June 10

Graham Goes Against Hannity

Many people do not watch the news anymore. Also, many people no longer believe in the austerity and the morals of the federal government. If you turn on any 24 hour news cycle, you might get a picture why this is. As networks lose more and more viewers, their tactics have become a little more extreme. Flashing updates, constant statistics, and political correspondents have gone from reporting on the news, to criticizing and giving their own solutions to many facets of politics. Journalists have gone from reporters to demonstrators, and seemingly, think nothing is wrong with this approach.

Senator Lindsey Graham, who is running for president, went up against two media powerhouses, Fox News’ Sean Hannity and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. The two journalists have a huge network of loyal followers, and may now be more turned on to what they have to say than what elected officials have to say. Graham made a remark about this to Chuch Todd, saying how these polarizing figures are hurting politics. While this polarization ensures viewers, it does not help American politics in the long run.

When Graham went on the Sean Hannity show last night, Hannity quickly brought up his statement about his way of doing the news. Ironically, Hannity compared himself to Martin Luther King Jr. and President Ronald Reagan, stating that this activist and this president were polarizing. Hannity has been very quick to give his own two cents of what the government should be doing, including building a giant wall to separate Mexico, and to let the government shutdown to prevent the funding of Obamacare. Graham told Hannity that he did not agree with these views, and they do seem more idealistic than practical. When you are hosting a show, however, there is no real backlash for these statements. When you have a large following that many time take your solutions as realistic facts, there is a backlash, and the backlash is on the American democratic system.

Many people are turned off from politics just from this type of polarization. In the two party system that America has, it definitely does not work, and compromise is key for allowing both sides of the aisle to represent different points of view, and find a common ground. With the media spiraling out of control, it is no surprise that Americans think the country is broken. People listen more to media personalities than they do to elected officials, so all information they get is through a filter than greatly affects their point of view. Furthermore, as they take these opinions as facts, it is almost impossible to find a common ground with those who oppose your beliefs.

America wants to fix politics, but they should also want to fix the media. So much negativity starts to wear anyone down, and it hurts the country and our governmental system. While there are still many journalists who believe in delivering a story based on events, there are far too many now who hear a story and then dictate what the solution should be. Government, many times, now responds to the media. Many potential candidates do not run for office because of fear of the media and the effect it would have  on their family. Potential leaders (Mitt Romney,) lose a chance at an election before they even get their word out, because the media has already decided if they should or should not become president. Next time you watch the news, listen to the questions and the answers from the media, and decipher whether they are reporting, or pushing their own political agenda. Hannity should try running for office to push his ideas, and then discover how hard it actually is to balance representing your constituents, and also appealing to the media.