The Instant Downfall Essay

845 words - 3 pages

A little less than a week ago, Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. This selection instantly sparked controversy that emanated prominently throughout the nation. On Facebook, on blogs, and on all the news channels people voiced opinions on him winning the noble prize. Some thought Obama deserved the award for his actions, but many wondered why he got the award. However, when observing other reactions, it became apparent that the majority seemed to echo the view from the news source that they got the opinion from. Some echoed cable news, such as Fox and CNN, where some got it from internet stories and some just had the same opinions that their friends had. This exemplifies the trend today of people not digesting the news and analyzing it for themselves, but just repeating the viewpoints of others. Indeed, this dangerous trend that is a result from various new technologies and could potentially result in a country that has become so divided and fractionalized that it could collapse within itself.
Now harsh partisan politics in America are nothing new. There have been particularly nasty elections in the past, with much name calling and broad generalizations of the opposing parties. It is today’s new technologies however that are shifting how politics are played. The first of these new technologies is the 24 hour news cycle. All major networks now have a channel devoted 24 hours a day 7 days to solely news. In this cycle, not only are breaking stories replayed over and over, but smaller, seemingly less important stories are reported on as well. With the bias nature of every cable news station evident, the cable news network’s jab at each other over trivial and important issues, because it helps boost ratings and thus advertising. To do this, the news networks hire extremists for their point of view, with an example being Glenn Beck for the Fox news channel and Joe Scarborough for MSNBC. These extremists have opinions that stray are extremes of what the audience often believes, and although they are good for ratings for the news companies, they lead to a dangerous polarization of the viewers of the shows, with opinions that normally lean far left or right.
The next technology that has shaped politics today is social networking sites and the internet in general. With the internet, the flow of information is instantaneous, which leads to rapidly...

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