The Weakness of American Mainstream News Media
Many Americans - mainly younger ones - are turning away from American mainstream news media because they have finally realized the blatantly one-sided views and stories which they feature. NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, CNN all focus on dumbing down viewers with gossip column type reporting on domestic topics and very one dimensional reporting on foreign events. Local news is beyond criticism it is so bad all over the US. Is there really a need for a five person panel to sit at a long table to exchange witless banter and flash us with Hollywood smiles while listing local murders, rapes, tear-jerking baby animal stories, high school sports score and 5 minute long weather reports from some Doppler Mega Giga Super Extra Terrestrial Satellite Radar? I never really understood the detailed minute to minute details concerning travel conditions on the freeways as the people these are supposed to be helping are usually on the road already.
By the way, what's happening now in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen? These are all countries where the US military is actively involved either openly or in more shadowy ways. Despite this, the tax paying public who is funding these multi-billion dollar projects for the government seem to be ambivalent as to what that money is actually going to at a time when unemployment is going up, health care costs are skyrocketing, and college costs are out of control. Any time Americans do actually protest about something the main stream media portrays them as being troublemakers and hooligans who don't fully appreciate being American. In other countries mass protests the often turn violent have been increasing since the start of the current economic crisis. In contrast, the 99% and March on Wall Street protests and movements in the America were very weak in comparison, and the police response was also overboard.
Many Americans - mostly older ones - believe the mainstream media outlets and get caught up in daily, detailed and soap opera like stories of murder, sexual innuendo, child abduction etc. on shows like Dateline NBC, 48 Hours Mystery and the like. Are these stories important to anyone else besides those directly involved? No. But the American public gobbles them up, just like they do the abundance of increasingly mindless reality and talent shows which the hosts loudly claim "America will be talking about." And the sad thing is that people actually do talk about these shows as if they mattered, and not the fact that they are in over their heads in debt. This is the modern version of panem et circenses (bread and circuses). Even though many Americans avidly follow and Tweet about their favorite American Idol singers, 99.9% have no clue about what the US mission is overseas, how US soldiers are dying, and how many people the US has killed directly and indirectly. Sure, we sometimes get some story of US soldiers and their PTSD etc., but these again are stories meant to pull at the heart strings of viewers who don't question anything and don't even bother trying to find out in what way the military is supposedly protecting our freedom overseas when the term "freedom" in itself is relative when we look at the number of people enslaved by debt, unemployment, and inability to pay for healthcare and education here on the home front. Who is protecting our rights at home? Everyone knows the the health care industry, big pharma and other rich lobbies control the government and this is why nothing has been done for decades in trying to make health care and colleges and banks to charge reasonable costs instead of bleeding the people alive. It's just easier for the media to report on reality shows, extreme weather, NFL concussions, and how the European Union is responsible for the US economies problems than to get into real issues that effect people. One thing the media fails to report is that the EU debt crisis would not have come about without Wall Street corruption. The same big wigs that were responsible for the 2008 economic meltdown are still there, such as Ben Bernake and Geithner.
The US media likes positive attitude stories about how we can all supposedly do anything and live the American dream just by really really wanting to! Anything negative that happens to us is actually the start of something positive - so the media tells us. Laid off? No problem, the job market will pick up really really soon, so until then you should try to start your own business using your hobby of playing with finger puppets or whatever. Haven't found a job in 2 years? No problem! Now you have time to watch a highly insightful interview with Halle Berry on Good Morning America, where you'll also be shown how to cook the perfect chicken pot pie. See, just think positive and your stifling debt doesn't seem so bad anymore. This forced positive thinking is just another way of making people complacent and to keep them off the streets and not protesting.
Young internet savvy people have access to alternative, international news sources that allow them to dig deeper and make more informed opinions. Sadly though, many young people also still find it easier to just be fed news than to actually go and hunt for it.