I was driving home this weekend and stopped at a light behind a car with this sticker plastered on it. I have seen these stickers before, and I have definitely heard the many arguments revolving around this little statement but, this time I really thought about what that could statement could mean to someone who went out of their way to acquire it and put it on their car. First off, why do you think that the media is liberal? and second, why does that therefore mean you should not believe it?
To me, nothing is more dangerous than people with the inability or lack of desire to think for themselves. These types of people, in my experience, are willing to accept vague, open statements like this one without much thought to what it means or why they came to agree with that conclusion. Your everyday, conservative, republicans are almost always guilty of this which I honestly believe has a lot to do with their faith. They have been conditioned to blindly believe anything anyone in a perceived position of power tells them to believe. Is our entire media industry liberal? Really? The whole thing? Radio… television… magazines… newspapers… blogs… news sites… You get the point. There are a TON of media outlets out there and to say that all of them are liberal is just, well, ignorant. So how did this person I am sitting behind at the red light come to this conclusion and decide to share it with his fellow motorists?
I think I know why: the conservative republicans have always been really good at getting their message out to their followers. They play off of your fears, your faith, your family; everything that means anything to you. And it works really well. They have aligned themselves with people in such a way that the democratic party has yet been able to parallel. Democrats tend to work off of common sense and the acknowledgement that your family is not the only family on this planet and we should therefore act accordingly (hence the “liberal elitist”). The Republicans, however, tend to work off of your irrational fears and belief systems. If they can say that the media is liberal, well then they can counter any and everything that is said that does not align itself with their political message. It leaves everything wide open for argument and each time it is argued it is only more engrained in their follower’s head that the media MUST be liberal. It’s a perfect strategy and the poor guy in front of me at the light has fallen for it. But we Democrats are better than that, right?! Maybe… Which brings me to my next point: IF the media is liberal, why then should you not believe it?
‘Believe’ is such a strange word to be used in this instance, but again, it plays in to your fears and emotions much more effectively than if they were to say, “The liberal media lies” or “I disagree with the liberal media”. Those statements are saying the same thing but they don’t make it personal, which doesn’t make it scary, which, in turn, doesn’t make it appealing. Regardless, the part I am having such a hard time with is that everyone is entitled to freedom of the press and free speech- liberals and conservatives alike. So how is it that their conservative voices are not being heard or are being squandered by the liberals? Is it that they don’t speak up? Well, we all know that can’t be it! Or is it that the liberals are a part of some sort of government conspiracy in which we go through everyday and weed out all the “non-liberal” leaning news reports and make them disappear? Plausible? I think not.
I guess we should take it as a compliment that they honestly believe we have this sort of power but the argument just doesn’t hold any legitimacy for me. And not only that, I have a very hard time believing that it does hold legitimacy for a lot of the US population. Isn’t it just a matter of whether you agree with the way the news is being reported or not? What does it have to do with beliefs? I’m stumped- it just isn’t common sensical.