The Insider Assignment 2

1. Very good analysis of the conflicted Mike Wallace. Apparently the real journalist hated the film, but it is revealing how the complex strands of conflict shaped his actions. Writing was excellent, except for the odd glitches in the first paragraph. 

2 and 3 both presented a solid analysis.

4. Superior analysis of the rhetoric used in the board meeting. Caparelli’s use of “a monotone and sophisticated tone’. is delightfully on target. I might argue that Bergman is also using pathos in his appeal, but you make your case very well. Great job!


In this country, capitalism is a driving force when trying to look for a medium in which to share the truth. Companies that prioritize making a profit run all mainstream platforms. The influence the companies put on the audience is something that reflects bias and manipulation. The host, Mike Wallace, can be seen to have an easily manipulated sense of what journalists should prioritize. When the legal concept emerged, known as Tortious interference, if two parties have an agreement, such as a confidentiality agreement, and one of those parties is instigated by a third party to break that agreement, the party can be sued by the other party for any damages. “The greater the truth, the greater the damage,” this exemplifies, that standards are arbitrary. The climate shapes Wallace’s values, and concealment depends on what is the majority rule. At 2:01:49 Wallace scolds the lawyers prioritizing his own words, which is quite the contrary position he took when advocating for the alternate version. Good catch. Corporate lawyers maintain the interest of companies. Wallace knew that pushing for the uncut episode would lead to retaliation on his job. They witnessed first-hand through Wigand, the power they hold.

CBS News wants to maintain their standards all while making sure that they are not at risk of getting sued for the truths they discovered. It was not in their best interest to tell the secrets of a fortune 500 company. The repercussions would be just too (is something missing here?) Shares were in a critical position from CBS corporate to earn more money; this is a hidden motivator and drives the decisions of everyone involved. Yes, or at least those who would profit. This episode became more than just money. These people got involved in something that tested their values. Theses e decisions would impact families and future endeavors. At 2:22:22 you finally see the motivating drive for Wallace’s decisions on what to air. They are both journalists, just at different times in their life. Wallace brings emphasis to a personal argument by appealing to Lowell’s emotions. This confession brought about sympathy within the audience and Lowell, with the intent of being understood.  Excellent.

Throughout Mann’s film, the journalists have to face several obstacles that would define their reputation as professionals. In the scene at 2:00:46 Wallace tries to put Lowell at ease by making it seem like he got the upper hand from corporate. Despite forcing his ideas onto Lowell, he genuinely believes that this is what is best. The intent of his hyperbole was a means of concealment in order not to disclose what Wallace said to corporate. Good observation. He makes clear that he won’t be settling for a radio job out of the sake of morality and justice to the whistleblower or the health of America’s people. Another obstacle that is faced is when Wallace goes to visit Bergman is his hotel room in scene 2:20:03. Nearing the end of life, you’re beginning exemplifies his motivations for the outcome of the episode. Wallace pointed out that he has faced many institutional and personal pressures in pursuit of the truth to gain sympathy from Lowell.

2. A non-disclosure agreement is a legal contract between at least two parties that outlines confidential material that they wish to restrict from third parties.  Mr. Wigand felt the necessity to make public B&W’s bad practices, which were silently affecting citizens; however, he knew the implications of disclosing such information. We see the grievance of breaching a non-disclosure agreement when even CBS news, a powerful company, hesitated to publish the material even after everything had been settled to transmit the interview.  CBS knew that not only Wigand was on risk of going to jail, or the 60 Minutes to be shut down, but also the entire channel network could be sue sued by the tobacco company because regardless of bad practices or not, Wigand signed a secrecy agreement ––a legal document that the company would have relied on for its defense. In the end, it would’ve been a monster company against one more employee who was going to have it very difficult to prove that he was practically forced to sign.  It wasn’t exactly an issue of his having been forced to sign. To get the job, he was required to sign. Rather, it was a decision he came to regret. According to columnists Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene, many of Donald Trump’s top advisers were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements, forcing them to keep quiet about what happens in the White House, even after his presidency ends. They say that these types of secret-keeping contracts are being used in state and local government, too. According to McLuhan, the medium is the message. Even though confidentiality disclosure agreements are not very common in government, some governmental institutions “force” their employees to sign these types of agreements because it is the only way to maintain sensitive information safe. It is imperative to rely on the employees even when involved in unethical activities. However, the employees that sign a confidential agreement are aware that by breaching information they might deal with lawsuits and even jail.

3. The primary forms of media used by both Scanlon/Lenzner and Palladino were television, newspaper, and radio. At the time, these were the most reliable and valid forms of media that were consumed by the public. McLuhan’s observation about these forms of media is that regardless of the information, the fact that they came from such essential forms of media at the time is what is critical. The public does not need to be concerned over what the television was saying about Wigand, the idea that they could receive this message about him through the television is what is essential.

If this war over Wigand’s reputation had occurred today, current media platforms would have made things very different. The internet is the top place for many people these days to get their news. Social media, and what it is today, would have been beneficial for Wigand and Bergman because posting their findings of B&W online would have created a stir amongst the public as well as a demand for more information that was truthful. The probable public disapproval would be expected today because of the distrust the public has for companies like the tobacco industry. Excellent. Through a medium like Facebook, Youtube, blogs, or even online journals, the film’s characters would have been able to freely discuss the truth about the large corporations with no filters. Large companies like B&W and CBS have lawyers and CEO’s that are looking out for the company as a whole, therefore tend to care more about their profits than getting the truth to the public. Specific people are hired to focus on the company’s image rather than the public’s welfare. Prioritization is something that although still true about large corporations today; there are more ways to bypass this legal system online. Very good.

4. Helen Caperelli, the CBS general counsel, uses a monotone and sophisticated tone throughout the meeting with Bergman, Wallace, and Hewitt. The forceful suggestion offered by Caperelli, suggests that she had the intentions of getting her way despite what Don, Lowell, and Wallace had to say. Helen is presenting the issues of this segment in a civil matter even though if they air it; it would have significant consequences. She is not very emotional, by sticking to a professional manner, she is pressing how important it is for CBS Incorporated not to allow them to show the world the truth about these tobacco companies. Bergman, Wallace, and Hewitt in the scene are showing a more laid back approach to this situation. They are trying to figure out why they can’t release the truth in this case, but then Helen keeps on contradicting herself on the reasons for it. In regards to Miss Caperelli, her target audience was the cast and crew of the 60 Minutes segment of the CBS channel. For Mr. Bergman, Mr. Wallace, and Mr. Hewitt their intended audience was towards Miss Helen Caperelli and the legal team of the CBS channel. Miss Caperelli used a more authoritative tone to, in a way, manipulate the men that she was holding the meeting with to bend to the wishes of the CBS channel legal team. She used her position as a lawyer to kind of present a sort of confidence and trustworthiness, and this would fall under the ethos category. However, for the cast and crew of 60 Minutes, the gentlemen presented a form of logic and facts. The points they expressed in the meeting would fall under the category of logos.


Week 2

Lilly –


Your summation, though brief, accurately states McLuhan’s idea of the medium is the message. However, the purpose of the assignment was to show how McLuhan did, or did not, use the critical perspective. Specifically, with the idea of the medium is the message, did he challenge assumptions, expand the bounds of debate, and aim for the betterment of society? This is all but ignored in your short essay. Your writing is excellent, but you have neglected to engage with class concepts and as a result have failed to complete the assignment.


The Canadian professor and philosopher, Marshall McLuhan, changed the way that we interpret information through his message, “the medium is the message”.

McLuhan liked to challenge the views of his audiences and their arguments. He changed the way we looked at media. Before him, people would take information that was given to them at face value. They would think in a more linear path. Marshall McLuhan paved the way for us to have a more radical view. Throughout his work, Marshall McLuhan showed in many cases that the way the message is presented is more important than the message itself, “the median medium is the message”. Mr. McLuhan used critical thinking and critical perspective to teach the public audience about media and its capability to influence them. How?

While researching McLuhan, he could not stress enough that what is being said was only a fraction of the entire meaning of the message. A possible revision: 

For McLuhan, what is being said is only a fraction of the meaning of the message.

He was a trailblazer for a lot of the advancement in how media was portrayed. In his Playboy interview he mentioned that the way we understand and react to the media and the information it presents is determined by how we are exposed to it. In understanding our environment, what is happening around it, and how it influences us then we can eventually gain control of it.

Week 1

Lilly –

Unfortunately, I don’t think you got the point of the assignment. The bulk of your essay should be an analysis of the rhetoric used by C&S in the article and the top 3 comments. You address this in the 2nd paragraph, and answer the question of the efficacy of the NYT ranking of comments. There just isn’t enough rhetorical analysis. 

However, your writing is excellent. You show what you are capable of with the superior work on your 48-hour blackout assignment. Make sure to look over assignments carefully, and ask questions of your coach (me) if you are unsure of what is expected. 

Thesis: Memories are fickle things that we rely on heavily, the authors of this article present us an example as to why we cannot rely on them. This is the thesis of C&S. Your thesis should be about the rhetoric they use.

What is rhetoric?  Rhetoric is the art of persuasion and discourse. Don’t need to establish that you know what rhetoric is. Just launch into your analysis. In Charbis’s and Simmon’s article, “ Why Our Memory Fails Us”, we are asked to deconstruct and dissect the rhetorical arguments presented by the authors. Again, no need to restate the assignment. Your coach knows what it is. We read about a mistake that Neil Degrasse Tyson, and astrophysicist makes in his TV series “Cosmos”. In the article, Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson mistakenly accused President George W. Bush for being prejudice towards the Islam community so that he may make a broader point about scientific awareness.When in fact, Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson just relied on his memory instead of referring back to tangible resources citing what the President actually said. In the article, we learn that often times we believe that whatever information we have in our memory is sound information that is correct. When in reality, as time goes on, we apply reductionism to the information that we retain. Reductionism is the process of explaining a form of information in its most simplified form.  Again, you are summarizing the article, not analyzing the rhetoric.

I believe that the tone that the authors wanted to portray in this article is informative. Meaning that they have a logos approach when they present this information. By taking this approach, the Charbis and Simmons do not play on the emotions of their audience. In fact, they made their approach very effective due to the fact that they were not biased. They presented the audience, the readers, with the information which allowed them to then debate in the comment section of the article. This is good, but you need evidence to back up your argument.

In the comment section of the article, the readers were able to “like”, “recommend”,  or “share” comments of other individuals. This is how the New York Times would sort out the comments from most popular to least popular. I feel that the way that the most popular comments are selected is a good way to coerce the audience to interact. The most popular comment was from Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson himself. The astrophysicist provided links that dive further in the situation that was used as an example for Charbis and Simmon’s article. The other two top comments either agree or disagree with Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson. But what rhetoric was used in the comments?

48-hour news blackout

Nichole –

Your writing is excellent. Arguments are clearly stated, the prose flows, and the essay is an interesting read. Your analysis is spot on, with some striking and original observations. Perhaps your major gives you insight into the psychological aspects of social media? The only missing component is a direct connection to the Deresiewicz article. I suspect it’s there, but the essay would have benefited from closer ties to D.

Very good work!


Nichole Sainz Team 2
Forty-eight hours of ending connection with the collective forced me to come to terms with being alone. What was once sci-fi has become a reality for those that are addicted to constant contact to the web.

The modern fear of isolation crippled me, and it easy to see how these fears are diagnosed as a form of depression. I substituted morning routines for things that would push me to see how comfortable I am alone. The fight between the biological and the technological wage wars in our heads to see which desire wins. The idea of being alone with our thoughts takes away the gratification from the approval of others. Interesting.  For most teens, common actions are now filled with mindless scrolling. This voice in our head is being overrun by the constant desire to escape boredom and seek the recognition of strangers. I realized that I heard less of my thoughts and more from excerpts in the articles that I skimmed through. Attention spans are not long enough to read through material that is 140 characters or less. Companies like the New York Times adapted to this mindset by making lengthy articles a title and two sentences. We do not come up with ideas of our own, instead, assimilate into society’s perspectives. News outlets are encroaching on our solitude to force the view of the company that owns them onto the audience. Companies that make decisions for us eliminate the need for critical thinking and the desire to seek the truth. The intrusion of social media on our solitude makes us afraid of boredom by filling that time with mindless activities.

Giving up all news outlets for forty-eight hours made me reflect on the importance of solitude while commuting. While driving, I forced myself to turn off the radio. I focused on driving and found my inner voice to be a companion rather than having an anxiety-ridden dispute. For those that fill silent moments with news outlets, this minimizes any time of being alone. Cutting contact allowed me to take away society’s expectations and center my desires. Solitude is a way for young people to ponder their existence as an individual. Individuals inability to pay for access to digital information are forced into isolation, leading to an increase in loneliness in society. Good point.  It is becoming more common to expect the Wi-Fi password when going to a friend’s home, leading to solitude in the presence of others. We have access to the locations of friends, yet we do not take advantage of the time spent together.

In this age, interactions through technology are preferred because it allows the person to control all situations. Very interesting observation. This sense of control leads to the anxiety people feel when forced to separate themselves from world events. We once relied on social cues to interpret emotions, and this attribute will slowly diminish. Uncommon genuine friendships lead to a cycle of isolation and loneliness.

Dylan Adams-Martin, Individual Assignment 3, Team #2

Dylan –

  Overall, a good analysis with interesting connections to Deresiewicz. The generational issue you raise is spot on. Writing is good, but consider shorter sentences for greater clarity and impact. Also, omit needless words.

Seeing a definite improvement in your writing.       


Thesis: Reading “The End of Solitude” by Deresiewicz and doing a 48-hour news blackout have shown that with the internet we are never alone, but then without the internet, we are clueless on what is going on. Good thesis.

            Getting away from social media, apps that gives news, and other types of news (television, radio, etc.) was extremely challenging. I watch sports all the time, this includes ESPN on a daily basis, if it’s by the app or watching it on the television, so sports news was impossible for me. (two sentences would work best here):

I watch sports all the time, including  ESPN on a daily basis. It was impossible to avoid sports news on apps or television.

It didn’t help that this past weekend was the All-Star Weekend for the NBA and all my friends were constantly texting me, it got to the point where my phone was silenced and on do not disturb in order to stop seeing all the text messages and notifications showing up on my screen. Ouch!

            We are constantly using social media and scrolling through all these post/feeds about current news. , so it It was frustrating at first to block off all this information that you don’t realize you receive. until after the you blackout from all news. Eating dinner with your parents was difficult because all they wanted to talk about current news that was going on and every time they begun to talk about this, I would have to leave the room for nearly 30 minutes (Stick with first or third person. Either works here, but be consistent.). Plus, the ESPN channel is practically locked on my TV so there wasn’t any television watching either, which made it even worse.

            This 48-hour news blackout assignment opened my mind because one problem that people always say about this current generation is that all we care about is ourselves and what things affect us. But this assignment showed me how much we read about other issues around the world, like the border dispute currently going on, the Venezuelan crisis, and much more. Older generations think all we do is fool around on our phone but in reality, this is how we receive our news, this is how we get our day to day information. It’s all the same information, just different ways of receiving it. Excellent point. Older generations always fear new media, dismissing it as inferior to what they know.

            At first, this blackout was not challenging, but has as the hours went by, it got harder and harder. I began to notice that we have to know what is going on around us because if we didn’t, then we will begin to feel out of place. The whole time, my mind was going crazy to see what was going on the outside. When the 48 hours were finished, I rushed onto my phone to see what I had missed while conducting this assignment, which showed me how connected we are to the news.

            The solitude that Deresiewicz describes in “The End of Solitude” is that the internet has cultivated us so much that we don’t have to be with someone to feel that certain connection. It is essential to us to talk to other people and know what they are up to, so while completing this assignment, it was challenging to be alone, it was just me and my thoughts for the whole 48 hours. (2 sentences here) This was a major wake up call to be more inclined (not sure if this is the right word here) with my surroundings and be more connected with these surroundings.

Individual Assn. 3 Lilly Cosme Group 2

Lilly –

Your essay was a pleasure to read. As an IR student you bring an interesting perspective. The essay is well-written and a clear explication of your argument. Impressive use of critical thinking in examining Deresiewicz’s thesis in your experience. Great job!

I believe that we are doomed to live in an inevitable state of limbo if we do not develop the discipline to manage our time between our life on the phone and our everyday lives. Good thesis.

Solitude is the state of being alone or isolated from the outside community. The question is, however, are we too dependent on interaction through technology or are we too isolated to interact with the outside world. In my opinion, it’s both, I believe that we are doomed to live in an inevitable state of limbo if we do not develop the discipline to manage our time between our life on the phone and our everyday lives. (2 sentences would be good here):

In my opinion, it’s both. We are doomed to live in an inevitable state of limbo if we do not develop the discipline to manage our time between life on the phone and our everyday lives.


In William Deresiewicz’s article, The End of Solitude, he states that solitude has changed through the years, and that technology and media has have almost caused the cessation of any need or desire to be alone. Deresiewicz states that, “the computer is creating a culture of connectivity… we live in relation to others”. Human beings are social animals. We need human interaction. In the article, we read that privacy is a thing of the past, and in some ways it is true. We, as a community, interact with other people virtually more than we would in person. Active voice is usually preferred:

As a community we interact with other people virtually more than in person.


We have the world at the end of our fingertips, and we utilize it without actually going out into the world. Good turn of phrase. So in this aspect, having Having privacy or alone time is virtually unattainable unless an individual goes out of their way to get it.

However, with all of this information supporting the fact that we are all connected and basically cannot be alone for long due to social media, we are also more alone than we think. In submerging ourselves into our phones and other electronic devices we separate ourselves from our everyday lives and everyone that we would normally be in contact with.

During the forty-eight hour news blackout, we were asked to refrain from receiving any news and to record our actions. Speaking for myself, I listen to podcasts, NPRs, and I also read theSkimm. In addition to all of that, I am constantly on social media and post almost once everyday. However, if I were asked to take a break from all forms or social media or news it would be no problem for me. When I went on this forty-eight hour blackout I was so swamped with obligations and errands that it did not phase faze me much. I did, however, binge on all the information I missed out on the days prior. I did not experience any solitude that Derewicz describes. Although, I did substitute my usual social activities with other faux social activities to fill the gaps. I would play games on my phone or just scroll through random notes or photos left in my camera’s archive.

Being a title holder that is heavily involved in pageantry and as an International Relations major it is imperative that we stay in contact with current events and develop our own opinions. It is so important that we stay connected to the outside world and know what is going on. But if you were to ask anyone on the street any current event, more times than most would these individuals not know what is going on. We take the news and how easy it is to access for granted. Personally speaking, technology is a tool that is wielded by the audience. We need it, but in moderation. I do believe that it is a necessary intrusion of our solitude. Good.


Josmery –

Excellent analysis. Good job weaving in Deresiewicz with your experience and placing everything in the context of technology.

Your writing is quite good, engaging with a nice flow. Watch for errors Word doesn’t catch (award/aware).

Mass media plays an important role in society. It serves as a medium of information, entertainment, and education. Many people rely on the information obtained from these mediums to take decisions. Thanks to news we are informed of events that happen around the world, and that may directly or indirectly affect us. 

In the lecture article “The End of Solitude,” Deresiewicz renders shows how technology has changed society over time. throughout the times. In the past, it was common to see kids playing on the streets; that’s how I grew up. Children were more creative –– looking for new ways to have fun in a sane way. My friends and I used to make little cars out of cartons of juice and phones out of plastic cups and thread. Those days are gone; we don’t see kids playing on the streets anymore. They are too busy playing video games and spending time on their social media accounts. But we can’t blame them when six years old receive iPhones for their birthday, and before they’re born, they are shining in social media. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against these new trends. I also fall into the “mini celebrity” category. I have hundreds of unknown followers on Instagram. I agree that nowadays being alone is more difficult than ever. Sometimes, I even struggle to get some time aside for homework; I’m constantly tempted by my social network. It seems that “we live exclusively in relation to others,” for the effects social media has on us.  Once I conducted a survey intended to evaluate how social media affects self-esteem; more than 80 % of surveyed acknowledged to be affected. Interesting.

Everyone who knows me is award aware that I’m not a news fan. When I read the assignment, I thought that 48 hours without news weren’t going to affect me. Normally, I hear about news from my relatives and friends. The only news I follow is related to the weather. It was difficult to escape from the news since everywhere you go someone is bringing up news. The most difficult part for me was ignoring the weather in the mornings before getting dressed for work, wondering whether it would rain. I realized how believing that knowing about news was not important to me was a fallacy.

 I didn’t feel the need of information till now because unintentionally, I’ve always been informed. I prohibited my informers to talk to me about news and I missed it. I’d taken it for granted. Good insight.

With the situation in Venezuela and Trump’s fight for the construction of the wall, it’s inevitable to get anxious for information. Such things can affect us as citizens, so it’s important to follow the trajectory of this type of events. 

News may be considered an intrusion of solitude. When you watch the television or read a blog or newspaper, you normally do it alone. There are people who spend hours watching TV; one news program after another. “Solitude disappeared from our lives,” and mass media and video-games are responsible.