(Manipulation; 10-03; p.3)
Beside this common behaviour political sales-men
use rhetoric to present themselves or their policies. Three always
favoured methods shall be mentioned in the following: the surprise
packet, the wrong track and the expert’s report.
The surprise packet
A popular means to react on questions about
one’s own concepts is the offering of the surprise packet.
Wordful, the concept of the political adversary becomes condemned,
while the impression of polemic is carefully avoided and seriousness
suggested. One’s own concept – in case the programme script still
allows time for questions – is presented in more general terms
and at any rate it is stated that oneself will do better.
Not quite that successful were that tactics
for A Merkel, leader of the main opposition parties in Germany
on 16/07/03. In the news programme “tagesthemen” – an equivalent
of the BBC’s newsnight – she was asked three times by presenter
U Wickert about her parties’ concept for financing a tax reduction
brought forward by a year: she could not or did not want to answer,
but simultaneously stressed the need for it.
The wrong track
Also one of the favoured means is the laying
of wrong tracks that should disguise the real motivation for a
So, an argument will be used of which one thinks that it is agreed
on. At the same time, the indeed relevant argument is dropped,
since one thinks of it as fraught with opposition.
B Hombach, one of the four managing directors
of the WAZ media business – the company is for the German newspaper
market that, what the Bertelsmann company is for the book, music
and television market: a mighty oligopolist – used this technique
successfully on 12/10/03 in the NDR’s programme “Zapp”.
He countered the critique of Germany’s official competition watchdog,
the “Bundeskartellamt” on a possible take-over of a Berlin daily
by the Holtzbrinck newspaper company by indicating that their
publishers had no intention to limit the freedom of the press
or the variety of opinions.
– What B Hombach forgot to mention is the fact that the Bundeskartellamt
had pure competition based reasons for opposing the take-over:
it feared a dominant market position of the company in Berlin.
(read on here)