Sep 9, 2008
by Katy Palmer
With roughly two months until the big election, the mudslingers have come out in full force. While the candidates themselves are responsible for some of this, the media appears to have a vendetta of its own.
The media often escalates a situation just for the sake of generating print sales, viewer ratings, or Internet hits. Sure, creating controversy will boost sales, but such tactics should be reserved for the tabloids.
An easy example of the media butting into a situation is Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s daughter. In an article from reuters.com entitled, “Palin rebuts rumors, says daughter pregnant,” Palin went public with the pregnancy of her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol Palin.
Clearly stated in the article is the fact that Bristol will keep the baby and wed the father. Also important to note is that the McCain/Palin camp made no secret of this situation. However, the media insists on presenting this incident in a negative light.
Further on, the article reveals that Palin chose to come clean at this time because of other rumors circulating amongst the liberals. According to the article, Palin quashed rumors that she had disguised her own pregnancy and pretended to give birth to her fifth child, a son named Trig, with Down syndrome. The rumors suggested that the child actually belongs to Bristol.
Sure, history proves that people of prominence are not excluded from scandal (Nixon and Clinton for example), but this rumor is a rough attempt by democrats to gain voters. The crucial difference with this current media craze is that Bristol Palin is not a candidate. She is a child. Of course, the biased media, motivated by sales revenue will ignore the face that Bristol is only 17.
In response, Sen. John McCain’s advisor Nicole Wallace stated, “There’s no doubt that liberal blogs…and some in the mainstream media were pushing a false story about Gov. Palin’s most recent pregnancy with fervor.”
What bothers me most about the whole situation is that tactics like these are used to sway voters. How can we as voters truly understand the issues if our heads are filled with useless banter?
The media does not seem to care — it is just chasing the mighty dollar and if it keeps getting it, its tactics will not change. It is bent on creating controversy and sales. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of voters as they are left to sift through the mindless jibber-jabber.
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