverbial town crier; arms waving, full of passion and self-righteous arrogance peddling fear or some other ware to incite anger. This is becoming more common, but may  be best witnessed in Alex Jones during his appearance on Pierce Morgan discussing [and I use that word lightly] gun rights.

To his core reader, listener or viewer, Jones’ stance was valid and acceptable. To everyone else, it backfired in the general public and he merely came off like a loon while painting every other ‘activist’ the same. Unfortunately, his tactics play well with his core and only cement their fervent support.

7. Pysma

Pysma is a lot like dianoea except that these string of rushed questions are meant for you to answer, even if only in your head. However, they are presented in such a way that you cannot answer or ask questions. They are meant to force you to look at something from their perspective and accept that you must not be smart enough to ‘get it’ if you disagree. O’Reilly and Jones both are masters of this tactic.

8. Aetiologia

Aetiologia is very similar to both anthyophora and aporia except there is pause with the deliberations and questions for oneself to reason or support their own statements. The result of this tactic however, is the same. The commentator is merely presenting themselves in a position of being logical, fair and dare I say balanced?

9. Imagery

Imagery is powerful. Imagery can sway an otherwise intelligent opinion. That’s why a past president mandated no flag-drapped coffins were to be portrayed in the media at the start of the Iraq war. Bush knew the images would be too much of a strain on the support he wanted to continue to receive for the war.

Media uses images to scare you and the fear they incur is the means with which the tactics above work so well.

10. Embellishments, Exaggeration, Omissions and Lies

Media lies. We would like to think they do not, but we know that it is true and we know they can do so, legally. Media has zero legal obligations to tell true facts when covering a story.

In February of 2003 a Florida Supreme Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in favor of FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States. The appeal had been signed onto by most of the other main stream giants.

Every ‘news’ story you read, listen to or view should always be taken with a grain of salt regardless of who is presenting it, but particularly when it’s by corporate media however, it’s true even alternative and independent media can be just as manipulative or inaccurate. Our best interests are not being represented. We should all be challenging the rhetoric in today’s news and the rejecting the infotainment absurdity we call ‘news’.


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Please also read other articles published by Challenging the Rhetoric contributors:

17 responses to “10 Tactics Corporate Media Talking Heads Use to Woo and Win You Over

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  4. Spot on. The scary thing is that these tactics work and even many alternative news sources are using them as well. It’s difficult to get unbiased news these days no matter where you look. Alex Jones was a perfect example and Veterans today has decided to follow in his footsteps. We are the media now, time to unite.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on 1EarthUnited and commented:
    Thanks for sharing this Cheri, all media employs these strategies to manipulate public opinion and thought, not to inform with impartial facts. MSM and alternative news sources all play their games, we have to discern for ourselves, esp during challenging times.


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