Like “Abortion,” which was discussed in Part I of this miniseries, the “media” is also intricately tied to American politics and a myriad of other social and economic issues affecting people on a daily basis. Without being skeptical, there is a lot to desire when it comes to the message of today’s media. While a significant percentage of critics, skeptics, and the American population have often questioned and raised concerns about how media deliver messages, it is largely agreeable that the media not only transmit information, but also shape the message. However, the question is – to what extent does it alter the message in the process of transmitting it? Is the media biased, and to what degree?
For instance, let us look at how the media organizes and processes what they call “news” in mediums such as television. While time is of the essence, and considering how complex and sensitive stories are compressed into a few minutes of “news” segments, what does the media mainly focus on? What is the “news” in the news? Then we have media competition in aspects such as which newspaper or news network has the “hottest” headline or shares “breaking news” first. While the purpose of this post is not to answer these questions, the issues raised are key concerns for any reader to ponder upon.
With that in mind, consider even how almost every prominent politician speaks in the media today. If you make a good analysis, their message always comprises of typically four elements: (a) currently there is a problem, (b) some kind of a reason why the problem exists (probably blaming the previous regime for causing it), (c) how to solve the problem, and (d) that the politician or leader is the promised savior who would tackle the problem and bring about change. In most cases, politicians are aware that that is the message the average person would like to hear, and, thus, they edulcorate and sugar-coat their speeches with stupidly compelling words in a bid to woe the masses.
Let us take a short trip back to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shortly after early 2020 when the pandemic hit, all the media would spread was the message of fear in the name of “news.” Every minute was a minute of devastating breaking news – 200,000 people have died due to coronavirus, and 900,000 are infected with the virus. A few minutes later, you would hear that the death toll has risen to 1 million, and hospitals are full beyond capacity and cannot admit more patients, as well as you are very likely to get sick and die, too. A minute later, the news reporter making a live coverage would tell people that the virus is deadlier than the Swine flu, more deadly than the Spanish flu, and more killing than the Bubonic plague – everything deadly, unsafe, dangerous, and to be feared.
On the other end, when state health agencies and politicians would speak, they responded by claiming to have all the answers and asking people to trust them. However, if you think about it, the fact is that the data available at the time did not support such claims, but no one cared because we must trust the people in power. Unfortunately, the masses followed the god-kings, king kongs, emperors, and plugs since they were desperate and fear had been instilled in them. All the politicians could say were merely nonsensical words but no real solution – wear a mask, get vaccinated with an experimental drug that you could still transmit the virus, and do other useless things that had nothing to do with addressing the problem.
However, the real problem concerned how you lived your life in terms of taking care of your health, your eating habits and whether you engage in physical activity to sustain or improve health and fitness, and the quality of life – aspects that, if not taken care of, would actually make you sick and die. Unfortunately, all the media could do was to share the amazingly rocketing death tolls, rising new cases of infections, and discovery of new and even deadlier coronavirus strains in your neighborhood, borough, or state. So, everything was about fear – the fear of getting sick and dying, the fear of killing your loved ones and family by infecting them with this superbug that had become an unstoppable killing machine.
Note that there is also this ideology that you did not make it today because of instant category – someone did not make it because it is their category – instant vilification of someone. The media and politicians alike, are always appealing to your fears and worries. Think about it – before COVID-19, it was rampant discrimination that was holding you back. Everything revolved around BLM (black lives matter), racism, extrajudicial killings of people of color by police, the MeToo Movement, and the glass ceiling ideology. While these are issues of concern, the fact is that the media will always have something about them that makes you afraid or puts you in fear of, say, going somewhere, doing something, saying that, or addressing an issue head-on – all resulting in your detriment. Whether it is the rampant discrimination that is always looming and never letting you get your fair share or the offensive approach by corporate America hindering you from making it in life, it is that kind of logic and fear that is often advanced and promoted by the media. Be afraid of older people because they are discriminatory, or fear men because they will sexually harass you – such that you cannot make it.
In short, it is almost like the media wants you to live in fear of something and under the control of something. It is like your life is under some controlling mechanism upon which you must live. They cannot live by design, by argument of ideas, and cannot win on the appeal to science. So, all they can do is pick a bunch of issues, whether real or not, and cultivate fear out of it in the name of sharing the “message” of what is happening today in the streets of New York or some social media website. If the media does not appeal to your fear, then there is nothing to appeal to them.
With that, feel free to view our video Miletti Law – Miletti On Politics – The Media & The Message, and get it yourself directly from the horse’s mouth. Otherwise, in case you need further clarification regarding the information shared in the video and this blog post or require our services, we are just a call or email away!
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