Monday, October 17, 2005

The Bias in the Language of the Hartford Courant

When you read yesterday’s Hartford Courtant story, look carefully at the language the reporter, Jan Ellen Spiegel, uses when characterizing what Broadwater’s people say compared to what opponents of the proposal say.

The Broadwater folks explain “in simple terms who they are and what they want to do.” Broadwater officials “note” information and facts. John Hritcko, Broadwater’s front man, “states” and “mentions” and “tells.”

The opponents, though, use “buzz phrases.” When they are questioned, they "haul out all the classic responses.” We can’t even be sure from Spiegel’s writing if Broadwater opponents can think for themselves. She implies that those who oppose Broadwater (not to mention the cross Sound cables and pipelines) have "drunk the Kool-Aid," presumably a reference to the mass suicide in Jonestown in the late 1970s.

In other words, Broadwater opponents are being told what to think and what to say and what to do. Spiegel doesn’t say who the puppeteer is, but someone is telling us what to think. (Maybe it’s Leah Lopez Schmalz, of Save the Sound, or Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. Or maybe it’s me!)


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