Bowra: The Media and the 2012 Election

The 2012 Presidential election is going to be a huge turning point for our country.  We are in an economic recession.  Nearly 10% of the population is out of work.  Many, many new programs have been initiated and old ones discarded in hopes of changing things.  Nothing so far has worked; if anything, it has been made worse.

The thing that will determine our new direction or lack of one after that election is going to be the person who is elected– whether that person is our current president or the GOP candidate.  All of the current GOP candidates are claiming to have their own plans to restore and rebuild America.  They say that they know exactly what we need to do in order to return to our full potential.  In the end, only one of them can win the Republican Party’s nomination. That person will square off with President Obama in the general election.

I’m sure you already knew all that.  Here is something you might not know: There are people out there right now who want to brainwash your thinking concerning this election.  Brainwash you into voting for who they think should be our president in 2012.  These people are the media.  Not all of the media wants to do this; but a good number of them do.  Many news stations today are very biased to one political party over the other.  Some of them openly admit it, but more of them do not.  They present their opinions to you as fact.  Some examples of this biased attitude are CNN and MSNBC.  Both of these stations are known as liberal stations.  They try to say their positive opinions toward the Democratic candidate for president, which in this case will be President Obama, are the only true facts and therefore you should believe them.  FOX News is a more Conservative-leaning station.  In some cases I notice both of them trying to define the line between opinion and fact.  The daytime shows are, for the most part, straight facts with an opinion only thrown in here and there.  The nighttime shows are more opinion-based.

The biased attitude is not always a bad thing.  People are entitled to their own opinions, even news anchors.  The unacceptable thing is that they try to tell you that their opinions are the only things that are true.  People should be able to go to the media for accurate news that they can use to form their own opinions.  They should not be so influenced by biased opinions passed off as fact that they have no choice but to agree with it.  This goes right along with my previous post on freedom of the press.

News shows are not the only way that the media can try to shape peoples’ opinions.  In fact, they do not even have to be actual “media” to influence people.  Normal people such as bloggers or online journalists can have just as much impact, especially if they operate a frequently visited website.  There are many blogs out there that are giving positive coverage to some candidates and are giving too much negative coverage to others.  People are allowed to campaign for their favorite candidate, but if they want to call themselves a real “news” website and not mostly an opinion website, they need to remain unbiased in their writings.  It is simply not right to try to turn peoples’ minds against one candidate just because the candidate they support is threatened by that person.  While we should try to support who we feel is most qualified for the job of President, we should also be careful not to give lies as truth about these people just because they may take some of your candidate’s support.

The person we elect as President in 2012 should be the person who is best qualified for the job.  It should not be the person who can give the best speeches, or has the best fundraising abilities.  It may not even be the most well-liked person in the race.  It needs to be the person with the best track-record who will know how to lead America back to its full potential.  The media needs to give the American people the chance to figure their opinion on that out for themselves.  The American people will also need to have the common sense to be able to discern what is truth and what is a lie.

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