Broaden Your Political Horizon

Although I am not usually the type of person to get immersed into reading the daily news, I usually resort to reading the Huffington Post. Therefore, I have been challenging myself to focus my attention on the Fox News’ of the news world for the past forty-eight hours. In addition, my interests usually lie in reading the arts and entertainment section, making the writing of this particular blog post an interesting and eye-opening experience regarding the consumption of more politically charged and right leaning news media. From what I have heard, Fox News has the reputation of not being a credible source of news as it often relies heavily on hyperbolism to support extremist right wing views. Thus, the outcome of this experience has surprised me in many ways.

Regardless of the various news sources’ political standing, one commonality was very apparent: The President of the United States was usually the topic of conversation, whether that consisted of praising him or tearing him down. What was even more shocking was the extent to which news outlets would achieve opposing conclusions when discussing similar subjects, making the propagation of hate, regardless which side it was coming from, very easy.

The manner in which the hate was entertained, along with the choice of words used from both sides was very astonishing. Left leaning news sources often did not hold back from completely tearing down whoever was at the center of their discussion, whether it was the President or not. Previous to consuming only right leaning content for two days, I had refreshed my mind with a couple of Huffington Post articles in order to properly assess the variations among news sources. The left leaning content implored very strong persuasive language, using words such as “forced” and“unavoidable”, in addition to underlying little bits of information that would greatly influence a reader that would only be skimming through the page. From personal experience, this was a very successful tactic to influencing the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time: short, punchy phrases employing strongly influential language.

The majority of left leaning news articles finished along the lines of “we don’t stand for this and you shouldn’t either”.

In comparison, I was somewhat surprised to find right leaning news articles a little bit subtler when discrediting their political opponents, sustaining their favored leaders or trying to sway the audience in a certain direction regarding various matters. In the past forty-eight hours, I noticed a certain pattern in the wording and formulation of the right leaning arguments, often using fear as a motive to support their views and employing much more indirect language, almost to cautiously manipulate public views without necessarily using the flashy and directly influential wording to do it. The few Fox news articles that I was exposed to all somehow opened up topics of conversation without explicitly telling the audience how to feel regarding the matter. It was more along the lines of “hey this is what’s happening, pretty scary, isn’t it?” or “Look how sad and pathetic the democratic party looks right now”. Somehow the articles continued to support the right, in a much subtler, and in my opinion, effective manner. Instead of saying “look how amazing we are” in comparison to the other parties and party leaders, or extending their efforts to tear down their opponents, the news outlet somehow found a way to create content that demeaned the person in question without continuously writing about how “awful” they are and how much us as an audience, should not support them.

Regarding Fox News video commentary, specifically from Tomi Lahren, I originally held the opinion that she was extremist in her views and failed to consider the consequences of her words yet after listening to a few videos I can say that so far, I understand her views although not always agreeing with them. The consumption of right wing media has allowed me to understand their political views, although once again, I may not agree with their points. I no longer consider FOX news as extreme as left-wing media outlets have painted it to be. This is perhaps due to the fact that I have been exposed to consuming their media?

“Although two days is not an extensive amount of time, it was astonishing to feel the influence that one sided media can have on the perception of various topics regarding immigration, politics and entertainment.”

I now have a larger awareness and respect for other’s opinions, although I would previously see them as extreme. I understand how president Trump won the election, yet I still believe that he fails to express himself in a respectable manner on all fronts. Most of all, I do not believe that his points are necessarily what I find extreme but more so the manner in which he expresses himself and his views.

It would be interesting to see if consuming only right-wing media for a longer amount of time, such as over a month, would somehow completely change my views. I’m sure it would have a larger impact over my opinions, as only two days has allowed me to accept news media that might not always coincide with my original thoughts.

I chose to consume only Fox news over these past two days due to the stigma of being an extremist right leaning news source, in addition to hosting the controversial Tomi Lahren as a newscaster. Although I was expecting to absolutely despise reading right leaning news sources, it has opened my eyes to a whole other world of opinions, actually helping me form a broader viewpoint. The consumption of right leaning news has not greatly impacted my life in a significantly negative manner, although I expected to dread this blog post experiment. There is a large possibility that my inability to fully dismiss right leaning media content is due to the fact that I was never a hardcore left leaning news reader to begin with. In addition, consuming news media in general has never motivated me to religiously support either political parties, as I usually resorted to reading the arts and entertainment sections of the online news sources.

My conclusions from this experience are that left leaning news sources should consider exerting their efforts towards supporting their politicians and their views as opposed to tearing down political opponents, or should I say opponent, as Trump was often the topic of conversation. In addition, a little bit more of presenting the facts without trying to sway the audience in such a public manner may actually help increase persuasion since people will feel as if they are creating their own views regarding various matters, as opposed to literally being told how to feel. Furthermore, reading one sided news media has a large impact on public perceptions and personal opinions which is why it is very important to resort to reading various news platforms, even if they may not always directly coincide with personal opinions. Speaking from personal experience, reading various online news sources will allow citizens to form a much stronger and broader view point, as opposed to spewing hate on the opposing political party, as that does not help support societal progress.