Rowan Author Strikes Responsive Chord With Book About Lies

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Glassboro-Diversion, half-truths, manipulated statistics and confusing fine
print are increasingly being used to manipulate our buying and voting
habits, claims Carl

<+>Lies We Live By<+> Reveals Subtle Side of Lying; Gains National
Media Attention

Glassboro-Diversion, half-truths, manipulated statistics and confusing fine
print are increasingly being used to manipulate our buying and voting
habits, claims Carl Hausman, Associate Professor of Journalism at Rowan
University, in his new book <+>Lies we Live By: Defeating Double-Talk in
Advertising, Politics, and the Media<+> (Routledge, January 2000).

Hausman pinpoints the techniques used to manipulate and deceive,
such as:

<+>The Veiled Variable,<+> where a credit card company offers a low
interest rate but downplays the fact that it's an introductory rate or
applies only to a balance transfer.

<+>Precision Garbage,<+> where manipulated data are selectively used to
produce precise-appearing -- but misleading -- statistics.

<+>The Confusing Counterfeit,<+> where a sweepstakes entry is made to
look like a legal affidavit awarding a multi-million-dollar prize.

<+>The Tortured Definition,<+> where a store advertises a substantial
discount on <+>All*<+> jewelry but uses an asterisk to change the meaning of
<+>all<+> and exclude many items.

<+>The Ambiguous Event,<+> where made-for-media events gain television
coverage but contribute little or anything of substance to the viewer's
understanding of the issues.

In addition to exposing the techniques, Hausman shows how to
unscramble the double-talk. He also details how and where to complain
and provides a list of regulatory agencies and consumer watchdog
groups.

Why a book on half-truths? <+>I think that one byproduct of the
information explosion is that we're over-fed with information but starved
for time to figure it out,<+> Hausman said. <+>That makes us easy prey for the
veiled variable hidden in the fine print or the counterfeit document or
event that looks a lot like the real thing.<+>

Hausman has been interviewed about the book on the nationally
syndicated <+>Capitol Ideas<+> program on CBS Radio, a national television
program on Fox News hosted by Bill O'Reilley, several coast-to-coast
radio programs in the United States and Canada, and local television
stations in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

The New York Observer newspaper recently reviewed <+>Lies<+>, and
termed it <+>a valuable, illustrated handbook identifying and explicating the
manmade wonders that comprise the landscape of duplicity. It is a book
that should be put into the hands of every young person... .<+>

<+>Lies<+> is Hausman's 20th book.

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