Opinion Essay, Research Paper
The Effects of Media on the Public’s Opinion
Mass media – have you ever taken the time to consider two articles about the same thing? Some may be more bias against a group or idea, while others keep a strict, non bias view. The way the media portrays events may change or even corrupt people’s thoughts on certain public matters. This paper will dissect four articles on the Woodstock riots and show the relationships and differences between them.
On a Sunday night, near the closing song of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, there were a few bonfires were reported. The firefighters, feeling they were under control, let these bonfires burn. Then Limp Bizkit came on, another hard-core band. In their song “Breakstuff,” the audience climbed a television camera tower and began ripping equipment and other electrical devices off of them. After Limp Bizkit, Rage Against the Machine, another hard-core band, played hard-core music that could have easily incited violence. When the smoke cleared away Monday afternoon, not only were thirty-seven people arrested, out of a countless number; there was also hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damaged equipment.
In the articles, “They Must Have Run Out of Drugs” and ” Woodstock Riot,” there are direct and indirect quotes used to inform people of what happened at the concert. These quotes also try and persuade the public’s opinion as to whether or not the riots were the faults of the accused. In the article, “Woodstock Riot,” the author used a direct quote spoken by Spencer Parker. Parker stated, “When it first started there was something to it, it has a little bit of meaning when you pay $4 dollars for a pretzel.” (PG 2 para. 3) his statement helped direct the blame at high prices. In the article “They Must Have Run Out of Drugs,” the author used a quote by Chris Melnyczenko to help place blame on the disgruntled youth. Melnyczenko said, “They’re destroying everything.” (Pg. 1 para. 7) Another similar quote by an unknown person, “Oh man they must of run out of drugs, ” (page 1 & 2) struck the author so much that he made it the title.
Facts may be different or changed up to help exaggerate the authors’ or companies’ view points in the articles, “Is Rock ‘n’ Rage Replacing Rock ‘n’ Roll?” and “Woodstock Gets Ugly.” In the article, “Is Rock ‘n’ Rage Replacing Rock ‘n’ Roll?” the author spends the majority of his writing comparing the past two Woodstocks to the current one, barely touching on the subject of the riot. The article only stated what happened and the fact that the blame should be placed on the band, Limp Bizkit. The band was said to have urged the audience to “break stuff.” In the other article, “Woodstock Gets Ugly,” it is said that placing one hard-core band after another could be a mistake and may be the cause of the riots, or other happening, to be placed on the organizers of the event, the bands or the audience. This shows how the companies’ or authors’ views can be bias against certain groups or ideas by placing the blame on a single band, but a non bias paper places the blame all around.
The motivation in these articles may be teen bashing or to show the mistake of everyone as a whole. In the articles “They Must Have Run Out of Drugs” and “Woodstock Gets Ugly,” the motivation varies slightly but the topic is the same. The only difference is the people they place the blame on. In the article “They Must Have Run Out of Drugs,” the author’s motivation is based on teen bashing and discrimination. The author blamed all the problems at Woodstock on the teens who were there. In the article “Woodstock Gets Ugly,” the author put the blame on a series of people instead of a single group. This still places blame on the 400 to 500 teens that participated in the riots. The article also places blame on the vendors and the fact that certain bands were placed back to back. The author also places blame on the bands as a whole. These facts make “Woodstock Gets Ugly” a true non bias article.
When you finish an article it usually leaves you with a certain feeling. The over all effect everyone of these articles leaves you with is a feeling of disappointment. It leaves you disliking the immature teens for ruining one of the namesakes of the 1960’s, but also angry with the producers of the show, who exploited and used the name “woodstock” to make a profit. Not only did the producers use the name to make money, but they also placed hard-core anger filled bands on stage, which resulted in the teens revolting against the high prices and dirty environment.
Whoever you place the blame on for ruining of one of the greatest concerts in history is your own choice. Remember that in every article there is more than one point of view, different motivations, and the overall effect is different even when the articles are on the same topic. The editors and journalists will move the blame to the crowd, which will most easily and more likely be blamed by the public. The truth of the matter is the public wants to blame the teenagers whether or not it was their fault.
Kekis, John. “Woodstock riot tarnishes events theme of peace”
Pittsburgh Post. July 27, 1999
Miller, James. “Is rock ‘n’ rage replacing rock ‘n’ roll”
U.S.A. Today. August 18, 1999
Catlin, Roger. “Woodstock gets ugly; three days of peace love and @#!%!”
Hartford Courant. July 27, 1999
Rubin, Daniel. “They must of run out of drugs; Woodstock love up in flames”
Arizona Republic. July 28, 1999