So, Donald Trump won the presidential election this week. It is something that has rocked the politial and media world. The ripple effect is still taking place in this country and beyond. People are in shock, in pain, and in utter hopeless despair—IF they didn’t vote for him. They rest are proud that they kept Hilary Clinton out of the oval office. It is a complete rip down the middle of America. We are being told that young voters were for Clinton and old voters were for Trump, white voters were for Trump, and black and hispanic voters were for Clinton. The middle class voted for Trump, while the upper and lower classes voted for Clinton. I am sure there are more polarizing categories that separated the voters as well. There are always ways to divide people.
So, it’s clear that each side does not understand the other. Yet, even in this monumental upset people aren’t using it to try to get to know the other side’s plight. I have a theory as to why—it doesn’t sell.
While the country is in complete upheaval, people look to the mainstream media to console their particular views. The cable news networks, primetime affiliates, and even talk shows that dabble in politics all scratch at the American scab of division. Why? Because it brings conflict. And people love conflict. And advertisers love to sell their products. Most people don’t think of this, I know, but the reason NBC Nightly News exists is to sell advertising. Their job is to get people to watch their show AND the ad spots between them. The conpanies behind the ads are the ones who are actually paying the bills. The more people watch, the more NBC can charge. That’s how they make money. That’s how the companies spending the advertizing dollars make money. If you think I am being flippant about this take Sean Hannity’s show on the Fox News network. During the last week of the election he hadmore viewers tuned in than ever in the history of the show. Hannity is an avid Trump support (or Clinton hater). His Nielson ratings now allow for their show to charge more for advertising since more people will be watching. If Sean were to go on TV saying that we need to vote with our hearts, or that there are good attributes of both candidates, he would lose viewership, lose ratings, lose money.
So, what am I saying? If you are going to the media to try to recieve comfort. You will only harm yourself more. If you voted for Hilary (which I don’t mind if you did) you will find that CNN is already producing anti-Trump news cycles questioning his motives, character, and future decision making. In essence they are creating the conflict that brings viewership ratings up.
If you voted for Trump (which I don’t mind if you did) you will find that Fox News is setting Trump up to be the great hope for middle class Americans while creating mythical battles with an exiting president, anti-Trump protesters and celebrities. In essence they are creating the conflict that brings viewership ratings up.
The public has been trumped, but not by Donald. They have been significantly manipulated by Anderson Cooper, Sean Hannity, George Stephanopolis, Rachel Maddow, Lou Dobbs and the like. We are being lured in by a juicy piece of conflict and when we bite down we are hooked! We thrash around, but it’s too late. In the end the country suffers.