USGovernment and Politics
Themedia is always the first to communicate different events as theytake place, but their practices have changed drastically over theyears. The current reporters are concerned about their physicalattractiveness rather than the credibility of the information theypresent. Although the media is becoming increasingly involved withthe audience, they have turned the news into petty arguments as ameans of entertaining the viewers. This paper will use the JamesFallows’ article and Chris Mathews’ video to illustrate how themedia has been transformed in the 21st century.
Thearticle by Fallows explains that the press has changed because thereporters never portray the real problems of the world. Instead, theyjust present the issues they think people want to hear (Fallows).The author illustrates how the media exaggerates everything to makeit sound better and appealing to the audience. Moreover, they airirrelevant conversations that do not have any impact on the qualityof life in the country. He also explains the importance of goodappearance in broadcast journalism because the viewers do not want tosee unattractive reporters (Fallows).
Thetalk shows are supposed to improve the people’s understanding ofvarious policies and political strategies. Americans want to knowwhat their leaders are doing to improve the living situation byaddressing the problems their societies are facing. For instance,most people want to know the politicians’ views on issues such ashealth care system and cost of welfare (Fallows).Thus, they want to learn about how different political choices wouldimpact their lives. Instead, the media tends to focus on the mattersthat will make their shows more interesting and get higher ratingsthan their competitors. Consequently, the broadcast journalistsusually ask the questions that make the guests engage in pointlessdiscussions, which do not address the troubling issues in the country(Fallows).On the other hand, when the conversations involve problemsencountered by most Americans, the journalists make the talksmeaningless through insignificant arguments. Therefore, the issuesbeing analyzed do not matter as long the media presents livelydebates.
Accordingto Fallows, the media criticized Clinton’s State of Union Addressbecause it was long and covered the policies that needed to bechanged for America to prosper. Previously, the presidential speecheswere short and thematic, but Clinton used his address to set a newtheme for his presidency (Fallows).However, the media professionals criticized the speech indicatingthat Clinton did not stick to the agenda. Thus, the address would notoffer his administration the change he sought. The comments werenegative because they only revolved around the communication andpresentation tactics that Clinton used during the address (Fallows).
Nevertheless,most Americans had a different opinion because they thought thespeech was impressive. According to surveys conducted immediatelyafter the address, a large number of Americans tuned in to watch asClinton continued to give his speech (Fallows).Clinton’s address did not include his personal and legal problems.Instead, he discussed the challenges the American families werefacing and explained how his presidency would improve the situation(Fallows).Then, Clinton illustrated the importance of promoting education andworking hard to achieve economic security. Additionally, he talkedabout the issue of crime and drugs as some of the primary challengesto the country’s economic development. Lastly, Clinton urged thepeople to keep the environment safe and maintain a leadership thataims to achieve peace and freedom throughout the world (Fallows). Therefore, he discussed the issues that affected the lives of mostAmericans instead of exploring the politics of his presidency.However, the media professionals viewed the details, inclusiveness,and intensity of Clinton’s speech as ridiculous. On the contrary,those aspects of the address made it appealing and worthwhile to theaudience. The polls showed that most people liked the speech becauseit portrayed a clear idea of what Clinton’s presidency entailed(Fallows).
Then again, Fallows’ article explains that the media has changedbecause reporters no longer talk about the ethical matters in thesociety unlike in the 1980s (Fallows).Initially, the talk shows involved several prominent citizens whodiscussed issues raised by a moderator. Although these conversationsseemed dull, they provided an opportunity to find solutions to theproblems the citizens were facing. Therefore, the reporters asked thequestions pertaining how the politicians would deal with criticalissues. However, the media today is different as the journalists tryto make everything brighter and interesting (Fallows).
Likewise,the YouTube news reports prove Fallows’ ideas because the talks aremore concerned with politics instead of addressing important mattersin the country. For example, the reporters spend most of the timediscussing Hillary Clinton’s professional achievements andpolitical aspirations (Team Hillary). They are also interested in thechallenges and scandals that Hilary has encountered in her politicaland personal life. Hence, they rarely talk about how Hillary resolvesvarious social, economic, and political issues during her tenure as asecretary of state. For example, the reporters keep on speculating ifHillary will run for president in 2016 without paying much attentionto the policies and strategies she endorses, which would influencethe voters’ choice of presidential candidate (Team Hillary).
Additionally,the news reports repeat Hillary Clinton’s talking point, but theyare mainly interested in political issues rather than public policiesand problems facing the Americans. For example, the journalists inthe YouTube video are concerned with Hillary’s popularity andlikability according to different polls (Team Hillary). Therefore,the public is hardly receiving the news they desire because politicsseems to get in the way. Today, the talk shows engage in performancesthat entail disagreements and hostility among the guests to entertainthe viewers. For example, Mathews interviews various politicalexperts on the Benghazi attack, but he is mostly concerned with theconspiracy revolving around the issue (Team Hillary). Thus, he airscontradicting remarks from the government and Republicans, where eachside tries to prove their opinions are correct. Consequently, themedia has changed the conversations to make them livelier andentertaining for the viewers (Team Hillary).
Thetalk show is debating the Benghazi attack, but Mathews diverges toinclude politics by mentioning the latest polls showing that HillaryClinton has favorable ratings (Team Hillary). Then again, whenevaluating Hillary’s response to the conspiracy claims in Benghaziattack, Mathews talks about her character, which is not part of theconversation on national security issues. For example, Mathewsindicates that Hillary can deal with Benghazi issue because she didnot do anything wrong. Besides, he explains that Hillary cares abouther diplomats in the state department. Subsequently, the show startsdiscussing how Hillary’s popularity has increased with pollsindicating that most people support her presidential aspiration (TeamHillary). On the other hand, Mathews includes the clip by JohnStewart discussing the government conspiracy on Benghazi attack.However, Stewart who is mainly concerned with impressing the audienceusing jokes even as he addresses pressing political matters. Forexample, he goes ahead to joke about Mike Tyson’s tattoo, which isfar from the topic of national security being addressed(TeamHillary).
Nonetheless,Mathews includes personal opinions about the people analyzing theBenghazi attack, which shows bias against one side of the debate.Mathews makes negative remarks towards the views raised by theopposition and insists that they used false arguments. For example,he terms John Inhofe’s statement about the government conspiracy ofthe Benghazi attack as a hyperbole even before the viewers hear hisargument (Team Hillary). Additionally, Mathews remarks that no oneshould be listening to Dick Cheney on matters of national security.Therefore, he gives a negative perception about contrary opinionstowards the Benghazi attack without giving the audience the chance toanalyze the conversation and decide which side of the debate istelling the truth. He indicates that the Republicans were hoping tofind a cover-up for the Benghazi attack (Team Hillary).
Moreover,Mathews explains that the Republicans always assume there issomething else going on but they never seem to know what it is.Therefore, he is dismissing the claims by Lindsey Graham based on thenotion that they are unjustifiable (Team Hillary). Besides, Mathewsgives more time to the specialists opposing the views raised by theRepublicans. Although his views may be accurate, he shows biastowards one side of the discussion (Team Hillary).
Inconclusion, the media today is different because reporters havechanged the way they present the news. The press is no longerinterested in talking about the ethical issues in the society sincepolitics have become integrated into every debate. Furthermore, theyonly discuss public policies if they revolve around scandals thatwill make the talk shows or the news interesting. As such, thebroadcast journalists are more concerned with the ratings andappealing the audience. Then again, the media is under pressure tomake their presentations lively, which has forced the reporters toengage in meaningless discussions instead of ethical dialogues.Therefore, this has affected the type of information the journalistsgive to the public thus, the media need to change so that they canhave a positive impact on the society.
FallowsJames. “WhyAmericans Hate the Media.” TheAtlantic Monthly,Feb. 1996,http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1996/02/why-americans-hate-the-media/305060/.Accessed 17 Oct. 2016.
TeamHillary. “ChrisMathews ~ wow!!!!! 57 percent of the country wants Hillary Clintonfor president in 2016.” YouTube,21May 2013,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tPqcBW5gDA. Accessed 17 Oct. 2016.