Media & News: The Impact on Society

Adam Martinez, BCCHS Sociology Student

Are you a dog, pig, or sheep? 

That is the question that was raised by my favorite band Pink Floyd in 1977 with their abstract yet profound album “Animals”. To put it simply, there are three types of people in this world, there are the subservient, and predatory ones (the “Dogs”), the corrupt members of authority (the “Pigs”), and the blind and exploited people (the “Sheep”). Now, why would I bring this up? I firmly believe that this outlook on society has a lot of truth to it.  In my opinion, there are certain groups in the US that fit perfectly into those categories. The “pigs” are the politicians and corporations, the sheep are the American People, and the dogs, most importantly are the large media companies. 

In the most recent times, the media has adopted a narrative that has evoked a lot of anger in the American people, that is the idea that America is inherently racist and evil. While the US has committed atrocities throughout history and still has a plethora of issues, it is not what the country stands for. The US, at its core, stands for constant improvement and opportunity for change. I understand why people might think that the system has not shown much change, but we can’t all act like we still live in 1950.  The Wall Street Journal says that the death of George Floyd has sparked demonstrations in more than 600 places across all 50 states of the US, and also in other countries such as the UK and Australia. When was the last time that all 50 states had agreed upon anything? I would consider that a significant event. Another instance is how culture is radically shifting in real-time. National notes this as it seems like the media (predominantly leftist media) has successfully allowed for the show “Cops”, and “Paw Patrol” to be canceled, the removal of “Gone with the Wind” off of HBO, defunding the police, and for the establishment of autonomous, police-free zones like the Republic of Chaz. Although it is debatable whether these events are caused directly by the media, it is no question that they have no problem with these actions being done. In addition, The Guardian reports that Merriam-Webster is now changing the definition of Racism to add “systematic power” to it.  Any reasonable person would ask “what in the world does Paw Patrol have to do with George Floyd?”  and I believe that that is the entire point of their agenda. The media moves on to different subjects just as fast as they get onto one. We all saw how fast people jumped onto the Jussie Smollett case or the Brett Kavanaugh case and reacted with anger without waiting for the facts to come out. How many people even remember who Jussie Smollett and Brett Kavanaugh are anymore? To the media, people like them (including George Floyd)  are just names to sell headlines for a week or two. The issue of police brutality has evolved into something much bigger than George Floyd and has alienated most of the country who had just wanted to solve the issue of police brutality. I wouldn’t devote myself to any group because if they suddenly advocate for something that I don’t agree with, I get caught up in the whole mess.

I completely understand the outrage at the murder of George Floyd, and I support a change in the police force, but I advise people not to let their emotions get in the way of objectivity. People have to realize that the media has grown to such a large entity; it has control of what you get to hear, see, and even say. You are at the mercy of social media so much so that if you were to say one thing that doesn’t align with the popular opinion, your life will most likely be ruined. Overall, what I think makes this country great is the right to believe whatever you want and the opportunity for intellectual diversity. If the American people call out the inaccuracies and bias of the media, regardless of political affiliation, then they will learn to be more critical and not judge things at face value. I suggest reading an entire article before getting angry and its headline. The media knows that if we were independent yet united thinkers, then they would be powerless against the full force of the American people. I believe that we all have the power to resist the control of propaganda. Then the world won’t be just pigs, dogs, and sheep anymore, but birds that fly freely.