Friday, March 11, 2011

It's Come to This: Talk Radio Uses Paid Actors to Call In

You know, the whole idea of advertising and marketing is to mold people's ideas, to get them to want your product, to believe your idea, to either buy or partake of your product. It's not so bad when it's just the art of persuasion, a mostly honest, above board sales pitch. But we all have been sold to by slimy salesmen, haven't we? Used car dealers have that reputation for a reason.

But it goes way beyond dishonest salesmen. There are commercials on the radio that use tricks like testimonials from people who sound like they're calling on the phone. . .even though they are actors reading from a script. They might employ ringing phones to sound like "operators are standing by." They might use misleading language, or emphasis on certain words to make it sound like they're saying something that they're not. There are a zillion different ways in which advertisers are trying to trick us. And if they have to trick you, how good could the product be?

As sad as it is, we actually expect sales people and advertisers to try to trick us. But it gets more insidious when the tricks are coming from places you don't expect. For instance, suppose you read a really interesting article in The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times, and you start reading the comments.  Even though the article is over something seemingly indefensible, you start reading comments from people who are bending over backward to defend it. You're like, "where do these people come from?" Well, some of them are very likely paid. And the same thing happens on talk radio. Those "real" people calling in to agree with the host? Paid to do it. Employed to do it.
This all falls right in line with the "Americans for Truth and Motherhood" types of groups, with their iStockPhoto fake people on their websites, and their known or unknown corporate sponsors. Supposedly "grass roots" organizations like the Tea Party, which may have "real" elements, but are driven by these corporate sponsored organizations. Is anything real anymore?

Mulder was right. Trust no one.


Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck Respond To News That Parent Company Hires Call-in Actors

On Sunday, the article, Limbaugh/Hannity Parent Company Admits Hiring Actors to Call Radio Shows, by Gustav Wynn, generated an explosive response on Twitter, in the blogosphere and subsequently, from Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck on their radio shows. . .
Read more at: Huffington Post

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