News Media Intend to Influence What You Believe (Opinion)
The information age has perverted Americans’ thinking; now they rely on opinion, gossip and rumor as the truth. Strong, money-laced media platforms reflect their owner’s philosophies instead of the verifiable facts. The promotion of television and videos heighten the emotional impact of their stories and dominate text reporting. The era of propaganda is with us.
With 24/7/365 cable channels struggling to fill the time advertisers buy, the channels do what sports and entertainment have always done; use personality “wonks” to generate “breaking news,” ”news alerts,” personal attacks, tirades, rants, opinions, analysis, commentary, conjecture, gossip, rumor, predictions, and spoofing.
The New York Times, and The Washington Post are primary examples. Both are owned by wealthy men with political leanings toward the liberal end of the spectrum. Try to find factual reporting on the first four pages of their newspapers. Look carefully for labels that identify “Opinion,” “Analysis,” and “Commentary.” Most factual reporting is international; domestic articles seem almost exclusively not “reporting.”
Some articles even have disclaimers that “The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of __.” If this is true, why are they putting the article on the front page?
Major television news channels can be labeled on a political spectrum; just enter “news media political ratings” in your internet search engine and see the charts. For the past decade the idea of objective journalism has melted away. The icon of journalism, of objective reporting on television, is Walter Cronkite. His political leanings to the left did not show up in his news reports.
What is going on? War. The ideology gap is almost at the level before the American Civil War. The age of civil disagreement is gone. A few instances of “believers” resorting to violence have happened already. The “left” and “right” only need disappointment in an election, a Supreme Court ruling, or a well-planned “fake news” campaign to escalate the contention. The last manifestation of escalating propaganda is combat.
Donald Trump has been the media’s savior, providing grist for the hungry maw of the information channels. I wonder how they will fill the empty hours when he is gone? Documentaries are common resorts when fresh news is not enough.
“Weaponizing” news media and relying on the heat of opinion are leading us away from understanding and “agreeing to disagree” toward outright, uncivil confrontation.