With less than two weeks to go before the 2018 Midterm Elections, things are starting to heat up within American Society. A casual follower of current events might conclude that the rise in tension between the political parties was the product of something recent. The truth is, the polarization of political ideologies and philosophies can be laid at the feet of our methods of information consumption. The Legacy Media, such as CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and so on, are more a part of the problem than they are the solution.
I’ve been a student of the media for over 15 years. In addition to following politics and news, I also find the entire process of information communication to be interesting. As the New Media has risen via the Internet, we have all benefited from the exposure of Legacy Media’s bias. The assumption is their bias was something rather new, but it is my opinion this bias has existed for a very long time. The difference is, now we can see it very clearly.
The migration of the Legacy Media bias has been slow, but steady. Since the advent of the 24 hour news cycle, the bias became even more prevalent as time needed to be filled with information. Facts give way to opinion because anchors are expected to report something, even when nothing is known. The most recent example, regarding the various pipe bomb looking devices delivered to prominent Democrats, only furthers this point. While Law Enforcement were in the beginnings of an investigation, the Legacy Media were already drawing conclusions on the cause, and the likely culprit:
Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama, Mr. Soros and CNN have all figured prominently in conservative political attacks — many of which have been led by President Trump. He has often referred to major news organizations as “the enemy of the people,” and has had a particular animus for CNN.The New York Times
As one would expect, the Media are circling the wagons with regard to the accusations that they are responsible for the mostly violent leftist behavior.
However, you all who are savvy consumers of news and information know the truth as I do. The media has been far from consistent in their response to violent rhetoric from Progressive Democrats. We saw no such statements regarding Kathy Griffins decapitated head of President Trump, nor Madonna’s calling to blow up the White House. We saw nothing of the sort when Maxine Waters stated she was ready to “TakeTrump out tonight” or her calling on supporters to confront Republicans in public. Where was this outcry with Eric Holder’s “when they go low, we kick ’em” comment?
If that all isn’t enough, I’m curious how President Jeff Zucker would explain the New York Times posting Assassination Porn in their own publication:
The Russian landed at Dulles after 48 hours of traveling. Of necessity, he came from Moscow by a circuitous route. A long way with a very specific task. There would be no return flight…
Around 11 p.m., his contact arrived. The man had been in deep cover for decades. In his briefcase was a bottle of Stolichnaya and a 9-millimeter Makarov semiautomatic pistol…
The Russian waited until they were a few steps past before he drew the gun. He sighted on the center of the president’s back, and squeezed the trigger.
The Makarov misfired.
The Secret Service agent at the president’s shoulder heard the click, spun into a crouch. He registered the scene instantly, drawing his own weapon with razor-edge reflexes.
The Russian tasted failure. He closed his eyes and waited to pay the cost.
It did not come.
He opened his eyes. The Secret Service agent stood before him, presenting his Glock, butt first.
“Here,” the agent said politely. “Use mine. …”
You can read additional information about these fictional stories compiled by the New York Times over at Hotair.com.
While Progressive Democrats attempt to paint themselves as victims of “alt-right violence” in America, a role they are only too familiar with, Brietbart has been rolling a constant list of violence and media endorsed harassment of Trump supporters. The current count is up to 613 instances since 2016.
So how does the media fit into all of this? The format in which our news information is delivered has a huge influence on our understanding of events. While people consume information in different ways, we have largely two different methods that information is relayed. We have the Long Form Method, and the Short Segment Method. As you might expect, Progressive Democrats often obtain their information via Short Segments, while Conservatives or Individualists tend to obtain their information via Long Form Methods.
How do we distinguish between the two? Short Segments are the building block of Legacy Media. The concept is built upon keeping viewers tuned in and interested in content, and the prevalence of short attention spans. While I am certain that ratings and viewership figures may back this up, the method overall is disastrous to how people learn facts. The issues which take place are complex, have many moving parts, and simply cannot be explained within a few minutes of time.
The situation has only intensified over the years. As the New Media began to take hold, more Americans (like myself) have been cutting their cable cords. The viewership of Legacy Media has been falling fast, which leaves an ever smaller pool of viewers to attract. As a result, the Legacy Media have had to ramp up their extreme rhetoric as a way of attracting an audience. Journalism has migrated to being more a form of entertainment than an information medium. This transition now renders the “news” portions to be indistinguishable from the opinion based segments. As such, the bias of the various talking heads becomes a larger and larger factor.
Contrast this with the Long Form Method which is often found in New Media, and areas where more Conservative or Libertarian minded people reside. Whether you look at sites like NewsBusters, HotAir, AmericanThinker, or many other blog sites, you’ll find most often the posted articles are in response to Legacy Media postings. This does two very important things. First, it exposes the reader to the direct reporting of the opposition. Second, it offers the reader a critique or at least evidence based analysis of reported news information. Conservative Talk Radio is, itself, another example of the Long Form Method. Hosts often spend enormous amounts of time on single subjects, which allows them to be fleshed out and their complexity well understood.
Whether blogs or Talk Radio, consumers of information are given a mountain of facts and evidence to understand the issue’s complexity. Because the issues discussed are done so in a rational and fact based manner, these methods survive the test of time. Contrast this to Liberal Talk Radio, which has failed more often than it as succeeded. Why is that? Progressive Democrats operate mostly on emotion, hence their propensity for protests or riots. These types of events are driven by emotional outrage, but any student of human nature understands that emotions are powerful lights that burn twice as bright but half as long. You simply cannot have a Long Form Method of information delivery on a daily basis where emotions are the centerpiece of your consumption. High emotions are often the delivery method of information, and we see this within Legacy Media all the time. News Anchors who cry or yell on set as they spew their contextually void talking points, resonate with viewers out of empathy for their feelings. The emotions dictate the validity of the information delivered, not the accuracy of the facts themselves. If someone is upset, they MUST be telling the truth!
Progressives utilize Twitter for their sources of news and information moreso I believe than anyone else. The Short Segment Method of Twitter allows for emotional based messages to be sent, but contextually void of information. One of my favorite hyperbolic Twitter accounts is Anti-Trump Leftist Brian Krassenstein. Here is a few examples of tweets to his 500k follower audience:
There are countless other Progressive Democrats on Twitter who post this kind of information every single day. It is void of facts, evidence, or analysis. The postings contain contextually void statements, or emotional rants. However, if you didn’t know any better, you would think your President is actually Hitler.
Members of Congress, former officials, reporters and TV commentators have tweeted comparisons of U.S. detention facilities to Nazi concentration camps or issued none-too-subtle invocations of gas chambers in their tweets about children being led away from their parents by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Reporters have peppered administration officials with questions about their “Nazi” tactics.
On Friday, an MSNBC commentator extended the Nazi label to every Trump supporter, declaring: “If you vote for Trump then you, the voter, you, not Donald Trump, are standing at the border, like Nazis, going: ‘You here, you here.’”
People didn’t get this way totally on their own. Their own perspectives are shaped by the very news and current events that are reported to them. While certainly we could argue that one’s ignorance of history contributes to their misconceptions, often times these individuals are simply repeating the ideas of others. Nothing exhibits the differences between the two forms of information communication than this. Long Form Methods of delivering news and political information, in and of themselves, teach the consumer how to THINK through the analysis. As you observe authors, much like myself, lay out the argument and deliver evidence to support it, that very method teaches readers how to be analytical.
The Short Segment methods, by in large, only teach the consumer what to SAY, and mostly what to FEEL about a particular issue. This emotional based delivery mechanism only survives by functioning in short bursts. You can only trash America for so long before people get physically tired. You can only talk about taxing the rich for so long before you get repetitive, or accidentally run into an argument of property rights or lopsided taxation. You can call the President Hitler only so long before you begin to look like a fool who knows nothing about history, nor what a real Fascist country looks like.
The worst part, is exposing people to the viewpoints of the opposition via the Short Segment Method, has shown to actually increase polarization.
Republican participants expressed substantially more conservative views after following a liberal Twitter bot, whereas Democrats’ attitudes became slightly more liberal after following a conservative Twitter bot—although this effect was not statistically significant.
One might be lead to conclude that Republicans are more radicalized by Liberal Tweets, therefore they are the more radical of the two. I would argue this shows that Liberals are, by in large, radicalized so much that there is very little room for them to move. However, as I have previously stated, Twitter is the single most awful place ever to argue facts based political information:
When I requested this individual provide facts of their own to counter my arguments, they went silent. I see this time and time again, if they don’t simply block me when it is clear they are losing the argument. Andrew Gillum is a Bernie Sanders supporter, and Sanders is a self-proclaimed Socialist pretending to be a Democrat. You don’t Honeymoon in the Soviet Union, being a fan of Individual Liberty.
In conclusion, the Short Segment Method of delivering news and political information allows Progressive Democrats to remain firmly fixed in their ignorance of events. While we certainly have Conservatives who don’t understand why they hold their opinions, they are a very thin bunch. Meanwhile, Progressives exist either as agents of manipulation or outright ignorant consumers of news media. The Short Segments of news media don’t allow for deep dives into these topics, and Progressive news sources almost never quote Conservative publications or Talk Radio Hosts unless they do so while taking information totally out of Context.
Should we run a new study where Progressive Democrats must consume ONLY Conservative sources of media for several months, you would find their political stances change. At the very least, they would understand the best policy would be to leave each other alone. Until we start pushing rational sources of information consumption, the anger will continue. However, the “anger” in America is hoarded by those who consume news media via short, and emotionally charged sections.