Journalism: “writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation”*
Sensationalism: “empiricism that limits experience as a source of knowledge to sensation or sense perceptions”*
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 324 million people in the USA. (http://www.census.gov/popclock/). This population likely includes several hundred thousand individuals who could be described as being very intellectual, savvy, experienced, and upstanding. It includes doctors, historians, economists, scientists, and an abundance of other scholarly individuals. How then, did we ever get to this point in this election cycle, where an extraordinary number of US citizens are not voting for the candidate of their choice, but rather against a candidate they despise?
I place a lot of the blame directly on the shoulders of the media. It doesn’t matter which source. You name them, Huffington Post; FOX News; CNN; ABC, etc.. They are all complicit in the deception that led us to the path we now travel. This isn’t to say that the populace is free from any responsibility. Far from it. However, the media has been entrusted with a great responsibility. A responsibility built on journalistic integrity. And, to their detriment, the populace have placed their trust in the media, failing to question what is being fed to them.
It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton has been the media darling for a long time, despite her transgressions. Just this week, CNN’s Chris Cuomo unabashedly admitted so much. (See below).
In October 2015, Clinton finished her testimony before Congress. Immediately afterwards, the media praised her “performance” and spent little attention on the content of the hearing. The Washington Post listed these as reasons “Hillary Won the Benghazi Hearings” (I didn’t know it was a competition, did you).
- “Clinton looked like a fighter, something the Democratic base craves.”
- “Clinton became a sympathetic figure when the Republicans badgered.”
- “Clinton committed no made-for-TV gaffe.”
- “The 67-year-old showed impressive stamina.”
Other news outlets published the following:
- Boston Globe: “Clinton remains unruffled”
- Bloomberg: “Clinton holds ground…”
- NPR: “Clinton endures…”
- Politico: “Clinton survives…”
Not only has Hilary received a pass from the media, but she’s received a pass from our own government as well. As you are aware by now, our own FBI testified before Congress, telling them that Hillary lied under oath about her email and the classified nature of those email. Yet, nothing was to come of it.
For that matter, “The Donald” is not exempt from media bias either. He rode free a wave of free publicity all the way to the Republican nomination. Why was he able to boast that he spent far fewer dollars than any other candidate in the primary? It’s because he didn’t have to. Every time he sneezed, it became a news story.
He garnered attention by labeling his opponents as “Lying Ted”, “Little Marco” and more. His insults earned him front page news and he kept his name in the spotlight. His insulting nature was sensationalized and with the help of the media, he successfully excused his actions by playing the role of the victim during the primary season.
So…here we are today. We have these two candidates out of 324 million people. One of them can’t get out of his own way. The other can’t stop lying. One says stupid stuff. The other does stupid stuff. But the media has failed us! They are not presenting facts. They are not presenting issues. They are more concerned with who is going to do or say something stupid. This seems to sell. It is an indictment on our society for sure. But the media built this. They perpetuated it.
Journalism is a thing of the past. It’s become apparent that a candidate can do and say whatever they want, and the media will sensationalize it. The media has allowed these candidates to become masters of deception and distraction. In a sense, the media has crafted this election cycle into the circus that it has become.