The Presidential Election is coming in just a few months. In this time of excitement, amazement, and possible new beginnings, there is of course a question of increasing media involvement and possible distortion of what the American public view each and every night after dinner when they’re sitting in front of their TVs to relax.
It is interesting to see how the American public is responding to the media at this point in the general election. While on the whole, so far, during the primary season not much media distortion was readily apparent due to the distinctions in views party primaries bring; now, the general election has come around and suddenly special interests and stockholder preferences are ruling the airwaves.
This occurrence is not uncommon, for every four years and every political cycle, around this time in August, is when the general election season becomes full blown and the media often makes it stance known. Just to name a few outlets; FOX News has become Trump central, CNN is also referred to as “Clinton News Network” and MSNBC is seemingly taking the pro-Clinton stance. These news organizations are just a few of the hundreds of news organizations that have become noteworthy for their stance with one party.
For the American viewer, the 2016 presidential election has been going on for approximately a very long year and a half now. Essentially, since Donald Trump announced he was running for president, the American public has been exposed to a never ending stream of political news.
An interesting aspect of the shifting media bias also comes with a shift in ratings. While during the primary season, CNN was definitely looking to attract more right wing conservatives, during this general election cycle it seems that they’ve abandoned all hope for converting right-wingers and are sticking to the liberal content they are known for. For CNN, the general election season has also turned into a predicting race for who will be running in 2020 since, according to CNN, the election is essentially wrapped up by Clinton.
Behind the scenes, and something that most American viewers rarely hear about at this point in the general election season, are the upcoming debates in September. It is interesting to hear how just like in the Democratic primary season, the Clinton campaign is pushing for the debates to be on nights that often rival popular Sunday night NFL games or other weekend televised events that the American viewer would rather tune into than a stuffy 2-hour long debate on policy.
However, the Clinton and Trump campaigns alike understand that the debates might be some of the most highly rated debates in American history. For both candidates the debates are crucial, but for mass media the debates are gold. While in years past the first debate and the last debate of the general election season seem to prove to be the most rating-favored debates for mass media, in this general election cycle every single debate is predicted to have record viewership.
Party officials on both sides also expect this influx of viewers to attract new members into their respective parties and for this reason much of what both the RNC the and the DNC are advertising at this point of the general election is ‘unity’.
Unity is especially important this election cycle after the vicious primary election cycle that was seen on both sides of the aisle. Not to mention the fact that at this point Republicans are vying for reelection in the Senate and the important aspect for Republicans is to maintain majority in both the House and the Senate. This dynamic for Republicans is also taking away from Trump’s campaign. Because on the one hand senators like John McCain and Ted Cruz are finding themselves on the opposite viewpoint of Trump’s candidacy or possible presidency. For both of them their main concern right now, especially for Cruz is getting back into his Senate seat in Washington after his failed presidential campaign.
To a very large extent the campaign this year for presidency has been one of very interesting outcomes. On one level the American public has been exposed to the realities of American politics and mass media once again, as we are every four years. But at the same time, we are also finding ourselves reflecting on the unfortunate reality of what it is that elections bring out in our own society. Not just about the shortcomings of the policies that we have been living by, but more importantly, how we all react to it.