Recent years, TV media has been an essential political weapon in the west, and the media has penetrated into every aspect of social life in the information age (Patiz, 2015). There is no doubt that the modern American political life is fully penetrated by the media, and the role of TV media in the presidential election has surpassed its original function. It not only changed the means of the presidential campaign, but also became an important force in the campaign (Bessaiso, 2005). Although television media seem to be helping to advance American democracy, it is not difficult to find out that the essence of this phenomenon is harmful, and its negative effect is extremely detrimental to social and democratic development.
In western media-rich societies, politicians who know the rules of modern media are always good at using the media to promote themselves and have the impact they expect in society. In general, the media of western politics is carried out in accordance with the logic of the media, and has formed a whole operation mode of political media (Miles, 2005). Firstly, using the media as the “mirror” of society and the function of the BBS can discover social problems and balance the opinions of the parties’ interests in the BBS, and ultimately form a consensus to promote social cohesion and integration process (Patiz, 2015). At present, the world’s politicians are surrounded by a large number of think-tanks, a group of intellectuals and ideologues that have helped to promote the party’s agenda. Nowadays, however, a think-tank is mostly from some media experts, whose usual approach is to design or render some news events, promoting politicians to enter the media frequently and communicate with the public to express ideas and so on (Bessaiso, 2005).
On the positive side, social problems and social emotions are transmitted to political timely through the effective dissemination of modern media. Similarly, political goals and information can be quickly disseminated through the media. In this way, it has become an important means for modern politics of controlling of social development. In this collection of opinions, different political views, political positions, and political information can be passed on each other so that people can weigh, argue and choose among themselves, which is actually a political propaganda (Patterson, 2003). Second is to respect the principle of relative independence of media and manufacture events or facts according to media’s news value and behavior logic. The media has its special social mission and must work according to its own law, which is the basic premise for the media to remain independent and “respectable”(Patiz, 2015).
Any media will always observe, interpret and analyze the society in accordance with its own journalistic values, whether it constitutes a news perspective. Because the media must be based on the characteristics of news events, if political figures want to be the focus of the media, the only way is on the basis of thoughts, views and talking to attract the social attention (Mattew, 2006). Thus, western media experts will always try to make events for politicians, due to the political thoughts will suite for the requirement of media as well.
Therefore, I agree with Matthew Gentzkow’s view that TV is bad (Mattew, 2006). Through the analysis, it can be concluded that Media content and political culture are essentially related, and the interdependent relationship of contemporary western media and western political system has reached a quite high level, the presidency is the most powerful proof. Thus, television media has given full play to the power of its political discourse, while the presidential campaign is more like a media planning ritual and performance. And TV media is actually a double bind, on the one hand, it will suffer from advertisers and corporations in financial control, on the other hand, it also be strictly managed by the government in the political (Khatib, 2007). In fact, the U.S. government and big companies are aligned in their fundamental interests.
To sum up, American television medium can be considered to be a tool for a variety of interest’s consortium to sell its products, services, and view, which is also a way for the government to maintain social norms, social system, social order and promoting global policy as well. Television media should be regarded as to be the spokespeople for political and economic power, and the content of TV media often reflects the interests of those who provide the TV media with funds. In this political context, the so-called objectivity, independence and freedom of TV media and the essence of media power should be suspected. Thus, to a certain extent, American television media is a “dancer” with political irons.
Bessaiso, Ehab Y. (2005). “Al Jazeera and the War in Afghanistan: A Delivery System or a Mouthpiece?”. In Zayani, Mohamed (ed.), The Al Jazeera Phenomenon: Critical Perspectives on New Arab Media, pp. 153-170. London: Pluto P
Khatib, Lina (2007). Television and Public Action in the Beirut Spring. In Sakr, Naomi (ed.), Arab Media and Political Renewal: Community, Legitimacy and Public Life, pp. 28-43. London: I.B. Tauris
Mattew Gentzkow. (2006). The Quarterly Journal of Economics: Television and voter turnout. The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Miles, Hugh (2005). Al-Jazeera: How Arab TV News Challenged the World. London: Abacus.
Patterson, Thomas E. (2003). The Vanishing Voter: Public Involvement in an Age of Uncertainty. New York: Vintage Books.
Patiz, Norman (2015). Radio Sawa and Alhurra TV: Opening Channels of Mass Communication in the Middle East. In Rugh, William (ed.), Engaging the Arab and Islamic Worlds through Public Diplomacy: A Report and Action Recommendations, pp. 69-89. Washington D.C.: Public Diplomacy Council.