Opinions

Constant bashing of mainstream media will only further polarize

A click of the TV remote for the latest in politics has now morphed into a hunt for the most trustworthy news source.

According to Nielsen Insights, Americans spend over 11 hours a day interacting with various forms of media. Those 11 hours allow them to gain perspective on the current issues that matter the most. With increased brevity of various social media news, the ease of access to news is astonishing, with more and more Americans becoming conscious of the world
around them.

With the three branches of government comes the fourth estate: journalism. The freedom of the press stands for believing in what is right. Media organizations take pride in publishing different voices, but the publication of truth is the matter at hand.

In most recent debates, President Donald Trump’s negative rhetoric has targeted mass media organizations. What was once a regular news story has now become fiery allegations against media organizations for publishing “fake news.”

Trump must stand in disbelief when reading CNN’s motto: “The most trusted name in news.” He has made it clear that he feels passionate about his attitude of media organizations with a recent tweet in which he deemed news to be “the true enemy of the people.”

There’s a reason why freedom of press was set in stone by our Founding Fathers. So, why is it that what is supposed to protect us as a nation is hurting us as a society?

It is not fabrication that is damaging the reputation of mainstream media, but media bias and negative rhetoric stemming from our current political climate.

A viral chart on MarketWatch depicts news organizations and media companies that skew left or right, with the middle being a neutral standpoint. This chart tracks bias, showcasing which organizations come off as more conservative or more liberal.

Of course, all organizations cannot be neutral due to the inevitability of political views and opinions. So, this chart has become an issue. MarketWatch reported that this chart influenced Trump to believe that Google “manipulates its searches to highlight liberal sites,” further showcasing his mindset for
the media.

This idea of media manipulation that Trump tells the American people is further driving the country on the road to war, not peace, with The New York Times even writing that “American politics, rarely if ever a kumbaya exercise, is now marked by talk of left-wing mobs and right-wing nationalism.”

This mob fever and nationalistic mentality are seen in a surge of hate crimes, 60 percent of which were anti-Semitic since 2017, as reported by the Anti-Defamation League.

Vocal Trump critics have faced the heat. In shocking headlines within the past week, explosives were mailed to distinguished political figures such as former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. What made this even more shocking was the package also sent to actor Robert De Niro, known for his adamant views
against Trump.

To add fuel to the fire, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting delved deeper into the concept of hate crimes. Eleven people died in the shooting and suspect Robert Bowers was found to have previously posted hatred and intolerance for Jewish culture on social media accounts, as reported by NBC News.

Trump’s constant bashing of the media is further dividing our nation. The Atlantic provided a recent tweet of his in which he stated that he wants to “bring all sides together in peace and harmony,” with the extraction of news. You cannot take away what our nation was built upon.

The power of words is priceless; as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told CNN, “The president’s words matter.”

-Yasmeen Persaud

Corporate Communications ‘22

November 5, 2018

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Yasmeen Persaud


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