How about for a topic, the media: the new entertainment networks
The media is compromised. Journalism no longer has any respect from the left, the right, or the independent. Each of these sides will give different reasons with different fingers pointed at different channel on their gigantic TV screen or handheld device. The trust has been eroded by the crashing waves of decades of corporate tides washing away stories that actually affect the American poor, middle, and working class’s financial viability. This has partly happened from a toxic allegiance to entertainment and self fulfilling, perceived verification of the average american’s fears and political biases. The latter is also a form of entertainment to a large swath of America.
Historically this influence is mostly associated with the right wing. That being said, there has been a steady campaign by the same political interests to label the mainstream media as left wing and anything that does not support their world view as anti- american even. expand?
The ability to reinforce the average Americans self perception of what is right and what is wrong is powerful entertainment and is partly why reality TV is so popular. This market was cornered with the invention of right wing AM radio in the early 90’s.
The lack of technology and a near monopoly on talk radio coming from right wing AM radio severely influenced those who had access to only radios during their work hours. A lot of those workers included the Midwest Farmers, Delivery services, some factory workers and truck drivers.
These workers were smart people who cared about their local and national politics because they felt the consequences of the actions of those governments. They also saw a lot of pain associated with regulations more than other professions in the form of EPA regulations, gas taxes and . Without arguing the merits of those regulations, the combination of those politics and a strong religious connection that comes with rural communities spread a strong source of self promoting entertainment.
Fast forward through the right wing and corporate capitalization of this new entertainment with Fox News, Internet, Facebook, chat rooms, 4Chan, and Infowars. The entertainment industry is politically and financially profitable for the sources that are exponentially increasing this influence.
This did change in the 2000’s as the corporate donors and interests of the DNC saw an opportunity to profit from both sides and control the message from both sides. MSNBC fired all of their commentators that spoke beyond the “sponsors” and parent companies who all happen to heavily donate to the Democratic establishment politicians. Olbermann, Melissa Harris Perry, Ed Schultz, are only a few of the casualties of this control against unsolicited liberal cable news representation.
There has been a constant struggle between the grassroots progressive agenda and the corporate media fighting against it. The 2008 election was a victory for the liberal base that was eager for Hope and change with a “yes we can” attitude. The progressive base was quickly let down with republican light legislation and a leadership that supported turning against their base and their president as congressional representatives turned away from their president and their base. Some would not even say that they would vote for Obama in the 2012 election while the media stayed just neutral enough make the election close. This is of course best for their ratings as a closer election supports higher viewership and ratings for their sponsors/donors.
The new media was fervently supportive of their candidate and played every trick that they thought they could do without getting caught. They were using polling techniques to hide the support of the grass roots, they consistently filtered their polls to minimize demographics that were not helpful to their candidate. These polling tactics were consistently and loudly called out in social media and were often quickly corrected due to the backlash. The impact of those polling tactics, a wide spread tactic of including all super-delegates in every comparison with their candidate, giving debate questions to their candidate before the debate, general blackouts of competing candidates and other tactics that are legal but not ethical created just enough advantage to their candidate to get the general election match-up that they thought was ideal. There is evidence of their candidate asking the media to promote Donald Trump as a primary candidate in order to achieve this general election match-up.
Everyone knows how this turned out… A major backfire from the voters that were needed to win the election and at least 4 years of right wing extremism from Trump.
No lessons seem to have been learned from this self inflicted disaster. In fact, the media seems to be doubling down on their previous tactics. They are no longer concerned about being perceived as one sided for a candidate. They have chosen Biden as their candidate and when they used to have a couple polls that ignored people under 50, now they seem to be exclusively ignoring them. They have articles that they are running with that say that people on social media (the actual public) don’t represent anything of substance when it comes to the general electorate. They have also expanded their reach into the jester environment that is promoting their tactics. Bill Maher used to be critical of both parties and now has become fervently against any dissent from grassroots and social media sources.
The new media entertainment is growing and attempting to solidify a narrative that supports their sponsors and donors. The only things in their way are the people and how their voice is heard. As Facebook is demonized as dissent along with any other public support against their agenda, the dissent will only increase in both volume and intensity. Maybe that is what they want.
An interesting election cycle is ahead. Buckle up for safety or remove the safety restraints and go right at the opponents that you see prohibiting you from having representation in this democracy.
Written by Ryan Reid