Saturday, April 20, 2019

The left's practice of "idea laundering"...the Groucho Marx joke about who are you going to believe me or your lying eyes.

Seattle Elites Coordinated A PR Campaign In Response To ‘Seattle Is Dying’

JOHN SEXTONPosted at 8:41 pm on April 19, 2019

Last month I wrote about an extraordinary news special produced by station KOMO in Seattle. Provocatively titled “Seattle is Dying” the hour-long special argued that the homeless problem in the city was a disaster for residents thanks to policies that let people with addictions or mental problems live in a law-free zone on the city’s streets.
Reporter Eric Johnson who wrote and narrated the special posted it on his Facebook page and it became a kind of community gathering space for thousands of Seattle residents who reacted strongly to what was in the piece. Most of those reactions were positive, i.e. agreeing that the city seemed to be experiencing a decline as a result of bad policies. I collected a couple dozen of the responses here.

But while many people in Seattle were saying the special was on to something, some of the city’s elites hired a PR firm to fight back. A writer and researcher named Christopher F. Rufo wrote about the effort for City Journal:
Earlier this month, leaked documents revealed that a group of prominent nonprofits—the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Campion Advocacy Fund, the Raikes Foundation, and the Ballmer Group—hired a PR firm, Pyramid Communications, to conduct polling, create messaging, and disseminate the resulting content through a network of silent partners in academia, the press, government, and the nonprofit sector. The campaign, #SeattleForAll, is a case study in what writer James Lindsay calls “idea laundering”—creating misinformation and legitimizing it as objective truth through repetition in sympathetic media.
James Lindsay is one of the academics who was involved in the expose of “grievance studies” journals. The message the PR campaign generated was intended to put a smiley face on the disturbing facts covered in the “Seattle is Dying” special:
The key messages of the campaign include a number of misleading claims, including: “Seattle is making progress to end homelessness,” “1 in 4 people experiencing homelessness in our community struggle with drug or alcohol abuse,” and “[62 percent of Seattle voters believe] we are not spending enough to address homelessness.” All three contentions fail to meet basic scrutiny: street homelessness has increased 131 percent over the past five years; King County’s lawsuit against Purdue Pharma admits that “the majority of the homeless population is addicted to or uses opioids” (not one in four); and 62 percent of Seattle voters agree to the statement “we are not spending enough” only when it is directly prefaced in the polling questionnaire by the phrase “other cities of the same size are spending 2 to 3 times the amount that Seattle is and are seeing significant reductions in homelessness”—itself an unsubstantiated claim. (When the same question is presented neutrally, without the framing, support for “we are not spending enough” drops to 7 percent).

No comments: