Media In The Midterms

Here is an example from the 2016 election of how skewed corporate news can be

Just a quick observation – the day of the media as an objective observer during the midterms are long gone. Most every media outlet is a subsidiary of some major corporation. As if we needed to be reminded, major corporations do have a stake in the election and using their media subsidiaries is part of a strategy.

Outlets like Fox and Sinclair are pretty out front about being right wing influencers. They push the radical right agenda quite blatantly and frequently. Have you ever thought about a real non-issue like Critical Race Theory suddenly became a hot button issue across the country even though it is taught nowhere?

Have you wondered why inflation suddenly appeared from almost nowhere to supplant a true organic issue like the overturning of Roe v. Wade? I am not saying inflation is not an issue. It most certainly is, but the framing on this issue is so decidedly one sided that it is almost comical? Why is workers’ pay given more blame for inflation rather than the major culprit, businesses price gouging?

Why do we hear little about rural hospitals closing? Why do we hear little about the horrors that ending abortion has caused? Thanks to major media involvement we saw what was once a country that believed in science refuse vaccines as more than a million died horrible and possible preventable deaths?

A country that conquered polio, measles, small pox and many other once dreaded diseases refused proven vaccinations and now looks as if they are on the verge of rejecting all vaccinations. All because of a media with an agenda has decided to use disinformation and the power of their presence to do so.

So as we come to the final days of what is the most important election in Americans history, the media is putting its substantial thumb on the scales. One of the things that media can influence is the turnout. Therefore you may have noticed that in the past week or so media outlets are spewing a continuous stream of supposed polls that show Republicans have substantial lead going into Election Day.

We hear this interpretation especially on right wing media outlets, but we also hear it on “neutral” outlets such as NPR. Why would all these never-heard-of-before polls are coming out in the right’s favor suddenly is two fold. 

First, all these polls with Republicans winning are thrown into the mix by aggregators such as These polls then influence the aggregate of polls which make it look like Republicans are winning. Secondly, as reports (true or not) come out the one side is losing, their supporters get discouraged and stay home.

This is one of the quiet ways that the media uses its influence to get the results they want. “Oh they are just reporting polls” is a common thought. But whose polls? What demographics? What were the questions? 

As I mentioned, even NPR falls into the trap of reporting “polls” without explanation. When NPR gives credulity to this way of undermining turnout, it has a more powerful punch.

And just to add a punch to the gut, with Elon Musk taking over Twitter that is another media outlet controlled by the right. Along with Facebook they are big influencer that few ever think of when thinking of the media.

To be honest, this year no-one really knows which way the real vote will go. If you are at all hesitant, don’t hold back. Be sure to get out there and vote! 

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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