In this discussion I call upon two movies as examples and evidence to examine the role of mass media in politics. The two movies I will use for this basis are The Candidate and All the Presidents Men.
Today, the art of governing a society seems to be much dictated or prescribed by what the assemblage of the citizens of the United States say or express to the mass media.
Thus, the government and politicians listening to and acting upon our very wishes and desires. Or looking at this in another point of view; The mass media relays to us as citizens the news or information about the administration as conveyed or set forth by the administration as the "truth". I believe that the majority of the populace would tend to agree more with this second point of view. The government or politicians of this great country try to appear to have the semblance of truth or honesty in all of it's endeavors.
And sometimes it does. However, on occasion within its own discretion, the media investigates and tries to inform us by the televised news, major newspapers and (large) radio personalities of cover-ups, conspiracies and or wrong doings by our so-called leaders. Are we always told the truth by the mass media? By the government? By the media speaking for or as directed by the government? Or has the line between truth and lies been so badly blurred in politics that we will never know what truly goes on in our political system?
The two movies examined, both play in some way on the function of the mass media in American politics. We can see how much and how heavily we rely on our televisions, radio shows, newspapers and now the Internet to communicate to us the latest breaking news, political campaigns, slandering, commercials for politicians running for office, debates, presidential addresses, cover-ups, conspiracies and information that can take down an entire administration. This shows that in all the different aspects of politics that the media plays a very wide, varied and important role in letting us know what is going on. The Candidate tries to unveil how a political campaign for office is run. It tells the story of how an upstart uses the media and available resources in its televised form to try and convey his message and his beliefs to the mass public on whom he will rely upon to vote and hopefully elect him into office. As we see though, the people or elite's who run the campaign, take what the candidate says and dilute it, dissect it, take it out of context and rearrange his words into what they think the public wants to hear. We see how elitist decisions are made as to what we get to see, hear and digest on our own. How do they know what we want to hear? (Maybe they would if they would go door to door and take a legitimate poll on the issues and concerns that are the most important to us today.) What we do get to see in this example though, is a behind the scenes look at the candidate and how he differs from his real self personae when not in the public eye and how he is skeptical at a lot of the ways a political campaign is run.
All the President's Men shares the same theme and ideas as The Candidate in that the main link between the people and the politicians/administration is the media. This story is based upon how the undying determination of a team of two reporters for a major newspaper, The Washington Post go at all costs to get the truth out in their investigation and uncovering of a major conspiracy in the administration. The reporters fact finding was hindered quite a few times along the way to discover and disclose the truth to the public, but their willingness and determination to do so brought out the facts and allegations that crippled the White House. This example shows how the media does play a crucial role in bringing out the truths and realities of what really goes on behind the closed doors of the...