Tag: Deception

Blast from the Comm Class Past

I had an interesting experience earlier that actually relates back to the history of this very blog, so I wanted to use my post today to talk about it.

About two years ago, I started my blog because it was an assignment in my Comm 233 class. It was some kind of example to prove we knew how to use mass media, or that we knew it existed, or it could have just been the guy trying to force us to start doing something he felt the world would require of us.

In hindsight I’m not really sure exactly why we were given this assignment. But I do know it’s hilarious to remember that being forced to write 20 blog posts that semester was such a pain in the ass now that I have nearly 400 posts and am attempting to write something novel every day.

One of the posts I threw together in those early days of blogging was kind of my prototypical movie review, even before I feel like I technically started doing them with my discussion on The Post around Oscar season this year.

At the time I reviewed a little film called Merchants of Doubt, which looked at some of the methods large corporations in the tobacco and oil industries (among others) would use to try and convince the public that cigarettes weren’t harmful, or that climate change isn’t happening/isn’t man-made.

If you do actually believe those things… Well, I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree for now. Because I’m not looking to make this into a political post necessarily.

Funny enough I believe that’s also a line I used in that original post from two years ago, which you can read here if you want. Though I also made a bunch of comments in it about Trump on the campaign trail that very clearly suggested otherwise.

Amazing how much of a different world it was in that pre-President Trump era… But I digress.

The reason I bring up this two-year-old post is because I got the chance to rewatch the documentary during my Mass Media Ethics class this afternoon.

For the most part I don’t believe my opinion on the film has changed too much since the first time I saw it. Even disregarding the obvious liberal bias in the documentary, it has a lot of excellent work done interviewing various people from all sides of the issue as well as more neutral parties like reporters who have been researching the topic.

All in service of letting the audience know that sometimes corporations don’t have your best interest in mind, and may be willing to deceive you in very creative ways.

I mostly just wanted to write this quick post to reflect on how funny it is that the curriculums of both these classes two years apart both happened to include the same movie. Seemed like it would be a good excuse to reminisce and have some laughs in that end-of-an-80s-sitcom kind of way.

Especially considering most of that joy is likely going to disappear after I write this required essay about the film. My favorite.