Chapter 8


Noam Chomsky in Mark Achbar's and Peter Wintonick's documentary film, Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, Parts I and II. The film has been broadcast on numerous television networks (including YLE of Finland). In November of 1994, two years after production, it was released on home video in the United States. However, no U.S. broadcaster, including national and regional PBS, agreed to televise the film until PBS began distributing it to its affiliates in May of 1995.
According to co-producer Mark Achbar (Mark Achbar, ed., Black Rose Books, 1994),
Chomsky's analysis focuses on the theory and practice of propaganda in democratic societies where populations not disciplined by force are subjected to more subtle forms of ideological control. He reveals how mainstream news coverage of world events mobilizes public support for the "special interests" that dominate society through a process he calls "the manufacture of consent."
The film includes an international array of journalists and several of Chomsky's critics. PBS's Bill Moyers, Robert MacNeil and William F. Buckley Jr., author Tom Wolfe, conservative John Silber, and New York Times editorial writer Karl E. Meyer are interviewed about, comment on, or debate with, Chomsky. Also appearing: ABC's Peter Jennings, Executive VP of CNN, Ed Turner, Nightline Producer Jeff Greenfield, and several alternative media activists including Alternative Radio's David Barsamian and Z Magazine's Michael Albert and Lydia Sargent. (Necessary Illusions, Peter Wintonick, Francis Miquet, E-mail:

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (Penguin Books: New York, 1986), 57-61 and back cover.
This "symbiotic" relationship between programming and commercials is represented in the structural drawing at the top of the previous page. The black spokes of the wheel portray the commercial broadcast's programming element, a structure which is designed and assembled for the purpose of giving support to the presentation of commercials, represented by the lighter shaded areas. In practice the two seemingly antithetic elements which combine to form each broadcast hour sustain each other in a very complex manner--a manner which, however, can be detected in discourse and revealed by analysis. The black areas, or spokes, of commercial television's hourly wheel represent the central structural support for the broadcast hour's commercials (the purpose of any commercial broadcast). This commercial support traditionally consists in the United States of approximately 44 minutes of programming time.
Roger Fowler, Language in the News, 61-62.
The Wirthlin Group in Washington, D.C. has developed an electronic apparatus for the specific purpose of monitoring and measuring the "sensory impact" of television messages and images. Used primarily for rating sales pitches, specially targeted "response groups" are picked and given a device which fits into the palm of the hand. The "response groups" respond by pressing the device which then immediately echoes audience moods by projecting a pulsing line across the screen and records it over the program in progress. "Pulse scores," or ratings, are given to identify and quantify the resonation of messages and images. Of great interest to media critics is the fact that the device was used by the advertising firm Hill and Knowlton during the Gulf War to measure audience responses to television ads paid for by the Free Kuwait Committee in which American military intervention in the Persian Gulf War was strongly advocated. It is, incidentally, within this context that the story about the incubator babies being cut off from their life supports by an invading Iraqi army was fabricated. See The 5th Estate, a CBC News and Public Affairs program from January 1992, for further information on this particular story.
Learning to write for commercial television news means learning to skillfully adapt discourse to an entertaining, fast-paced format, similar to that of a commercial, which is then constrained within the bounds of a certain time limit, never exceeding more than twenty-two minutes in length, and usually less than ten minutes. Twenty-two minutes, in fact, is the industry norm. Chancellor and Mears, two prominent American newscasters, attest to this in their description of how a story makes it to television:
Nightly News is on the air for a half hour, but because of commercials, the news must be covered in twenty-two minutes. That's time for up to twenty stories, some of them covered in a few seconds, others in as much as five minutes.
John Chancellor and Walter Mears, The News Business (New York: Harper & Row, 1983) 6.
Newsom and Wollert's textbook also emphasizes "style rules" of broadcast writing and "the rules of the medium." "Newswriters must know and observe the style rules of standard English. And they have the additional burden of obeying the rules of the medium they're working for. "

For broadcast writing, say Newsom and Wollert, "The style is conversational... Strive to get your message across in the fewest possible words. Be concise... " Conciseness can be achieved, say the authors, by replacing a series of words with one word that means the same, or "by eliminating information that isn't important."

"Several short sentences may appear to be concise, but all might be replaced by a single sentence that gives the same information. ...Good journalistic writing is also characterized by short paragraphs. The terseness of broadcast copy calls for even shorter paragraphs than a print story. ...the announcer reading broadcast copy counts on short paragraphs to give emphasis and vitality to the reading."

Finally, Newsom and Wollert emphasize that writers for the (American commercial) broadcast media should "Be natural. One of the golden rules of good writing is 'Write the way you talk.'" (From Newsom and Wollert's News for the Mass Media: Media Writing, were taken from Chapter 4, "Writing with Clarity and Style," 51-68.
According to Steve Powers and Neil Postman, How to Watch TV News, (New York: Penguin Books, 1992), 126:

When you check the TV listings in your local newspaper or TV Guide, do you find the commercials listed? Since there will be eight minutes of commercials in a thirty-minute news show, would it not be relevant to indicate what the content of 27 percent of the show will be? But, of course, the commercials will not be listed. They are simply taken for granted, which is why so few people regard it as strange that a commercial should proceed a news story about an earthquake in Chile, or, even worse, follow a news story about an earthquake in Chile.

See Chapter 2 above and Roger Fowler, Language in the News, 61-62.
Fernando Poyatos, Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Nonverbal Communication (Toronto: Hogrefe, 1988).
Ronald Primeau, The Rhetoric of Television (New York and London: Longman, 1979), 142.
According to Deborah Tannen:

These signals about how one means what one says...are automatically processed. A speaker does not stop and think, "Now I am angry, should I raise my voice or lower it?" A listener doesn't stop and think, "Now if he is raising his voice, does that mean he is angry?" Rather, people encode and decode automatically--"I'm angry," or "He likes me"--without thinking about what tone of voice, loudness, pacing or pitch gives that impression.

Quoted from Deborah Tannen, "Cross-Cultural Communication," Handbook of Discourse Analysis, Vol. 4 (London: Academic Press, 1985), 203. See also Roger Fowler, Language in the News, 62, 64.
"Happy Talk," as described by Ron Powers, The Newscasters: The News Business as Show Business (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1977), 35, is an excellent example (and a very inane example for a Finn) of simulated conversation. Originated at WLS in Chicago in 1968, it simulated gossipy banter between news anchors or other talk-show personalities (also commonly seen on the Today Show). It was at first a trademark of ABC News but has now become a standard feature of practically all commercial newscasts on American commercial television. "Happy Talk" derives form the "bantering remarks made among anchormen, reporters, weathermen, and sports casters during transitions from topic to topic." It also serves to divert audiences from "abstract...disturbing...vital" topics which may weigh the newscast down or make it too complicated or dull.
See Ron Powers, The Newscasters and Roger Fowler, Language in the News, 62.
Daniel Hallin writes:

Television, it is said, is personal: the news is brought to us not by anonymous writers but by individuals selected in no small part for a persona that combines authority with likability. It is well known that polls once showed Walter Cronkite to be the most "trusted" man in America. Television is also visual, people may feel that they are "seeing it for themselves" on television. ...unlike most newspaper reports, television stories tend to be tightly organized around a particular "story line" or interpretation.

See Hallin, Daniel C. , "We Keep America on Top of the World," in Gitlin, Todd, ed., Watching Television (New York: Pantheon Book, 1987) 26-27.
For a more detailed discussion of the background to these changes see Erik Barnouw, The Sponsor, (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978), 47-60. Barnouw essentially traces this development from the quiz show scandals of the late 1950s. Public indignation after learning that commercial television was corrupt was one factor, among several, which led television executives to take more responsibility for programming, thereby shielding sponsors from direct accusations (such as in the case of Geritol and The $64,000 Question). Barnouw quotes CBS's president Stanton in this connection:

Since we are advertiser-supported we must take into account the general objectives and desires of advertisers as a whole. An advertiser has very specific practical objectives in mind. He is spending a very large sum of money--often many millions of dollars--to increase his sales, to strengthen his distribution and to win public favor. And so in dealing with this problem, it seems perfectly obvious that advertisers cannot and should not be forced into programs incompatible with their objectives.
According to Barnouw:
There was a simultaneous shift, continuing throughout the following decade, toward the purchase of spots instead of complete programs. Program costs, which rose to at least double those of the 1950s, were a factor in this. ...Under the new system the network sought a comparable revenue from such a program by selling six 1-minute insertions for around $70,000 each. For greater flexibility, the networks soon adopted the policy of letting each one-minute gap be used for two 30-second commercials. This meant that the sale of six minutes could result in as many as twelve 30-second commercials.

(Beginning in 1970, the self-governing National Association of Broadcasters set 10 minutes of "non-program material" as the limit for prime time and 16 minutes of commercials for other broadcasting hours.) Most significantly, for our study, Barnouw notes (italics mine):

The system encouraged a dramaturgy full of intermediate climaxes, to create suspense for commercial breaks.

And, as if anticipating the eventual study of the phenomenon, Barnouw points out (italics mine):

How else the spot-selling system might affect programming was not at once clear.
The General Electric Theatre
, hosted by Ronald Reagan, was probably the most popular program using the "gratitude factor" during the 1950s.
In fact, however, it seems that the McCarthyist witchhunts had some effect on decisions to change the above-mentioned network programming structures. Critical discourse research in this area, however, remains sparse.
Barnouw, The Sponsor, 47.
The "magazine concept," while very popular in the United States, has now been discovered by commercial broadcasters all over Europe. The Finnish commercial channel, for example, has developed a program ("Anteeksi kuinka?") which, according to our own classroom analysis, is virtually a copy of the Jay Leno (Tonight) Show. Gottschalk, on Germany's RTL, is another example of how the same formula was applied to television broadcasting within another culture.
Jay Rosen, "That's Entertainment," in Propaganda Review, No. 1, 1991.
Noam Chomsky as interviewed on the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour in Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media.
Noam Chomsky interview in Manufacturing Consent.
Noam Chomsky interview in Manufacturing Consent.
According to the authors Bliss and Patterson from the prestigious Columbia Graduate School of Journalism:

"Write tight!" is the most common injunction heard in a broadcast newsroom. You must tell your stories in the fewest number of words. It means, as one news director has said, "boiling down a flood of information into a concise meaningful trickle."

See: Edward Bliss, Jr. and John M. Patterson, Writing News for Broadcast (New York: Columbia University Press, 1978), 101. Quotation is from Chapter 9, "Keeping it Short."
Doug Newsom and James Wollert, Media Writing: News for the Mass Media (California: Wadsworth, 1985), 51-68. Quotes are from from Chapter 4, "Writing with Clarity and Style."
The soundbite has also made its debut in Finland. According to the Helsingin Sanomat (Markku Koski, "Mooseksen mediavoitto," April 14, 1995) the Finnish Prime Minister, Lipponen, is taking advantage of the soundbite. "Alun perin termi tarkoitti poliitikon puheen tai lausunnon pientä kohtaa, jota tv-toimittaja ei ole millään tavoin käsitellyt. ...Myös television vikkeliin tilannekomedioihin ja talk show -isäntiin tottunut yleisö rakastaa niitä."

This political dimension is indeed relevant to and closely tied to the development of commercial broadcasting. In the 1950s, during American television's formative years, conservatives consolidated their power when the Republican Party won a majority in both houses of the U.S. Congress in 1948 and proceeded to dismantle most of Roosevelt's liberal domestic programs. Some very distorted accusations began to appear in public discourse from the far right, mostly about individual Roosevelt administrative officials who, as a group, came increasingly under attack by conservatives in both political parties. Coincidentally-incidentally, union membership in America was still quite large in the 1950s, a result of the successes of the labor and the labor legislation enacted during the Roosevelt years, but the Taft-Hartley Act effectively invalidated liberal New Deal reforms which allowed workers to strike and to organize legally.

The Taft-Hartley Act was a legislative measure which was aimed specifically at restraining the more radical rank-and-file union membership, as well as the politically organized, and reversing the essential gains made by labor through the passage of the Wagner Act. As a result, a distinct effort was made to isolate and discipline leftist militants and others who were politically active.["The first big break in the atmosphere of repression came with the passage of the Wagner Act in 1935 which guaranteed workers the right to organize and strike. The Supreme Court upheld the law in 1937." According to Gus Hall, active in steel organizing, "Up until then, you would stand at the gate, maybe sign up one or two. Workers would not talk to you. When the Wagner Act passed, the next morning they lined up for blocks to sign for the union. The union was legal. It was a totally different ballgame." Denise Winebrenner, People's Weekly World, October 15,1994.]

There is sufficient evidence to suggest that the American media, including television, were deeply involved in the political "witchhunts," the character assassinations and the blacklisting of the 1950s. This includes, as well, the attack on labor, which can be more easily understood by looking at the events of the 1930s, a time in which the American Communist Party became one of the most active and militant of all political groups involved in union organizing. There is no doubt that the American communists were a presence to be dealt with in American society, and by the end of World War II and the allied victory over fascism, the communist presence in the CIO was virtually taken for granted. Communist functionaries made their positions and prestige felt within the CIO, in much the same way that communists were active in European unions after the Second World War. The Communist Party remained strong until a combination of Taft-Hartley, McCarthyist hysteria and revelations of Stalinist atrocities in the Soviet Union destroyed its influence and effectiveness. [For viewpoints expressed by the American Communist Party, see William Z. Foster, American Trade Unionism, published by International Publishers and The Case for Industrial Organization (CIO Publications, No.4: Washington, D.C.), March, 1936.]

The media's role in anti-communist rhetoric began with Churchill's speech, in Fulton Missouri, where he compared Stalin's Russia with Hitler and Fascism. [See the film Origins of the Cold War by Peter G. Boyle, distributed by the British Universities Film Council, Ltd., 81 Dean St., London] The Fulton speech was soon followed by President Harry S. Truman and the introduction of the loyalty oath in 1947 which was required from all federal employees. A year later, in 1948, the Marshall Plan was created to insure that socialists would not get the upper hand in European politics and the economy. In America, during the summer of 1948, twelve members of the Communist Party were tried and sent to jail under the Smith Act, a law which was originally intended to keep out German spies.

These events, which were reported extensively and sensationalized in the media, including early television, seemed to come in rapid-fire fashion, and hastened the creation of a new more repressive climate in American society, one quite different from that which existed during the Roosevelt era, one which, with all its shortcomings, was still a time of relative consensus, and a period in which Americans, for the most part, felt that they were pulling together in the fight against poverty and fascism. [These feelings were expressed based on personal observations of the Roosevelt years by the noted scientist Freeman J. Dyson who worked with J. Oppenheimer on the development of the first Atomic Bomb. From an interview in the documentary film: The Day after Trinity. Produced and directed by Jon Else; written by David Peoples, Janet Peoples, Jon Else. Santa Monica, CA: Pyramid Film & Video, 1980.] The sudden shift to public anti-communist accusations and a cold war mentality in the media was certainly difficult for most Americans to fully comprehend. This was especially true for those who made sacrifices during the war years for the national "war effort." As the American media reported that the United States was planning to give $400 million in military aid to stabilize Greece and Turkey, and to protect them from an internal takeover by leftist forces, who were former allies against the fascists, it is not difficult to understand the suspicions among the American public concerning such lavish spending in far-away places. Nor is it surprising that most Americans were opposed to the additional tax burden these programs would demand. [Philip Agee, The Monthly Planet. June, 1991. (An online publication of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze of Santa Cruz County.) Found in the IGC computer networks' conference propaganda.rev. See also: John Lewis Gaddis, The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947. (Contemporary American History Series.) New York: Columbia University Press, 1972.]
See also Mark Achbar's and Peter Wintonick's film, Noam Chomsky and the Media, Part II, Activating Dissent.
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (New York: Penguin, 1985), 144-145.
A "symbiotic relationship" in this sense refers to a certain mutual dependence between the commercial, which is shown on television, and the actual content of the television program.
Neil Postman and Steve Powers, How to Watch TV (New York: Penguin, 1992), see back cover.
Some critics, indeed, are skeptical of popularizing the commercial style through the electronic media and warn that American commercial television has indeed become a standard-setting "cultural filter" which our society will use to "classify and evaluate every aspect of our world." This ritualized formula, some critics claim, can "shape, color, and even distort our perceptions, thoughts, and emotions-frequently at deep sub-cognitive or pre-conscious levels. (See R. Crawford, Howard Frederick, George Gerbner, from PeaceNet computer conference, media.issues.)
M. A. K. Halliday, A. McIntosh and P. Strevens, The Lingusitic Sciences and Language Teaching (London: Longmans, 1964).
Barnouw has pointed out that the American television program, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-in became something of a model for other television programs, including MTV, because of its pace and resemblance to a commercial. This point was also discussed on Larry King Live in an interview with one of the creators of Laugh-in.
Consider also (discussed in Chapter 7)CNN's framing of the Persian Gulf War.
For a more detailed discussion of style as argument, see Chris Anderson, Style as Argument (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1987).
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, 77.
From Mark Achbar's and Peter Wintonick's film, "Noam Chomsky and the Media," Part II, "Activating Dissent." Jeff Greenfield of ABC's popular public affairs program Nightline was interviewed on a radio station in Madison, Wisconsin.
William Hoynes and David Croteau, Are You on the Nightline Guest List? An Analysis of 40 Months of Nightline Programming. A special report published by Fair and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).
Jeff Greenfield of ABC's Nightline as recorded in the film: Manufacturing Consent.
Noam Chomsky, speaking in the documentary film: Manufacturing Consent.
From the film: Manufacturing Consent.
Ronald Primeau, The Rhetoric of Television, 223.
The style is commonly used on CNBC's fast-paced Money Wheel and other "lighter" political affairs programs.
See Fowler's definition above.
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (New York: Penguin Books, 1986) 44-63, 83-88.
The message is often very clear indeed, however. Teun Van Djik, in commenting on the "relevance of style and rhetoric," underscores the importance of "sentence patterns that organize" words used to implement "special verbal ploys...that help catch the reader's attention, and which therefore are primarily used with a persuasive aim."
Teun Van Djik, Racism and the Press (Routledge: London and New York 1991), 209.
For a detailed discussion of many cross-cultural aspects of communication, including kinesics and paralanguage, see Fernando Poyatos, Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Nonverbal Communication. (Toronto: Hogrefe, 1988).
For specific examples, see the transcript of Crossfire (in this chapter) in which the opening sequence of a supposedly serious, politically oriented, internationally received debate is treated in a manner similar to the opening sequence of an entertainment program, such as The Muppet Show.




(followed by more music)

"From Washington!"

(more music)


(more music)

"On the left: Mike Kinsley."

"On the Right: John Sununu."

(More music)

"Tonight: Role Reversal!"
Tuula Laaksovirta and Gary Farnell, "The Position of Silence in English and Finnish Culture," LSP and Theory of Translation, 12th VAKKI Symposium, Vörå 8-9.2.1992, 107-118.
It is interesting, for Finns wishing to lecture abroad, and Americans who have lectured in Finland, to read the advice given by the American syndicated columnist "Miss Manners," from the American point of view, of course:

Subject: Will questions offend a lecturer?
Miss Manners: Kindly members of any audience should prepared with at least one all-purpose question, in case none other is asked. Something along the lines of, "I was fascinated with your last point -- I wonder if you would care to elaborate about how it particularly applies to the problems of the day."
For Germans wishing to hear American lecturers speak, the following advice from "Miss Manners," would also be useful:
Miss Manners: Also rude in the question period are lengthy statements that do not actually contain a question, and may not even be relevant to the topic of the speaker. People with whole lectures to give must try to book their own podiums.
Rudeness, in certain situations therefore, seems to be culturally defined.

Received from the UPI on August 6, 1994.
Finnish television programs, according to one unpublished study presented by Riikka Levoranta in the University of Turku's Language Centre's English Oral Skills language course, has traditionally had a more even mixture of news, current affairs programs and entertainment, in which current affairs was dominant. On American television, in contrast, entertainment has traditionally dominated most programming. This trend is, however, changing rapidly in Finland.
See also Ritva Levo-Henriksson, Arkkityyppi ja versiot: TV-draamaa Amerikasta Aasiaan (Helsinki: Yleisradio/Hakapaino, 1991).
There is of course a very good case for arguing that this system, even on YLE, is changing rapidly. The recent political campaigns are excellent examples, as well as other programming on the public channels. See Pekka Isotalus, "Onko toimittajan televisioesiintymisellä merkitystä?" and Aino Sallinen, "Miten kirjoitetun kielen mallit vaikuttavat puhumiseen," in Pekka Isotalus, ed., Puheesta ja vuorovaikutuksesta (Jyväskylä: Viestintätieteiden laitos, 1994).
All students of education are normally required to take a one-hour weekly semester course in English reading comprehension and a one-hour weekly semester course in English oral skills. Some students, those planning to specialize as elementary school English teachers, are required to take more hours in English-language studies.
Compare the Today show, for example, where even less time is given to guests.
Our audience was only shown the first half of Crossfire.
The second half of Crossfire was not included for analysis.
"Commentary," in this section, refers to my own remarks and explanations, not those of the students, which will appear below.
Ronald Primeau, The Rhetoric of Television, 143. See also: Daniel Menaker, "Art and Artifice in Network News," Harper's Magazine, October 1972.
Margaret L. McLaughlin, Conversation: How Talk is Organized, Interpersonal Communication, Mark L. Knapp, series ed., vol. 3, (London: Sage, 1984).
Margaret L. McLaughlin, Conversation: How Talk is Organized, 103-104.
See also: S. Philips, "Some Sources of Cultural Variability in the Regulation of Talk," in Language in Society, 1976, 5, 81-95.
Margaret McLaughlin, Conversation: How Talk is Organized, 121-122.
Lehtonen, J. & Sajavaara, K "The Silent Finn." Perspectives on Silence. Tannen, D. & Saville-Troike, M. , eds., (Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1985), 193-201. Quoted from M. Kuusi, ed., Vanhan kansan sanalaskuviisaus (Helsinki: Werner Söderström, 1953).
Margaret McLaughlin, Conversation: How Talk is Organized, 123.
Margaret L. McLaughlin, Conversation: How Talk is Organized, 125.
Margaret L. McLaughlin, Conversation: How Talk is Organized, 129-131.
Lehtonen, J. & Sajavaara, K "The Silent Finn," 196.
Deborah Tannen, "Cross-Cultural Communication," Handbook of Discourse Analysis, Vol. 4 (London: Academic Press, 1985), 206.
Whichever party expects less pause will repeatedly and predictably be the first to interpret a turn-taking pause as an uncomfortable silence, an indication that the other has nothing to say. ...what is intended as a friendly act of keeping conversation going is interpreted as an unfriendly act of not giving the other person a chance to talk.
Ilkka Marjomaa, Jukka Nykyri, Auvo Veteläinen, eds., Löytöretki Eurooppaan. Raportti yhdessä SUKOLin kanssa järjestetyistä kieltenopettajien päivistä 20.-21.9.1991, published 1993, 66.
The writer adds an interesting observation: "It is in this way that we Finns very easily lose our turn to speak more quickly with those with whom we are conversing, before we have begun to say what we have to say."
The original text in Finnish read [Translation mine]:

Meillä suomalaisilla on loppujen lopuksi äärimmäisen hienovarainen ja hyvin pitkälle kehon kieleen turvautuva vuoronvaihtojärjestelmä. Emme niinkään ilmaise sanallisesti tai prosodisesti vuoromme päättymistä ja puheoikeuden toiselle siirtymistä, vaan osoitamme katseellamme sanan käyttäjän vaihdoksen.
Kun vielä lisäksi hiljaisuuden merkitys meillä suomalaisilla on toinen kuin monien muiden puhekulttuurien edustajilla, ei tauon pituuskaan välttämättä toimi merkkinä vuoron vaihdosta -- ainakaan meille. Mutta ulkomaalaisille tauko tavallisesti viestittää juuri vuoronvaihtoa. Puheensisäisen ja puheen päättävän tauon pituusero on vain sekunnin kymmenyksiä, mutta riittää merkiksi vuoron vaihdosta. Näin me suomalaiset hyvin helposti menetämme puheenvuoromme ripeämmille keskustelukumppaneillemme, ennenkuin varsinaisesti sanottavamme alkuun olemme päässeetkään.

Ilkka Marjomaa, Jukka Nykyri, Auvo Veteläinen, eds., Löytöretki Eurooppaan. Raportti yhdessä SUKOLin kanssa järjestetyistä kieltenopettajien päivistä 20.-21.9.1991, published 1993, 66.
Eugene Winter, "Clause relations as information structure: two basic text structures in English," Coulthard, Malcolm, ed., Advances in Written Text Analysis, (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), 57.
The "Situation" in this example from Crossfire hardly matches a similar "Situation" on Finnish television. This particular "Situation" included the elements listed below:

Time frame: less than ten minutes


3-7 second camera shots

hand cam shots with fast switching from guest to guest

dark background, no scenery

close-ups and extreme close-ups


fast-paced introduction with rising intonation voiced over music fast-paced speech in a competitive atmosphere with very short pauses between sentences constant interruptions (including "rude" behavior and the use of strong adjective to describes people and events)

familiar atmosphere (first names, smiles, informal language)emphasis on emotions (anger, delight, contempt, etc.)
Eugene Winter, "Clause relations as information structure: two basic text structures in English," 48.
Eugene Winter, "Clause relations as information structure," 48.
Eugene Winter, "Clause relations as information structure," 48-49.
The following example (from the transcript, above) illustrates how our attention is drawn to "particular clauses in particular sentences as being more important at that point in context":


I think, I think, I think the point that John doesn't quite grab, ...that Kim was trying to make, if I may try my hand at it, is that NOW ...


...did not take a stand on the Anita Hill case until after there had been a public hearing, in which she could not only make her statement, but she could be cross-examined...


I give up!

The topic (above) is seemingly so exciting that the guests are unable to relinquish their turns while talking, nor are they able to concede that they may be wrong on certain points. This goes far in demonstrating to television audiences that politics, that is, the dialog between liberals and conservatives, is really just a dirty little game.


The smile expresses a wise, but reluctant concession to the obvious, as if to say, "I told you so! These liberals and conservatives are at it again."

We'll be back in a second, and when we return we'll ask our guests how they think President Clinton should defend himself against the claims of Miss Jones.


"...When we return..." "teases" the audience to return after the commercial. The loud music gives us that feeling of excitement and entertainment necessary to keep us on that particular channel..
See examples below of "liberals," "conservatives" and "sexual harassment."
Eugene Winter, "Clause relations as information structure," 58-62.
See transcript above.
George Orwell, Inside the Whale and Other Essays, 47-48.
Ronald Primeau, The Rhetoric of Television, 103.
Ronald Primeau, The Rhetoric of Television, 229.
However, media frames are being constantly imported from America to Finland and it would most definitely be a topic for further study to show just how frames are imported from the United States and how they are interpreted by Finnish audiences.
Catherine Emmott, "Frames of reference: contextual monitoring and the interpretation of narrative discourse," Coulthard, Malcolm, ed., Advances in Written Text Analysis, (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), 157-165.
"Sexual harassment," remarked one female member of our audience, "does exist in Finland, but Finnish men are more accustomed to cooperating with women in the workplace." After some checking with statistics, this statement explains much. From 1987 to 1990, for example, there were just as many men as women in the Finnish workforce, and since 1990 women have actually outnumbered men. Today, there are more women in the Finnish workforce than in any other European country. This is, of course, not to say that discrimination against women in the workplace does not exist. The fact remains that in Finland lower paid white-collar jobs are mostly filled by women (75%) and managerial positions are still mostly reserved for men (only 25% of top managerial jobs are performed today by women). While women form a membership majority in all major Finnish trade union organizations, they represent a minority in the leadership. Women who earn hourly wages receive, on average, only 81% of what men earn per hour in Finland, which is very close to the national after-tax average ratio for all women who work. Statistics taken from: Terttu Laitala, ed. SAK Naiset: Naiset työelämässa. Tilastotietoja. 17/6/1994.
For a comprehensive review of feminism in Finland, see Solveig Bergman's "Post-War Feminism in Finland," in Women's Worlds: Finnish Contributions to the Third International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women, Dublin 1987. (Åbo, Finland: Institute of Women's Studies at Åbo Akademi, 1989), 71-97.
Southern women, as well, like Angelina Grimke, born to South Carolina's "aristocracy" and author of Appeal to the Christian Women in the South in 1836, were active in the abolitionist movement in the 1830s. Other women, like Jessie Daniel Ames were active in anti-lynching campaigns in the South after the civil war. (See: Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, The Emancipation of Angelina Grimke, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1974).Although, "The historic link between abolitionism and women's rights had been broken by the late nineteenth century, when an organized women's movement emerged in the former slave states...," Ames joined secular groups in the South to stop lynching of blacks. (See: Jacquelyn Hall, "Women and Lynching," Southern Exposure, Vol. 4, No. 4, 53.)
Compare August Bebel, Die Frau und der Sozialismus (Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1974). [See also: Anneli Anttonen, ed., Naisten hyvinvointivaltio, (Tampere Vastapaino: Jyväskylä, 1994).]
These political parties have also established certain rights for women which guarantee such things as daycare, maternity leave, and child support.
In Finland, nearly 40 per cent of the Eduskunta (the Finnish Parliament) is composed of women. This figure ranks Finland among the highest in Europe (only Sweden and Norway have slightly higher representation from women members of parliament). Paid maternity leave in Finland averages 45 weeks. Helsingin Sanomat, 2/10/1994, E28-E28. Also, the closest runner-up for the office of President in the last Finnish election was a woman.
The Finnish civil conflict just after independence was not drawn along ethnic or racial lines, as was the case in the United States' own civil war.
Not known in the sense that there is legislation which benefits women, but that it was originally derived from the struggles for the civil rights of an ethnic minority.
Catherine Emmott, "Frames of reference: contextual monitoring and the interpretation of narrative discourse," 157-165.
Kinsley has in fact stated, while appearing on the Jay Leno Show, that it is important that he maintain his liberal views on issues, otherwise, he would be out of a job.
Kinsley is described by Nancy Collins (writing in "Hey, Mike, What's with the Beard?" Vanity Fair, November 1994), as Crossfire's "sure-of himself lefty in residence," "the wiseass wunderkind." Kinsley, however, is not to be underestimated and, in spite of his ties to Crossfire, he is certainly no liberal intellectual lightweight. His credentials make him one of the leading liberal pundits in Washington today. Kinsley took over as managing editor of the New Republic eighteen years ago and turned it into "something people in Washington had to read and talk about."
Contrary to the conservative stereotypes built up around the Harvard graduate, Jewish intellectual and liberal, Kinsley "can talk to anybody. He doesn't have a snobbish bone in his body." Others have characterized him as "a left-wing capitalist... He is genuinely liberal on social questions, genuinely capitalist on economic matters..." Kinsley himself says that he "got the best of postwar American upbringing... upper-middle-class Midwest... parents dedicated to education..." Kinsley's aggressive debating skills could have come from his mother, who "loved to argue politics," but some believe that "Kinsley's Crossfire skirmishes may have dulled his rapier perceptions..." According to one colleague, "Michael used to be totally disrespectful of television and anybody who was ever on it..." Now, however, Kinsley knows that it is more demanding than he thought. "You have to gear up for a fight every night--even if you don't feel like it. ...someone is trying to make an ass out of you--and you're trying to make an ass out of them. It's exhausting and draining--you can't ever coast."
Catherine Emmott, "Frames of reference: contextual monitoring and the interpretation of narrative discourse," 163-165.
Catherine Emmott, "Frames of reference: contextual monitoring and the interpretation of narrative discourse," 163-165.
Catherine Emmott, "Frames of reference: contextual monitoring and the interpretation of narrative discourse," 163-165.
Jib Fowles, Why Viewers Watch: A Reappraisal of Television's Effects (Newbury Park: Sage Publishers, 1992), 100.