“Who Would Get In From Television?” :
Crush apocalyptical projection on immigrant in media and call for a revolution with Interactive News in The United States
by Chia-Yu Shih 12.11.18
Immigrants are often seen as “wild disorder," which often leads to apocalyptical imagination in United States. Television, with a projection toward others, provides an "American Dream "to the immigrants and an "American Nightmare” to non-immigrants in migration movement. To combat the falsehood spread on media and wish for a new revelation/revolution that could probably televised, the paper focuses on the discussion of Latino immigrant with three aspects: (a) the situation and dilemma of realizing revelation/revolution in media of the age of Post-Truth (b) statics of negative metaphor and overeating policies with immigrants (c) analysis and application of Interactive News.
Key words: Media, Immigrant, Television, Cultural Production, Interactive News, Interactive Journalism
Table of Content
1.1 Introduction: “Revolutions Would Not Be Televised”
1.2 “Who Else Would Get In?”: the blame based on three factors
1.3 Interactive Journalism and Interactivity: The “New Order”
1.4 Conclusion: Need for “Revelation: Revolution”
1.1 Introduction: “The Revolution Would Not Be Televised”
“The revolution will not be televised / WILL not be televised, WILL NOT BE TELVISED / The
revolution will be no re-run brothers / The revolution will be live”
--“The Revolution Would Not Be Televised,” Gil Scott-Heron
“The Revolutions Would Not Be Televised,” a song of 1971 referring to many
TV series, encourages people to stand away from the given piece of information and
stand up to find justice on the street. To Scott-Heron, revolution is a live run only for
once. The repetitive image, clip and coverage seem more unreliable if they are
selectively “skagged” and “skipped” by some target audience. Thus, a truth might be
revealed but a revelation could easily been “dropped out” in this condition. In this
paper, I would like to offer thinking in how we can get revolution “right back” with an
alternative use of television or tools in technology with the analysis of the “friend and
foe” in cultural productions.
If we are able, as The Last Poets says, “catch [Revolution] on TV” in the song
“When Revolution Comes.” I would like to argue that in the age of Post-Truth,
Revolution cannot be directly televised, and furthermore, it is falsehood that can be
televised with instinct instead. The expectation of revolution didn’t happen in 1971
and doesn’t happen in 2018 with television as an approach to understanding the
world. A revolution in the nation is never televised. In the first section, I would like to
case study the video that President Trump released on October 31, 2018, on his twitter
account, @realDonoldTrump, providing an irrational imagination on Mexican
immigrant with excerpts to stigmatize Latino with racism. Also, I would like to refute
the negative images of Latino immigrants with static and research on economy and
security of United States. Then, I would like to explain more about the misuse of
apocalyptical imagination with inter-team effect and The Conqueror Model by
Newcomb. To close up the discussion of the relationship between television and
revolution, I would like to explore another song of 1969, “Revelation: Revolution '69,” to peek into a shared future of intergeneration, and how we can expand the
potential of media with Interactive Journalism again. If a revelation/revolution on
immigrant hasn’t happened or hasn’t become a happening, let it happen in the world
with another apocalyptical imagination.
1.2 “Who Else Would Get In?”: the Blame Based on three factors
“Likewise, billions of dollars gets brought into Mexico through the border. We get the killers,
drugs &crime, they get the money!” (6:53 a.m., July 13, 2015)
“Let me in, / Let me in, immigration man, / Can I cross the line and pray / I can stay another day /
Let me in, immigration man / I won't toe your line today / I can't see it anyway. Hey hey”
--“Immigration Man,” Graham Nash
How do people have the impression toward an immigrant in media? Except for
worrying “Who Else Would Get In” the nation, we should worry the falsehood in
media causing a problem in our life, “What Else Would Get In” our mind. Here’s a
case of how media injects the falsehood and project it on immigrants spread by The
On October 31th, President Trump posted a video and condemned a Mexican
Gangster who vowed to kill more policemen with a smear in the court. The headline
hits ‘Illegal Immigrant, Luis Bracamontes, killed our people!” He attributes the
disaster to Democrats that “Democrats let him into our Country,” “Democrats let him
stay!” with alarming punching sound. The close-up of a bold, cunning man suddenly
shifts to another footage showing currency of migrants. The level of anger arises
when a “deported immigrant in caravan tells story” of escaping from an attempt
murder of another immigrant aside with an English translator. Then the footage of
great currency pops out again. To intensify the relationship between American and
Mexican, the footage is followed by another that Mexican migrants tried to break
through Mexican border wall. To reach to the climax mixed with fear and salvation,
the last shot is composed with an evil smile of the gangster, a high-note tick when a
snappy slogan emerges, “President Donald J. Trump and Republicans are making
America safe again!” (1)
Clearly, Trump’s goal is to combat Democrat over midterm election in Congress
strengthening the negative image of immigrant and negative effect from immigrant
policies. However, the video at the same times was criticized by a Republican fellow,
Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, as “sickening ad” (2), and Democrats as “racism.” (3) The
news is quickly hit out on The Washington Post (with a slogan of “Democracy Dies in
Dark” below of the trademark) that “Trump’s new immigration ad was panned as
racist. Turns out it was also based on a falsehood.” In fact, Bracamontes has been
deported out of the States by Republican and Democrat president. What is more
ironic, he was once arrested in Phoenix and released by the police “for the reason
unknown.” (4) What Trump posted, is totally a Fake News, “An Enemy of People.” (5)
The video is not an accident. Here is other statics showing the unnecessary trial
for Mexican immigrants by the God-like non-immigrants. Figure 1.1.2 shows that the
peak of the negative metaphors corresponds to the highest population of illegal
Mexican immigrant in 1997 (Massy 123). The positive correlation of the two factors,
illegal immigrant and negative metaphors associated with Mexican Migration, suggest
that the projection on Mexican immigrant and the self-projection on themselves. The
immigrants and non-immigrants are “inundated by headlines that posit violence itself
as a central protagonist, thus normalizing it” (Hernández 11). A note of caution
triggered an overreaction to smooth the chronic and constant anxiety in this country.
The anxiety not only realizes in law but also deploy for social safety with police. In
Figure 1.1.3, the restrictive legislation and restrictive operations have stably climbed
up to control or defy the number of immigrant in the US (Massy 125). In Massy’s
essay, quotation from Legomsky indicates that according to Anti-Terrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act, non-citizen would be sentenced to immediate
deportation with harsh-standard “legislative attack,” which also applies to illegal
immigrants without document. Unfortunately, from both viewpoint of psychology and
human right, Mexican immigrants are encountered with the harsh reality according to
Huntington’s words, “[t]here is only the American dream created by an Anglo-
Protestant society.” The thinking is trying to “build a wall in imagination, mental
imagination of a ‘wall,’ an impermeable barrier” (Sonnevend 89).
Moreover, Politics is simplified as a game in the context when Trump turning
People of the Brave into People of the Baseless. If politics become a “zero-sum”
(D’Ancona 58) game, the problem might lie in the set-up of gaming. The combination
of technology and post-truth, a “hardware” and a “software,” reduce political
discourse into “a video game in which endless play, in multiple levels, is the sole
point of exercise.” American citizens join as “gamer,” and the first mission is to
With the close-reading of some backgrounds, the piece of fake news with explicit
racism by President Trump is effective for three reasons. First, the political
speculation on voters in Post-Truth that makes bed of bad inter-team. In Post-Truth:
The New War on Truth and How to Fight Back, a static shows that over 86% of Trump
voters believe in a fake news title. It is so welcomed not because they are foolish but
because it “create[s] a favourable impression even when ludicrous, by demonstrating
a concern with an issue that matters to the target audience” (Davis 32). It calls for
people’s wave of emotions, usually “narrow cluster of emotions, centered on anger”
(Wahl-Jorgensen 80) instead of an argument. The President and the News spread by
the President, is dominating The States with “a politics of resentment.” With anger,
people are more into the next factor, constitution of interior subjectivity of “we” to
make a unified, conclusive subject by inter-team effect. In“The Negative and Positive
Influences of Threat and Nonthreat Media Messages About Immigrants” by Kim,
Harwood and Xian, The inter-team effect, which is the idea of defining a person as
friend foe depending on if they are inside of a “team” or outside of it, causes people to
support the people in the same team and edge out the other out of the team, could be
another factor. A lot of relevant research shows that media plays a vital role in the
understanding of immigrants and will divide people into different teams. Fujioka
found that perception of realistic threat from media is associated with attitudes toward
the immigrants. Seate and Matro also agree that the exposure to threat against
immigration influenced non-immigrats to develop contempt. According to both Frijda
and Smith, collective contempt toward out-group motivates people to harm the group
members. The threatening image of immigrants also has real and damaging
consequence in their real life. Third, which is also a crucial cultural production similar
to inter-team effect, is The Conqueror Model (ICM). The Model continues an
alternative “colonialism with coloniality, referring to a long-historical matrix of power
constituted in and through persisting colonial situations or relations without the
presence of formal colonial administrations” (Hernández 21) when any act of theirs is
moralized and normalized. Treating a Mexican immigrant as if non-human resulting
from “cultural Consciousness of the dominant society of the United States.”
(Newcomb 23). American have given themselves “divine right to violently “convert”
(wrongfully, unlawfully, and violently appropriate the rightful property of another)
(50). The domination is a moral act to give “reward” and “punishment” (29) to an
outsider of Christianity in a subtle way of mentality. Occupying the land that doesn’t
naturally belong to American, they can rationalize the behavior as if their “mission” is
from God’s “message,” “the story of the Lord’s promise to the chosen people is the
tale of a divine land grant (39).
As far as I am concerned, three factors intensify the confrontation and the
imagined “re-run” in a “video game” lowers people’s rationality to affirm a decision.
Nevertheless, in the context, “revolution will be no re-run,” and “flasehood will be
live.” Another frustrating truth is that media is the two-side sword: it both shimmers
and shatters the “American Dream” of Mexican Immigrants. To the settler from
developing countries, television offers the perfect “Dream” for them with advanced
economy, while most of other countries would learn from the internet to develop their
understanding of the world (Arnold 253). In the case of United States, a lot of
Mexican immigrant move to fulfill their “American Dream” because they would see
the inviting prospect and prosperity in the television. They are stigmatized as an
“American Nightmare,” the outsiders who bring in apocalyptical elements such as
“killers,” “drug,” and “crime.” (6) They are not only seen as non-American, they are
seen as spark to stir up an apocalypse, though immigrants actually benefit the Nation.
Samers, Arnold and Massy take up the same viewpoint: The reason why they come is
driven by work force needs, not for a specific country. Cheap labor from migration
picks up the work that most American doesn’t favor and creates economical benefits.
In Migration: Change the World, there’s an interview with Celerino Lopez, who
expresses his dissatisfaction: “They want to have a law to make us all criminals.”
(Italic is added in this paper by Chia-Yu Shih) He further emphasizes his purpose to
be in the States, “We come here to work, we are not terrorists. I want my child to learn
English and get a good job.”
Before asking “what should being an American mean, who should be able to be
a citizen, who should be deserving of governmental assistance and equal protection
under the law” (Kreiss 97), it’s crucial for people to recognize the three factors that
fertilized falsehood: a cheap political speculation, an inter-team effect, and even the
justified status to be resourceful and to be in a resourceful land based on The
1.3: Interactive Journalism and Interactivity: The “New Order”
“When people call us revolutionary/ They're just tryin'; to see/ All that we choose / When all we
want is everybody free / The universe would be one brotherhood. […] If loving freedom makes me
quality / Of opportunity is where revolutionary / Constantly, fervently, firmly / Revolutionary”
--“David Bowie’s Revolutionary Song,” David Bowie and The Rebel
We have understood that Mexican immigrants are faced with two challenges.
One, they have a given image in media that is negative and even threatening. Second,
the hostility aimed at the image. I refuse to take up a flatly attitude of anti-tech but
rather challenge the situation with “the ability to investigate” (Usher 194b) and
collaborate a “visual presentation of storytelling through code for multilayered, tactile
user control” (184). That is, Interactivity News, a fact-based technology of producing
viewpoint and thus reshapes reality. (7)
Due to ICM, “domination can further mean ‘the right of possession’ in order to
conquer, subdue, and establish a reign of domination” (Newcomb 24). Also,
according to the multiplication of ICM, “spirit of resistance to have been successfully
broken, they are then regarded as having been ‘tamed’ and ‘domesticated’ based on
their willingness to live quietly ‘inside’ or within the ‘domestic’ space of the
conquers’ domain (25), it is comprehensible but not acceptable that if ICM builds a
nation to suppress people to embrace an identity, it can also establish another nation
excluding people to lose an identity. The former mean is for indigenous people and
the latter is for immigrants. The stick-on label is just the other side of the take-off
label, suggesting the justification of a specific group of people. It is a “racial/colonial
objection to the Mexican” (Hernández 16) as “the Indigenous other who appears as at
once savage, uncivilized, and now illegal.” As a result, American easily hold “the
divine right to forcibly convince ‘new’ peoples in ‘new’ land that they owe the
conqueror tribute and obedience” (30) in authorship. ICM could be the most vicious
and serious reason why the Land of the Free harshly spits on the image Mexicon
immigrants in media and obliterate their trace to The Nation with erecting wall, “No
one is completely free except the conqueror, and freedom in this context refers to the
conqueror being absolutely free to conquer, subdue, and establish and maintain a
reign or within his “state of domination” are free to do so, but are not free to liberate
themselves” (31). I would like to call up an apocalyptical imagination to ICMers, an
open, transparent and shared system with technology, which defies the overheated
“border(ed)” mindset that outsiders are obliged to subdue under the Bless of The
States and grip an apocalyptical imagination positive to reality for people to benefit in
the age of technology.
To make the first step, I would like to use the idea of interactive journalism to
involve some “live revolution” which is “friendly accessible” and “stick to truth” to
people to subvert the alliance of falsehood in media and the framing of ICM. First, the
visual presentation, such as some info-graphic in journalism containing readability
and legibility, “builds upon existing web and mobile properties and includes more
than data visualization. (8) They enable self-exploration and possibly deeper engagement
with the content. (9)” (Usher 168a) as well. Second, it’s important to keep the
interactivity as open source, “an alternative model for collaboration and innovation
from proprietary cultures” to focus on “truly noncommercial, showing work, sharing
code, and inviting community to build upon ideas is at the heart of open source
With the alternative technology, it would not be a platform only for Post-Truth
and controlled by Post-Truth, an environment with the spiral of silence for minority
and the voluminous threaten, and the monaural from ICM and ICMers. I sincerely
hope it would develope into a reachable and accessible model in the future as a buffer
against fixed power relation in present. “Epistemic and cartographic disobedience”
(Hernández 26) in the precondition of interactive news and interactive system, thus, is
“a necessity and duty, part of a decolonial imperative, to combat “the historical forces
of dehistoricization” (190). The system, as a vehicle, allowing fluid formation and
opened-up opinion, reaches a possibility of “self-reflectivity and humility to
acknowledge that even in the moments when we think we are being critical” (190).
I hope this “apocalyptical imagination” of the near future can slow down and
even eliminate the preconception of “Oh, and the big, beautiful wall is now going to
be part fence, and exactly no one will be surprised if even the fence becomes ‘virtual’
in particularly rugged and desolate areas along the American border” (French 28) with
Interactive Journalism and Interactive System.
1.4 Conclusion: Need for “Revelation: Revolution”
“I'm afraid to die but I'm a man inside and I need the Revolution / And I'm crying watching
brothers of mine doing time for making those waves / About evil men who've been sittin' on them
laughin' lovin the system they've saved / All those heavy handed hit down hard arms have pushed me
to this fight / And I'm tired of seeing our name done wrong when it's us who gives 'em the right / And if looks can tell sure as hell we're gonna have our Revolution”
--“Revelation: Revolution ’69,” The Lovin’ Spoonful
Through the exploration of the paper, the need for revelation and revolution is
clearly stated. However, fake news is forging a pseudo revelation and revolution with
tons of pleasure and plagiarism to dazzle one’s judgment. It is a contemporary plague
in media literacy and media production. Because of “the narrative structure” (Usher
195a) of Interactive News “is not forced on the reader but “a process of discovery,
freeing the reader to have this see-it-for-yourself experience,” “undoing and
denaturailizing” (Hernández 187) a border seems to be possible.
An apocalypse is not about “who will get in,” it is about “what got in” our head and
“why it is capable to get in.” The three factors, preference and pseudo in post-truth,
inter-team effect and internalized ICM, “making those waves / About evil men who've
been sittin' on them laughin' lovin' the system they've saved.” They are distorting us to feel
“sense of crisis” (Jorden; Düvell: 69) from immigrants. In fact, “the crisis that
would destroy a nation is from ‘the lack of a political rationale for integrating them’.”
In the end of the paper, I would like to awaken “a man inside” of me and of
people for “the Revolution.” I hope that interactive news would be an affective and
effective way to raise the awareness that “choosing whether to stay home or leave
only has meaning if each choice can provide a meaningful future, in which we are all
respective as human beings” (Bacon 25).
A revolution, indeed, is live, is once-run. In the context of the current condition,
immigration as “a way of fighting back” (21) is not an intentioned threat to the people
in the Nation but an expression of being “tired of seeing” that immigrants’ “name
done wrong” and a demand of truth and justice in reality.
Revolution, of course, would never be televised; it is and it should be alive,
active, animate and actualized starting from the anticipation in Interactive Journalism.
(1) President Donald Trump’s twitter post.
It is outreageous what Democrats are doing to our Country. Vote Republican now! Vote.GOP. (1:18p.m., October 31, 2018.)
(2) “Trump campaign video showing immigrant who killed police denounced as 'sickening'.” 6:06 p.m., Nov. 1, 2018. ABC News.
(3) Jeremy Herb, Geneva Sands and David Shortell. “Trump video accused as racist also lacks factual basis.” CNN News. 7:42 p.m., Nov 12, 2018.
(4) Eli Rosenberg. “Trump’s new immigration ad was panned as racist. Turns out it was also based on a falsehood.” The Washington Post. Nov.12, 2018.
(5) Quotation from President Donald Trump’s twitter post.
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! (4:48 p.m., February 17, 2017)
(6) Quotation from President Trump’s twitter.
Likewise, billions of dollars gets brought into Mexico through the border. We get the killers, drugs &crime, they get the money! (6:53 a.m., July 13, 2015)
(7) I highly recommend a Interactive News of Taiwan, “Who Are You in White Terror of Martial Law” to make people acknowledge the Miscarriage of Justice between 50’s to 70’s and raise the awareness for Transitional Justice by WatchOut.
(8) Nikki Usher, Interactive Journalism: Hackers, Data and Code (Chicago: University of Illinois Press), chapter 1.
(9) Nick Geidner and Jackie Cameron, “Use Pattern of Interactive Graphics: A Case Study of a New York Times College Debt Graphic,” Journal if Digital and Media Literacy 5, no.1 (2014); Nick Geidner, Ivanka Pjesivac, Imre Iveta, Iona Coman, and Dmitry Yuran, “The Role of Interactive Graphics in Reducing Misperceptions in the Electorate.” Visual Communication Quarterly 22, no. 3 (2015): 133.
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