8 Ways To Stop Opinion "Influencers" In Their Tracks

Be on the lookout for telltale signs that you aren't getting the truth.

The following tips are extracted from the brilliant article by Caitlin Johnstone, "How To Spot A Media Psy-Op." (January 17, 2017).
  • Slogans are repeated across news outlets (the same word or phrase is to describe a topic in such a way that you form a particular opinion or bias)
  • Words or phrases are slipped into a sentence where they ordinarily don't belong - purpose is to deliver a subconscious message (this is called a non-sequitur and it is a form of neuro-linguistic programming)
  • Two separate ideas or topics are jammed together to make you associate them ("forced association") - e.g. 9/11 and Iraq War - so you'll support invading Iraq
  • An entire mainstream media outlet seems "owned" by opinion manipulators
  • Opinions are being expressed online that seem unnatural, because someone has been paid to go there and pretend to express support naturally
In her article, Johnstone recommends this Ted talk by investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, author of Stonewalled: My Fight For Truth Against The Forces Of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment In Obama's Washington and The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote.

In her talk, Atkisson offers the media consumer three ways to detect when independent voices are being deliberately silenced:
  • When an accuser is labeled a "crank," "nutty," a "conspiracy theorist," etc.
  • When the default response to criticism involves attacking the questioner, not answering the question.
  • When all criticism is aimed at those alleging wrongdoing, and not at the alleged wrongdoers.
I hope that you will check out Attkisson's work, as well as Johnstone's article, and be inspired.

No matter how despondent we may feel sometimes at the proliferation of "fake news" and bought journalists, there are great minds at work in the field today.


All opinions my own. Public domain photo via Pixabay.


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, www.AllThingsBrand.com and www.DannielleBlumenthal.com, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.