Political Polarization. How the Media is Contributing to political polarization
There has never been an American that has agreed on a single issue. We have always been a country diverse with ideas. The founders acknowledge that freedom of speech was crucial in stirring the country in the correct direction. Politicians, leaders, and presidents need to be held accountable if it not corruptions is inevitable. However, the idea of freedom of speech has been threatened over the last several years by several factors, Americans staying in their comfort zone, partisan media, and society ignoring the facts.
At this current point in time, many Americans do not go out of their comfort zone, staying in their social and political bubbles. We see this on both sides of the political spectrum. With many liberals only watching liberal media outlets like CNN or CNBC and with conservatives mainly subscribing to Fox News or Info Wars. Being tested by others in what we believe is how we become stronger in the ability to defend our values. It opens our minds to why many have an opposing view. Becoming educated not to hate someone else but to understand and respect why they may have their own beliefs. That’s the only way our country may grow. If our country chooses not to have open discussions with others it will progress down a path of close-mindedness, hatred, and ignorance.
The Partisan media has also contributed to the political divide. Today there are several different types of news organizations that meet the needs of their viewers if it is publishing non-partisan news or publishing news that supports a political preferences. This wide selection wasn’t available 30 years ago. Back then the only channels a consumer would have been able to choose from would have been NBC, CBS, and ABC. The reason is these were the only channels available at time. These three channels essentially covered the same news but in different formats. The ordinary American would have eventually obtained some type of news from not having a wide selection of channels to choose from.However, the problem is that the consumers now are allowed to pick and choose what news they hear. This has createdliberal and conservative news networks that meet the need of their views. There is nothing wrong with watching to gain knowledge of how a party may be interpreting things, but this should not be a citizen primary network to gain knowledge about current events. People will only see the world through the eyes of the conservative or liberal lens and not from a non-bias perspective.
Alex Jones and Infowars
The problem begins to arise when citizens decide to ignore the facts if it contradicts their own beliefs. When Americans believe that facts can be manipulated to their own preferences or just completing dismissing them. This past weekend Megyn Kelly interview with Alex Jones brought into the spotlight the extreme and far-right broadcasting of Infowars, a conservative news platform that has been recently received White House press credentials. Alex Jones show is notorious for creating conspiracy that twists the facts. Before the interview aired he famously claimed that that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary was a hoax. According to Media Matters for America quoted Alex Jones in 2013 called the shooting “staged” and later went on to claim that “it’s got inside job wrote all over it.” When questioned by Megyn Kelly about where the so-called information might be Alex Jones responded: “They’ve locked all that, won’t release any of it”. Alex later went on to say that he believed that the children coming out of the school holding their hand and going in circles were just a drill.
His comments of hate have had real world consequences. In the interview, it was mentioned that a woman from Florida just this month was sentenced to six months in prison, for sending death threats to the victims of Sandy Hook’s parents. Her lawyer stated that she was motivated by Alex Jones and Infowars. Alex Jones disrespectful and hateful comments have encouraged several people to carry out similar copycat attacks. Alex Jones did release a statement on Sunday, the day the interview on NBC was broadcasted to apologize for hateful remarks. However, the apologize was empty and he can never take back the hateful remarks he has said.
The partisan media is to blame for the polarized political climate. This is the time for more trustworthy journalism. Jouranalism has always had an effect on society wether its been good or bad.