Impact of Media on Politics
The role media plays in politics is undeniable. Our soundbite culture with its inherent limited attention span dictates a “McNugget” of information. Unfortunately this often leads to misrepresentations being accepted as fact. A glaring example of this was the Killian documents controversy. In September 2004, the CBS program 60 Minutes Wednesday aired a report critical of President George W. Bush's service in the United States National Guard. The four documents included criticisms of Bush's service in the Guard during the 1970s. These documents were supposedly created by Bush's commander, the late Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian. It was also reported that the documents were obtained by a CBS News producer …show more content…
Rush continues to espouse daily on contemporary news, events, and social trends. Several other conservatives radio talk show hosts have ridden Rush’s coattails to success of their own, including Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy, Laura Ingraham, Neal Boortz, Michael Savage, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Michael Reagan (adopted son of former President Ronald Reagan).
On the other side of the political spectrum, liberal talk radio has also emerged, albeit to lower ratings. The Air America Radio network was founded in 2004 with the promise of being a "progressive alternative" to the conservative talk radio. Since signing on, Air America has been beset by legal and financial problems. There are also critics who believe that the long-format news programming on National Public Radio is presented with a liberal bias. A looming threat on the horizon for the dominant conservative talk radio format comes from the U.S. Congress. The recently elected Democratic majority has threatened to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. Effectively, this would mean that a three hour Rush Limbaugh program would have to be followed by a three hour Al Franken program. This would present a challenge to broadcasters and their respective companies, specifically from a revenue standpoint as liberal talk radio is not a money-maker. The new media of the internet is turning into a political force as well. Many candiates have webpages and paged on Myspace, a popular social