2 Responses

  1. Loren Coleman
    Loren Coleman February 5, 2006 at 9:45 am |

    Allow me to be very specific then…By the use of terms like “tribal groups” and “jungle natives” who are characterized as speaking about “folklore” and “snaggle-toothed ghosts,” the media demeans and dismisses eyewitness reports of credible local residents who have encountered unknown, hidden animals. It is rather obvious to most individuals how the ridicule curtain is often used to undermine local reports. Charles Fort called this media technique the “Wipe.”

    The racism, of course, comes into play by “setting” up the alleged folkloric elements from supposedly non-Westernized “jungle natives,” thus diminishing the encounters’ supposed “value” to science.

    Indeed, the credibility of these accounts are slowly being eroded by the media’s reframing of these sightings into a non-scientific, cultural point of reference.

    It frequently occurs thusly, and it seemed like it was time to bring this factor in the evolution of these stories into the light of the day.

  2. Loren Coleman
    Loren Coleman February 5, 2006 at 1:42 pm |

    The following was sent along by reader Matt Knapp:

    I would say it’s more than a “hint” of ridicule and racism. In the world of writing, as certainly Loren knows, and especially when you’re speaking in terms of journalism news, the words you choose are extremely important when conveying the message to the reader. It is clear to me from reading these excerpts that they are trying to get this topic away from the scientific aspect, and more towards the “entertaining” approach. This is shown in several ways, such as the usage of the more “silly” of the names, “The Snaggle-Tooth Ghost.” That coupled with the information about a paranormal group being involved, and using terms such as “folklore” and “myth” jerks it right away from being taken as a serious scientific occurrence. The usage of “Jungle Natives” to me seems extremely condescending, as does including “folklore” with “tribal history.” It automatically gets the reader to paint a picture in their mind. I can’t say this is surprising however considering the media has for the most part always approached crypto subjects with the same tone here in the United States. A fine example of this was the media frenzy that took place following the death of Ray Wallace. Another example took place right here in my own city. I heard news of a local evening news broadcast about a Bigfoot sighting taking place just outside the city along the banks of a river. I contacted all the local news stations via email after searching through their recent archives only to find nothing. Eventually I was at last contacted by someone via email who informed me that the news report I was speaking of had just been an April Fool’s prank, and that they didn’t think anyone would actually take it seriously.

    Matt Knapp

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