NOTICE: US media fabricate your political consent


(Clare Martin • Student life)

The pledge of $ 2,000 relief checks won the Democrats in the Senate. He urged people to go to the polls in Georgia on swing state which allowed the Democrats to win a majority, and he gave the party a mandate to deliver. Checks were not only popular in Georgia, but across the country with more than 80 percent of those in charge. Still, most wouldn’t think it was such a good idea if they turned on Cable News or opened the Washington Post, news organizations that many people might. describe as “liberal” in prejudices.

By establishing himself as honorable, credible and neutral news outlets, mainstream media, and other establishment voices – be they think tanks, business executives, or government officials – inherently limit the scope of the argument. They decide what is an acceptable opinion and which ones are too radical to be reasonable.

At the end of December, Larry Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury and president of harvard, writing an editorial for Bloomberg criticism of succession checks, arguing that they were unnecessary. Then in February he wrote another article for the Washington Post calling for checks to be given to fewer people. This sent shock waves through DC, even prompting White House press secretary Jen Psaki and member of the Council of Economic Advisers, Jared Bernstein, to respond.

Soon all of Washington and the liberal intelligentsia began to weigh, with the speech comprising a Washington Post Editorial Board and an answer in The New York Times – most citing a defective Opportunity perspectives to study who recommended restricting who received a second dunning check, even though many sources say the study needs more data.

Several Senators and the White House began to cite him in their efforts to reduce checks. A single study generated all this media surge even when there was many other studies there with different conclusions.

This phenomenon is called manufacturing consent“- the reader is conditioned agree with what is the pro-establishment stance. TO put it another way: “The range of arguments has been artificially reduced long before you could hear it. “

I believe the $ 2,000 relief checks good policy, and I know people who could benefit from it. But I’m also terrified of how the mainstream media shapes and controls political arguments. They are the ones who decide which stories to cover, what stories to drop, who is the “expert” on this question and what are the reasonable advice and ideologies in a debate. If someone gets most of their news from these sources and doesn’t talk about something, many won’t know.

Much of this comes from how we, as a society, define media – the fourth power, arbiters of truth. We see journalism as a noble profession. The “traditional mediaWhat many students at Claremont might define as the LA Times, the New York Times, the networks (NBC, CBS, ABC), CNN, the Associated Press and the like, are not neutral corn pro-status quo and pro-establishment.

A prime example of this is how many of the biggest players in the political media, rather than engaging in good faith criticism, armed “Fact check” and framing devices target Bernie Sanders’ two presidential candidacies.

This doesn’t mean that all media have to be impartial – I think it’s a stupid, naive endeavor – but to describe it as neutral is just not true, and we have to be careful in defining these organizations as the fault.

This pro-establishment bent is not a result specific to journalists, and it is not necessarily their intention – in fact, there are many outstanding journalists and industry leaders in these organizations. Nor do I dispute prejudices in general.

It’s rather the nature of the media system and how he claims bias does not exist. Such a bias is determined by who hires for these organizations, who wants to work there, who are the expert contacts they have, in government and in business, what are advertisers comfortable working on next. , which attracts more advertisers, etc. After all, media is big business.

Former MSNBC Producer Ariana Pekary quit her job because of this incentive structure. She explains the decisions producers made when selecting a story and how that the editorial process was hampered of viewers hear important information or see a larger picture, such as how MSNBC continued to deliberately exclude Andrew Yang in the discussions of the Democratic primary. We can even see, when played to its natural conclusion, how these systems, this “ethics of objectivity”That today’s media projects can to lead to unfounded wars.

This is the danger of the way we treat the media as neutral.

I want my opinions and understanding of politics to be informed by current events; I don’t want to be misled by this. And while some Claremont students – as future journalists, politicians, think tank analysts, activists, or academics – might one day change these systems, I don’t have any illusions that we can easily shake off this dynamic. However, I believe there are some crucial and extremely beneficial actions that we can take.

First of all, I think it is essential to engage critically in the news. This can take the form of checking the sources (if any) of the articles we read. But it can also take the form of reading articles and books on the subject like the book “Manufacturing consent”Which delves much deeper into the ramifications of mass media foreign policy through an academic lens.

I also believe in the diversification of sources, not only by leftist / liberal / conservative ideology, but by funding structure, size and niche. City newspapers are evaporating at a rapid rate, but they are essential controls over the power of local governments and do an amazing investigative job. The two Patreon and Sub stack are also great platforms for the public to support high quality independent journalists. There reside the writings of people of all ideologies and fields of expertise. And the same goes for the many podcasting platforms.

And I believe that part of the platforms is the key. I don’t advertise any particular post, although I certainly have some that I rely on. I think it’s dangerous to define for others what is trustworthy and what isn’t, instead respecting people’s ability to seek out the issues they care about and the voices they trust.

That’s not to say that all posts are based on fact – a lot, I believe, are a plot layer – but by critically engaging in the news, researching a wide range of independent opinions, and pursuing what matters to us, we can all find our way closer to the truth.

Carter Moyer HM ’24 is from Rye, New York. While he firmly believes in freedom of the press, his biggest crusade against the media is to challenge the Associated Press Stylebook’s ban on the Oxford comma.


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