Expos Assignment 4 Final Draft

Expos Assignment 4 Final Draft - Francis Arcede: Assignment...

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Francis Arcede: Assignment 4 (Final Draft 11/1/07) Truth, and Emotions As a Human Quality The media’s responsibilities to society are to relay an unbiased and accurate account of events, news, stories, and issues. The writer’s personal views as much as possible should remain disconnected from the report, so as not to taint the truth with emotional attachment. However, how much of the “truth” actually makes it to the audience? Deborah Tannen’s essay “The Roots of Debate in Education and the Hope of Dialogue” highlights the risk of allowing emotions to override logic, along with several other issues of modern day information seeking and reporting. In “Selections from Losing Matt Shepard: Life and Politics in the Aftermath of Anti-Gay Murder ”, Beth Loffreda discusses the emotionally charged murder of a gay man in a Wyoming town and recounts the media storm surrounding it. This explosion of the media and journalism in reaction to the crime calls to mind several complicated issues that reporters, journalists, and regular people must face alike, and it weaves Loffreda’s story with Tannen’s argument on finding truth. It is almost impossible for people to adhere to logic and provide a pure account of events, as Tannen encourages, instead of focus on emotions when a sensitive and intensely debated issue such as homosexuality and murder arises. Mere word choice, however inaccurate, can invoke emotionally charged responses. The gruesome and incorrectly reported image of Shepard being tied and beaten similar to the crucifixion caught the eyes of gay and straight alike: “The vicious symbolism of that image, combined with Puls’s early acknowledgment that the beating might have been an anti-gay hate crime, drew instant attention” (313). The fact that it was an anti-gay hate crime accounts for much of its primary weight of scrutiny and spotlight. People in that situation, especially gays, are naturally emotionally drawn to a crime of that nature, whereas if it was just a regular homicide it
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would not have received as much attention. It does not seem to be fair, though this by no regard means is a pardoning of the crime committed, that an anti-gay murder would receive greater precedence over any other murder; no matter what, someone will be burying someone. The anti- gay aspect of this murder calls forth a natural reaction that Tannen would admonish against: “logic [is] the only trustworthy means for human judgment; emotions get in the way” (603). It is difficult, as Loffreda goes on to recount, for many people to remain detached towards such an issue. There are both positively and negatively induced actions and responses, many of which, on the parts of journalists and media workers, are questionable and go against Tannen’s methods of searching for the truth. Logic is the only reliable means for human judgment, but is not emotions
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Expos Assignment 4 Final Draft - Francis Arcede: Assignment...

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