(My letter to local news station posted below)
When you hear about a local vape store getting featured in the media… Do you break out in hives? Get the cold sweats and arm yourself with protective gear? At the speed of sound, bullshit is a dangerous weapon. It can carry the impact of a 200 pound brick ripping right through the center of your skull.
But you still watch…don’t you?
The media is in a frenzy. From high end buzz word creators to lower level weathermen named Skip, everybody wants in on the action. Say the word vaping and it’s good for no less than a three minute argument.
And isn’t that the point?
Breaking news…the media sells sensationalized versions of the truth.
Are you not surprised? Me either.
So as the local news channel starts the long journey into exaggerating the argument about vaping- I was eager to see the latest coverage. It involved a store around the corner from me. Many times I had witnessed local coverage of other vaping stories and it seemed to have a pretty consistent pattern; Mention a store, interview the owner, talk to an unnamed doctor without listing their credentials on this industry, ask a high ranking official about vaping and kids, interview a vaper to make them seem ill informed and cut to the weather.
All of these news segments appeared to be non biased…and yet I couldn’t help but feeling like we lost. Lost what?
That’s when I realized; the media is framing this as a contest.
To the average person hearing a doctor say anything negative is gospel, even if that something is “well, we’re really not sure.”
That sounds scary to the normal person.
Here’s the catch though…some doctors are sure.
Studies have been done.
When the media puts local store owners against medical professionals it comes across looking like the medical community as a whole is against the idea of vaping at all.
The reason for this is because the media is placing anti vaping medical, political and professional organizations against the small businesses.
The media is purposefully framing this argument as a fight between greedy money hungry whores versus public safety…all the while hiding this agenda by suggesting that they are giving both sides of the argument equal space. If that were true then they would show the studies that have been done, talk to doctors who will attest to vaping as a cessation method and long term (and healthier) vapers.
After watching this happen to a store in my town- I wrote to the local news station’s email, facebook and local news outlets (letter follows below). I am only one person…and my perspective means shit to them. But when we’re all sending letters that call them out for uneven reporting-and we post these letters publicly- at least we let others know.
…and when they stigmatize your town with the same misinformation that the use in every “balanced report…”
…By all means- use my letter and change the facts as you need… the media does it, now you can too.
An open letter to WXII (as sent 2/7/2014): From The Vape Association LLC:
I just viewed your segment on vaping from the perspective of a local store owner.
It wasn’t really from their perspective though, was it?
I would like to go on record for my company- The Vape Association (the largest membership collective of Vapers in the United States-and based out of the triad) to say that; the piece was pseudo journalism at best.
Instead of showing vaping from the perspective of local business, you framed the segment as an argument. Worse yet- you revealed no information about the studies that have been done regarding vaping, vapor, nicotine, devices or smoking cessation. Furthermore, you allowed people to pose as specialists without pressing them for proof-and allowed THEM to suggest that there weren’t studies.
Where was YOUR investigative research in all this?
You can do it in one google search.
Yet, you allowed ill-informed people to offer their detractor views and YOU allowed them a venue to lie- UNCONTESTED- without questioning anything they had to say.
So let me get this straight; If a vape store owner has an idea, you counter balance that with a Doctors opinion( never mind that you didn’t report what the doctors actual specialty is)…if the Dr. offers an opinion, you accept it at face value? That seems less like journalism and more like pandering.
Every report on vaping has the same formulaic snooze fest- fed to us by greedy grubby handed heathens who get their rocks off by creating controversial segments that divide people.
It goes like this; show store, show doctor, give quote about not having studies, mention children, move on.
So here you are on the vaping sensationalism bandwagon regurgitating a piece that has been done three times a day in every city…Here are the same comments being made by unnamed medical professionals…
Did you stop to consider that it’s a little clone-ish for every third rate family practitioner to say the same thing?
What about the medical professionals that have come out FOR vaping? Why don’t they get airtime?
Are you purposefully pitting store owners against medical professionals that don’t approve of vaping?
Isn’t that the same as swaying the viewer’s opinion?
An opinion that , somehow, is exactly the same in every local news piece
… doesn’t it almost sound like they’ve heard it somewhere?
Like, maybe other reports?
Didn’t that make you ask “how much investigation have you done into the studies of vaping?”
Of course you didn’t.
Because, had you thought to create a thought provoking segment on vaping- with your own ideas and conclusions –
you would have come across the HUNDREDS of studies done on vaping.
You would have suggested the eons of information we have on nicotine.
You would have called out these death merchants in the health industry for not having the mind to actually come up with their own conclusions, keep people away from cigarette’s and questioned how much they will stand to lose when customers no longer perpetuate their own diseases through smoking.
Did you do any of these things?
Of course not…why would you? Hell you were too busy phoning in your own piece.
I demand more of you. Highly paid, figure heads should be held to a -better than standard- premium. Allowing doctors airtime to discus topics that they are not informed of is manipulative and insults me.
Do you think of us as being so unaware? So dumb that we believe that all doctors practice everything? No?
Then why just show random doctors as to insinuate that you’ve brought in a specialist?
Can I see his credentials in chemistry and nicotine handling?
Read the reports he has filed on the topic?
See his cliff notes?
This is a foolish and trite game that you are playing.
What about the doctors working at hospitals built by RJR and other tobacco companies? Are they biased? Has cancer paid their duke power bill?
Did you forget that there are doctors that advocate vaping (for smokers)?
No, you just didn’t look.
There are over ten vape locations in and out of the triad with legions of consumers (most of them congregated on my group page).
Your fluff piece didn’t consult ONE person who has vaped for over a year. Yet you questioned the longevity of staying off of cigarettes. How is this possible? How is it possible that a reputable news source questioned the validity of vaping and it’s cessation ratio and yet you didn’t interview a long term vaper?
Isn’t that a tad bit like swerving the story to fit your “controversy” piece?
To the best of my knowledge I have never seen a human interest piece done on a new Bakery opening that immediately showed a doctor accusing them of targeting children and contributing to obesity and heart disease.
This is a double standard. So if you’re going to make a sensationalism piece, we would at least appreciate an attempt to offer any facts.
I invite your viewers to watch the segment and give me ONE example of your quoted authorities stating a negative FACT about vaping. They have no facts. So instead they say “there aren’t enough studies.”
There are hundreds of studies…what exactly is the study quota?
Perhaps most insulting is the title of your segment.
“Could Vaping Become Trend for Kid’s?”
This title could have been anything. Here are a few;
“Could Vaping Save your Life?”
“Could Vaping stop you from Smoking?”
“Could Vaping be a Healthy Alternative?”
“Could Vaping help unicorns play Hopscotch?”
But no… nope. You went with the “using children to drum up controversy” tactic.
I expect more. I happen to run a company that deals with the topic of vaping everyday- so in this instance- I have spotted the negative influence you added. What worries me, however, is what that suggests about your other “news” segments. I’m not sure that I trust you to guide me in a fair way about stories that I wasn’t aware of. I don’t trust you to actually investigate those topics.
Smut peddling in media is old hat…and -yes- even expected. But let us not propagate this to be “balance.”
I would think it fair to begin researching your segment on Doctors that say vaping is a better alternative to smoking. I would also like you to add in that -as of now- more minors smoke than vape. Please also include the following studies:
I found these research papers/articles in ten seconds. I didn’t research the claims. Now we’re equal.
The Vape Association llc.
here are some good free press sites when you need to make your point fast:
Don’t let them frame the story for us. They won’t ask the right questions. Call them on it…and tell everyone that you did.
The Views and Opinions of MoocH 1 are creations of mentally abnormal manifestations and an unnaturally unhealthy fixation with the motion picture “Tombstone.” Do not approach MoocH 1. Do not attempt to feed. Refrain from 90’s alternative music discourse.
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