Executive Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness --- and Liberalism -- to the Women of America: Books: Myrna Blyth

You want to tick off the right? Show them this book, and switch all the times it says 'CBS' with FOX'.

Of course, given the objective reality, neither side of politics should feel proud after reading this. If the right is feeling smug about the skewing in the media by the left, they ought to remove the log blinding their own eyes.

A book like this brings controversy. The left is afraid to admit the truth, and the right wants to pretend the left is the only one doing it. Hypocrisy is not owned only by one side. Media manipulation occurs more often than you can say, "Uh oh, was the mike on?"

Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness --- and Liberalism -- to the Women of America: Books: Myrna Blyth

Blowing the whistle on a job she herself did for over ten years at Ladies Home Journal as editor-in-chief, Blyth reveals the almost institutionalized selling of a liberal/do-gooders message to women through chararacterizing women themselves as victims. Playing on women's compassion and ability to be hooked into "uplifting" stories with a moral or happy ending, American media has convinced the most well-educated, rich and healthy audience in history that they are miserable. She dissects why:

--liberal celebrities' messages aren't scrutinized and in fact presented with a halo of approval
--middle class American women have been sold stress as the new scourge of modern life
--media paints a negative picture of women's lives today, at exactly the moment when women have more money, privlege and choices than ever before
--the club of liberal women who run magazines and television shows have an outsize and lock-step affect on what we "know" about the major issues of the day
--the incestuous relationship between celebrities and media has corrupted journalism
--magazines rarely tell stories about the majority of women whose conservative views don't mesh with their own


Nothing Spinster Found in Expose of Sinister Editing
In a clearly biased book, Myrna Blyth's "Spin Sisters" cannot be read as 'spinsters'. Blyth is as erudite and savvy as the women she is verbally savaging. This gives her authority, wisdom, and inside knowledge.

In 2001, Bernard Goldberg's "Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News" was published and was lambasted by his media colleagues. Now, with a similar tone and message, Blyth will be find speaking counter culturally will anger her former peers. Blyth, unaffected, has boldly let in the light into what is to most of us a shuttered world.

Her precise point, that those women buying women's magazines have different, more conservative values than those editing and publishing them, is logical and long known. Where Blyth steps in is to provide anecdotes and examples, having been part of the value divide. She's portrayed as a whistle-blower, but the real story is that she's not a cubical warrior. She ran the show, picked the editors, stories and angles. Her culpability is deeper than the average unknown whistle-blower.

It is as much of a political book as it is a media analysis text, but it reads more like an expose. That Blyth has a conservative tack in her book isn't subtle. The trouble is not her tone, but in her facts. She cites circumstances how alarmism littered the editorial choices, while feminism is peddled to women oppressed in their own ignorance of what feminism is and isn't.

Dividing the hyped up prose from the truth won't be hard for readers. A walk through the checkout counter magazine stand, comparing women's publications as you do, will show that the publishers aren't pushing messages found in family magazines like "Focus on the Family" and "Marriage Partnership."

I fully recommend "Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism to the Women of America" by Myrna Blyth. Think for yourself. Don't let my review, the publicity behind the book or against the book determine your thinking.

Anthony Trendl

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