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Media Tricks…..and the hunt for Tim Jeffries

Posted by on | May 30, 2017 | Comments Off

Reporters use a lot of tricks to fool readers.  One of the more subtle tricks is to take something normal and imply that it is being done in secret.   The reporters don’t have to actually SAY that the activity is being done in secret, they can use key words to fool you.  Here’s an example from a Laurie Roberts hit piece on Michael Nowakowski.  Roberts claimed that his “chief of staff was quietly getting emails.”

“Quietly”?  How loud are your emails?  When you buy a car be careful of words like “clean” or “immaculate.”  These words imply that the car is in good working order without actually claiming that the car is in good working order.  “Quietly” implies that something was done in secret.  The trick is so effective that later in the story, the reporter can provide information that proves the activity was NOT conducted in secret, however the reader still has the impression that the target has done something evil.  So in this example, the chief of staff forwarded the emails to ensure that they became public….so much for receiving them “quietly.” 

Reporters are using the same trick to discredit former DES Director Tim Jeffries.  On last Friday’s Journalist Roundtable, Horizon host Ted Simons asked about Jeffries and Howie Fischer got all indignant, raised his voice and said that Jeffries had a “stash of weapons.” 

Other reporters have used the same trick.  Here’s the Capitol Times story. 

The Arizona Department of Public Safety has not yet completed its investigation of a stash of guns and ammunition found in the Arizona Department of Economic Security building last November, contrary to its earlier statement.

The stash was uncovered following the dismissal of the welfare agency’s former director, Tim Jeffries, in November 2016.

A “stash” by definition is a secret storage place.  The reporter compounds this impression by saying that the “stash” was “found” and later saying that the “stash” was “uncovered”.

It’s really scary to think that the Director of a State Agency was stockpiling a secret store of weapons in the basement. 

Of course, later in the story, we get this revelation.  

Jeffries was open about his efforts to boost security at DES offices around the state, which he explained was designed to protect employees from mass shootings. Those efforts included replacing private security guards with a small force of armed DES security guards at 121 satellite offices, as well as the main office near the Capitol.

Never mind.

So Jeffries was “open about his efforts.”  How may guns would it take in order to arm enough security guards to protect 121 satellite offices?  Where would you store them? 

I would probably lock them in a secure area in the basement until I was ready to deploy them.  Or as the media would like to claim…I could stockpile them in a stash until they are later uncovered.

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