The Dark Art of Framing

The Dark Art of Framing


If you’re a movie buff, you’ve probably
seen a picture of a director, thumbs joined together, index fingers forming a square,
showing the camera operator how to frame the shot. The camera can’t see everything, right? The art of directing is framing every shot
so the audience sees exactly what the director wants them to see. We all do something like this in making arguments,
whether personal or political. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. We only have so much time to make our points. But there is a downside. Often arguments end up unfairly skewed by
the information they include or leave out. If you understand how framing works, you’ll
have a better chance of seeing through weak arguments and appreciating good ones. Let’s look at some examples. Take socialism. Socialism is enjoying renewed popularity,
especially among young people. Why is this, given the failure of the socialist
model in places like the former Soviet Union, Cuba, and Venezuela? The answer is that socialism has been very
cleverly framed by its proponents. Socialism, we are told, is morally superior
because it makes people “more equal.” Those who have more than their fair share
have to give it back. What could possibly be wrong with leveling
the playing field? Who’s against equality? When framed that way, socialism is made to
seem the only moral choice. So if you’re opposed to it, you’re framed
as regressive, selfish, and pretty much a jerk. Another example of framing is the issue of
religious freedom. The American Civil Liberties Union website
says that “The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment gives you the right to worship
or not as you choose. The government can’t penalize you because
of your religious beliefs.” It sounds good—but only because of the framing. The Constitution doesn’t speak about the
right to worship and to hold beliefs. Those are a given. The Constitution specifically defends the
free exercise of religion. And that means freedom to act on your religious
beliefs and not to be forced to violate them. And that also includes the right to influence
others—just as secular people can. Yet people who want to exercise their religion
in these ways are framed as bigots. Martin Castro, former chair of the U.S. Commission
on Civil Rights for the Obama Administration, wrote that religious freedom is a “code
word” for “discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, and Islamophobia.” So even if courts uphold your religious freedom,
you’re still a “hater.” Speaking of hate, “hate speech” is another
example of framing. “Hate speech is not free speech” is a
common refrain on college campuses. And what counts as “hate speech”? Whatever people who say “hate speech is
not free speech” find hateful. And that number is growing at an alarming
pace, according to several recent studies. There are many other examples. People who question climate change policies
are framed as “science deniers”; people who oppose abortion—even late-term abortion
in a healthy pregnancy—are framed as “waging a war on women.” So how does someone who wants to present the
other side of these arguments deal with this framing tactic? First, reject biased framing. Now that you know what framing is, you’ll
be able to spot it. That’s half the battle. Say something like, “Do you think that’s
the whole story? Let me suggest another way of looking at it.” Second, get yourself up to speed on the big
issues. Don’t expect someone else to fight your
battles. Read up. Memorize some bullet points. You know what they’re going to say. You hear their arguments all day in the major
media and in your classrooms. But here’s where you have an edge: it is
unlikely they’ve ever heard your arguments. You might be surprised what happens when they
do. Third, set some basic ground rules. Bury the insults: no name calling. General statements are fine, but they need
to be backed up with examples. Make it clear that you’re prepared to hear
their arguments. In turn, they have to commit to hear yours. And then, may the best argument win. If nobody budges, that’s fine. You’ve had a respectful exchange of ideas. If nothing else, that’s a victory for civil
discourse—and we certainly could use more of that! Just don’t forget to look out for biased
frames. They’re great for making movies, but not
for finding truth. I’m Jeff Myers, president of Summit Ministries,
for Prager University.

100 thoughts on “The Dark Art of Framing

  1. Great video. I especially like that the piece says what to do about this. Right on. Please, provide more “what to do and how to do it”. Videos.

  2. When you need to have a lesson on how to hold a civil discussion is when we are screwed. We are screwed grab your guns the end of the world is coming.

  3. I would have been more impressed if the video had gone back and noted the way they mislead by describing 3 modern dictator led communist nations and equating them with socialism as a form of democratic constitutionally based governance and is exemplified by numerous european nations and Canada. Likewise the framing of interpretations of the free exercise clause which seems ready to take current interpretations of that clause rather than looking at the jurisprudence or original interpretation and application of this clause which would each have supported another somewhat distinct application of the law and often it is the appeal to original intent of the founders that conservatives wish to appeal to. I like your principles but would add another which is be critical of your own ways of framing to shut out evidence that contradicts your own view.

  4. I love how people can be so sure that america was founded specifically to not be a socialist nation even though socialism perse did not exist and emerges as an iteration of the united states success. The opposition to corporations as potential forces of moral and irresponsibility and a way for individuals to evade legal culpability for their actions almost prohibited this and basically confounded their imagination for how to properly police some concession to corporations. The colonial and early state governments contain provisions for a welfare state that has been gradually expanded and of course america was the inspiration for the provision of free education for all its children. In the state the pilgrims started -take a look at the constitution and colonial laws that preceded it. In colonial times employment existed for all willing to work and if someone in your parish was indigent it was the burden of the minister or church council to impse uppon those of means in the community to provide for those that could work and needed jjobs or those who for some reason depended on the community for their welfare. BUt the constitution concretoizes things even more so that you can't forclose on someone who has equoiity in their home just because they temporarily can't pay nor can you collect on a loan and in doing so placce a further burden on a persons ability to repay the loan or support their family. We have food safety and limitations on chhild labor and work hours and so on because of the poular support of the communist party and socialist sympathies in the U.S. which where strategically smeared and demonaised by the steblished parties and the wealthy backers.

  5. Socialism didn’t actually fail in Cuba. It actually got it out of the pits. The other examples he mentioned are correct though

  6. Ben Shapiro advocates conservative framing. Literally, he went up on a stage and told the audience that you must frame the argument to humiliate the left. This isn’t civil discourse, it’s sinning 🙁 please don’t support this man

  7. I like how you framed the idea of framing by only giving examples that imply the right has never framed anything before, while the left is the abomination of the world. Very cool!

  8. 1:19 Nation has 16 $ signs.
    To make the society better we're going to take 11 $ signs TO OURSELVES. 😀
    1.21 Here, oh so much better! Equality!
    -Socialist gov. that just stole 68% of nation's wealth. 🙂

  9. Given post modernism is largely bought by the Universities… our society is no longer looking for truth: it's just seeking personal satisfaction.

  10. "Arguments often end up unfairly skewed because the arguer only tells them the information they want them to hear."
    The irony. Tell you what. I'm going to take your suggestions on how to counter biased arguments and use them to counter yours. I've heard your arguments, so now you can hear mine. I'm going to tackle your points one by one:
    Socialism: You cite three examples where you say that socialism failed – the former Soviet Union, Cuba, and Venezuela. But these places were not, and have never been, socialist. The governments that failed were communists. Now, that might not sound like a big difference, but it is. Socialism is founded on the idea that civil services, such as health care or welfare, should be centralized through the government to make them available to everyone. Communism, on the other hand, is based on the idea that the government should control allocation of resources. A small difference, but when those in power control all resources, the system is doomed to fail – hence ex-Soviet Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela. It would take a pretty strong case to argue that giving health care or welfare to everyone who needs it is a bad goal.
    Religious freedom: Your argument here was really blurry. You stated that the ACLU misworded its website, but you didn't clarify your actual position on the topic, or how it differed from what the website stated. You stated that the Constitution gives the freedom to spread your religious beliefs, and that these people are framed as bigots. The only groups I can think of that this could refer to was those that violently spread their beliefs, harming others in the process. There is no possible valid argument that states that it is valid to harm other people – physically, mentally, or emotionally – in the name of one's religion. If you choose to peacefully attempt to offer your way of believing to another, that's fine. But the way you have framed your argument makes it sound like you believe that people like the KKK are victims. I certainly hope that's not what you meant.
    Hate speech: It is certainly true that there is no set definition for "hate speech". However, the way you have framed your argument makes it sound like only those you oppose arbitrarily define hate speech. Is naming your opponents wrong simply because they oppose you any different?
    Climate change: Your coverage was short, so I'll keep my response short. 90% of climate change deniers deny it for one of three reasons: they don't want to change and make their lives more environmentally friendly, they don't believe a change is happening despite or in ignorance of the overwhelming evidence, or they are making a profit off the things that are causing change in the first place. I could go on about these things and why none of them are valid reasons to argue against climate change, but in summary, only 10% of climate change deniers actually have an argument. If this 10% could make their concerns better known in a more diplomatic manner, we might be able to find ways to solve climate change while addressing their concerns.
    Abortion: Again, your coverage was short, and this is such a hot topic that I don't even want to touch it. I believe that the person who is conscious and about to have their life massively changed should have priority over the person who doesn't even know they exist yet, but that's just my belief.
    So there we go. Rational countermeasures to rational arguments. I hope someone takes the time to read this, and I hope that you got something out of it. And as you said, may the best argument win.

  11. So many on here complaining about conservatives do it too… Yea of course we do.. it's called individual bias. This doesn't change the fact that most leftist ideas and policies are the weaker arguments…

  12. A better question is why do people fall for PragerU's crap? It's not even well-framed. The holes in the arguments are huge. Often a simple google search will reveal that PragerU is only telling half the truth (if you're luck). Why do people for for that?

  13. THESE ARE THE DAYS OF SEPARATION " the good wheat from the weeds" I DO NOT BELIEVE U HAVE ANY CHANCE OF TALKING ARGUING DEBATING OR EVEN LISTENING TO THE WEEDS, U R WASTING YOUR TIME U WILL ONLY RECEIVE A TRIGGERED RESPONSE, SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY CHURCH OR FRIENDS WHO SEE CLEARLY THINK LIKE YOU & SEE THE DARK SWAMP RISING ..LIFE IS 2 SHORT! GATHER WITH MANY WHO R BELIEVERS TRUMPERS WORSHIPERS OF GOD SING GATHER AROUND A FIRE EAT & BE MERRY I WASTED SooOO MUCH TIME IN THE COMPANY OF THE TRIGGERED GODLESS DON'T DO IT. PRAY 4 THEM THEY R LOSING VALUABLE TIME IN LIFE & WILL BE SHOCKED 1 DAY WHEN THEY SEE HOW WRONG HEADED FOOLISH & EVIL THEY WERE

  14. Good video and good valid points. However, what wasn't touched on enough is that the only reason "framing" works, is because of the unwillingness of so many people to critically think. Critically thinking involves no more than just asking questions. Using the example of the framing of Socialism for example; they say the goal is fairness. How hard is it just to ask the obvious question which is; "how do you enforce that?" And additionally, "who enforces it?", and "who decides what is "fair"?"

    If more people would ask questions like that, bad ideas like Socialism would be relegated to the dust bin where they belong, and would never again be allowed to be practiced and cause anymore suffering.

    How about going even further back, and asking the question, "why is income inequality a problem?" The first step in making an argument to address the problem that needs to be remedied, and make the case for why it is a problem. When socialism is put to that test, it can't stand on its own.

    And this is the problem with where we are as a society in general. In politics, in the corporate business world… It is not about an objective hierarchy of competence = right and wrong, good or bad. It is just about the ability to sell which requires no more than a catchy slogan, no matter how terrible the idea, product or service is.

  15. Thank you Well done. Truth!!! Keep to the facts. Be prepared to unravel the LEFTS reframes of evil and immoral behaviors.

  16. When you can, without distortion, fully explain the arguments of your opposition…you will never fall for these cheap tricks. Only those who are ill-informed fall for this sort of stuff, which is unfortunate, because they're unlikely to take the time to look up a video to learn how NOT to be a puppet.

  17. 4:15 General Statements need to be backed up by examples -WRONG!! They need to be backed up by statistics nothing else

  18. "You might be surprised when they <hear your arguments>." Sadly, no. I've discovered that when I try to break the bad framing people have taken as truth, they generally lash out as if I were attacking their religion.

  19. I’m so glad that you did a video on framing. I read a lot of news and while it has always been the case, I’ve really been noticing a lot of framing in articles that make certain things seem, well, certain. Contentious issues like abortion, climate change, and transgender issues are all areas with a great deal of uncertainty in the scientific community, and lots of conflicting studies, but instead of letting you know that most activists/journalists will omit information and frame a narrative that supports their bias and ideological conclusion without revealing the whole picture. It’s a shame that big issues are treated like a game of who’s right and who’s wrong before there is a scientific consensus in the scientific community without the aggressive, harassing lobbying from activists with an agenda. The hoodlum tactics that are framed as peaceful are usually violent if these groups don’t get their way with a “study” The framing issue has gotten so bad that we can’t even trust the studies because they are being manipulated by activist NGO’s. It’s a lose-lose scenario at this point. People just need to be aware of the issue and always follow the money. Studies don’t fund themselves.

  20. The 1st tactic to beat framing is find out if your opponent is a leftist or conservative.

    If they're conservative, follow the tactics shown in this video. Conservatives tend to be swayed by logic, facts, and reason.

    If they're leftist, just ignore them, because the chances that you'll actually convince a leftist that (s)he's wrong are slim to none and you're often just wasting your time.

  21. I believe we only have a year to practice this in order to avert the violence that the Left will unleash when Trump is re-elected. They have staked everything on impeachment. When that fails, violence will be their only remaining option. 😐

  22. Yes and no. If you believe the constitution means the physical expression of ones religion cannot be interfered with then read the quaran, you might change your tune when you see what you are condoning.
    There is no such thing as the freedom of action whether in regards to religious belief or not and there is good reason for that. We don't want every one out there deciding that their personal belief allows them the right to harm others.
    You have the right to worship peacefully, but the freedom to protect that peaceful worship aggressively against those who would infringe on that right.

  23. Lmao hilarious that you guys make this video. All Prager U does is frame, frame and frame once more. Even this video is framed😂😂🤣🤣.

  24. I'm literally a master of this. Don't bother me, especially if you're a Christian who thinks that abusing people with your Bible Bashing counts as "Freedom of Religion". I'm a Pagan who practices my religion without needing converts and according to people like you, your God wants to send me to suffer in eternal torture. This is why you get called bigots — because your religion is inherently intolerant and the way you go about "persuading" people is through threatening punishment for deviance. Why is it that Wiccans, Hellenes, Roman Pagans, Buddhists etc. can practice their religions without being assholes but Christians struggle with such a basic human skillset? You did the very framing you're accusing others of by using the Martin Castro quote.

  25. People who don't believe in climate change are not "framed" as "science deniers". Climate change is a demonstrable fact and you'd have to deny the science behind it to explain to yourself how that's not the case.

  26. Socialist, communism, and fascism are all equal… How? Equal in the way they run. Dictators controlling your lives.

    Social security check is a good example of dictators trying to control you.

    They can say you can buy everything, but food with them. If they want, and say it's to make us healthy, or something.

    Food stamps, and making sure we can't by sugar with them. Is a nether example.

    Then you have, what if the government says " alright no more free money for people, and stops food stamps, and social security checks."

    What if everyone was on them, and was the only source of income?… What would happen? How would people get paid if the government doesn't have the money to give out? Because the government relies on taxes, but what if it gets money from trade? Then all our enemies would have to do is stop trade.

    Then you have, why not tax the rich? Well you can't if there is no rich people.

    Why not tax the people? Then you have riots.

    Why not trade? Then your enemies can stop trade.

    Capitalism works because anyone can do it, if they just put their minds to it.

    Just do it, like a smart person said, make your dreams come true!… But how?

    Well…

    1. Get a job, and save up your money.

    2. Once have enough, and depending on your dreams, start a website, and buy a 3d printer.

    – if need plastic Inc for 3d printer, then recycle the plastics you have, and use them.

    – rather buy the plastic Inc, then make the price of the 1, or 10 object equal to 2 packs.

    3. Sell, and don't forget help. Once capable of getting a nether 3d printer increase production.

  27. The interesting thing about socialist framing that tried to show that it works because China’s GDP is great. What he failed to mention was the vast income inequality and corruption

  28. The last part about having “a healthy exchange of ideas” is naive. The Leftists NEVER want to have a conversation. Their tactics are to shut you down and OUT through repeating their vacuous mantras and emotional spewing. Oh, and let’s not forget the verbal defecation that flows out of their profane mouths.
    You don’t stop ghouls by being good. That requires a mirror framed just so that they can see themselves for the first time in their lives as the hate mongers that they are against everything that’s decent and desirable.

  29. Capitalism I favor it may have its pros and cons but that's nothing compare socialism isn't a solution for people's problems in commodities, like food, finances, and everything that has to do for pleasantries & entertainment you know what I mean… morality and religion can be study without socialism involve

  30. I’d suggest that you start the “conversation” by pointing out that the Leftist ideology is a morgue without boundaries in both space and time. Abortion count, almost a billion worldwide; Socialist reshaping of societies, 150M plus or minus. Straight up human horror and suffering, unquantifiable.
    “Never again” should be any sane person’s mantra.

  31. So many bad framings are now surfacing amidst the HK protest by the ccp-sponsored YouTubers, wide-reaching from Western countries, to even South East Asian countries with significant naturalized people of Chinese ethnicities. This is a very good video to understand the big "picture"

  32. Thanks, that was good, I usually polite frame it back whit a twins, that drives SJW's to madness : )

    So … you are claiming that ISlam is a religion of peace, and that Muslims who do War and kills actually do not follow ISlam? Is that not a ISlamophobic statement? Are you a racist?

    So .. you claim that the Socialism works, where and when did it happen in history?

    So .. You say that White privilege exists, then where is it written in in the law that white´s should stand over other races?

    So .. you say we have to pay damages for the horrible Slavery, I agree so let the Democrats who actually did it against the blacks pay back what they stole from you.

    So .. You are saying that the Police/the authority arrests and punishes the black´s disproportionately, in relation to what? Do you therefore think that those who violate the law should not be punished as the situation demands? You don't believe in prisons so what should we have instead?

    So .. you think the whites, which is a majority in the US oppress the black minority, so you then claim that the black majority across Africa oppresses all whites living there?

    And so on ..

  33. Go watch the "I just want to make cookies" video for some excellent framing of "oppressed cookie man". While he never mentions his cookie output from his giant factory in California sending cookies to dollar stores everywhere.

  34. Even though the examples for framing are valid you used framing yourself during the whole course of the video.
    You only used framing examples from left wing people even though right wing people use framing regularly aswell. So by only looking at 1 side, this video turns from being neutral to being baised. This video can be a nice example for 'the dark art of framing'.

    So I have to ask you: do you think that is the whole story? have you ever suggested another way of looking at it?

  35. Everybody uses framing. The right just as much and just as awfully as the left. PragerU is framing socialism as 'what happens in Venezuela, Columbia and the soviet union'. That's very much a frame. I could also point to Scandinavia and the Netherlands. That gives a very different image.

  36. Great video, but that's useless. The left isn't interested in ideas or truth. It will only debate us if it's interesting for their Fabian tactics. It's just to keep us busy talking while their advance their agenda.
    You can prove one of them that 2+2=4, but the next day you will see him telling someone else 2+2=5.

  37. So, in a nutshell, stash a bit of those Reasoning fallacies i.e. Ad Hominem, etc and some Critical thinking skill and you can spot framing.

  38. Diverse people in power constantly undermining white people in their freedom. Racism and discrimination brought to you by the diverse white people haters.

  39. Sounds like your doing some framing yourself. Arguing faith, the belief without evidence is always going to lose, facts and evidence always trump contradictory bronze age myths. The overboard craziness of the left leaning political ideology isn't going to change that. Socialism is coming guaranteed if the wealth gap isn't addressed in the U.S. along with stemming immigration. Tucker Carlson exposes all of these truths on his show for the most part.

  40. When one political party has to constantly resort to euphemisms, sound bites, and suppression of the other side, you know that deep down even THEY know they have nothing.

  41. Anybody else notice he didn't give any examples from the right? Capitalism framing ignores slavery, child labor, monopolies and damage to the environment. How far should we allow religious freedom? Should we allow it to influence politics? Should we care about terrorism?

  42. It's not just framing that does it, it's what is not framed that also does. The unspoken rules. What people think but don't say.

    Take socialism, why favor it? Simple, you don't have to really work for a living anymore, the government provides no matter. Whether you're a lazy pothead or a Ugrad doctor, you'll be paid the same. As long as there are lazy people, socialism will always thrive as a popular idea. As long as there is promiscuity, woman will demand their abortion rights. As long as there is any other form of amorality, the left will always try to do away with religion.

    ( Except Islam, but that's an entirely different matter).

  43. Side note… Stop letting Walmart search your stuff, you already paid for it, it's yours. No probable cause and it's not a membership store. If they were cops they would need a warrant. You are allowing them to trample your civil rights.

  44. This video is framming in pratice: no serious arguments were refuted. Just frammed so you dont have to actually debate them

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