The Media, The State, And The Subversion of Democracy
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At six and even o'clock in the evening is when most Americans receive the majority of their political news, the standardized television news times on ail of the major networks. Settling down in front of the television, one flips the channel between networks with the possibility of gaining greater access to a variety of news. However, what one finds is that each network is airing nearly the same headline news story, with similar following stories, usually ending with something related to "human interest." for instance, NBC, ABC, and CBS national news programs might begin with a story about President George W. Bush s proposed tax cut, each giving nearly the same "neutral" information, and then interviewing one Republican and one Democratic politician to give the story the air of debate. The only recognizable difference between the stories may be the layout of the charts used to illustrate the tax cut. After the headline story about the tax cut, each network airs similar stories of national and world events, such as airplane crashes, oil spills, and worker layoffs from major corporations. Traditionally, the program ends with something lighthearted, either celebrity or fashion news. The networks differ only in the personalities of their anchors. Therefore, viewers choose news programs on their liking of the anchors, not on substantive differences in political content.