The Medium is the Message



Advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th century. — Marshall McLuhan

Since Marshall McLuhan published Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man one ought recognize that the medium of communication is the message. When people post political propaganda on Tom Reed’s facebook page, they misapprehend that someone might read it, that someone might care. I never read such stuff; it would be pointless. But there is no need to read to get the message–duplicitous political propaganda is the message. Here are some recent examples from Tom’s facebook page:

    • 6 U.S. Conundrums the Left can’t answer.
    • You know the Obama Administration is desperate when an Official wonders if Soldiers are Psychopaths.
    • Missouri Principal Finds Clever Way to Thank God in Speech to Grads

Clearly these postings are not aimed at Tom–they have nothing to do with legislation. They are aimed at a wider audience; the objective is to mock and insult rather than persuade. Often they provoke a kindergarten debate: “You’re one; you’re one too.”  What is puzzling is why Tom allows such spam to define his image; does it serve some hidden purpose?

© William Hungerford – June 2014

About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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9 Responses to The Medium is the Message

  1. Susan says:

    one poster comments on Obama as a Communist and Muslim….but he is allowed to remain on the page


  2. solodm says:

    Some may consider these glaring disinformational posts as spam. I see them as an insight into the minds of those whom Tom Reed sees as allies. If these posts turn off readership to Reed’s page, it might give him relief – if all posts were readable and had merit, how could Reed continually ignore them? In fact, posts that are too true to fact, or could convince of Reed’s malfeasance, are often removed from the page.

    Does it serve some hidden purpose? If it didn’t it wouldn’t be there, although I doubt the reason is hidden. Tom Reed has contempt for his constituency, which is proven out with his refusal ( not reluctance) to communicate on any meaningful level.


  3. Barbara Griffin says:

    I don’t know if Tom even looks at his facebook page, though he probably at least has some of his staff keep up with it. I suspect that the ugly posts are left there on purpose to keep his right wing followers riled up. I don’t read it, either…mainly because I have a serious problem with “stupid”.


  4. whungerford says:

    Tom claims that content that is “explicit, racial, or vulgar in any form as well as campaign references will be removed;” however, he seems to have very loose standards for explicit, racial, and vulgar. Even campaign references are tolerated if criticism isn’t aimed at him. Further, he claims comments that “attack or are intended to harass an individual, group, or organization” are unacceptable, but again, enforcement is non-existent or lax.


  5. whungerford says:

    Once about a time Tom, or his representative, would respond to something posted. He might acknowledge a complement or answer a question. He hasn’t done either for many months now.


  6. whungerford says:

    Facebook provides Tom with statistics on activity on his page. Perhaps he sees that the number of people involved is too small to be of much concern.


  7. Deb Meeker says:

    Is it unusual for politicians to have more than one page?
    Reed could easily close the “Rep. Tom Reed” page ( today’s # of “likes” – 4,951), since he has another specific campaign page : “Tom Reed” (today’s # of “likes” – 3,101). He keeps a much tighter rein on criticism about himself there, but I notice too, the radically offensive type of posts are missing from that page. Only glowing appreciations are left up for public viewing.

    Reed’s “Tom Reed” page is much less tolerant in leaving up criticism of him than many other Representative’s pages I’ve seen. Perhaps he leaves up the “Rep. Tom Reed” in order to afford himself the accolade being considered a “free speech” champion?


  8. solodm says:

    Maybe you mean “respond to” instead of answer, William? Remembering those days when Reed (or his staff) occasionally responded to constituent’s posts and questions over a year ago, many of us agreed then; he did not offer answers, only the pat party line rhetoric.


  9. Anne says:

    Some people inspire greatness in those around them: Tom inspires, well, what we see.


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