Media and politics

Who said this and when?

“Today television news is watched more often than people read
newspapers, than people listen to the radio, than people read or
gather any other form of communication. The reason: People are lazy.
With television you just sit – watch – listen. The thinking is done
for you.”

That was Roger Ailes, till recently president of Fox News Channel,
way back when he was working for the Nixon administration.

Since then, conventional wisdom has been that television ads were the
prime way to influence pre-election audiences, at least in a larger district such as the presidency.

Accordingly, television was the focus of big Clinton campaign expenditures–a good example of fighting the previous battle.

Meanwhile, Trump was preparing his Facebook game, and putting Clinton on the defensive by tweeting insults and spreading revelations with the cooperation of James Comey, Julian Assange, and the Russian team.

Trump was jumping on the Palin bus by attacking the mainstream media and the Clinton team was standing in middle of the road.

Trump made the George Bush II administration look like amateurs in the creation of an alternate media reality.

Will 2020 candidates still be relying on inventiveness, Facebook and Twitter? Or will some whole new strategy and vehicle be conveying the successful candidate’s message?

And the weightiest question is: will voters learn how to see through news hoaxes and unfulfillable promises? Without better political literacy, our future will be greatly diminished.

On the positive side, perhaps Americans aren’t as lazy as Roger Ailes thought; voters will have a good opportunity to get an education in political realities over the months and years to come.


About politicswestchesterview

Nathaniel regards himself as a progressive Democrat who sees a serious need to involve more Americans in the political process if we are to rise to Ben Franklin's challenge "A republic, madam, if you can keep it," after a passerby asked him what form of government the founders had chosen. This blog gives my views and background information on the local, state, and national political scenes. My career in higher education was mainly in the areas of international studies, foreign languages, and student advising, most recently at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, from which I retired in 2006. I have lived in West Chester since 1986.
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