Here’s a fascinating video discussion found on Shel Holtz’s blog on media manipulation. I’m sending it your way for a couple of reasons. One, it is a recorded video using Google Hangouts which is a pretty handy way of easily creating and sharing discussions.
More important, this lively discussion features Peter Shankman and Ryan Holiday discussing the topic of media manipulation. Ryan just released a book called “Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator.” Peter works for Vocus who bought his operation HARO, Help a Reporter Out, which is used by journalists and sources to connect. Ryan used HARO to demonstrate how easy it was to manipulate the media. Which means that HARO was a focal point for the deception. Hence, this discussion unfortunately demonstrates some personal animus, particularly from Shankman toward Holiday.
Considering my post on Jonah Lehrer, I find it interesting to see this kind of discussion happening. Truth, trust and credibility are becoming rarer commodities. Personally, I am grateful that some of the dishonesty and lack of credibility in today’s media is becoming more of a headline because I believe that manipulation is much more possible and powerful with a gullible audience. And the sharp decline in trust in media is demonstrating that audience gullibility is declining.
But, it leaves the poignant question: who can we trust? Living in a group, a community, an office, a company, a nation or world without trust is not pleasant and it is far from efficient. Somehow, we have to figure out how to get it back. Unlike Shankman, while I do not appreciate Holiday’s methods, I do appreciate his efforts and I believe it will help bring these important issues forward.