Media Often Cause Events to Happen (like GOP Wins) Rather than Simply Reporting

Despite their denials of this fact, it is clear that corporate mainstream media often cause political events — such as election outcomes — to happen, rather than simply reporting on events.

For example, Trump’s election in 2016 was greatly aided by mainstream media’s Hillary Clinton email obsession and their constant reporting on it as though it were the greatest crime of the century.

Both Washington Post and New York Times also published excerpts from the Hillary Clinton hit job book Clinton Cash. The author, Peter Schweizer, “wrote the book using researchers from the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), an institution Schweizer formed with the then-Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, Steve Bannon. The Mercer Family Foundation funded the $2.6 million cost of producing the book with a $1.7 million contribution to the Institute in 2015, which was more than GAI’s entire budget for the previous year.” This quote is from wikipedia on Clinton Cash.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_Cash

Currently President Biden’s approval ratings are low. This is certainly related to the fact that mainstream media constantly unfairly blame Biden for high gas prices and inflation, among other unfair accusations taken from the Right Wing’s views and talking points.

Of course, oil companies prefer the Republican party and are also happy to blame Biden and help to worsen Democrats’ midterm election chances. However, since Chevron’s profits recently quadrupled and Exxon’s doubled, price gouging by oil companies looks like the most likely explanation for high gas prices.

Here’s the Twitter thread about the media causing the public’s views, rather than simply reporting on them. It’s from Will Stancil, a metro policy researcher.

One reason why so many Right Wing con artists keep getting re-elected — despite their constantly screwing over the public — is because mainstream media are subtly Right Wing biased.

Mainstream Media’s Subtle Right Wing Disinformation Helped Elect Trump and Could Lose Congress for Democrats

A lot of people think Fox propaganda outlet watchers are stupid. They feel superior. Little do they know, they are believing a lot of Right Wing disinformation themselves, disinformation they’ve read or seen or heard in mainstream media or in social media.

A big part of what’s going on here is that Right Wingers have accused mainstream media of being liberal biased for decades now. Right Wingers have made this accusation thousands of times. So many Americans believe it.

Journalists themselves believe it. They have reacted to Right Wing accusations by accepting them as fact, and then trying constantly to prove they are no longer liberal biased.

Mainstream media are letting Right Wingers be the judge of when journalists have become fair or neutral. There is a big problem with this picture: The Right Wing doesn’t say media have liberal bias because it’s true. They say media have liberal bias in order to push media further Rightward in its bias. The Right Wing has been highly successful at doing so.

Everyone bends to the Right Wing outrage machine — even government officials in Democratic presidential administrations. Democrats don’t have an outrage machine, so they can’t get fair media coverage. Although media are biased against Democrats, Democrats rarely say this. So media deny the existence of their Right Wing bias — since most of the feedback they’re getting says they’re Left Wing biased.

Almost everyone seems to believe the Right Wing talking points that are constantly repeated in mainstream media. Since the Right Wing uses repeated coordinated talking points and Democrats do not, there is never any counter to the Right Wing positions. So this situation is not all media’s fault. Democrats bear some responsibility.

It should be noted though, that media are not very open to messages from Democrats. For example, the Sunday shows on the news networks are heavily populated with Republicans. Comparatively few Democrats are invited. Democratic leaders and also Democratic voters need to be pressuring media to be more fair and inviting to Democratic politicians and pundits.

Since almost everyone believes the Right Wing talking points in mainstream media, so do Democratic leaders and Democratic consultants like David Shor. So consultants advise Democrats as though the Right Wing talking points are true. For example, Shor believes that Dem failures to win elections are all due to the progressive Left and that to win, Democrats have to always “go to the Center” i.e. Rightward. Some recent elections have shown the opposite is true — at least in some districts and for some candidates, e.g. John Fetterman in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary for the Senate.

It may seem like harsh criticism when I say that Shor interprets his complex Big Data analyses by using Right Wing talking points. However, he’s not the least bit unusual in interpreting things in this way.

Mainstream media have immersed us all in Right Wing talking points. They’ve been repeated until almost everyone believes them, as unquestioned conventional wisdom and the consensus judgments of our best and brightest people. And they are. It’s just that our best and brightest people are swimming in Right Wing talking points, just like the rest of us are. And even bright people are vulnerable to the effects of propaganda through repeated statements.

We can all help to solve this problem. Any time we see or hear media pushing Right Wing views or choosing Right Wing framing, we can phone or write the media outlet and complain — telling them what they did that was Right Wing biased and explaining what we want them to do instead, in order to objectively inform the public. If you’re on Twitter, @froomkin @brianbeutler and @jayrosen_nyu post frequent examples of Right Wing bias in media.

President Biden himself doesn’t realize that his approval ratings are low because mainstream media unfairly bash him so often. He needs to know so he and other Dems can push back on mainstream media and pressure them to do better.

We can all call and/or write the president and tell him. Here is the online contact form page, which also contains the street address. Below that is the phone number.

Phone: (202) 456–1111

Here’s an NBC article about a “Biden White House adrift.” Of course, like other corporate mainstream media, NBC doesn’t acknowledge that they have pushed him adrift. Biden’s approval ratings are low because he is so often bashed unfairly by NBC and other media.

Media report on Biden’s low approval ratings as if they — mainstream media — have not caused them. But, as Will Stancil’s Twitter thread above explains, they have. They are creating low approval ratings for Biden and lessening Democrats’ chances in the midterm elections through the unfairness of their Right Wing bias.

If you google the name of any news outlet and the word “contact” you should be able to get street addresses, email addresses, online contact forms and/or phone numbers for any news media outlet you would like to contact. You can give them a report on their error (e.g. unfair Biden bashing and/or, Right Wing bias) and can suggest acorrection to the error.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store