We are the media and the media is us. That statement is very broad and is so for a good reason. Through out the world and the history of our society, media has transformed, melted, bent, molded and made our society and culture what it is today. But at the same time, our culture and society has done the exact same thing to media. It is hard to realize or imagine a time without televisions, telephones, fax machines, printers, computers, cell phones, pagers and other electronic technologies that have made our lives, hopefully, stress-free. Those items were and are still being invented today to make our lives easier and better, but are they really making life easier and better? Media plays a big part in defining what society wants and gets. Society tells our media what society wants. There are both upsides and downsides to the media, one saying what both of us want and two doing what both of us want.
First let’s start with the downsides of our media. Our media censors us and desensitizes us to our own society. Lets take for example the news, in news the stories that air are stories that include blood and guts. Why? Because those stories reflect the morals of society. We would rather actually see someone slashed, shot, run over, or cut than be asked to imagine what happened. The reason for preferring violent images comes from and stems from movies. It is not a good action flick unless someone loses their life or good guy, bad guy. It is what we are used to. Even in the fifties there was Zorro and the masked ranger. The good guy always had to win no matter what. This way of thinking is where the media gets their ideas.
Another downside of media is the negative image they give the United States. If you go to Ireland and ask them how they thought Americans lived, they would probably say that we are stuck up, violent, non-caring, money grubbing and work obsessed people. They get this idea from American sitcoms that air there. One for Example is The Simpsons. They think that all males sit on the couch, drink beer, and are not responsible. They think that little boys go around and cause trouble and get kicked out of school. As for little girls, they think they are angels and never do anything wrong unless possessed by the devil. Finally, they think that females are in charge of keeping the males out of trouble, as well. Of course, this is not how we are, and it is only a sitcom, however, sitcoms reflect the society you live in, or do they? Of course, this is an exaggeration and other countries should know better than to think that Americans live like the Simpsons characters, but that is what media does to people that do not know the society being depicted.
In addition to creating negative images of the United States, our media tarnishes the character of specific Americans as well. Lets take old Bill Clinton for a test drive here. When he was suspected of having an affair with a White House intern, our media zeroed in on him...