Saturday, November 04, 2006

Skew

This is a pretty simplistic discussion, but sometimes "simplistic" makes the point very clearly.

Doogie Howser, aka Neil Patrick Harris, announced that he is, in fact, a gay man. And a happy man as well.

OK, cool. This isn't about "Gay" or "straight" or whatever.

This what I'm talking about today: (The poll isn't active, it's just an image of it)







This poll was presented on America Online's homepage this morning. The question I'm more concerned with here today, though is this one:









or more specifically, this:





Do you see how this stuff gets spun? The media are quite adept at this kind of sleight-of-hand. They ask if you care. Then they give you two options. You either don't care a bit, or you only care if you're disappointed. There is no option there for you to say "hey I care, he's a great guy" or something.
It's all negative. Just the same way everything seems to be spun these days. I've seen all these articles recently about "how to spot a cheating husband". A lot of women cheat, too. One article actually did mention that fact, but only to add that "women are better liars...we have a plan".
The point isn't about "gay men" or "cheating men"; it's about how if something gets discussed a certain way for a long time, it becomes a widespread belief. If all we highlighted were faithful husbands, boyfriends, etc., and never even brought up the negative, things might be a little nicer all around.
It's all in how you spin it.

6 comments:

  1. I thought the same thing...although I got stuck on the first question "are you surprised" wtf? here we go again assuming we know people because we see them on TV. Sort of like people assuming they know anything about foreign policy because they watch the news. AOL should just leave the polls at home!

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  2. AOL should leave it all at home. I have no use for them or the crap they peddle.

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  3. When I saw that on AOL, I was surprised by Harris's revelation. But, I think it is because I do not usually wonder whether or not someone is straight, bi, or gay. Then I thought, "So who cares what his sexual preference is?" It really is none of my business. Like most things, as long as no one tries to force me to do or believe in something, I am fine with it all.

    Spin? EVERYTHING seems to have such a negative spin on it these days. I am tired of it. Maybe a better word would be disgusted. Yes, disgusted.

    Nikki

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  4. AOL just needs to go far, far away LOL

    No, I don't care if he's gay. Nor am I surprised. But if he's content in his life gay or straight then I am happy for him.

    I made a post about "the cheating loophole" from a column called Great Sexpectations. Hey I didn't name it, just read it LOL

    I don't know if you ever saw that post or not, but yes I clearly talk about men not ONLY being the ones who are unfaithful out there. If you haven't read it and you want to let me know and I'll link you.

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  5. AOL always does that. Annoys me too. I don't get it. We aren't all extremely bent in any direction. Where's the median? Either you love or hate in every single one of their polls. Annoys me. Extremely.

    ~Lily

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