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Apt Warning for Manufactured Housing Professionals, MH Customers, by Award Winning Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, TEDx

March 11th, 2019 Comments off

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become a wiser consumer of information, in an increasingly artificial and paid for reality,” said investigative journalist,” Sharyl Attkisson in the TEDx Talk posted below.  This intriguing talk has had over 1 million views.

 

 

Attkisson is “a five-time Emmy Award winner, a recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting and a fourth degree black belt in TaeKwonDo,” says Amazon.

In under 11 minutes, Attkisson – whose work the Daily Business News on MHProNews has cited numerous times, lays out real and hypothetical examples of how research, studies, news, and social media can all be astroturfed or manipulated by special interests, that seek to advance their own agendas.

 

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Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 

Without denying the potential value of other journalists, fact-check sites like Snopes, or that Wikipedia may have good information on it, Attkisson lays out evidence of the methods she’s uncovered by he research that are used to twist what may seem on the surface to be sound information.

Astroturfed spin can then skew what reporters, fact-checkers, or research sites produce, she explains.

It is all done to shape the view of reality of readers and viewers, says Attkisson, to accomplish someone’s or some organization’s hidden agenda.  She mentions – among the tools that are used by astroturfers – nonprofit groups that are funded by semi-hidden third parties that seek to advance and agenda for their own obvious gain.

Noting that Kevin Clayton touted their use of nonprofits in the video on the page linked here, we will return to other points of how her TEDx talk applies to manufactured housing shortly.

 

Clues to Spot Misinformation

But first, what are the clues that someone might look for to spot manipulated information?

When one hears an echo chamber effect from several sources that all say the same thing, does that make the information reliable?  Or is that echo chamber itself a flag for Astroturfed and manipulated information that seeks to advance a hidden agenda?

Here’s her TEDx video.

 


Quotes and Pointers For Savvier Consumption of News and Views

Hallmarks of astroturfing include the use of inflammatory language” says Attkisson. Examples she gives include ‘crank, quack, nutty, lies, paranoid, and conspiracy.’  For the multiple award-winning Attkisson, evidence is what should matter.

Attkisson says:

  • Astroturfers claim to debunk myths that aren’t myths at all.” She explains that use of charged language “tests well” with audiences.

 

  • Without using the phrase ‘ad hominem attacks’ that is precisely what she is describing that is often done to target people, personalities, or organizations – when facts are not being examined, or are being deliberately ignored. Demonstrable facts and evidence should be the focus, says Attkisson. People can better draw valid conclusions based on facts, not hyperbole or highly charged but deceptive dodges.

 

  • Most of all, Astroturfers reserve all of their public skepticism for those exposing wrongdoing, rather than the wrongdoers.” Instead of questioning authority, they question those who question authority, says Attkisson.

 

  • By following her tips, she compares it to taking off your smudged glasses, properly cleaning them, and realizing how foggy the vision has been.

 

In this video, Attkisson says she can’t resolve the problem, but hopes people will be motivated to take of those proverbial glasses and wipe them, to become a wiser consumer of information, in an increasingly artificial and paid for reality.

With that tee up, let’s look at a specific example of how this applies to manufactured housing today. Because the nation is in an affordable housing crisis. Yet the most proven solution is being largely marginalize and ignored. A partial explanation for how that is being accomplished is suggested in part by her TEDx Talk video.

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How Attkisson’s Lesson Applies to Manufactured Housing, Impacting Business and Homeowners Alike

MHProNews opens with that this Monday morning, 3.11.2019 for very specific reasons. Let’s give one example. The money trail that funds the left-wing activist group MHAction reveals traces back in part to funding by Warren Buffett connected foundations and nonprofits, such as the Tides Foundation. MHAction was decried by others who hold a similarly ‘progressive’ agenda, because they have made false claims, said the president of the Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners League (GSMOL).

On seemingly the opposite side of the fence from MHAction is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  That Arlington, VA based business trade group says it represents “all segments of factory-built housing.”  But it very obviously gets a large amount of funding from Berkshire Hathaway owned brands, like Clayton Homes, 21 Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), Shaw Carpeting, and others. MHI and MHAction each are getting dollars from the same deep pockets that originate in Omaha, NE.

The net result of MHAction or MHI interaction – or lack of the same – with the media on specific issues often helps shape news coverage.   The question that journalists ought to be asking, using Attkisson logic, should include what is the agenda behind the money?

Yesterday, in an analysis by industry expert and MHProNews publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, he made the point that if Buffett wanted the compelling facts about manufactured housing to be clearly known, he has the resources to make that possible. Yet, more than 15 years since he has purchased Clayton Homes and other part of the industry, manufactured housing is at a lower sales level than it was when he made his acquisitions and billions in investments.

A logical conclusion from the known facts and evidence is that Buffett, Clayton et al want to keep the industry depressed, as they buy up pieces at a discounted value while avoiding antitrust scrutiny. See the full analysis linked here.

Time and again, what MHI and their surrogates do is continue to spew their party line, while ducking authentic discussion or debate over their practices and clearly poor results.  Attkisson’s TedX talk helps clarify the methodologies used by MHProNews, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and others like the newly formed National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) who tired of MHI excuses, after years of failed performance.

Attkisson’s tip will help bring into focus some of the larger forces at play that influence our industry, and the nation at large.  That’s this morning’s “New Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)

 

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“Check Your Facts,” “Follow the Money” – Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, Fake News, MHVille Takeaways

December 13th, 2018 Comments off

 

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Few themes arise” in mainstream media “organically,” said Attkisson in this TEDx talk video. She relates a story by a propagandist.  “It’s like a movie,” the propagandist explained, giving her chills at that moment. “Nearly every scene or image that crosses our path in our daily life was put there for a reason,” he said, per Attkisson, who is an award winning journalist. Those themes, per the propagandist, are “authored by someone that paid a lot of money to put them there.”

 

She proposes the whole fake news campaign could be aimed to make people doubt one particular side of a narrative, news source, or website.

Attkisson explains that when she connects the dots, she finds it useful to “follow the money.” That’s a theme that Marty Lavin has hammered for years, and that MHProNews has particularly utilized in 2018 and before.

Who was funding the non-profit First Draft and its anti-fake news effort?” the seasoned journalist rhetorically asked.

It was Google.

Google exec Eric Schmidt, a Hillary Clinton supporter and campaign adviser, was behind the First Draft platform, explained the investigative reporter.

Now for those on the progressive side of politics, keep in mind that Attkisson came from CBS News. She strives to be unbiased, independent, in her perspective as a mainstream journalist is supposed to be trained to do. David Brock, Clinton’s surrogate at Media Matters and Clinton were both on the “fake news train.”

I’m not the only one who thinks the whole thing smacked of a roll-out of a propaganda campaign,” the reporter says in her TEDx talk. Glen Greenwald of the Intercept said that those who denounce fake news are often the ones guilty of it.

There’s tons of content like what she says online, but not all of it is from sources as reputable as Attkisson. We found this particular-gem today. She says Donald Trump co-opted the “Fake News” term, he didn’t create it. The ploy, she argues, backfired on the left’s purported proponents.

 

Powerful Interest Trying to Manipulate

Attkisson says she is not trying to litigate who is correct.  Rather, she is saying that “powerful interests are trying to manipulate your opinion.”

As regular, longer time, Daily Business News on MHProNews readers know, we’ve been on this theme that predates this TEDx talk by some time.  We were already following facts, evidence, history, and the money.  We admit that there was some things – that are arguably fake – that we were either blinded to, or distracted from. It was industry voices – people in positions of knowledge – that patiently told us the lay of the land on some issues we didn’t have completely right.

Now, we seek to be patient with those who wonder what’s wrong with the industry that ought to be doing many times better than it is.

 

 

Attkisson gives expert tips.

These go beyond industry divisions, or national politics, by striking at the heart of seeking the truth.

That’s what our industry should be focused on, getting the truth out about our products and services. We’ll paraphrase some of her takeaways, while encouraging you to see and hear what she’s observed and discovered.

  • Is the media trying to shape or censor facts, rather than report them?
  • When it seems that everyone in the media industry is using the same words, the same narratives, even the same phrases, “it might be the result of an organized campaign.”
  • She warns against “media literacy,” an effort to get laws passed to make one side’s version of reality to be taught and accepted in public schools. She says they are developing websites, working with journalists, and universities. This is a red flag, she argues. Attkisson says these are people who want to tell you what to believe.

What you need to remember,” the journalist said, “is that when interests are working this hard to shape your opinions, their true goal might just be to add another layer between you and the truth.”

Question authority. Analyze what a source is saying, including this source that you are reading. If you see an factual error, let us know.  We routinely challenge MHI, Clayton, et al to offer any fact or evidence based corrections.

Crickets. That speaks volumes.

Try to be objective, share that notion with your team mates that don’t already see what you get, and tell them to go where the evidence, money, and logic point.  As a related note, the industry obviously suffers from problematic reporting inside MHVille and aimed at it.  Both of those need to be proactively addressed, see the related reports, further below.

We strive to do the fact-checks day by day for our readers, as we provide “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.”  © See how this TEDx talk fits with prior related reports, further below. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if your comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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