The Harbinger Online

Staffer Criticizes the Political Bias of News Stations

Chaos would encircle the globe if every nit-witted notion or erroneous allegation we heard on the street corner were true. Barack Obama would be a Muslim Fascist Nazi Socialist Dictator from Kenya and George Bush would have invaded Iraq and sacrificed thousands of U.S. lives for the sole purpose of oil. Accusations such as these seem a bit harsh—ever take a gander at their origins?

Check your cable news programs.

Yes, in a news world inundated with unchecked opinions and barren of investigative reporting, we newcomers to politics must rely on the notions of a few TV “pundits” to guide our political compasses. After all, who else could possibly steer us through the moronic marsh of Social Security debates, GOP rallies and health care debacles?

Parents, you say. Well, that would be an excellent jumping pad, considering we tend to mimic our parents’ morals—but wouldn’t that also defeat the purpose? Seeking sources that confirm but never challenge our beliefs. Jumping to verify gravity.

Debate is the crutch of politics. Through it, we discover where our beliefs and candidates’ beliefs truly lie. So what would happen if society closed its ears to other points of view? What if we immersed ourselves in a mass of like-minded people only?

First of all, the nation would be more polarized than ever before. Congress would pass a bill once every century and politicians would be as stubborn as mules in their convictions.

Welcome to the world of modern American politics.

Unfortunately, this is a world created in part by biased news stations like FOX and MSNBC. Instead of following a course that fits our beliefs, we’re forced to make a decision at the fork in the road: right or left.

These news programs even have the ability to turn the rapper Common, a.k.a. the “Conscious Rapper,” a Grammy winner and former Elmo guest, into a supporter of the killing of police and Bush.

The guy from Elmo. Seriously.

FOX never loses focus of its conservative agenda. In this case, Common was the object of FOX’s diatribes because Obama invited him to the White House. Thus, the true target was in fact Obama. Similarly, MSNBC never missed a beat at implying that Texas Governor Rick Perry was a racist.

Words are the TV pundit’s ammunition. We, the viewers, are the target.

***

This just in!

CNN’s green landscape of political middle-ground serves as a safe haven for the weary travelers of infertile, biased lands.

However, the pundits of CNN jump from story to story with the frequency of an M2 Browning machine gun. In fact, a CNN television promo actually boasted that it broad-casted “more stories per hour” than any other program.

Scandals and countdowns and fights, oh my!

CNN has the attention span of a 4-year-old in the candy aisle; even worse, the station lacks a mother reminding it to pick out only one Snickers bar.

More recent, more radical, more shocking—adrenaline-pumping excitement fuels news. Society runs on all that is “Happening Now” or “Breaking News” or “Just in!” Famine in the Horn of Africa isn’t new and therefore isn’t news. The public needs its current event fix now through Facebook posts and text messages and Twitter updates. Flip a story about the mundane public release of a batch of Sarah Palin’s emails into the treasure hunt of the decade; the public will foam at the mouth as it reads the headline, “Palin emails released today. Predictions on the juiciest find?”

More stories, more viewers. More stories, more viewers. Pundits are paid specifically to glue our butts to the couch and our eyes to the TV.

Lost in the rush is investigative reporting. Gone is in-depth analysis. Vanished is anything that might help political fledglings learn to fly.

CNN’s relentless bias towards sensationalism stifles original political thought, for in the explosion of “newer, faster, shorter,” the focus on factual evidence and thought-provoking, investigative reporting—the basis needed for directing our own compasses—lay buried in the rubble.

***

Why?

The world is dangerous when we live in a bubble, especially when cable news stations work tirelessly to keep it that way. Perhaps if we as a nation broke our addiction to unreliable political “analysis,” relying more on facts to inform our ideas, we could foster a less divided United States. Questioning the motives of not only those who give speeches but also those who cover them immunizes us against the hidden agendas of pundits.

Only then can we truly think for ourselves.

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