Most Americans think that the media is too biased; I say it’s too friendly. Can we get some real debate in here please?!
News as Business
The vast majority of Americans see the world through the lens of corporate media. We look to channels like Fox News, MSNBC and CNN to provide us with the information we need to make important political, social, and economic decisions. We believe that these organizations have a moral responsibility to us. We would like to believe that they are obligated to tell the unvarnished truth, so that we can make of it what we will. Furthermore, we expect these organizations to have no other agenda; in modern journalism, bias is supposedly the ultimate enemy.
Now, while we would all like journalists to be unbiased and motivated by a desire to provide the public with accurate information, the reality falls far short. Fox, MSNBC, and CNN are, after all, corporate owned, and they are interested in profit above all other concerns. As cynical postmodern Americans, we expect these organizations to distort the truth in the never-ending quest for more money. We have adjusted and adapted. We take what they say with a grain of salt, even as we tend to tune into one news channel exclusively, depending on our political leanings. After all, in capitalism, those with the best product are the winners, and since Fox News’ product is, well, news, and they have the highest number of viewers, it should be the best news there is. Right?
Molding Your Mind for Fun and Profit
Corporate media are not in the business of selling news to an audience; they are in the business of selling an audience to advertisers. Each station specializes in a particular demographic. For example, if the ad division of a car company wants to run a commercial for their latest supercharged SUV, they will run it on Fox News, as Fox is the station that specializes in a demographic which tends to respond well to that product: political conservatives. If, on the other hand, that same company wants to run a commercial for its new low-emission hybrid, it will do so on MSNBC, the liberal demographic specialists. Both Fox and MSNBC, who are supposed to be polar opposites as far as their politics are concerned, receive money from the same company for providing the same service.