The Insider Team Assignment

Great work, Team 4! Thorough, meticulous, persuasive commentary.

No names on the document, so I don’t know who did what.

No images, videos, or websites.

Occasional choppy writing, but mostly really good work.

 

1.The mainstream media often face enormous challenges in trying to give audiences an accurate picture of the world. For individual journalists, there are extraordinary pressures and obstacles to getting at the truth and telling the stories audiences want and need.

You may select Jeffrey Wigand, 60 Minutes host Mike Wallace, producer Lowell Bergman, executive producer Don Hewitt, the Wall Street Journal editor who helped stop the smear or the NY Times reporter who exposed the inside story on how CBS handled the Wigand affair.

All of these people had significant personal and institutional pressures, some more than others. Please do not select your character because you believe everyone will write about that person. No team can analyze this case the same as someone else, unless they cheat.

Your essay should focus on how the principles and values of concealment and revelation apply to the tobacco case or the case at CBS News. 500 words.*

 

The Insider a movie based off Jeffrey Wigand a former executive at Brown & Williamson tobacco company. Wigand happens to be sought out by a 60-minute producer Lowell Bergman to help him translate technical documents but refuses to talk about anything else, mentioning a confidentiality agreement.  Jeffrey throughout movie finds himself troubled on what decision he should make, whether to stick to his principles of his confidentiality agreement or knowing the dangers of his secrecy.

Originally hired to help Brown & Williamson develop a safer cigarette, Wigand said he was ultimately fired for clashing with his bosses. Apparently Brown & Williamson felt like having Wigand working for them would put the company at risk, therefore they decided to fire him, give him severance pay and medical insurance. Brown & Williamson would do almost anything to make sure that the company’s secrets would be concealed so offering Wigand money and health insurance wasn’t enough for them. The CEO of the company decides to have another meeting with Wigand who orders him to sign an expanded confidentiality agreement, under threat of revoking his pay, medical insurance and invoking legal procedures. Wigand also gets mysterious death threats via email and find a bullet in his mailbox, he fears that if he reveals the company’s secrets he would be putting his family’s lives and his at risk. Brown & Williamson secrets keep them controlling the flow of information that is given to the public, Wigand states that the company has manipulated nicotine through ammonia chemistry to allow nicotine to be more rapidly absorbed in the lungs and affecting the brain and central nervous system through impact boosting. He continues by saying Brown and Williamson have consciously ignored public health in the name of profit.

          This interview changed the game of journalism, and shaped the way interviewers do their job. While analyzing this interview one can compare how certain things were done then to how they are done now and not much has really changed. Most citizens are used to the whole tobacco can kill you speech. We can understand how Wigand felt about the decisions he had to make not only as a father but also as a responsible citizen who should warn the public of the dangers these companies are doing to their health. Things have changed so much, but so much has remained the same. Since the CBS interview has aired there have been many cases of similar awareness scandals. Most people in corporate America will do anything to keep their jobs, even if that means taking the next man or women down with them. This makes one realize how much The Insider film and the CBS interview are so relatable in 2018. It comes down to having moral values and principles at the end of the day, nothing feels better than giving awareness to the public especially when it has do with their well being. Keeping quiet to keep a job that is putting the public at risk is very sickening, one can see that money can motivate people to do anything.

 

  1. How does Jeffrey Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement (NDA) affect the flow of information in The Insider? What legitimate argument, if any, could Brown and Williamson (B&W) make in support of the agreement? What NDAs have recently been used in the public sector? Using the critical perspective, what are the implications of NDAs for government employees? 300 words.  

Jeffrey Wigand, former Brown and Williamson tobacco company employee, was fired because he discovered carcinogens in the updated cigarettes that were being produced. Once he mentioned to one of the CEO’s of his discovery, he was fired. The company wanted to keep the hazardous effects of their product a secret from their consumers. If he were to share the information that he discovered he would be stepping out of the bounds of his non-disclosure agreement resulting in his severance agreement being taken away. With an ill daughter with acute asthma, he felt inclined at the time of his employment to comply with the legalities of his agreement. Since he was let go from the company the secrets started pouring out, putting the medical benefits at risk.

Some implications of non-disclosures for government employees are that you will be held responsible for a breach of information could be sued for copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, and other legal consequences. NDA’s in the public sector are enforced by the HIPPA Law which demands confidentiality between doctors and their patients

Wigand’s non-disclosure agreement made him hesitant to share the information that he obtained during his three-year employment at Brown and Williamson but decided to share his testimony was morally correct and something the country needed to hear. Wigand started to receive threats from the tobacco company. They become aware of his contact with Lowell Bergman, the CBS show 60-Minutes producer, in regards to the Big Tobacco scandal. After, CBS corporate has a meeting with Bergman and Wigand to explain they cannot air the interview with him because they would be sued by Brown and Williamson for a legal concept called tortious interference. Brown and Williamson, however, are entitled to take these actions to protect their secrets because they knew they would have to, that’s why a non-disclosure was presented.

  1. John Scanlon and Terry Lenzner were hired by B&W to attack Wigand’s reputation. Jack Palladino and his team of investigators were hired by Richard Scruggs to counter their allegations. Using McLuhan as a lens, analyze the forms of media used by both Scanlon/Lenzner and Palladino. If this war over Wigand’s reputation had occurred in 2018, would today’s media have made things different? If so, how? 300 words.John Scanlon and Terry Lenzner were hired by B&W to attack Wigand’s reputation. Jack Palladino and his team of investigators were hired by Richard Scruggs to counter their allegations. Using McLuhan as a lens, analyze the forms of media used by both Scanlon/Lenzner and Palladino. If this war over Wigand’s reputation had occurred in 2018, would today’s media have made things different? If so, how? 300 words.

The company “Brown and Williamson”poked and prodded his life. They found and interviewed Wigand’s first wife, revealing he had an estranged child. In the interview, there was an attempt to imply Wigman had left her and the child. She quickly corrected him by saying the divorce was mutual. B&W continued their search finding tapes of Wigand claiming to be on the American judo team in the Olympics. They even had a traffic ticket he had gotten over a red-light. It was aired on television by newscasters- they had allegedly found a “500-page dossier” detailing his shoplifting and back payments on child support. At one point, in the report given to the different newspapers- such as the Wall Street Journal, Wigand had abused his wife.

This, of course, showing any information that was said by the former employee of the Tobacco company to not be trusted. To counter these allegations, Palladino and his team investigated the same claims but came with different results. Lowell himself went to the Wall Street Journal with information discrediting the claims made, where the newspaper labeled it as a smear campaign- when they ran the piece. CBS threatened to be given a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, thus refusing to air Wigand’s interview. Lowell called the New York Times on the condition they ask the questions and he will let the reporter know if it was wrong. 60 Minutes- the most credited prime-time television, being outed for withholding an interview that held crucial information to the public, named in the newspapers.

Newspapers were the smartphones at the time of Wigand’s testimony. They were read everywhere, it was rare if it was not seen at the breakfast table, bathrooms or train stations. Though if the war over Wigand’s reputation happened in 2018 with the technology, the information B&W had on him would have not been in silence for so long. Lowell would have not been able to convince someone to push the date back on the release. Though Lowell would have been able to reach the people and information to counter the allegations, information on Wigand would have been released the minute it was known. Not only to the United States, but also the whole world would have heard. It would take just a matter of minutes for word to get out.

  1. In the film, Bergman, Wallace, and Hewitt attend a meeting with CBS Corporate.  CBS general counsel Helen Caperelli informs them of “tortious interference” and its implications for the 60 Minutes Wigand piece. Provide a detailed analysis of the rhetoric used by the participants in the meeting. For each speaker, who is their intended audience, and how do they use the modes of rhetoric? 300 words.

Helen Caperelli’s rhetoric was to warn Bergman, Wallace, and Hewitt on the risk of litigation from B&W that may come from airing the Wigand piece. Caperelli questions the ethics of CBS News in investigating Jeffrey Wigand with rumors of interference and false promises made by Bergman. Caperelli continues by putting Wigand’s credibility into question, in which Bergman defends with stating Mississippi’s standing with Wigand on his deposition. Caperelli responds with CBS being the arbiter of information regardless of Mississippi’s support for Wigand, indirectly stating that CBS’s standard for information credibility can be bent if it means the survival of the corporation.

Caperelli realizes Bergman is not budging to her ethical rhetoric so she transitions into a forceful and logical rhetoric. Caperelli states that the truer the information that was given by Wigand, the greater the damage to the company, because of B&W’s ownership of that information. Caperelli then states that if Wigand was to lie, less damage would be done to B&W. Caperelli directly states that the truer the information being aired by CBS in this investigation the greater the risk from litigation from B&W, to push the rhetoric even more Caperelli ends with the line “B&W can own CBS” adding a final touch of fear.

Hewitt, Wallace, and Bergman were on the receiving end of the argument, with the rhetoric of defending the airing of Wigand’s piece. CBS News’s Hewitt took offense to their work being considered interference, but when informed by Caperelli of the serious liability he gave way to Caperelli’s rhetoric. Wallace’s rhetoric was ethos as he stated that CBS has never lost a lawsuit for their extensive investigative work, but when informed by Caperelli on B&W possibly owning CBS because of this segment he also gave way to Caperelli’s rhetoric. Bergman’s rhetoric was for the ethical importance of investigative reporting to expose secrets when cases are of public interest. Bergman and Caperelli are defending opposite interests and neither gave way in the meeting.

 

 

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Thesis

GREAT THESIS. I APPROVE. SCOTT KASS

 

Since early this summer, 2,053 children have been separated from their parents after crossing the Southern U.S. border, according to the Department of Homeland Security, as part of a new immigration strategy by the Trump administration. The government has kept secret the extent of how these immigrant children are taken from their families, facilities where they’re housed and the contracts with private groups.

Thesis team 4 Gary Pace

Gary Pace

Team 4

10/8/2018

 

                                                             

GREAT THESIS. I APPROVE. LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR FINAL ESSAY. SCOTT KASS

                                                           Thesis

 

        Lower income families that were affected by hurricane Florence, should automatically be granted government assistance. This means section 8 housing, food stamps, and WIC. Lower income families should receive government assistance, because bouncing back after a catastrophic hurricane financially is extremely difficult, and expecting lower income families to be able to provide for themselves, is very unrealistic.

 

Thesis for final essay

Nicole Johnson

Team 4

 

Recent coverage on 3-D printed guns has led to the understanding  this could be lethal action the country is taking by allowing these guns to be sold to the public. Thoughts of 3-D guns being sold to the public is concerning because they are not detectable by metal detectors, will be accessible to the general public including those with mental illness or convicted felons, and it could aid terrorism. The media is stimulating the controversy of these guns through, articles, talk show segments, Vice articles on snapchat, and several other outlets to spread the word about this concerning and vile invention

Disconnected for 48 hours

 

 

 

 

 

Emilio Galindo
Team 4

 

Emilio,Y ou capture the uncertainty, ambivalence, and anxiety that we all feel in the new information environment. The blue section, second paragraph, is really good: reflective, frank, detailed, persuasive.

The first paragraph is good, but it’s not about you. It’s background information. Good, but not about you, as Prof. Pearson was looking for. But OK. Also, lots of little grammatical issues, such as run-on sentences, etc. You might want to fly these essays by the writing lab before you send them in. But I can see you are probably pretty busy.

Otherwise, good work. 

William Deresiewicz fears the danger that may come with everyday life merging with the internet. Mr. Deresiewicz points to the common post-modernist desire of visibility to the world which is fueled by the connectivity of the internet and celebrity of social media. A problem occurs from this desire according Mr. Deresiewicz, that when gaining visibility, the person loses concentration, privacy, ability to be alone, and most importantly introspection. Anyone with a social media account can observe and follow the massive amount of data being published by the average user daily. Most users don’t realize how much they know about other users they associate with in real life, like co-workers or long-time friends. The majority of information gathered is usually useless and frustrating for example when you realize that you know what someone ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but sometimes you find yourself in uncomfortable positions for example stalking or being stalked on social media with the amount of data put by the average user you can learn a great chunk of their life even before having the first person to person conversation. With users making their life’s so accessible, can they really blame others for snooping? Or should they blame it on their own surrender of privacy for fear of being alone.

During my absence from the outside world I did begin with some anxiety, firstly with social media because I promote my band through them and all my band mates are in their 40s and they would have to look over the page. Social media is not something I take seriously when its for my own personal use, but when its for a brand or business purpose what is posted is extremely important. With this time off I created a plan for the upcoming weeks in how to promote our new music video and who to contact to have it posted in other countries. Secondly was my process in developing new music ideas without the influence of the millions of musicians and artists seen daily on YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes. Within the first 24 hours I realized I was playing similar ideas to the latest musicians I had heard when I was plugged in but as I was reaching the second day mark I felt my ideas were getting clearer and simpler, but the most interesting was getting a clearer picture on the style of music I enjoyed playing like a cleaning and organizing of wandering ideas. Finally, was the absence of news media, at first was as if I could focus on other things which I have disregarded, feeling relaxed very little stress, then as time passed I over hear others speak on updates on topics I have been following and feel anxious when I realize I am uninformed and my skepticism on the information I received and the possibility of it being generalized and probably missing key details. With the merging of daily life to the internet rooting deeper how long until disconnecting is not enough?

48-hour news blackout

Lourdes, You capture the uncertainty, ambivalence, and anxiety that we all feel in the new information environment.

Essay is thoughtful, interesting, revealing, and a little short (about 100 words). I like what you have to say about the news.

Lourdes Salgado
October 1, 2018
Team 04

Solitude is the state of being alone, what our generation fears the most. The computer has created a culture of connectivity that it has never existed before. Technology has taken away our privacy, and our concentration, and  but our ability to be alone. People find being alone so disturbing that they would rather be with company than be by themselves.

The Internet has found a way to keep us connected like never before. Few of us can imagine a future without it. The ability to search answers to an embarrassing question or communicateing with people all over the globe, would be pretty hard to give up. Many of us stay connected 24 hours a day.

Fifteen minutes unless I’m sleeping or showering–that’s how long I usually spend without being connected. Whether it’s to check an email or to find out if it’s going to rain the need to stay connected has become more of a necessity than a want. The past 48 hours were spent disconnected from social media, no news, no weather forecasts–challenging to say the least but definitely do-able. I truly enjoyed my solitude.  no anxiety and instead of being connected through technology, real life connections were made by having better communication with my peers and family members.   I felt  no anxiety. Instead of being connected through technology, I made real life connections and better communication with my peers and family members.

Keeping up with the news is important because of the issues that are present in this day in age. We heavily rely on the news to keep us informed but also, we need the news to keep democracy going. The public places their greatest trust in national network news and local and national newspapers to provide the most accurate news.

GOOD

Without the news, we would only receive information from the activities happening in close quarters to us. It’s important to realize what is going on in the world because it still affects us. News not only opens our eyes to the horrors in the world but also the great things that are happening.  Keeping up with the news makes us informed on the world around us, making us more intelligent and also giving us an opportunity to have an opinion and ideas.

It was refreshing to be disconnected, it’s being present, being now and realizing what is going on with you.

It was refreshing to be disconnected. I prefer being present, in the here and now, and realizing what is going on in my life.

Disconnecting yourself even it’s for a little while is a positive step that can add happiness and productivity. It’s a step that all of us need to take in order to feel more human again.

Team 4 Gary Pace

 

                                                                      Assignment 3

Gary, this is your best essay so far. You capture the uncertainty, ambivalence, and anxiety that we all feel in the new information environment.

           

        Describing these feelings of living without media is something that is very foreign, and very unique. Reading the article “ The end of solitude” really woke me up to how media is such a necessity in today’s society.  Media is our end all be all. I can not go a whole day without looking at the news, or some form of media. Reading the .article explained a lot for me. Sometimes media covers up the true feelings inside for of a person. Media is feeling filling a void for your loneliness. Even with It substituted for my prior experiences instead of calling family, and friends to fill the void of loneliness. I would immediately go to the media. In today’s society media is very addictive, and takes the place of actual meaningful, personal personable relationships.

       In class there was an assignment to stay away from any forms of media for 48 Hours. Staying away from all forms of media, was the hardest thing for me to do.These feelings felt so foreign, and unique. Media is apart of my everyday life. Day 1 was the hardest of the two days.Without the media, I couldn’t even function. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I even ventured out to play board games to pass the time. Even though this experience through day 1 was so trying, and tough, I became more human. Living with media really brings a person back to their essence of what really matters. As I was fasting from all forms of media, I really focused on what really counts in life, which is family, and bettering myself. Media can break up your human state of mind. In the mid-day of day 1 I almost relapsed, and wanted to check out and see what was going on in the world of media. That’s when I really realized that media is a big part of my life.  Day 2 was a fairly easy. I got more accustomed to understand, the way of life, and the understanding of life without media. I learned about the essence of who I am as a full person. Day 2 was more of a mental space day, I really enjoyed the day without hearing the phone buzz off the hook with notifications. The scary part was that I didn’t have no any clue what was going on in the news, so I was just going through life for those two days like a deer in headlights. Having family around with media around me was the big challenge, but I pulled through it.

       This blackout experience was very humbling, and eye opening. This experience has taught me that life is so much more than, media. Reading the article “ the end of solitude ” taught me major things, but actually going through with an experiment, has really made a firm believer that life is more than just the superficial