- More than ever the Media doesn't just predict but shapes elections
- October 3rd, 2010
In the past, the media (newspapers, then radio, then TV) always had a part in shaping elections proportional to its prevalence. Now, with a 24 hour news cycle, outcomes of elections are often what the media says they will be. In the days of exclusives, vetting of stories and verification of facts, this was quite reasonable. Now with the quest for the sensational story, the reliance on pundits and the repetition of rumor, it is a perversion. Amid the polarization of the political populace there is no longer such a thing as an innocent comment. People have always believed what they were told by the media for they only had their neighbors opinions and their own situations for validation or disputation of what they heard or read. With the prevalence of TV, and now the internet, more and more people have no need to read newspapers. They get all their information from so called "NEWS" networks who have learned that if you make reporting more sensational, sarcastic, quippy and snide enough, those people will believe whatever is told them. After all, there is a belief that "they couldn't say it if it wasn't true". I often think "Who will stop them?" since many of these beliefs come from people who think government should stay out of people's affairs. When the media repeats rumors of "feelings" among the populace or guesses at the outcome of an election, people will use this in determining whether they should even bother to vote thereby ensuring their predicted outcome. People should realize that cleverness is often used to sell you something. If you say something in a clever enough way or in a way that makes what they are saying seem obvious, it doesn't have to be true for it to be believed. This is something that many politicians have learned very well and are perfectly willing to use to their advantage. They can say anything, no matter how ridiculous, and know it will be reported by the media. And they can quote nonexistent facts and statistics and know that few will ever check them.