Propaganda journalism and misused prepositions: unnecessarily suggesting strong correlations

Stock market falls 10% as Trump suggests trade tariffs.

Gold stocks rise on rumours of Federal Reserve looking to inject more stimulus into the economy.

Oil tumbles around escalating tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

BitCoin falls 20% amid Korea talk about cryptocurrency regulation.

Do these headlines sound familiar? Mainly because they all share the same journalistic tactic to persuade you, the reader, of falling into the trap of assuming that the “news” these journalists report are factual and objective, that the journalists know what they are talking about and should be trusted with their analyses, when in reality they are often opinion-driven misdiagnoses of short term, psychologically driven events.

The end goal of such articles is to actually control public psychology and short term market movements by persuading you, the reader, to think in one direction rather than discover the underlying nuance, truths and conclusions via first principles that ultimately help you uncover their biased reporting.

You see this tactic employed all the time in financial “news” articles.  It is a subtle form of market manipulation. Because many lay-investors don’t take the time to think critically and will take shortcuts by trusting mainstream media at face value, they are cows being led to the slaughter, falling into the short term trading traps set up by these journalists.

The misuse of the prepositions such as “of”, “on”, “around”, and so on, draws a correlation between two independent events when there is likely little to no correlation. Frequently, the only shared trait between the two events is that they occurred in the same, short time frame.

Your recency bias is used to associate the two independent events and to cultivate an emotionally driven Pavlovian response.  For example, by consistently suggesting that market dips are a consequence of lack of intervention, a naive reader will be conditioned to believe that Keynesian stimulus and government regulation are economically desirable, despite no reasoning from first principles to back the assertion.  Two events linked together by the misuse of these prepositions may share the same domain and be factually correct when viewed independently of one another, but there is zero evidence that shows that the latter event caused the former. The suggestion of correlation or causation in the headline is enough for the reader to now be brainwashed into thinking there’s a pattern, when that pattern was actually manufactured out of thin air using two data points that don’t belong in the same graph.

It is a hypothesis stated as fact. Zero reproducible experiments back up these conjectures of correlation, but by constantly publishing the same fallacy, readers are slowly but surely being encouraged to accept patterns contrived by the controllers of mainstream media and their army of pundits.

Short term market micro movements and their hasty rationalizations in financial news feeds are almost always a distraction from the long term, fundamental causes that dictate the direction of an economy. While Trump Tweets and Federal Reserve minutes may have some influence, they are not a replacement, for example, of the long term Keynesian school of thought that has dictated decades of policy leading to unsustainable debt, a repeatable observation that better explains market macro movements and the growth of big government.

As long as the journalists are successful in having its readers blame everything on relatively trivial events that happen in the recent short term, like Trump (the most convenient excuse du jour — not saying he’s blameless, but he is not the only policy maker to blame), then they have done their jobs as propaganda experts, to numb the critical thinking cells of the public’s brain and control the narrative.

This trend of preposition misuse is common in financial media, but can be spotted in virtually all mainstream news outlets reporting on any type of “news”. Everyone needs to be vigilant or otherwise they will fall into the trap of pattern-based shortcut thinking cultivated by a continuous stream of fallacious headlines. The brainwashed are led to believe they have scientific backing in the form of repeated fallacious headlines, and thus are willing to regurgitate these “facts” proudly to everyone else, quick to classify any skeptics as uneducated idiots. It ironically makes them the unthinking zombies acting as zealots for the ideological overlords that control them. That is the hallmark of effective propaganda and it is extraordinarily evident today to those that can escape their echo chambers to see it.

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