C-001     F-002     M-003     C-004     F-005     M-006

C-007     F-008     M-009     F-010     C-011     F-012

F-013     F-014      F-015     F-016     F-017      F-018

M-019     F-020    C-021     F-022     F-023       M-024

M-025    M-026     M-027     F-028     M-029     M-030

M-031     C-032     C-033     C-034     C-035     C-036

C-037     C-038     F-039      F-040     F-041      F-042

F-043     F-044     C-045     C-046     C-047     M-048

F-049     N-050     N-051     N-052     N-053     F-054

F-055     A-056     A-057     A-058     A-259     A-060

A-061     A-062    M-063     M-064     M-065    M-066

F-067     F-068     F-069     F-070      F-071     F-072

M-073     F-074     M-075     F-076     F-077     F-078

F-079     F-080     C-081     F-082     F-083     C-084

F-085     F-086     F-087     F-088     F-089      F-090

C-091     F-092     C-093     M-094     F-095     M-096

C-097     F-098     C-099     C-100     F-101     F-102

M-103     C-104     M-105     M-106    F-107     F-108

F-109     M-110      F-111     F-112     C-113    M-114

F-115     M-116     F-117     F-118     F-119      F-120

M-121    M-122     F-123     M-124     F-125     F-126

M-127    C-128      M-129    C-130     C-131     M-132

M-133    M-134     M-135     M-136     M-137    F-138

F-139     F-140     M-141     M-142     M-143    C-144

M-145    F-146     M-147     F-148      M-149    M-150

M-151    M-152     M-153     M-154     M-155    F-156

F-157     F-158     N-159     N-160      F-161     F-162

F-163     F-164     C-165     C-166      C-167    M-168

C-169     C-170     C-171     F-172     F-173     M-174

C-175     F-176     F-177     F-178     F-179      F-180

M-181    M-182    M-183     M-184     C-185     C-186

F-187     F-188     M-189     F-190     N-191     M-192

M-193    M-194     C-195     M-196    M-197     F-198

C-199    M-200     M-201     M-202    M-203    M-204

M-205    C-206     C-207     C-208     M-209     F-210

F-211     F-212     F-213      N-214     B-215     B-216

B-217     C-218     C-219     M-220    C-221     F-222

M-223    M-224      F-225     F-226     F-227     F-228

C-229     C-230     F-231     F-232     M-233     C-234

C-235     C-236     F-237     M-238    M-239     M-240

C-241    M-242     M-243     M-244    M-245     M-246

M-247    N-248     N-249     N-250     N-251     N-252

N-253     F-254     F-255     M-256     C-257     C-258

M-259     F-260     M-261    M-262     M-263    C-264

F-265     M-266     M-267     M-268    M-269    M-270

M-271    F-272     M-273      M-274    F-275     C-276

M-277     M-278     F-279     M-280     M-281    C-282

M-283     M-284    M-285     M-286     C-287     F-288

F-289     F-290      F-291     F-292     M-293      F-294

M-295     C-296     F-297     F-298      F-299     C-300

C-301     N-302     N-303     F-304     A-305     B-306

C-307     M-308     F-309     F-310      F-311     M-312

M-313     M-314     F-315     F-316     C-317     C-318

M-319     F-320     M-321     F-322     F-323     C-324

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M-331     C-332    F-333     M-334     H-335     H-336

F-337      F-338     F-339     M-340     F-341     F-342


The practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues, and trends to a broad audience. Although there is much variation within journalism, the ideal is to inform the citizenry.  Besides covering institutions and organizations such as government and business, journalism also covers cultural aspects of society such as arts and entertainment.  The field includes practices such as editing, photojournalism, and documentary.  In modern society, news media have become the chief purveyor of information and opinion about public affairs; but, along with other forms of mass media, the role and status of journalism are undergoing changes.


The art of using language to communicate effectively and persuasively.  From ancient Greece to the late 19th Century, it was a central part of Western education, filling the need to train public speakers and writers to move audiences to action with arguments.  Plato defines rhetoric as the persuasion of ignorant masses within the courts and assemblies.  Rhetoric allows the ignorant to persuade the ignorant, or, at best, allows the knowledgeable to persuade the ignorant without actually making them any less ignorant. We do this by appealing and pandering to others’ emotions. We try to associate a desired conclusion with positive emotions while trying to associate what we are trying to argue against with negative emotions. As such, rhetoricians merely have a knack for creating pleasure in their hearers at the right things, like pastry bakers pretending to be doctors, hawking their wares as medicine while only selling what is pleasant.


An attempt to link the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise.  Ad hominem abuse (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one's opponent in order to invalidate his or her argument, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensible character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent's argument. Ad hominem is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent's personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent's arguments or assertions.


A form of abuse. It involves repeated acts over time attempting to create or enforce one person's (or group's) power over another person (or group), thus it is an imbalance of power. This imbalance of power may be social power and/or physical power.  The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a target.  Bullying types of behavior are often rooted in a would-be bully's inability to empathize with those whom he or she would target.  Bullying ranges from simple one-on-one bullying to more complex bullying in which the bully may have one or more 'lieutenants' who may seem to be willing to assist in the bullying activities.


In medieval universities,

the Trivium comprised three subjects that were taught first: logic, grammar, and rhetoric. The word is a Latin term meaning “the three ways” or “the three roads” forming the foundation of a medieval liberal arts education.  Logic is the art of thinking (the thing as-it-is-known).  Grammar is the art of inventing and combining symbols to express thought (the thing-as-it-is-symbolized).  Rhetoric is the art of communicating thought from one mind to another, and the adaptation of language to circumstance (the thing-as-it-is-communicated).


    This horrific news event like many others explicated throughout Cultural Farming is deeply emotional and difficult to redraw.  The event touches and excites a wide range of raw, social ‘nerve-endings’.  Thus, from purely an archival perspective, any number of investigative pathways could be pursued from the database, above.  For instance, parallel topics such as mental illness, gun laws, free speech, socio-medical services, misogyny, to name but a few, dearly beg further attention.  I encourage others to utilize this archive in other ways for other critical purposes.  Cultural Farming, by contrast, concerns itself with how, why, with what, and for whom we cultivate our technological communication today, and how corporate media practice so often leads us in these concerns.  After all, ‘broadcast’ television remains the ‘fattest informational pipe’ into Western life.  Thus, as a kind of universal docent, corporate media’s reach cannot be evaded, even if we were to try.

     Unlike much scholarship examining news media, Cultural Farming is little concerned in “gotcha” critique, for this approach invokes results too similar to the problems themselves.  That is to say, it is far too easy to micro-pick a few specific occurrences or events and then extrude interpretations accordingly through some convenient lens towards some prior commitment.  This is exactly what TV news journalism often does today, and why so little more is gained from a majority of media critique.  “Gotcha” critique inverts one form of power and authority for another.  Thus, Bully Rhetoric is less about unmasking TV fetish or ‘the machinations of the beast’, since that infers readers are somehow incapable of seeing for themselves; or that it is somehow my ‘authorial duty or paternal concern’ to frame events for those incapable of seeing for themselves.  Rather my hope here is to rend/render new topographies of the possible.  My aim is more dissensus: illustrating scenes of difference, in hopes of encouraging others to explore new forms of critical ethnography.  I care little in mocking TV’s illusions or reproducing its logic.

     Indeed, it would be quite easy to simply study the first three broadcast hours of this event and then tally the breathtaking amount of wrongful information disseminated, in order to renounce news’ claims of unbiased accuracy.  However, to ‘reflexively‘ refunction these same inaccuracies for describing both cause and consequence, or perhaps, to perform and provoke inherent ethical dilemmas -- for example, the repeated “confirmed” announcements that Giffords had died although she was undergoing brain surgery in a hospital emergency ward -- are but two possibilities where experimental, critical ethnography can play an important role.  For it is here that critical ethnography can right-mindedly re-story the news coverage of events like these in hopes of changing broadcast news production itself.


     For positivists who require exacting empirical explication outlining scientific methodology and method, allow me to state again that Cultural Farming is something different.  It is qualitative, critical media ethnography -- my literature being situated in Critical Theory, ethnographic surrealism being my methodology, and appropriation and remix being my method.  That said, I deeply watched and recorded this news event unfold from its inception through my home TV.  I archived approximately 55 hours of broadcast data over the course of five days, with approximately 10 additional hours collected over the two weeks following 12 January, as the story drifted from the ‘front page’.  From that pool, I multi-reviewed and edited the collection of 342 clips linked above: about 14 total hours of TV.  (I eagerly invite anyone to empirically ‘code’ this project.)  My rationale for making these particular 342 selections resides primarily in the topics mentioned above, for instance: heated rhetoric, political discourse, gun use, evidence and blame, metaphors, killer profiling, mental illness, language construction, grammar & currency, social media, First & Second Amendment rights, etc.

     I used only one video recorder during this project, so it was impossible to archive all coverage from all networks simultaneously, however most all major news content is repeated through each broadcast day.  I typically changed channels randomly, prosaically, at commercial breaks, repetition of content, or during points of lesser concern such as off-topic programming, biographical recaps, medical updates, ceremonies, etc.  The least amount of internal content editing comes at the beginning with longer videos: 001-012.  I do this in order to more accurately set the scene and to show how each networks’ manufacturing process begins to construct this story over the course of the first three hours.

    Additionally, the events in Tucson cannot be considered in isolation outside other concurrent events.  During the 4 weeks while I constructed this project world news continued to churn:   

China officials make historic visit to Washington D.C. 

Tunisia, Yemen, and importantly Egypt erupt in socio-political revolutions. 

President Obama gives State of the Union Address to a newly divided congress. 

The “snowiest winter ever” in North America. 

Northeastern Australia incurs massive flood destruction. 

The 25th anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle explosion. 

The one year anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake. 

Six months after British Petroleum spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Apple Inc. reports $100 billion in earnings for 2010. 

Comcast Corporation purchases National Broadcasting Corporation from General Electric.  Keith Olbermann, leading ‘news anchor’ for MSNBC, vacates his position. 

News Corp. launches first digital newspaper for hand-held devices: The Daily

A record 111,000,000 viewers tune in to watch one TV show: Superbowl XLV.

These, and much more, combine in warp-and-weft to weave an endless informational fabric simultaneously surrounding and inflecting the Tucson event.


     Critical ethnography purposefully goes beyond mere description, interpretation or deep reflection.  Critical purpose is the emergence of cultural members from ideologies that are not to their benefit and not (necessarily) of their creation.  Critical thinking attempts to break open power, oppression, taken-for-granted 'realities’ and ideologies.  In this way, critical ethnography (a genre of cultural writing) goes beyond much quantitative and qualitative description of our culture by also ‘action-ing’ for change by challenging false-consciousness and ideologies exposed through longitudinal investigation -- without left-wing melancholy, right-wing frenzy, or misty-eyed utopianism.  While this blueprints all Cultural Farming practice, I have decided to approach Bully Rhetoric slightly differently from other typical Cultural Farming projects.  There is less montage here, less ethnographic surrealism, less shock.  There is more data base, more theory and methodology and importantly more ‘action-ing’... which leads directly to the four hurdles for the recuperation of national TV broadcast news itemized below.

    The problem of TV journalism today, of course, is rampant persuasion on every front, from every mouth, in every form of production.  Little information on U.S. TV news is broadcast without eye-greedy visuals, sensational music, needless editing, high-pitched presentation, chatty cross-talk, knowing smirks, raised eyebrows, shaking heads, vocal inflection... which are layered upon hearsay, speculation, innuendo and opinion... and then ‘conditioned’ through unbridled communication technologies.  Our most revered news organizations no longer ‘report the news’, none can afford to.  Instead each performs a profitable version of tabloid aggregation spectacularly packaged into vaudevillian persuasion and visual seduction: bully rhetoric.  The most maddening aspect to all this, however, is not only that we all know it and wink to its inevitability, but that so few workable alternatives are ever proffered.  It is simply accepted as the nature of TV news in the United States.  Nothing can be done (yawn). 

     Reminded throughout all Cultural Farming projects, however, is that news/journalism production does not happen magically.  When CNN, FOX News or MSNBC are referenced here, we should not mistake the entities for the employees.  For our news is manufactured daily by cleverly skilled people not unlike you and me, people with jobs to do, families to feed and futures to consider.  The vast majority of news makers, however, operate anonymously outside the frame of our TV screens.  If citizen-viewers cannot question these producers directly, we are left to investigate their production of production.  If anonymous producers rarely speak (reflexively) and are rarely spoken to (reflectively) about their roles and duties in the journalistic process, maybe it is time to provoke the situation.  Here, as before, Cultural Farming helps to publicly sketch ideas of common-sense practice from several discreet ebb-and-flow viewpoints: The sense of commonness of daily production practices; common-sensicality among production participants; the common-sensibilities TV news viewers bring to daily (re)presentation; as well as what producers commonly sense as viewer interest or demand.  This ‘common’, which normalizes all of culture, is the target of Bully Rhetoric.

     Cultural Farming, over the course of the last seven years has tried to more effectively illustrate TV “bully conditions” through critical appropriation and (surreal) remixing of actual TV content, knowing full well that mere verbal/written complaint and/or generalization do little to reveal actualities of fallacy in media production.  The 23 minute video montage linked at top of this project is the typical style of (critical, surreal, provocative) ethnography found throughout Cultural Farming.  But now, below, I will step forward and proffer four hurdles for the recuperation of TV news, as well.  The Giffords assassination attempt has motivated even me to put my research to more proactive use.

FIRST HURDLE: There must be strong, opaque, easily identifiable media borders between news/journalism and opinion/commentary... or suffer license revocation.

     A most important question to ask today is: What is (and isn’t) journalism?  And, of course, this is a loaded question, for journalism is many things to many differing people, organizations and institutions.  But what cannot be denied is that journalism is the factual production and dissemination of investigative reporting of events for the good of citizens.  In any democracy, unadorned, accurate reportage is vital.  Accuracy must trump even notions of “truth”.  For without accuracy public knowledge is one-eye blinded.  What we find throughout television today, however, is something radically different... we find trenchant ideology (yawn).  On this much, most can agree.

    News networks attempt to offer all things to all viewers: insidious entertainment, contests, social comment, product promotion, celebrity, etc., which all compete with and marginalize journalism’s presence.  Thus, the first hurdle for the recuperation of TV news is to counter this expansion of “news” by erecting unambiguous firewalls that clearly demarcate tabloid persuasion from journalistic reportage.  In an increasingly fragmented media environment we must have identifiable and verifiable public venues which citizens can frequent for factual information proffered without commercial adornment.  This is not to suggest banning opinion and commentary from public airways, restricting cable news operations or eliminating controversy.  Indeed, there is room aplenty for any and all forms of “news” operations.  Rather it is to demand territory clearly staked within the public broadcast spectrum for simple, easily accessible, lean and robust, factual information to important news events. 

     When cable TV news outlets disseminate important factual information -- they all regularly do and at times extremely well -- it is thoroughly mixed, even buried amongst so much commentary, opinion, schtick, commerce and technology that necessary meaningful facts are camouflaged, rendered anaemic, impotent, useless.  Hence, viewers are left to rely upon personal, intuitive, emotive sensibilities and are forced into a choice to either judge events merely on the tone and tenor of performance and personality, or go elsewhere in an attempt to sketch -- piecemeal -- sufficiently cross-referenced versions of factuality.  Citizens have too few trustworthy locations where honest, ethical, reportage singularly resides.  This in itself is controversial, since all TV media outlets heartily boast trustworthy operations.

     However, classical tenets of journalism are more than the raison d'etre of TV news, they also frame federal (FCC) law: “Rigging or slanting the news is a most heinous act against the public interest.”  But as we also know, the Federal Communication Commission is rarely, if ever, willing to support public concern by legally enforcing this premise.  Indeed, these are tired, dog-eared criticisms oft debated over the last 70 years (yawn).  The point I am encouraging here, however, is not to more forcefully re-litigate these offenses, but instead to corral the offenders, to partition them within the media spectrum, in order to create  ‘theatrical-free’ spaces (a legitimate “No Spin Zone”) where expert, rational, trustworthy information can centrally reside as the baseline for public debate. 

     If governmental regulation lacks the legal leverage or political willpower to single out and punish offending, ideological news manufacturers (mediamongers)... so be it, let these for-profit media corporations continue.  This is not to suggest, however, that a national, public-first alternative cannot exist.  For the problem of a dis-informed citizenry isn’t cable TV newsmongering, rather it is that citizens have so few other means to access and evaluate ethically produced information.  In short, journalism and news - both as nouns and as civic acts - must be recuperated.  When media corporations manufacture all informational content for profit, under one uber-moniker, public service fails.  Trust and accuracy are antidotes to persuasion and seduction.  Most all U.S. news media fail this litmus test of objectivity, often including our long-standing publicly funded media makers like PBS and NPR. 

     And so what may be needed, as Bob McChesney posits, is a new not-for-profit, national, fully funded journalistic enterprise that could be similar in scope to NASA, perhaps, and with the international immunity of NATO or Peace Corps.  A federal news bureau standing to “serve, protect, and defend” the public’s interest to know.  It must be an ‘open-source’, autonomous agency that is principled, skilled, lean, fully sanctioned and enabled to seek out and report daily events.  But where McChesney’s laments that it might cost as much as nine billion dollars to fully enact this premise, I suggest funding come directly from defense department and homeland security budgets, since the very purpose of this enterprise is the defense and security of its citizenry.  Moreover, it is an opportunity to identify, reward and promote the hundreds, perhaps thousands of brilliant, skilled, committed journalists (resistance volunteers?) currently scattered to every far corner.  Perhaps with newly strict and understood ethical training, professional requirements and technological guidelines this age-old, free-for-all “craft” of journalism can be reined... because where I challenge McChesney’s political economy is in its inattention to practice, to how journalism is being made.  For Bully Rhetoric, at all levels, is all too eagerly and unknowingly expressed in its production

     Of course, of all the experimental provocative concoctions proffered throughout Cultural Farming, the idea of a federal news bureau may be the most far-fetched.  At first blush, I can think of a mountain of rebuttals.  But I look at it this way: There are more than a few news people working today throughout existing media who are excellent, razor-sharp, principled journalists who are more than exasperated with existing news corporatization, and who would literally jump at a chance to leave their existing employers and begin anew, to ply their craft in an ethical profession for truly serving the public and their country.  Details for this, of course, lay well beyond the scope of this particular project, but I do see something in combination of PBS/NPR/C-SPAN/national TV news/wikipedia/The Guardian/60 Minutes, Mister Rogers, ESPN, etc.  A self-determining clearinghouse -- not a Ministry of Information -- where news is continuously updated and verifiable, disseminated 24/7, and available in variable free venues: TV, radio, newspaper, even through specified forms of ‘social’ media.  Alternative opinion and commentary news networks would then be freed to flourish -- elsewhere in the spectrum -- without hinderance and without fear of license revocation, and obligated to pay commercial drayage fees for usage of public airways.

SECOND HURDLE:  TV news makers must regain objective journalistic tenets, particularly via less profit and production ‘value’ and slower dissemination of concise, emotionless factuality to citizens in proportions significantly greater than opinion and commentary... or suffer swift civic retribution.

     Notwithstanding the formation of a federal new bureau (a likely ludicrous proposition), yet following the demand for clear partitions between factuality and opinion, a second hurdle presents itself: honest production of news.  Honest production must be reclaimed and implemented, and Bully Rhetoric further exposes this need.  For example, I spent 12-14 hours every day for almost five weeks deeply examining the archived broadcast news from Tucson.  Yet, for the life of me, while I was writing these opening paragraphs, I was suddenly unsure of exactly how many people were actually shot at the Tucson Safeway grocery store... I‘d heard so many varying estimates over the course of the first five days.  I had to recheck, even though I was fairly certain 20 people total were shot, not 19. 

    By contrast, I did know with complete certainty that the weapon Loughner used was a 9mm Glock 19; and that Giffords owned a similar gun.  Cable news, oddly, got some information exactly correct from the very opening minutes, before any official clarification, and that information never wavered in any following network report.  This dichotomy startled even me.  How could I be unsure of some very fundamental details while others I could recite as gospel?  How could I be confused about basic facts?  It is testament that current forms of (illegitimate?) news production readily confound even concerned citizens.  For TV news no longer investigates, verifies and reports.  TV news today is simply the aggregation of quick-facts from other sources -- “Here are the facts as we know them...”. -- which are only sometimes retracted, well afterwards, with considerably less fanfare.

     It is in this rush to announce, contextualize and ‘produce’ a news event before-over-and-against all other competition that networks and viewers alike are swamped with a deluge of decontextualized, spectacular (ill)information.  Indeed, when rampant rumor, innuendo and speculation mix with technological immediacy (breaking news), harmful results occur.  Time and again, in the shooting’s aftermath, Tucsonians openly registered heartfelt complaints concerning the rush to “confirm” Giffords death, to posit ill-founded motives, to dig up the most titillating obscure detail, to interview the most shocked eyewitnesses.  Yet, why do news makers do this?  Would it be less newsworthy to pause, to reflect and to rationally describe events 2, 3, or even 6 hours afterward in order to report accurately?  Well, of course, this notion seems patently absurd within industrial news production; scoop is everything.  But is it?  Is ‘first-but-wrong’ something better than ‘later-and-right’?  But importantly to Cultural Farming, when all news is manufactured the same way, “truth” becomes its own casualty.

     Again, this is where critical media ethnography can help: to record, refunction, rewrite... in hopes of action-ing change.  What citizens need in any democracy is grounded factuality, and when so little is produced it falls upon civic duty to call out both offense and offender.  Make no mistake, regarding the production of news there is little if any discernible difference between the three major U.S. cable news providers: CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC.  All manufacture a most vile manifestation of corporate coup d'état.  Nothing is sacred except garnering ‘profitable’ eyeballs; nothing is off-limits, out of bounds or unethical in the pursuit of growing ratings.  Employing every manner of authorial technological affectation is a forgone conclusion even as lip-service to truth, fairness and balance drip from corporate mouths.  When TV news providers fail the public trust, and they are at breakneck speed, it falls upon us to rectify and reclaim by any means necessary.

THIRD HURDLE:  Classical educational notions of logic, grammar and rhetoric (ie., Trivium) must be re-emphasized throughout society, particularly by those who manufacture public, informational, news journalism... or suffer deepening national ignorance.

     This hurdle stands at the very heart of Bully Rhetoric: To communicate well, one must critically know how to communicate.  Yet in foundational education today, logic, grammar and rhetoric are given dangerously short shrift.  Even President Obama in his 2011 State of the Union Address expressed a national need for renewed educational focus on science and math, neglecting to frame that our ‘race to maintain leadership in the new world order’ falls squarely upon an ability to create full-thinking citizens as well, not just employable workers. 

     Honing abilities for learning how to learn about what must be learned is a disappearing priority, in part because it is significantly harder to statistically quantify success, but also because so few educators can teach logic, grammar and rhetoric effectively.  Moreover, it is doubtful that the U.S. can or even should “race” the world in technical education.  Better maybe to lead the world in pragmatic leadership skills, to lead in ethical and moral performance.  We’ve already taught the world to lust, to spend, and to discard.  Why not take a leadership role in democracy, trust and sustainability?  Why not practice what we’ve always purported to preach before its too late to “lead” anything?

    Back to Bully Rhetoric... The Trivium (Marshall McLuhan’s dissertation topic) was considered to be the first step in education and stressed before gaining proficiencies in arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy, philosophy and theology.  Considered to be the foundation of liberal arts education, the Trivium comprised logic, grammar and rhetoric.  It set the stage for all learning since it honed the student in analyses of thought, mechanics of language, and processes of argumentation.  Within this framework, oratorical fallacies hold significantly less rhetorical sway as audiences are skilled in their identification, construction and implementation.  And this in turn leads to more rational, tempered discourse.

     Most every ‘trick of the trade’ in typical TV news production might wither away in light of public ridicule if today’s viewers were trained to identify and debunk even rudimentary production techniques of persuasion.  Indeed, distinguishing techniques of bullying could utterly deflate the entire premise of contemporary news ‘effectiveness’, even if scrutinized by grammar alone.  And bad-mouthing TV news -- our national parlor game -- would diminish as viewership rises to insist upon exacting public discourse, logical argumentation, and reflexive accountability.  But then, we too must lead this charge by example in our own personal media production.  After all, (corporate) media watches us as closely as we watch media.  Thus, as illustrated throughout Cultural Farming, with new forms of reverse interpellation or ‘hailing back’ to media makers, our personal media can collectively help to counterbalance bully rhetoric.

   A shift towards Trivium ought not suggest a call for drastic overhaul of existing educational programs, rather it is a plea to strike ethical balances within education between what can be learned and what ought to be learned, between desire and consequence, between our ever-growing abilities to communicate publicly (globally) and the ever-present dangers that ill-formed communication can effect.  Our new-found abilities to communicate through visual means alone, or through 140 character contractions (even as other ‘new’ technologies decline), or through any of today’s fast-evolving technologies should signal at very least a call for change in our approach to education.  For what happens when global communication is constructed, produced and presented in quite similar ways, through the constant drumbeat of hyperbolic technological persuasion?  Do we begin to listen and to hear each other any better?  Or is nuance, specificity and diversity ‘leveled’ into a kind of identifiable, repetitive expectancy... into meaninglessness ...or worse, into false collective understanding?

FOURTH HURDLE:  We must come to terms with our fast-evolving ‘objectifying’ screen technologies (cameras, visual media, phones, YouTube, Facebook, etc.), which must now also be theorized as weapons (guns)... or suffer social obliteration.

   Finally, now that I have attempted to sketch the first three hurdles for the recuperation of TV news, what remains?  And how does it apply to the project of Bully Rhetoric?  To recap the archive above, U.S. TV news throughout this event failed its ethical responsibility to such an extreme degree as to forfeit any claim to news journalism at all, legal or otherwise.  During the first hours a deluge of wrongful information and worse, pure fabrication, was broadcast even as networks trumpeted verification: 

(In this clip FOX claims ethical verification concerns exactly while

Loughner’s name is aired and misspelled in the ‘crawl’ at bottom.)

     Prior to the above clip airing (video: F-010), FOX News had already “confirmed” Jared Loughner as the shooter, and had already proclaimed both Judge Roll and Giffords shot and killed.  Even while Shepard Smith announced this breaking news, the ‘crawl’ at the bottom of the screen was already misidentifying the shooter (Laughner) for several minutes, and would continue to do so for another 2 hours, even though Loughner’s name had already been correctly spelled on-air by Smith.  But journalistic offense does not stop there, many more examples of falsification exist.  For instance, FOX News was the first news network to specifically imply that the heated political climate in Arizona and elsewhere during the previous election cycle might be a possible motive in Giffords’ shooting, despite FOX News’ later insistence -- most vociferously -- against any possible connection.  Any connection between “rhetoric” and assassination was re-persuaded into utter baselessness.  Yet the very first thought that crossed my own mind was the quote: “Second Amendment remedies.”  I would wager the same was true for many other viewers... still FOX News fiercely bullied down every bully attempt to make that connection.

     All networks, however, are deeply complicit in reshaping most every news event for the purpose of serving particular ideologies: the most significant ideology being to profit by beating back all media competitors with endless, absurdist boasts of journalistic superiority:


     The first bully rhetoric by networks, however, came in fawning concern for the Tucson victims in amounts necessarily greater than competitors.  Then came the rush to contextualize the event by speculating motive and laying blame elsewhere.  Here entrenched ideological motives were spurred by a swarm of Internet media (bloggers, etc.) exploding with the most incendiary conclusion: “Haters in the right-wing killed Giffords”.  And so, the race was on, with everyone in every medium instantaneously reflecting blame onto the the easiest culprit of all -- the dangerous “tone in Washington” with its “heated political rhetoric”-- and doing so while simultaneously building arguments for their own media innocence.  The operable hinge-word here, of course, is “political” rhetoric.  It is an advantageous line of argumentation for media makers.   While all forms of rhetorical persuasion are in part political, the inclusion of the modifying-adjective “political” expressly excludes networks from culpability and accusation.  In this way, networks shift blame away from themselves, all claiming exemption.  Helping to heat rhetoric for monetization is necessarily unmentioned.

    Immediately conservatives countered the growing “liberal mainstream media” line of advance, reminding viewers that Giffords was a “strong proponent” of the Second Amendment right to bear arms, and that Giffords herself owned a hand gun.  That bogus argument construction somehow shored up a short-term (guns rights, hence, it’s not our fault) defense.  But the Left parried again with video tape of congresswoman Giffords remarking that Sarah Palins’ published graphic with  “crosshairs” held “consequences” beyond mere verbal rhetoric:

Conservatives bullied back again citing that liberals often use similar bully imagery:

     But of course, these two images have almost nothing in common.  SarahPac used gun crosshairs specifically, explicitly targeting Giffords and her district.  The lower image employs bulls-eyes and broadly lists states to target in the next election.  But an ability to  distinguish between these two (graphically designed) points of view is a matter of understanding and weighing verbal/visual rhetoric.  Few on TV, however, demonstrated any skill or willpower to decipher the rhetorical difference in these two images, let alone their irrelevance.  And so, both sides simply moved forward in their bully attacks, each equally conceding this particular argument. 

     FOX employees again shifted tactics, realizing its ideological stance was weakening in this public relations head-butting.  After all, FOX, as all networks do, had parallel investments to protect.  Not only is Sarah Palin a paid political analyst for FOX News, but Fox Entertainment Group was just winding down a poorly received primetime TV series uncomfortably entitled Human Target, while ramping up a brand new TV series call Justified, and News Corp was about to launch a unique digital ‘newspaper’: The Daily.  Corporate image must be controlled above all else.  And so, maybe not coincidentally, FOX News accelerated new counter-attacks with three familiar tactics. 

     First, Tucson Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, who initially cited “vitriolic rhetoric” in the opening press conference (video: F-077), was grilled by FOX’s Megyn Kelly in an attempt to discredit this popular line of thinking with still more (poor) deductive reasoning.  Kelly coaxed the sheriff to concede that he had no evidential “proof,” in hopes of stunting the ‘liberal’ rhetorical advance.  Second, in parallel and perhaps a stronger rhetorical defensive tactic, FOX simply repeated again and again that Loughner was a “lone madman,” redoubling this broadside in order to falsify all attacks against conservative positions.  For instance, this absurdist “news” item was spotlighted many times:

(A half-used bag of planting soil, a terra cotta pot, cheap outdoor candles, and a left-over Halloween decoration... a “makeshift, creepy shrine”?... really?  Aren’t these exact items found throughout America in countless backyards?)  

    And third, during these weirdly-defeasible maneuverings of argumentation toward the ‘freak-accident’ position, a parallel diversion intensified -- that being to continually overlay visual ‘close-ups’ of the shock, horror, grief and pity:

...and then, while folks are looking the other way, delete all promotional inferences to guns:

Although “Shooting in Arizona” graphics played throughout the first two days -- as an effective shock icon -- by Monday morning every media outlet had curiously concluded to change their leading graphic title.  All networks now curiously re-emblazoned the event with identical alliteration: Tragedy in Tucson:

     Still 'liberal’ media would not let up.  It simply felt to too many people that Giffords’ shooting was symbolic of something, something negative that should be used against conservatives... and conveniently, that something was guns.  MSNBC, and in particular Chris Matthews, shifted into apoplectic cross-examination, literally screaming at anyone about the indefensible need to carry firearms, particularly to political events (video: M-262).  This again ratcheted up all media-rhetoric about political-rhetoric to ear splitting levels.  Everyone has an axe to grind, and Giffords’ shooting fitted quite nicely into a variety of scenarios.  And just when “conservative media” felt themselves losing ground again, a brand new ‘life-line’ came out of nowhere for every bully combatant: Jared Loughner’s mug shot:

    As bits of information about the shooter were slowly unearthed, the few initial images of Loughner were uncomfortably common.  The boy looked like any boy in any suburb in any American town.  How could this young man have committed such an atrocity?  He doesn’t look like a killer.  However, a new finalizing persuasion came in the unmistakable likeness of insanity.  Loughner’s newly released photograph was slightly too close-up, head shaved, sickly yellow, bruised eyes seemingly staring past the camera lens, mouth caught in half smile, no discernible background.  This mug shot is not neutral-biased.  But its visual weirdness better fit the crime.  “Of course, Loughner is insane... we can see it”.... and we can “prove” that to you even better now with this photo (video: B-215):

(As egregious as these four overtly manipulated CBS imagess are, they utterly pale in comparison to the egregious manipulations of Cho Seung-Hui, the shooter at Virginia Tech, 2006 (video: #10). 

     My point here is that the mere release of Loughner’s mug-shot photo created another kind of bully weapon, another gun doubly fired to produce both defense of ideology and to ward off culpability.  In today’s mediated world all visualisation, all the images we now so easily create, can potentially cut two ways -- no matter for whom or for what purpose.  Loughner’s picture-graphic-image-portrait, like many others broadcast during this event, can be too easily refashioned into bully-guns by too-willing mediamongers.  And so questions should be asked: Who produced this mug-shot and why?  Who held the camera?  Who composed it, lit it, cropped it, tinted it?  Was it the only photo taken?  Who decided, “This is the photo we’ll publicly distribute.”?   These are the exact questions we should be asking across all media production.   Somebody or some technology -- out-of-frame -- is always authoring and conditioning visual communication.

     Indeed, this Loughner mug-shot fundamentally altered all (political, media) rhetoric yet again, on two final fronts.  First, it absolved all parties of guilt: “We didn’t cause anything... Loughner was a lone insane madman.”  Second, as a ‘visual dispensation of blame’, it trumped all further bully-maneuvering.  All sides were now rhetorically freed to simply burrow back into predetermined positions and continue slinging arrows at opponents exactly as before... nothing was changed, game over, time to move on to other bully battles... we justly fought our worthy opponents to a draw.  Tomorrow is another day.


“Now the death of God combined with the perfection of the image has brought us to a whole new state of expectation.  We are the image.  We are the viewer and the viewed.  There is no other distracting presence.  And that image has all the Godly powers.  It kills at will.  Kills effortlessly.  Kills beautifully.  It dispenses morality.  Judges endlessly.  The electronic image is man as God and the ritual involved leads us not to a mysterious Holy Trinity but back to ourselves.  In the absence of a clear understanding that we are now the only source, these images cannot help but return to the expression of magic and fear proper to idolatrous societies.  This in turn facilitates the use of the electronic image as propaganda by whoever can control some part of it.”    John Ralston Saul,  Voltaire’s Bastards  (1992:460)



     Conclusions?  Alright.  For those of you who’ve hung around this long -- to the bottom of the project expecting some punch-line to the four hurdles mentioned at top -- I’ll try to summarize a few final thoughts.   But, I’ll say first that I am uninterested in the most red-hot-button rhetoric that has fueled so much of this absurdist news event.  For example, I have not mentioned Arizona immigration policy.  I have not mentioned Congress’

(in)effectiveness.  I have not mentioned Loughner’s so-called favorite books, 9 year old Christina Taylor Green, Bill O’Reilly, or even “blood libel”.  And I certainly did not mention TV media admitting responsibility for their own actions in this event... because none did.  Zero.  Not one network, program or personality pointed a finger at themselves for “heated” rhetoric... beyond a very few “the media” generalizations.  (I discount Olbermann’s one, brief, glib attempt.)  Blame was always deposited elsewhere.  Watch these 342 videos yourself, there simply is not any reflexive admission to guilt or responsibility... by anyone.  This observation alone should boggle the mind. 

     Moreover, I do not investigate why, during this huge news event, in a huge university town, not one so-called ‘academic expert’ was ever interviewed on-air.  Over weeks of archive, I found but two lone mentions of University of Arizona.  Where were the professor journalists, sociologists, psychiatrists?  What does this omission signal?  Was the entire university in ‘media lockdown’?  Do networks consider their ‘experts’ expert enough?  Are academics too smart to allow themselves to be devoured by cable news strategies?

     Instead, I want to conclude this project with two other very troubling, very frightening observations: gold and grammar... both of which, apparently, keenly interested Loughner.  He publicly expressed these interests through Youtube (video: C-033).  He spoke of a “new currency”, “illiteracy”, and “controlling english grammar structure.”  Why would Loughner do this?  Why were these topics important to him?  What was he thinking?  Again, I do not know.  I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.  But I can promise that when I heard these inferences, I shuddered in cold terror.  Yes, Loughner even terrorized me, sitting way up here alone in Canada.  But how so?

     First, let me say I do believe Loughner is insane.  So let’s not parse that fact even though the fine line between light and darkness is sometimes illegible.  But just what insanity means in Loughner’s case, when he became insane, to what degree of insanity, or whether his insanity might have been induced... I am neither able or willing to speculate on anyone’s behalf.  (Note: There were a few references to Loughner’s marijuana usage, one concerning salvia, N-214, but oddly I heard not a single network comment from anyone on whether medical prescription drugs might have been involved.)  What remains, then, are the few traces Loughner left behind... cryptic video-traces amongst the television content broadcasted to me for my contemplation and contextualization.  And so I end this project here, at gold and grammar:

     What does this odd montage above have to do with the Tucson shootings?  I am unsure.  But as I recorded the Tucson events unfolding during that first weekend, I routinely skipped or deleted commercial breaks to concentrate on news programming content.  Midway through the second day, however, it dawned on me that at every commercial break I was also seeing an advertisement for gold; at every break, again and again, essentially non-stop for two days.  I had never seen any product-push quite like this ever before.  So why now?  Why this incessant repetition for a rush into gold, into hawking gold every 15 minutes with persuasions that tap vague fears of currency?  I leave it to readers to build their own conspiracy connections, which should range anywhere from fears of growing U.S. debt, to growing fears of Chinese financial supremacy, to fears of President Obama manipulating monetary regulation, to fears of a global meltdown. 

     Regardless, the unifying descriptor in this montage is fear, and that hoarding gold is its antidote.  Simple enough, right?  Consumption is always amplified with fear.  Or, maybe these commercials are a proven way to bilk senior citizens -- a faithful and easily targeted news demographic -- out of their pensions?  Then again, maybe these are just the cheapest kinds of ‘filler ads’ bought in bulk-blocks expressly during times when networks essentially shut down normal operations in order to shift into non-stop coverage of events like Tucson.  Or, maybe, News Corp and others own a bunch of gold and were harnessing their TV operations to cash-out (cash-in?) after gold’s unprecedented run-up over the last 18 months.  I don’t know.  These ads, however, parallel an uncanny resemblance to Loughner’s own fearful rants about currency manipulation; all of which could be mere coincidence.  But then, little in TV is mere coincidence.  There is always some reason for making TV the way TV makers do -- likewise, I suppose, for someone who plots public assassination.   And so... seeing, collecting, questioning and reporting patterns, repetitions, and observations like these embody the very purpose of critical media ethnography.  For one never knows where data will lead.

   Lastly, and here I find an even more uncanny resemblance, are the words Loughner used in his public criticisms, particularly regarding “grammar”.  From numerous TV re-tellings of Loughner’s YouTube videos, which comprised the very first attempts to profile the killer, we hear a repetition of particular combinations of words (videos: F-013, F-014).  All Loughner’s ‘social’ media, however, were immediately discredited by everyone who ever referenced them again.  Not a single TV ‘authority’ ever attempted to consider why these odd combinations of words might have been used: 

               “Conscience dreaming: the greatest inspiration in my political business

                 information.”  “Secondly, my hope is for you to be literate!  If you’re

                 literate in english grammar, then you comprehend english grammar.”

                 “I don’t control your english grammar structure, but you control your

                 english grammar structure.”  “In conclusion, my ambition is informing

                 illiterate dreamers about the new currency.”   Jared Loughner  2011

     I shuddered in terror.  Holy Shit... I could have written words similar to these.  In fact, maybe I had already written them somewhere in some project.  I bowed my head and almost started to cry.  Grammar?  Really?  For Cultural Farming, use of language, grammar construction, technical proficiency, rhetorical communication production, public performance, politicized information -- all reside at the very heart of every media project I now build.  Moreover, our screen media as employed today are nothing -- nothing -- if not “dreaming” (conscience/conscious?).  For me the commanding “currencies” today are the ever-newer gold-making media technologies pulsing ham-handed words and images throughout every vein of contemporary communication.  One need not reference Walter Lippman, Gustave Le Bon, Edward Bernays or Watson to know we are all, en masse, wrestling these new technologies in concerted, choreographed illiteracy... which, to use another’s words could easily be assessed as “brainwash” or “mind control.”  Who is delusional and who isn’t?  I just do not know.  Our most important means of public communication -- television -- helps keep me conveniently ignorant. 

     Lessons learned from events like Tucson last but a few days.  And so, I think Jon Stewart squandered a unique opportunity to ‘out’ his own bully performances, his bully program, his bully network...because it is all about the rhetoric... words, cameras, media, guns.  When Joseph Stack flew his airplane into an IRS office building it was an attempt to heightened bully rhetoric.  When James Lee shot-to-kill inside Discovery Channel headquarters it heightened bully rhetoric.  When Clay Duke spray-painted an “anarchy logo” on the wall of a Florida school board meeting and then opened-fire... he meant to heighten bully rhetoric.  The same is true for Columbine, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University.  It is the conundrum Chris Matthews (MSNBC) can’t seem to unveil -- that guns (like our words and cameras) are very cheap, ubiquitous and potent forms of bully rhetoric.  That’s why guns are all over our politics and on every TV channel all the time.  Guns even trump bully news anchors.  Bully rhetoric works.  Guns are scary....even pictures of guns intimidate.  The camera/pen is as mighty as the gun/sword... just ask Roger Ailes, Hank Paulson, General McChrystal, Joe the Plumber -- or, on the other side of the lens/trigger, ask Lara Logan or the 233 probably real journalists killed just in the Middle East over the last two years.  Bully rhetoric is growing ever faster... “Get the guys with the cameras!”  And it will continue to ratchet ever higher until our world eventually gets “shocked” into kingdom come.

     Media production is a unique language, one seldom critically studied.  And every language can bully others when it takes aim and shoots to kill.  It’s bad enough that language is a virus.  Must language always be a media-weapon too?  Maybe so, since every advance in communication technology brings with it an ever higher demand to be heard.  Folks everywhere are demanding to be heard, with growing violence against any entity perceived to hold unfair advantage.  Standing beside every Glenn Beck there is a Bill Maher...with ever-hotter audiences.  The technological-industrialized voice too often speaks first with its own ambitions over our own.  Its imagery comes to us absurdly, partially, too fast.  With it we lose a particular range of hearing.  Peripheral vision narrows.  Cognition skitters, skipping across surfaces.  This new language doesn’t/can’t mean like it used to.  And so the easiest, least-skilled way to get heard is to turn up the volume to 11: “This is my genocide school.”

    The biggest bullies always get heard.  It will remain this way, until we begin to bridle bully performance and technology...bully rhetoric.

                            Indeed, “What is government if words have no meaning?”

Books on my desk during this project:

Burke, Kenneth. (1950). A Rhetoric of Motives. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hedges, Chris. (2009). The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. Toronto: Vintage Canada.

Kracauer, Sigfried. (1995). The Mass Ornament. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Le Bon, Gustave. (1896). The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. Filiquarian Publishing, LLC

Lippmann, Walter. (1922). Public Opinion. New York City: Harcourt Brace and Company.

Marcuse, Herbert. (1964). One-Dimensional Man. Boston: Beacon Press.

Rancière, Jacques. (2009). The Emancipated Spectator. London: Verso.

Stam, Robert. (1989). Subversive Pleasures: Bakhtin, Cultural Criticism, and Film. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.

Walton, Douglas. (2007). Media Argumentation: Dialectic, Persuasion, and Rhetoric. NYC: Cambridge University Press.


                22 Feb 2011                          25 Feb 2011                            28 Feb 2011      


                                                               4 Mar 2011


                                                             24 July 2012





An American

resident of Canada, experimenting with new forms of critical media ethnography in Cultural Farming.

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     In Tucson, Arizona, at about 10am on Saturday,  8 January 2011, a young man with a handgun walked up to United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and shot her point-blank in the head.  He then proceeded to shoot another 19(?) people standing nearby, killing six including a federal judge and a member of Giffords’ staff.  The shootings happened in less than one minute, in broad daylight, in front of a grocery store in Rep. Giffords’ constituency.  Within 45 minutes every American TV news network leapt into non-stop action, rushing to announce and contextualize the event.  This project examines how the event was manufactured by U.S. national TV, primarily: CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC.

     Bully Rhetoric (Ad hominem as its name suggests), documents much of what is profoundly troublesome within U.S. 24/7 cable TV “news”, from reckless and blatant disregard of basic journalistic tenets, to the startling reshaping of events to promote broader ideological agendas, to bizarre production behaviors that defy any notion of rational public discourse.  Indeed, as tragic as this event was, the manner in which it was ‘played out as TV news’ was almost as horrific. 


     The documentary data base and essay, below, extend in four segments.  LEFT, are five key definitions, which highlight (bullet-point?) five overarching reminders, beginning with classic journalism, then tracing the pathway from Rhetoric, to Ad hominem, to Bullying... ending at Trivium.   MIDDLE, the color-bar is a partial listing of actual video clips I witnessed and archived during the course of this news event.  These videos are listed chronologically and labeled with network affiliation.  RIGHT, are comments calling out but a few of the hinge-points during this 24/7 coverage.  BOTTOM, I expand upon my four hurdles for the recuperation of TV news.

  Saturday, 8 January

  Sunday, 9 January

  Monday, 10 January

  Tuesday, 11 January

  Wednesday, 12 January

  13-27 January

February 2011

      If nothing else, this project is a call for a national rethinking about the very idea of TV news today; about how vital information should not be constructed and aired, and importantly, how we as citizens might responsibly ‘self-check’ a public service that today irresponsibly produces much of our public discourse.    

     Bully Rhetoric, identifies four strategies for the recuperation of national TV broadcast news.  First, there must be strong, opaque, easily identifiable media borders between news/journalism and opinion/commentary... or suffer license revocation.  Second, TV news makers must regain objective journalistic tenets particularly via less-profitable production, and slower dissemination of concise emotionless reporting to citizens in proportions significantly greater than opinion and commentary... or suffer swift civic retribution.  Third, classical educational notions of logic, grammar and rhetoric must be re-emphasized throughout society, particularly by those who manufacture public informational news journalism... or suffer deepening national ignorance.  Fourth, we all must come to terms with our fast-evolving ‘objectifying’ screen technologies (cameras, visual media, phones, YouTube, Facebook, etc.), which must now also be theorized as weapons (guns)... or suffer social obliteration.  The first two hurdles are rather easy to institute, the third and fourth may take a generation, 20-30 years, to instill.  All four must begin to be addressed today... or we’ll surely suffer still more guns, ignorance, Ad hominem, and assassination.  Reining bully rhetoric is but one first-step to recovery.

  C=CNN     F=FOX News     M=MSNBC     N=NBC     A=ABC    B=CBS    H=HBO

C-001: “Ear-witness” provides first scene descriptions and images.

F-002:  Giffords political stands are first contextualized as possible shooting motives.

C-004, F-005: Giffords confirmed dead.

M-006: Giffords reported dead.

F-008: Giffords death retracted, sources blamed, “facts as we know them”.

F-010: Judge Roll confirmed dead, then retracted.  Shooter’s misspelled name confirmed, talk-radio possible connection.

F-013, F-014, C-033: Killer profile. currency, social dreaming literacy, grammar, books.

C-037: New Facebook photo.  Political talk. Social media about Sarah Palin and guns.

C-047:  Collective reluctance to blame anyone or anything.

F-049: Call to others - for dispassionate forensics.

N-050: Turning point in discourse.

A-062:  Pop psychology.

M-064:  Police warn against speculation.

M-065: FBI address social media, images, hate speech, killer’s computer.

F-076: Profile of killer... and network.

F-077: Judge statement entrapped.

F-072, C-084, F-085:  Attempts to debunk ties to right wing.  Disregard eyewitness.

M-094:  DIscussion of heated political rhetoric.  2nd Amend vs. gun control.  “The media” is also to blame.  “Perception becomes reality.”

F-102:  FOX works to exonerate Tea Party.

F-111:  FOX claims unverifiable allegations and innuendo by “left” media.

F-112:  How to use media to profile killers.

M-114:  FBI profiler.  “Irresponsible words.”

F-115:  “Mindset and motive.”  Classmates of killer speak.  Dream journal.  Hunt for “creepy shrine.”   Symbols and free speech rights.

M-116:  Beck speaks for Palin.  Hyperbole.

F-118:  FOX stalks killer’s parents.   “Shrine”.

F-119:  “What is government if words have no meaning?”

M-129:  Production “value”.

M-137:  Conversation shifts to gun carry.

F-162:  New photo verifies “crazy” killer.

F-163:  Visual evidence: “Make-shift shrine.”

C-175:  Passing blame for political rhetoric.  “Inappropriate to point fingers.”  Guns.

F-176:  Muslim comparison.  “They race to politicize.”

F-177:  Left media worse than Right media.

F-178:  “Metaphors don’t kill people.”

F-187:  FOX maintains “lone gunman”. 

F-188:  Lost ability to tell what is real. 

M-189:  “It’s hate not guns.”

F-190, N-191:  Bully rhetoric.

M-196, M-197, M-200:  MSNBC blames FOX News on multiple fronts.

M-201:  Bully rhetoric.

F-207, B-215:  Production “value”.

C-208:  Tucson locals interviewed.

F-213:  Photo judgement.

C-222:  Killer normal to neighbor.

F-228:  DIsingenuous free speech.

C-234:  Sarah Palin response video.

C-235:  Bully rhetoric.

F-237:  FOX criticizes for profiting with shooting.

M-238:  Guns are political rhetoric.  MSNBC blames others.

C-241:  James and Sarah Brady interview.

M-245:  Another’s “Blood Libel”.

N-250:  Killer’s guilty profile.

N-251:  Emotive rhetoric.

C-258:  Tucson locals interviewed.

M-267, F-272:  Bully rhetoric.

C-276:  Utter lack of reflexivity.

M-277:  Good political rhetoric?

M-286:  Gun rhetorics.

C-287:  Criminal (TV) profiling.

F-288, F-289, F-290:  Bully rhetoric.  “The nature of the deal”.

C-300:  Eyewitness with gun confesses.

C-301:  Killer’s home-video.

A-305:  ABC town-hall exposé-confessional.

B-306:  60 Minutes psycho-motives.

C-307:  Killer, gaming, motive.

F-311:  Hannity interviews Palin.

F-322:  Acknowledging Ad Hominem.

C-324, F-325:  Nazis are bad.

H-335, H-336:  Bully rhetoric.

F-337:  Oberman leaves MSNBC.

F-342:  FOX lanuches Human Target.


    The 23 minute video, linked below, is a critical montage of TV material concurrently broadcast during the Tucson event... bits and pieces aggregated here for the purpose of documentation.  It is, like all the videos in Cultural Farming, an example of writing experimental, critical, surreal media ethnography.  In short, it is an attempt to describe the “fallacy of composition,” propagated throughout this entire news event.  It is an example of refunctioning TV’s own content, language and technique... as an exemplar of bully rhetoric.  For this is how U.S. media-makers today so readily communicate.


“You taught me language, and my profit on it is I know how to curse.

The red plague rid you, for learning me your language!” 

From Caliban in The Tempest  by William Shakespeare

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