Wednesday, November 2, 2016

On the "Conservative" Media

I am not here to add to the election noise, but while it's election season I am thinking and writing about what I am seeing and learning. 

Perhaps my biggest takeaway at this point in the election season is the immense power of the conservative media. I have come to believe much of the evangelical hatred of Hilary is a result of a “conservative” media industry that perhaps initially came into being to counteract the fact that most existent media has a liberal bias. However it is absolutely its own perhaps equally large and equally powerful industry now, and I would suggest that it is even more biased than the "liberal" media. Sometimes it’s like there’s no semblance of truth-telling, there is a worldview painted that has made a huge swath of America distrustful of anything not from the Conservative media, giving them immense power to spin a narrative. They are more about what they are against than what they are for, and so there is no base truth or reality, it is just.... anti. The narrative has been spun, and wow. The things said about immigrants, the Black Lives Matter movement, the “liberal media”, and of course Hillary Clinton… wow.

Let me say here that I totally get if you can’t handle Hilary Clinton because of her far left stance on abortion. She is about as pro-abortion as they come, and for a pro-lifer, even a moderate one, that’s impossible to stomach. And that is why I keep telling people about Evan Mcmullen. I do not believe that position is one that is spun by the media. Carry on. 

I knew the conservative media was biased, of course, all media is biased. And for years I have heard Glen Beck and Shaun Hannity and grown frustrated soon after listening to them. I try to read a variety of news perspectives but it is hard to read conservative sources when they refuse to report and dialogue in a reasonable, calm matter. I thought of them as talking heads for some extreme elements of American “conservatives”. I didn’t they had become the exclusively trusted source for so so many people. Ironically, they're not even really conservative in terms of policy usually. It's so strange. 

It’s not just the uneducated that are affected by these voices. One of the most disappointing Trump endorsements was from Wayne Grudem, a respected theologian whose Systematic Theology was a staple for students in our undergrad. He’s a thinker, and that’s why it was shocking that he endorsed Trump. In his endorsement Grudem brushed over Trump’s moral flaws as being unfortunate but also blown out of proportion. Later Wayne Grudem retracted his endorsement. His primary rationale for his retraction is that he said he had failed to look into the accusations against Trump, and when he did he was horrified and could not support him. “If I had known…” Man. Here’s the thing. There’s apparently a big section of American society who do not read the “mainstream media” because they don’t trust the liberal bias. They read conservative media, some of which is enamored with Trump (gag me) and therefore minimize or don’t report at all on Trump’s failings. So, when confronted with Trumps flagrant racism, sexism, etc…. and it turns out it’s actually true, not just vague accusations from the liberal media, these people are actually surprised.

Another professor I know who is incredibly suspicious of the “liberal media” and taken in by the super conservatives posted a rather suspicious sounding article about an international news issue from a random Christian source. A student asked them if the source was credible. The answer? “I don’t know, but it’s better than CNN.” Really? Random American Christian news outlet is going to have more credibility than CNN, which has reporters and fingers around the world? CNN is by no means perfect and I actually think they are rather annoying, but the idea that a random no-name news outlet is MORE credible simply because it’s not CNN is … wow. It’s what’s part of what has led us to Trump.

Thing is, each time I ponder this I wonder if somehow I think this because I have been taken in by the liberal media in the exact same way I am accusing people of having been taken in by conservative media. So I go to Trump’s twitter or whatever other direct-from-Trump source I pick that day, and I am reminded that it doesn’t take much spin to make me totally disagree with and be horrified by the man. It’s his own words and his own character, directly from his mouth, that have made me a #nevertrump er.


Anonymous said...

I'm Catholic and pro-life, but it's been a while since I voted for a "pro-life" candidate for president. Maybe it was seven years with a Republican president, Republicna control of the House AND Senate, and 7 of 9 Supreme Court justices Republican-appointed, and absolutely nothing happened to Roe v. Wade-- leaving me to think that "pro-life" candidates just say that to get elected. Maybe it's that I provide health care for the poor at a Catholic hospital that actually cares about people who are undocumented, uninsured, unemployed-- but these candidates just don't. Maybe it's that Democratic policies that support low-income families and mothers and children actually lower abortion rates-- which is important to me since I don't think Roe is going anywhere. Maybe it's that abortion would go to the states if Roe v. Wade were repealed, and most states would clearly uphold it-- it's mostly rhetoric by this point. I think the only political group in the US that actually cares about saving babies and not just getting elected is Democrats for Life.

Trump seems to be ignorant, bigoted, narcissistic, unintelligent, dangerous, and a bully. He seems like a terrible, terrible choice for president. But my lovely father-in-law is voting for him. We have Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to thank for that,

As for liberal media bias, I think it comes and goes. For example, the mainstream media loved George W. Bush's frat-boy charm and ate it up, which aided him in getting elected.

Kacie said...

Anonymous.... yes and amen to all you said.