I am going to get right up to my neck in hypnosis stuff today… But I just want a quick rant about the news…
Apparently, the very naughty Michael Phelps took a few hits from a bong while out partying with friends. Tut, tut, Michael! Let me explain why this is relevant and worthy of a mention today…
This made it into the Washington Post news. When news finds it’s way there, people are often hypnotised into thinking it is important… They’ll go and discuss it… And even ‘tut’ at the person concerned and make it into something that it is not… Is this really newsworthy?
The international financial system is crumbling and many nations are raging against how their governments are dealing with it… Many thousands of people are losing their jobs by the week. There are wars raging around the world, which Ross Kemp will show you up close in Afghanistan for example… Some think that the oceans are warming and that is causing us in the UK to have rain all Summer and adverse conditions in Winter… Poverty spreads into other corners of the world… Let’s forget all that, because a multi gold medallist athlete smoked pot!
Michael Phelps has since released an official statement acknowledging his “bad judgment” and “regrettable behaviour” which I suppose is better than saying “I did not inhale” or something equally as lame…
I would love to have seen him say “Oh just relax and stop this nonsense!”
Since when did marijuana ever give someone an edge in sports? Unless you consider ‘snacking’ a sport (well, maybe snowboarding). I mean, he is no Dwayne Chambers, is he?
Imagine how much better it would have been if Bill Clinton, rather than denying all that stuff, had simply said, “My sex life is none of your business. We’re running a super power nation here. Get serious or get the hell out of this news conference.”
Yay, would that not have been better? We are starting to get a small idea on how to do this in the UK, and some of our international counterparts may wish to follow suit…
Last year, Max Mosley, the 68 year-old British head of Formula One racing was caught up in a sex scandal when News of the World published photos of him having sex with prostitutes. It made headline TV news and people thought it was a terribly important event…
Rather than resigning from public life and slinking into the shadows in shame, Mosely challenged them in court, accusing the paper of concocting false stories and invading his privacy by publishing the photos. Last July, he won the case, resulting in the newspaper having to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds in fines and legal costs. Ha!
What the guy does in his private life is his business, and he said that legally.
In any case, when it comes to marijuana, I am with Rosie Boycott (ex-editor of the Independent and pro-marijuana legalisation) on this one. Why not just legalise the stuff… Sell it along with wines and spirits, fat Cuban cigars, Benson and Hedges, coffee beans, neurofen and all the other poisons adults are free to use, collect the tax revenues and turn our attention to serious matters… Like some delicious amounts of hypnosis in the news this week…
Over the past weekend, the Observer and Guardian featured and championed the Warrior Programme, which can also be found online here:
After the horrors of war, many servicemen and women find themselves facing another battle: post-traumatic stress disorder. But a radical programme involving t’ai chi, meditation and Hawaiian “forgiveness” therapy is helping many of them find peace.
They also use hypnotherapy and NLP and one chap in particular says that the applications of NLP (neuro linguistic programming) really helped him make progressive changes.
Let me also tell you about this hypnosis article featuring Dani Dudek — what a girl… She plays basketball for Stevens Institute of Technology team.
When she was much younger she was diagnosed as having Post-Strep Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is soemthing that she no longer allows to interfere with her life… When she started high school she learned self-hypnosis from Dr. Gary Walco at Hackensack University Medical Center, I was so chuffed to read this…
Today, she continues to use self-hypnosis to overcome the pain involved with her arthritis. This has resulted in her embracing the old fears and worries because she knows she can deal with it and has an effective tool for doing so… Good for her!
Star News Online featured some hypnosis for childbirth too… According to the article, New Hanover Regional’s new women’s and children’s hospital had its first hypnosis birth recently… The lady having the hypnosis birth was Gina Policari and she is quoted as saying:
‘I had the epidural without having the epidural. I didn’t feel the pain,’
I love that. The article gives a couple of perspectives of hypnobirthing — about whether the hypnotherapist is actually there or not… Whenever I work with women having natual childbirth, I very rarely am there when the birth takes place, though Gina’s hypnotherapist was there throughout.
This week has shown lots of fabulous stuff about hypnosis in the news and articles… I shall be back championing and highlighting it all again very soon… Though for now, I need to go and trudge through snow as part of my marathon training…
…and one of the contestants on ITV’s Dancing On Ice overcame her “nerves” before last Sunday’s event following a session of hypnotherapy. I myself having been practicing on ice this morning- dancing with other cars!
Keep smiling ☃
It seemed to me that the media took pleasure in reporting about Phelps not because of some orchestrated busybody campaign against drugs, but because it gave them a marvelous opportunity to tear down an image held up to be wholesome and worthy of emulation.
In other words, the media was just doing what it does best, spreading negativity.
I started a news fast some time ago and felt my life immediately uplifted as a result. It’s gotten to the point where I can barely stand to spend any time in front of the tube.
Judith, well spotted… If only Philip Schofield had not so idiotically kept saying “look into my eyes, look into my eyes…” afterwards, it would have been a victory… Though they do seem to dig up the funniest hypnotherapists to work with, don;t they?
Alex, I’m there with you… I agree… But to live without TV? Where would I get my material from? 😉
Thank you for your contributions.
Sorry, the unwritten journalist’s code has to come in here. I’ve got to defend my workmates.
I cannot speak for the motives of all sections of the media but members of the media do not sit around cackling to themselves in their tall ivory tower offices, stopping their laughter only to plot the downfall of individuals for no other reason than the expression of some twisted pleasure. The media is the servant of the people. We deliver the message and please don’t shoot us for doing so. Bad things go on in the world but we are not the propoganda machine of dark deeds, wicked people or bad individuals. We report what is happening.
I’m not naive. I know the media has a thousand and one agendas rangeing from the political to the moral and the commerical to the religious. Yes, when Northern Rock went up the creek, some members of the media were trying to get people to panic so they could report on the panic about Northern Rock. Yes, ITV news at six thirty is hard to sit through because they go all out in terms of danger stories to the point where a man walking across the road is evidence of how bad things have got in this country.
And we’re all aware that The Daily Mail doesn’t know which century it is, The Sun thinks it is ok to ask airhead page 3 girls what their opinions on the middle east are, The Telegraph is asleep most the time, The Times protects Murdoch’s business interests, The Mirror is lost in the illusion of a left wing utopia that is never going to materialise and The Daily Express has yet to wake up and realise nobody cares about these nonsense stories about the late Princess Diana.
That said, this country has the best press in the world. The freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our society . Please forget the image of the media popularised by Spitting Image. We’re not pigs in trenchcoats.
Journalists have a tough time when it comes to facing the legal system. For one thing, the legal system of the UK is stuck in the Victorian era and far too many people prance about wearing wigs that haven’t been in fashion for two hundred plus years. Judges do not like journalists (mostly because journalists have a habit of exposing how stupid the legal system is, how many times the legal system fails, what supposedly moral and respectable judges are up to and a host of other things besides) so we don’t tend to win that often when it comes to libel or privacy cases.
And seriously, think about it for a moment. Are the likes of Max Mosely taking journalists to court in order to make some kind of moral statement to the nation about wicked and dastardly behaviour by those horrible journalists? No. It’s all about the money. Privacy laws are going to end up being used as a defence against legitimate questions of public interest.
Yes, ok, so how exactly is following Linsay Lohan around all the time or delving in to people’s private lives in the public interest? Perhaps it isn’t. But the media can only sell what the public wants to buy.
The trouble is these days some members of the public go through the following stages of delusion on a regular basis:
1.) See article in newspaper/mag that they don’t approve of on moral grounds etc
2) Make assumption that person or persons who wrote the piece must be bad people.
3) Make assumption that the organisation/paper/mag such bad people work for must be motivated to print such a story by greed, envy or lack of moral decency.
4) Disparage those persons, that article, that paper and the media as a whole for apparently having a viewpoint that they themselves have just created in their own head.
Perhaps going around ignoring the media is a noble idea and yes, you might feel really good because you wouldn’t be exposed to a lot of negative news stories. But the media aren’t the only influences on your thoughts out there. How are you going to avoid them?
And what about those pesky personal opinions. How exactly can anyone have an informed opinion if there’s nowhere to go to find out about things. Because, after all, abstaining from the media means no books, no TV, no internet, no leaflets, no pamphlets written by the Levellers in the Civil War…you get the idea.
So yes, the media can be over dramatic, slanted in terms of objectivity, down right rude and yes, we can even make mistakes. Unlike most politicans in this universe, we actually apologise, more often than not, for our mistakes and make our mistakes public. Indeed, this whole thing is courting irony because without the media, nobody would have actually have heard about the Michael Phelps thing or the Max M thing so they wouldn’t have been able to complain about how the media reported on those things in the first place. Without the media, you cannot complain about the media because you haven’t got evidence to back up your arguments.
I’ve used the words “you” and “your” a lot in this post and I want to point out that I’m not talking to any individual person or anyone in particular. I respect all views that agree and disagree with my standpoint and I do not wish to disparage anyone who shares or does not share my views on the subject.
The Max M thing and the Michael Phelps thing were in the public interest. What a person does or does not do in their private life is their own business unless the disclosure of what they do is in the public interest. Or if it happens to be illegal. I mean, come on, can you imagine the police saying to an informant: “Sorry, guv, I don’t care if some guy has just killed fourteen people. What he does in his private life is his own business”?
We deliver the message. The public is in charge of what that message means.
Hmmm… Not really with you on this one Marty…
I think the media flicks it own moral compass out and many people then deem it newsworthy because it made it into a newspaper… The message is rarely delivered neutrally… And they decide in the first instance what goes into their publication…
The way things are framed influences those that read or watch… I mean, the story on BBC2’s Horizon programme on the use of cannabis this week was entitled “Cannabis: The Evil Weed?” Hahahaha… What connotation… Why not call the programme “Cannabis: The Wonderful Weed?”
There is often an agenda, a desire to sell more and blah, blah…
Michael Phelps did not kill 14 people… And I do not care what he does in his private life if it is not harming people… Yes, people buy this stuff… But they are generally not the same people that follow my work and not the people my work tends to communicate with.
Thanks for your response, Adam. I very much doubted that you would be “with me” on this one. Thanks for taking time out to challenge my thoughts on the issue. I realise you must be busy with work, marathon training etc and I just want to say thanks for responding because I want to develop my mind by being challenged. Sometimes, the best way to learn is to have a conversation with someone who disagrees with you.
Before the lawyers descend, I must point out that, at no time, did I intend to suggest that Michael Phelps had or was accused of killing 14 people. I am fully aware that no such accusation has been made against Michael Phelps. I didn’t structure my previous post very well and the general example (unrelated to any person or group) that I described of a police informant telling their police handler that someone had killed 14 people was just an example to try and illustrate a point. It was not, in any way, related to Michael Phelps or the Michael Phelps news stories.
I felt I needed to defend the media. Not because they are innocent but because I am part of the media. Not coming to their defence would, I felt, be disrespectful to an industry which gave me a chance to express myself, reach a large audience of people and earn a living. The media has given me so much and I felt I needed to stand up for it. Many people will not agree with my standpoint and I fully respect all views on the subject and I respect the people who have those views. and everyone else who has commented.
My earlier post wasn’t, on reflection, that well written and it does come across, in some ways, as being like one of those Mr Angry letters Points of View gets week after week from some bloke in Kent who doesn’t like them moving the start time of The Archers on Radio 4. Just to be 100% clear, there was no anger behind my earlier post. I respect all views and all people and I simply wanted to put my thoughts across.
In writing my earlier post, I did find myself experiencing personal conflict. A battle went on between how I feel as a person and how I feel or feel I should feel as a journalist. Let me be 100% clear: I’m not interested in what goes on in other people’s private lives. I have enough things going on in mine to keep me busy for centuries. I took the “Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You?” quiz on Facebook and it said I was “Fanny Price”. So now, my alter ego is “Fanny”. See, I’ve got enough things to worry about.
My personal standpoint is that I don’t care what someone does in their private life so long as it does not or does not seek to hurt or humiliate others. I am certainly no moral judge and nor would I ever seek to become one. That is how I feel personally.
But as a journalist I feel (or feel as if I should feel) that sometimes, an intrusion into a person’s private life can be justified under the defence of public interest. I don’t like the idea of any intrusion into anyone’s private life but I can imagine instances where such an intrusion could be excused. Public interest is one example.
I’m not sat here waving a flag and wearing a T Shirt saying: “Intruding into the private lives of innocent people is perfectly fine!” I hate the very idea of such intrusions. But I can see occasions when such intrusions- bad as they might be- might be necessary.
I understand and appreciate what you said about the media’s moral compass. But I do think that, to a degree, the sheer volume of different and opposing moral compasses within the media provides a sort of a safety guard for society. The Daily Mail is stuck in the 17th Century but it doesn’t have the same moral views or political views as The Daily Mirror. Not everyone’s moral or political views are catered for and that is due to pressures on the industry and a lack of new launches in recent times. But, if you don’t like the moral or political standpoint of one paper, you can easily find an alternative.
Some people do deem stuff newsworthy because it has been in the paper. Indeed, some stories make national news only because they’ve been featured in the local press the day before. But personally, I don’t think the media can be held 100% responsible for how the reader reacts to a news story, whatever way that story is framed.
The editors and management (and the lawyers) decide what goes in and what does not go in to a paper or mag. The individual journalists who write the features and news stories have no control over that. They get commissioned and they do their job. If a piece gets spiked, they usually can’t change the editor’s mind. Individual magazines, newspapers and TV channels may spread negativity but the term “the media” encompasses a whole host of people who have pretty much no control on how their material is used.
Everyone’s entitled to their opinions regardless but I wanted to point out that, whatever the publications end up printing, not every member of the media is involved in an effort to spread negativity (indeed, most members of the media do not and do not seek to spread negativity).
You’re right. The message is rarely delivered neutrally. But then, what message is? Is there such a thing as a neutral message?
I may sit very well in the mould of a pessimist but I am, in many respects- a positive person and I would love it for a paper or mag to come out, only feature positive news stories and do really well. Some small publications have had a go at doing just that and made some money but it’s not a good business model at present. If someone turned on the News at Ten and there was just wall to wall pieces about fluffy bunnies and people being very happy with life, a lot of people would switch off.
I’m not saying the news should be viewed as entertainment. But, in this multi- media, multi channel world of ours it does need to be presented in an entertaining way. And yes, I’m aware that I’ve just become caught in a barbed wire fence of irony by suggesting that the media puts a slant on what it reports. This is a difficult issue to talk about, whether you support the media or not.
The debate about whether the media spreads negativity will run and run and there will be no easy answers or conclusion because you just can’t put your finger on the truth of the matter.
We live in a free country with a free press. The media is free and people are free to use the media to criticise the media. That is the way it should be and I think the very fact that we are having this conversation in public proves that- if the media does spread negativity- the media can also be used to talk about issues, events and news stories in a much more respectful and positive way with different people not agreeing with each other but respecting each other. In other words, the media influences and we can influence the media.
Marty, you made me smile today – thank you 🙂