Thursday, October 23, 2008

The 2008 Presidential Election as Seen through the Struggling Free Press

Robert McChesney makes a number of claims of how the press system is failing in America. His arguments can be related to one of the most important political issues of the moment, the 2008 presidential election. This election is dominating every mass media communication channel and in many ways the candidates have become pop icons and their campaigns have become a reality series. The press influences the public and is responsible for the information they receive. The relationship between our democracy and the press is strong and therefore there needs to be a great deal of responsibility with the press in terms of what material they deliver.

McChesney notes that the majority of Americans who vote are wealthy, upper class citizens. Every election, politicians and celebrities alike encourage the public to go out and vote. However, come Election Day, it appears to be mainly that upper echelon of Americans who actually do. This results in a dangerous cycle of political corruption. Each candidate claims to be the man of the people. In the third 2008 presidential debate, Obama continues to stress his dedication to the working, middle America class. McCain does that same by expressing his desire to reach all Americans and let them experience the “American Dream.” One of the most notable figures from the debate, perpetuated by the media as well, was “Joe the Plumber.” Joe the Plumber is a celebrity in his own right now, as the whole nation is debating whether he’s your average, working American being cheated by high taxes, or an overwhelmingly successful citizen whose quarter of a million dollar a year income puts him above and beyond the classification of working America.

The media is very much responsible for how the candidates, and even Joe the Plumber, are viewed by the public. Media corporations are responsible for creating negative ad campaigns and for airing them. News stations themselves are undeniably biased as well. If you chose to watch the debate on MSNBC, you’re going to get drastically different post debate coverage than if you watched Fox News.

It is important to restore honesty and integrity back into the media. With the demise of mainstream media comes the demise in the success of our political system.

1 comment:

tjacobsen said...

I agree marion.. How can we go about restoring honesty and integrity to the media?
Education? New Programming?