Whether Randolph Hearst actually said “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war”, or it is just a made up story that help further increase his persona, there is no question that his newspaper’s coverage leading up to the Spanish-American War was influential as a weapon influencing our decisions leading to the conflict.
This was not the first use of media to build support for or influence governmental action but it is an example how Mass Media can be used to manipulate the populace into supporting such actions. Prior to Hearst’s concerted effort in support of the Cuban Revolution it was a little known conflict with few casualties, of mainly the wealthy educated Cubans trying to get rid of the Spanish Crown.
Today no one newspaper has that amount of influence by itself, but concerted efforts like the group of left-leaning journalist “Journolist“, played a great role in the 2008 Presidential Election of Barack Obama and its support of Obama’s policies meant that he would be re-elected as well. The suppression of the vetting process that all candidates go through was subverted, there are still many Americans who are surprised to hear about the racist views Rev. Wright or his dealing with former weatherman Akers.
Conversely, the media can also act as a blanket by omitting facts that they have determined are inconvenient. In the ‘Journolist’ case they both acted as cheerleaders and protection for President Obama. The Mass Media frequently omits the political affiliation of Democrats in cases of corruption and the races of perpetrators in crime cases. Lately, the Media are hiding the religious affiliation of perpetrators of acts of terrorism (Reuters has a policy of not using the word terrorist, at all), or as is the case of the Rotherham sexual assaults misnaming them altogether.
By using the term South Asians or just plain Asians as the perpetrators it tried to hide that those accused of the mass sexual abuse of some 1400 predominantly White young girls were Muslim men from Pakistan. This has enraged other South Asians that live in England, primarily those that originated from India and are not Muslims.
Can anyone think of a politician any party that was treated by the Media as Sarah Palin? From calls that she was a dumb whore to allegations that her young son Trig should have aborted or that he was her older daughter’s child the treatment that the Media gave the ex-Governor of Alaska was shameful. Some of the things for which she was pilloried were true, you can see Russia from parts of Alaska, and would invade Ukraine if we did not adjust our thinking about them and the opportunity arose.
Palin has not only weathered those attacks but has tried in her own way to strike back, as for her holding any office… that part of her political career well that is over, though I know there are many that still believe.
The Tea Party, is another group that has been under incessant attack by the Media. The members of the Tea Party have been called racist, homophobic, xenophobic, religious fanatics to a degree that it has become an accepted fact that if you support the Tea Party your are all those things.
On the opposite end the short-lived OWS movement was the Media’s darling. The glowing coverage of the movement meant that the Media would not report on the crimes that the movement’s followers were committing. I remember how fawning the Media was with the married mother of 2 who left her husband with the kids and went to New York to sleep in the park with the other occupiers. The daily rapes, mass consumption of drugs that the occupiers were engaging in barely got mentioned.
We have read and know the statistics about how Blacks are 13 percent of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. If the homicide rate of Blacks was that of White, 14.1 versus 1.9, the US would be one of the safest countries in the World. Minus the homicide rate only Japan and Canada have lower rates of violent crime. (Sources were the OECD Index, FBI Crime statistics).
Due to the recent shooting of Michael Brown much have been made by the Media about police discrimination and particularly police shooting of Blacks by police. The USA Today reported that the police were involved in 400 killings per year only 92 were Police shootings of Blacks. There is no break-down as to the circumstances that led to shootings or other information available. The article does point out that only 750 Law Enforcement agencies contribute the statistics to the FBI which compiles the reports, but it does not mention that while there 17000 different LE agencies nationwide the 750 that do report their statistics are the largest and cover 95% of the population. Small or rural agencies do not report to the FBI but most of them crime is rare, murder, rape or other violent crimes are usually handled by their neighboring larger agencies.
Another problem with the article and other like it is the lack of context, if out 400 yearly LE shootings only 92 are involving Blacks that squares with the crime statistics as Blacks are 13% of the population but commit 38.6% of the crimes according to the FBI. If anything this shows that LE is less likely to shoot at Blacks than Whites by a 38% crimes committed only 23% of those shoot by LE. Regardless the Media will reported as another attack on the besieged Black community, instead of acknowledging the problems and as Walter Williams says: “Blacks must confront reality”.
There is another area where the Media has disproportionate and mostly negative influence, that is the ME and specifically Israel. As Matti Friedman, a former AP correspondent calls it; “the Most Important Story on Earth“. It is an essay on how the Media obsession with Israel, Hamas and the whole issue of the Palestinian question transforms and infects with its bias the discussions in the area. In essence the Media is the biggest obstacle to a mutual settlement between Israel and Palestine.
The Mass Media wields tremendous power, though it is being diluted by Social Media which offers an alternative to the monopoly it once had, when it only competed with niche publications that appealed strictly to a few people. The Media has an important role is a free society, and I would never advocate its censorship. Mass Media has been weaponized by the Left, which controls most of the traditional Media. When Media abandons its principal role of watchdog and assumes the role of activist the effect on society can be and has been historically detrimental and this failing can lead to disastrous consequences.
President Obama recently complained that Social Media was responsible for the perception that the World was in chaos, which is ironic as his whole ascent to the Presidency was aided by Social Media and Mass Media’s love for him. I don’t know which is scarier that the President would say it or that he really believes it. For 6 years the Media was a weapon against those that opposed the President, now that some of that Media are noticing how incompetent he really has been, he is complaining that they are not doing enough to shield him!
Obama was a media construction, now it has become media nightmare, as it has exposed something that they have denied for years that they have a Left-Leaning tilt and have for decades. As a once Democrat supporting Hearst might have said; “You furnish the stories, I get you the Presidency”, but can he govern?