Crooked Hillary. Crooked Hillary. Crooked Hillary. That is all that ever seems to be in articles or on television these days. What about our former first lady Hillary? Or the United States Senator Hillary? When the majority of what a person sees and hears is negative, then of course their opinion of the topic is not exactly going to be fond. When looking for insight on a topic via the media, essentially, one’s opinion has already been formed for them. What we see usually depends mainly on what we look for. When digging deeper into Mrs. Clinton’s political career, whether it’s through the internet or magazines, many topics will come up, scandals actually. One will come across articles regarding emails, dishonesty, lack of accountability and even her not-so-personal personal life. Then at the bottom in tiny print (figuratively speaking) will be her promises to the country and accomplishments. The media puts all of the “juicy” issues out front, while leaving you to search far and wide for the other side to the story and at times, actual truth. Essentially ordering our topics for us.
In a nutshell, “Agenda-Setting” is a theory that describes the ability of the news media to encourage the public’s opinion of what to think about. It subconsciously prioritizes the public’s central issues and even hints at what the public should believe to be important. It seems that the media is taking this approach towards this year’s presidential campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Hillary is not an awful candidate, she has her skeletons just like everyone else, but you’d never know it.
“Donald Trump has convinced millions of Americans that the system is ‘rigged,’ raising fear that his supporters could become violent should the GOP candidate lose the election.” (According to C. Joseph; nydailynews.com; 2016) When someone is hearing that their democracy is dishonest all of the time from someone of political stature, followed by other people who believe it, one can only begin to wonder. Thoughts of political corruption naturally begin to fester and before you know it, the entire country is believing this to be true. All of this has developed over one person’s opinion. The media did not directly tell the public that its democracy was deceitful, but it sure did not say that it wasn’t! It is quite simple how the manipulation works, it is similar to music. Once someone listens to a type of music, somewhat preaching one way for so long, that begins to subconsciously become reality for that person and since music is a form of media, political media is no different.
A person with absolutely no political knowledge or background can Google Hillary Clinton and find articles pertaining to anywhere from her “compromising emails” to her somewhat messy personal life (which is not relevant). Many just stop there. In this year’s campaign it doesn’t seem to be about who can do more for the country, but who can yell louder. One seeking a positive outlook on Mrs. Clinton would have to dig deeper. (According to E. Chan and E. Bengtson; 133 Reasons and Counting; 2016) “As a former secretary of state, U.S. senator, first lady, and a lifelong advocate for women and families, no one is more qualified to be president than Hillary.” To be frank, that is true, she IS the more qualified candidate of the two. There is no denying that, but the media suggests that we overlook such common knowledge and dwell on her email scandal from the past. Essentially, the media is telling us that her qualifications are important, but not THAT important.
“This is the last time we’re gonna have a chance, in four years it’s over,” he said Tuesday in Florida before declaring that “The criminal conduct of Hillary Clinton threatens the foundations of democracy.” (According to D. Diaz and D. Wright; nydailynews.com; 2016) Trump ultimately attempts to change the subject, switching the voter’s view for them. The media then amplifies it, further pushing voter’s in the opposite direction they once thought towards. Voters were given something else to think about that they were told was clearly more crucial. This form of suggestive signaling happens often within the media and media-regulated events.
The media is/can be a very beautiful thing. It provides us with information quickly that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to receive. It keeps us updated on what’s going on around us and keeps us informed. We must be careful to regulate its role in our minds and thoughts and not allow it to regulate us. It can quickly affect what we think about, it can greatly alter what we view as important and even arrange something’s level of importance. Everything is best in moderation, everything.