American Political Culture

free essayThe contemporary American politics has seen the increased role of the media that in a way guide the voting by the electorate. The U.S. presidential election experiences a substantial amount of media coverage, which have led the latter to play a vital role in shaping the voters’ views of a particular candidate. In this context, the platform has become heavily influenced by money in creating adverts for the aspirants. Through the consultancy, millions of dollars have found their way to mass communication channels, altering the people’s opinion about the politics (McChesney). That has basically led to the control as well as predictability of the election outcomes, hence endangering the electoral process.

Again, in the modern times, the media has engaged in various political activities such as conducting opinion polls and hosting analysts. Such tricks have offered the necessary opportunity to the opinion shapers to model the theory that favors certain candidates or ideologies. Thus, the voters’ discretion on the political future of the country remains at the behest of a few individuals who act as an invisible hand. As such, the politics revolving around the presidential election have become sensitized into sound bites, as well as pre-planned narratives. The approach has become a threat to the core of the American politics, which is democracy.

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The people’s opinions have gradually been influenced to a certain way of thinking through half truths and misleading reporting as well as analysis. In this paper, the effects of such activities by the media get under the review, with a focus put on the reports about Donald Trump’s candidacy. Further, the study of this mode of reporting on the aspirant will have limitations to Cable News Network (CNN) as the media source. Furthermore, the paper will have its basis on Nichols and McChesney’s work, ‘Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America.’ Hence, the theme of the essay will seek to establish the media twisting of reality, so as to play up the presidential race.

Media Portrayal of a Contestant

In more than one way, the media has sort to drive its created narrative about the individuals running for the presidency and not being truly neutral as many would expect. However, as the political temperatures continue to rise, few individuals get to notice that they have been subjected to a well choreographed mass media campaign. That happens as the citizens aligns with their preferred candidates and, hence, failing to recognize when bias is shown against the opponent. It has effectively given the unfair media a life line to siding with their preferred side without publicly admitting it.

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Such prejudices contribute to the collapse of democracy and open doors for deceptive politics. The activated propaganda media machinery  has a negative impact on the elections by giving one contestant an undue advantage over the others. That preempts the free nature of the process. Whoever controls or gets supported by the media wields the greatest resource necessary to get to the populace. Thus, a pre-packaged narrative has become a destructive force to the American politics.

Factuality of the Information

The factual information presentation has become one of the best ways, in which the media can portray itself as an honest partner during the electioneering period. Often, news outlets overlook this crucial aspect of journalism, choosing to apply diversionary tactics. Despite the fact that most reporting by the media on the candidate can be accurate, sometimes it gets done in a manner that looses the real meaning intended by an individual. Media personalities have adopted this mode of reporting, hence establishing an unquestionable breach of their code.

The behavior creates a thin line between the targeted biasness and realistic reporting. Therefore, it becomes impossible for one to launch an effective complain as the reports can be real. The controlled narrative has seen the campaign teams’ move back to drawing board to restate their stand. The CNN Donald Trump’s coverage has had some level of truthfulness in them. Although the media house may have seemed as not so supportive of the candidate, they have simply avoided the dishonest information about the candidate. However, in the provision of facts about Trump, CNN has relied much on the conflicting views he has had during his past.

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Opinion shapers within the media house have taken to explore and explain the nature of politics played by the firebrand politician. For instance, the article by Dean Obeidallah seems to suggest that the growth in the popularity of the candidate can face challenges. Despite the fact that the article does not expressly condemn Trump, it acts as a reminder to the leaders of the candidate’s character. While it seeks to explain the possible consequences to the approach used by the aspirant, it has as well shaped the voters’ opinion. It reminds the electorate of the negative side of the contestant’s comments, even though the information provided in the article has some level of truth in it. For instance, the writer has focused on what he refers to as bigoted, sexist, vulgar, as well as brash comments made by Trump.

Although it all depends on whether one supports the candidate or not, the examples provided in the article appear as genuinely having come from the Trump’s campaign machinery. That particularly involves the matters touching on the issue of illegal immigrants from Mexico as well as comments on women that have become deemed as sexist and discriminative (Obeidallah). Furthermore, the author makes available the links, through which the readers can view such information from other sources. It disadvantages the aspirant against certain groups of voters to a considerable degree.

Biasness in the Reporting

Political chauvinism exercised by media outlets has first gained momentum. Journalists and their employers have used legal loopholes to sidestep fair reporting during the campaign periods. Sometimes, it becomes difficult for the aggrieved party to make accusation their case due to challenges of proving such discrimination. When an individual has the reporters act in biasness against them, their ideologies are not well articulated to the larger population. Hence, such a shortcoming becomes a disadvantage for them as voters do not know them. In addition, news outlets choose the news as well as the events they will cover (McChesney). They may avoid important events attended by the aspirant or only broadcast information that has little impact on the electorate.

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Further, sometimes the reporting could be made but in a manner that negatively impacts a contestant. Such misinformation or provision of half-baked data threatens the entire electoral process as the voters’ decisions have basis on manipulations. Furthermore, it endangers the American democracy, since the people receive a distorted information and vote for a wrong candidate (McChesney). Additionally, such activities lead to candidates buying out media freedom in order to propel their propaganda machine. The ending result is a subjective reporting that has its basis on money and not the national expediency. That gradually erodes the role of democracy in American politics as it welcomes dollarocracy.

Much of the reporting by CNN has portrayed a lot of prejudice against Donald Trump in terms of the politics. In most of its coverage, the media has focused on the issues that have a negative impact on the aspirant’s campaign. It has categorically placed him into conflict with interest groups as well as voters who may feel threatened by his ideologies. For instance, on several occasions, the media house has depicted Trump as a candidate who supports activities of the white supremacists.

Despite the candidate’s denial of any close relationship to the group, CNN still portrayed the candidate as having close relationship with the faction. That has put him in the collusion with other non-white voters who feel sidelined by his stand. Further, despite the candidate having made a successful political blast on the former president George W. Bush during a debate, the reporters here seem to discredit his shot. A report by MJ Lee contains reactions of Trump’s supporters disgracing the attacks on the former president (Collinson). The correspondent portrays the fans as having been disgruntled by the outburst, with one describing it as ‘having gone too far.’

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The website article also quotes another supporter indicating his worry about the comments made by the aspirant. That makes the article to control the political emotions of the readers, depicting some level of the discontent with the Trump’s behavior from his supporters. The mode of reporting slowly gets a candidate out of touch, with the undecided, whereas most views him as not having a convincing grip. The media biasness has become a major threat to the democratic nature of the American presidential elections. Regardless of whether the information on an individual is factual or not, the unbalance reporting shapes their support base in some ways. In fact, the coverage of factual but negative reports on an aspirant leads to the bad publicity and, hence, limited support.

Media House Objectivity

The media coverage of the recent American elections has in several ways lost the neutrality. While the reporters do not openly express the support for a particular candidate, they have taken actions that have led to the unfairness towards them. That could happen through the excessive coverage of one or few aspirants at the expense of others. It leads to the favored contestant connecting more with the electorate, hence giving him or her the advantage over the other players. It also happens when a one-sided reporting approach gets applied by the media. Sometimes, the reporters tend to overlook one side of a candidate’s character or ideology at the expense of the other. While that occurs, an aspirant gets either over-praised or negatively presented.

Although the CNN media house has attempted to portray itself as impartial, the website’s opinionated writers have played a vital role in limiting abilities of some political players. Donald Trump has become one such candidate who experiences targeted attacks from commentators. Despite the news center having resources to explore and equally cover the candidate showing both his charisma and misgivings, it has chosen to apply one sided approach. The correspondents at the media capitalize on the aspirant’s political hiccups, making him seem incompetent and inexperienced. For instance, while Trump has laid out his immigration plan, much of the reporting has become pessimistic about its success (Serfaty).

The media subjectivity derails the real message a candidate wants to be disseminated to the public, locking them up using their words. In the case of Donald Trump, the aspirant’s immigration plan has provided three core factors for its reform (Agiesta). The issues include the protection of the borders by way of constructing a wall, the legislation on the subject, and putting the Americans’ interests first (Donald Trump Campaign). However, on the media reportage, the ideology appears set aback ,and the candidate gets portrayed as an insensitive leader. Most of the media stories have revolved on the negative part of this topic’s debate such as the papal rush out on the plan.

According to Trump, his position remains to shield America from the unlawful entry of immigrants while offering support to those who do it legally. However, this side of the story has rarely been portrayed by the media (Lee). Though being truthful on the Trump’s intention to block immigrants, the correspondents have failed to indicate the actual motive behind the idea (Donald Trump Campaign). That has brought about the discontent among the Latinos who see themselves as the target of Trump’s campaign on the subject.

The journalists have the power to influence the public view of the personality of a given candidate. Sometimes, the politics makes a shift from real issues and results into personalized attacks. The media holds the power of making the populace believe a certain narrative. Using the reporting techniques, a candidate’s uniqueness, charisma, respect and nobility can get determined. Again, the resources can be utilized for denying such benefits for another candidate. Even without mentioning it, news outlets make a case of a well experienced aspirant and an inexperienced one, leaving the public to choose. However, the choice remains more of an illusion as an invisible hand has been used to drive a narrative. Thus, the decision by the voter is not strictly independent. On several fronts, this fate has become a reality on the CNN reporting on Donald Trump.

The nature of debates as well as the press coverage by the media house have portrayed the aspirant as aggressive, combative and less committed to human rights. For example, Jim Acosta wrote a fellow journalist article on the 17th February, 2016, that depicts a presidential candidate whose character is confrontational. Despite the fact that Trump has made the advocacy for torture methods in the military intelligence collection, he also expressly believes it to be bad. However, he tries to make explanations as to why the method can become necessary for the American intelligence services (Jim Acosta). This view has widely become avoided in media reports, only wishing to portray him as inhumane.

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Additionally, the news outlets have resulted in conducting opinion polls as well as seeking view from analysts. In most cases, the analytical views have painted a biased picture of the reality. On the other hand, pools by media houses can easily get manipulated to provide the expected results. However, even in situations, where those are not the case, the scrutiny and result explanations get presented in a way that favors a certain view. For instance, despite the CNN polls showing Mr. Trump as the lead candidate, there has been a reluctant consent to this by the media house. Nevertheless, with the recent win by the candidate in the State of South Carolina, the broadcaster has come out supporting the possibility of successful primaries campaigns.


In brief, the role of media cannot be underestimated in determining the outcome of an election. That being the case, it has become evident that the American presidential election attracts a close media attention and interests. As it has become established in the present campaigns, the contemporary American political culture has seen the increased levels of commercialization. With opinion makers positioning themselves in media outlets, the number of pre-packaged narrative rises.

Such information has been used to lure the voters into supporting a particular candidate at the expense of others. The application of such approaches to the politics has become detrimental to the American democracy. The fairness of elections can only be possible in an environment, where all the competing parties are accorded a similar and truthful coverage. It ensures that an individual participation has no limitations and the voters are granted the right to collect the information without getting manipulated. With these characteristics, it has eventually become apparent the American presidential politics have first shifted from democracy to what John Nichols and Robert McChesney refers to as dollarocracy.

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