All candidates become media creations…one way or another, through a combination of vitriol and sentimental hogwash, eventual belief in any of it depending upon the viewer’s predisposed political views. As much money and work go into such propaganda as in Oscar-winning films. With the right material arranged cleverly, Joseph Stalin became a media god to his own people. I’m cautious about any such blurbs of anyone running for public office.
I’d rather see a combination of good and bad things in making up my mind, based primarily upon facts and my own intelligence to tell the difference between truth and media hype. I’m just as suspicious of those little films about Hillary, Bernie, and all the other prospects as I am about The Trumpster. Candidates who are reviled by the opposition appear also in misleading clips edited almost to death in order to make those folks appear villainous (i.e. President Obama via Fox News). The media cannot just influence our political views. The media can create them, so I take all such TV coverage, positive AND negative, with a grain of salt, which usually puts me somewhere in the middle between extreme conservatives and wacko liberals.
This is another reason that listening to only one television network for one’s political views is probably dangerously skewed. On television the two extremes are Fox News (hyper-conservative) and MSNBC (hyper-liberal). Issues are tweaked on both, though I gravitate toward the latter, as I believe its fact-checking is rigorous most of the time, and I’m not sure that Fox News even knows what fact-checking is.
We sometimes think of “propaganda” as being used only in third-world countries or in regimes like that of Mao Zedong, Hitler, Mussolini, etc., tweaked truths shifted to recreate, enhance, or hide a leader’s image, but the fact is we still use the media to cajole, convince, persuade or convert especially those who may still be on the fence about their affiliations.
A brief but perhaps expensive film placed in the right time slot with the right images, narrative and music can create loyalty or loathing, depending upon the viewers intellectual and emotional inclinations. Such media tactics can reaffirm one’s already established views or sometimes alter them, but it’s one of the reasons campaigning is so exorbitantly expensive in America, though there generally has to be some level of charisma in a politician’s profile to make even the most expensive commercial have any effect. Jeb Bush spent an enormous amount of money (more than any other candidate) on his campaign but didn’t have the draw in terms of his own personal charisma to build much of a bonfire and ended with hardly a candle flame to illuminate whatever political prowess he had.
Finally it’s up to every voter to do his homework about anyone with whom he or she is politically smitten. It’s important to see various views from various news sources in order to avoid the all too comfortable state of being rendered another of the many marionettes voting for an image instead of a living, breathing person. JB