Thursday, May 26, 2011

Political Media Bias, Changing Minds and Elections

Over the past decade or so our country has become increasingly divided between party lines. Instead of people really looking at the issues people identify themselves as one party IE, I am a Democrat so I believe in womans rights, I am pro gay marriage, I consider myself middle class and I am from "Main Street". With people less willing to question individual issues this allows politicians to "play politics" and not to confront issues and work together to form compromise. If you know that your party will follow you on whatever stance you take on a new issue then what does it matter if your stance will or will not benefit your constituency or not, they will agree with you no matter what.

This has been helped along by the American News media, who have divided themselves in the coverage and cometary that they provide the people. All you have to do is watch Fox News for a day, and then watch MSNBC for a day and you will see portrayal of two totally different Americas. One where the Evil Democrats are trying to spend our country into bankruptcy and one where the Greedy republicans are trying to make corporations richer. Unfortunately, the answer really lies somewhere in between, but it would take someone with a PHD to figure out where it really is. This should not be the case, the American people should not have to put so much effort into finding out the truth from watching the news, and this is not only dangerous, but it undermines our democracy.

When you take people who have learned what is happening from TV News for decades, and then introduce a constant flood of political spin, those people are led like lemmings to believe whatever they are being told. This allows major news producing companies such as General Electric an enormous influence on our political future as a country.

Flying under the banner of "news commentary" shows like Glenn Beck, Rachel Maddow, and Cris Matthews put their own spin on the news and say things like "The Republicans are out to kill grandma with their Medicare proposal". This is not news, this is editorial opinion, and to be honest, I doubt that the commentator really thought that. However they put it out there for people to hear to get their message across, to vote against the Republican.

One or two comments here and there wouldn't be a problem and would not have any effect on a election. However, over the past several weeks, nearly the entire lineup on the major news networks from 3:00 - 10:00 EST has been political propaganda. With this sheer amount of persuasive media, and propaganda, its no wonder our country is so divided.

I might be a conservative but I blame BOTH Fox and MSNBC for their coverage. I believe that it takes a weak news reporter or commentator to perform this way, and a very strong skilled one to be able to present both sides fairly and accurately. Anyone can graduate college and go on the news with a nice smile and say what they believe, but what they believe is their opinion, and not news. I do understand where news commentary has its place, and I am not against it, however when both major news networks devote 7+ hours a day to it, our country is in trouble.