A core belief can be created within a mass audience through the use of pure repetition. If, as a perceived authority, one was to repeat a point incessantly it would only be a matter of time before people began to believe it. Whether it's a preacher, politician, or pundit, repetition is an extremely effective way for someone to shift their listeners' perceived reality into one chosen for them. This is how propaganda becomes effective, not because you hear it once, but because you hear it over and over again. The effectiveness of this type of misinformation has led to the laughable but widely accepted belief that the media has an overwhelming liberal bias.
Let's face it; we don't have a truly free press, instead our television news stations and a huge number of our newspapers are just tiny cogs inside of huge corporate machines. Now, if there is one thing we should have learned from this most recent economic crisis, it's that corporate greed knows no limit. To think that somehow these companies would work against their own unmitigated greed and push forward a progressive, pro-regulation party agenda is absurd. It becomes even more absurd when you realize that two of the biggest corporations that make up the media as we know it are either; one, making profits in the billions off of the war in Iraq or, two, run by a person who is known to put a heavy conservative slant into anything he touches. However, the conservative talking heads are quick to scream and stomp their feet when faced with the facts, and instead hold fast to their mantra of "liberal media, liberal media," and why wouldn't they? The endless repetition of this slogan has served them well as they have tricked a huge number of people into believing it. Lately they have been even more aggressive about it, citing a new piece of evidence to prove their point. This evidence is a recent study done by the Pew Research Center that, at first glance, does seem to support their argument.
In case you haven't seen the study, it stated that during the presidential campaign season the media coverage of McCain was 57% negative and 14% positive while the coverage of Obama was 29% negative and 36% positive, clearly uncovering a heavy liberal media bias, right? Well not quite. When you look closer at the reality of the situation, you realize that there is a perfectly reasonable explanation. I have had some time in the last two weeks to take a breath and look back on the campaigns themselves, and I have come to the same conclusions that many commentators, on both sides of the aisle, have come to: Obama ran maybe the greatest campaign in modern political history and McCain ran one of the worst.
There simply wasn't much negative news coming out of Obama's campaign. The Obama campaign was steady, calm, and relatively quiet, sticking to one basic narrative. Sure there were faux issues like Ayers and Wright, but after hearing about them for several months, well it just became old news, and at a time where everyone is trying to get the latest breaking news, old stories just don't get much coverage. The McCain campaign on the other hand, it was an endless supply of gaffes, slip-ups, tension, hypocrisy, lies, incompetence, ignorance, bad decisions, instability, blown interviews, disappointing rally turnout, stupidity, and extremely negative campaigning. Everyday brought a new host of mistakes for the news to report, and they did. The media wasn't biased in reporting it, because it was the reality of the situation, it was the news. With the facts as they were, to have given equal positive coverage to both candidates, when one was running a tremendously superior campaign, would have been extremely biased because it would be altering the news in favor of McCain.
When the truth is considered, one thing becomes clear: it is not the media that has a liberal bias; it is reality that has the liberal bias. It wasn't the media that choose Sarah Palin, but it was a choice that helped Obama. It wasn't the media that made the Bush administration run the economy into the ground, but the economic crash did help people understand that liberal ideas would not have caused it to happen. It wasn't the media that turned the election into a circus by telling McCain to fly into Washington like a savior to fix the economy, in the meantime showing how disingenuous, erratic, and out of touch he was, but it was Obama's campaign which gained greatly from all that silliness. It wasn't the media that caused McCain to lack a coherent message for the entire length of the campaign, but it was the liberals who would benefit from it. It wasn't the media that told McCain to use extremely negative yet ineffective attacks, but it was the liberals who came out of it on top. The media did little more than observe the campaigns and make idle speculation; it was the country that was in the tank for Obama.
There comes a time when facts trump rhetoric, and in this economic crisis it is clear that the facts of Obama's campaign, and the entire liberal political philosophy, trumped McCain and conservative beliefs. The media doesn't have a liberal bias, but reality does. The best thing we can do is to try and help people realize that their lives benefit from liberal ideas and liberal policies, because they are policies that are supported by facts. This is what we need to move America forward, and as we do we will have to fight conservatives who stubbornly continue to ignore facts, because denying truth is the only way to push forward their agenda; an agenda which contradicts reality.