RESOLVED: The influence of the media is detrimental to the american political process.
I negate the resolution of resolved "The influence of the media is detrimental to the American political process."
Value:Knowledge:As defined as an awareness or understanding of a fact or circumstance."Black"s Law Dictionary Third Pocket Edition."
Criterion: Ideological diffusion: Defined as "The spread of ideas through different cultures by contact."
Knowledge is the most basic value for this debate, and the best criterion to uphold this value is ideological diffusion. Without ideological diffusion knowledge couldn"t spread from person to person, this would halt the development of the governmental process. With this being said the governmental process would not even exist.
I. Knowledge is the basis of life as we know it.
I would like to begin this contention with a quote, "Give me liberty to know, to utter, and to agree freely according to conscience, above all liberties." ~John Milton. Without knowledge the human race would have never evolved into what we are today. The progress we have made as humans is extremely substantial. We have come from a mindless brute band of neanderthals into a civilized intelligent society. This evolution wouldn"t have been possible without knowledge, nor could it have been possible without ideological diffusion. Because without knowledge of how we were or how we are, we can"t possibly know where we are going. As famous Jamaican publisher Marcus Garvey once said, "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots."
II. Without knowledge or ideological diffusion the American political process wouldn"t be possible.
As we have previously discussed, knowledge is everything we know and do today. Without this knowledge that was received by ideological diffusion, our government today wouldn"t function how it is now, let alone exist. Through media we have been able to grasp certain ideas that have molded how our government is today. Just one example, in the colonial era of our newly settled colonies we began to realize that we did not enjoy having our rights suppressed by King George the II. As a result of ideological diffusion, when we declared independence from England, we altered the idea of the accepted governmental process and molded it into a non tyrannical and democratic process, and this is still the process we function under today. Without knowledge or theological diffusion this could never have happened.
III. Media is the most efficient form of ideological diffusion.
The amount of people that can be affected by media is quite substantial. To provide a visual for how this works, I will use a hypothetical example. Let"s say that you watched CNN last night, and you heard something you thought was interesting. The next day you share this information with a friend (a prime example of theological diffusion) and he shares this with two of his other friends. One of his friends is an author, and the other is a newspaper editor. The author writes a book about the topic and the editor writes a newspaper article about the topic. This is a great example of how through ideological diffusion, we can spread a single idea to a very large amount of people. Through news, TV, books, radio, newspapers, etc. We are able to convey all this information to the entire United States. A recent study from a journalist team consisting of KENNETH OLMSTEAD, MARK JURKOWITZ, AMY MITCHELL AND JODI ENDA. Shows that 71% of people watch local news, 65% view network TV news, and 38% watch cable TV news. Through these calculations we can see that ideological diffusion is efficiently reaching a mass number of people through only one of many types of media. This study also shows that 82% of local news viewers also view network TV, and 44% of them also watch cable TV. Other percentages of Americans who view more than one TV source are available upon request.
l. News Spins.
For this argument, I would like to start off with a video concerning FOX news from The Young Turks:
And secondly, with a recorded segment from CNN
As my opponent and the voters can see, and as many of you may already know, the news is notorious for putting a spin on the facts in order to make them sound more urgent or more optimistic. This happens all the time in the news in order to grab the viewers' attention, and can range from a harmless, barely visible political bias, to a full blown message of urgency meant to keep the viewer watching (I would like to point to how, in the first youtube link, the news reporter briefly mentions that they are "losing viewers" even though this does not have very much to do with weather or not net neutrality is good or bad. Is the priority whether or not net neutrality is a good thing, or is the priority how many viewers are tuned in to FOX news?).
ll. News outlets tend to have a political bias.
Many people choose to subscribe to one news outlet and stick to it, when it is much better to gather information from multiple sources and draw your own conclusions. Because news outlets tend to be biased politically (i.e. FOX news leaning conservative, CNN leaning democratic) it is usually better to listen to multiple sources rather than listening to one source like people usually do, and it is because people usually listen to only one source that the given news outlets tend to become a detriment politically. People may become welled up in the hype generated from one news source, that it could influence every part of their political action, for the good or for the bad of the country as a whole. FOX news is especially notorious for this .
An admittedly hilarious example here: )
I mean, let's be honest - suggesting that Santa Claus and Jesus were both white is just not the best example of an unbiased, informative news story (It has historically been shown, actually, that neither of whom would have been white).
lll. Many people watch the news.
This is essentially the same argument which my opponent has used to support his/her claim. Many people watch and trust the news to give them a completely accurate depiction of reality in the U.S.. I believe it is safe to say that many of these people do not do more research on the subject after hearing whatever it is that they hear on the news. With the news spins and news biases which vey commonly influence the news on a regular basis, many people may be very strongly influenced by these spins and biases, and these people may allow their votes and opinions be influenced accordingly. This can effect the presidents who are elected, the senators who are elected, the representatives who are elected, the state governors who are elected, the state senators who are elected, the state representatives who are elected, et al.
"While all these things may hold true (all though you haven't any evidence)"
I apologize if this comes across as rude, but when I read this, I laughed a little - I ask my opponent, and my audience, do the three videos I have presented not constitute valid evidence of news spins and uneducatedness in the news? Does my opponent agree with FOX news that the historical Jesus and St. Nicholas were white, and takes their word for it over the word of certified, professional historians? A better way to be educated about such things would be to simply do evaluative research on one's own.
"in a democracy the media is vital for it to function"
I would like to point out that this is a bit of a red herring here - from what I understand, the topic of this argument is whether or not the media is detrimental to the american political process. Even so, I will go ahead and say that, in my opinion, there are better ways of being educated politically than using the news. Perhaps the news is practical in that it provides rough information of what is currently happening in america, but this information tends to be skewed towards political party leanings of the news station or website, and for this reason, it can be detrimental to the american political process.
"As for bias, this is a value debate, we are arguing what not to be, not what is."
Well, we certainly do not want to be neo-nazis in America, so if there just so happened to be a neo-nazi leaning news station, would it not become a detriment to the American Political Process? Suppose such a news station were created. Would the voters of America not be influenced by a neo-nazi leaning news station?
Perhaps people do absorb multiple news sources, but it cannot be denied that while the news informs its viewers, it also holds much power. I recite a quote from Malcolm X:
"The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make a criminal look like he's the victim and make the victim look like he's the criminal. This is the press, an irresponsible press. If you aren't careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X
Biases and spins on the news, as Malcolm X had recognized, has the power to completely corrupt a legion of people who follow the news reporter's every word. If one watches CNN and sees the opinions CNN newscasters have concerning the Occupy movement, they will see that CNN has a very different oppinion of the Occupy movement than does FOX, and vice versa. Although I concede that the news is informative, I am arguing for the fact that the news is indeed detrimental to the political process on account of the spins and biases which are commonly found in the news.
If my opponent was truly unable to see the videos I posted to my first argument, I will repost them here differently in the hope that he/she will see them:
My opponent's argument for round 3: "Here my opponent has neglected the definition for media that i am using in this case and is operating under the false conclusion that news is the only way of conveying information to a large amount of people."
My opponent's argument for round 1:"Before I begin, I would like to announce that the definition for "The Media" as stated in the resolution that I will be using in this case is: The means of mass communication.(especially TV, radio, newspaper, and internet) regarded collectively"
It is with great remorse that I point out that my opponent appears to have committed the fallacy of shifting ground; or perhaps I am misunderstanding exactly what my opponent is arguing in the first place. Are we not arguing about mass communication methods, including TV, radio, newspaper, and internet? If so, this is exactly what I have been attempting to argue to be detrimental to the political process thus far. Also:
"Here my opponent has neglected the definition for media that i am using in this case and is operating under the false conclusion that news is the only way of conveying information to a large amount of people."
Well there we have it, voters - my opponent agrees with me completely in the stance that the news, being detrimental to the political process, is not "the only way of conveying information to a large amount of people".
"On my opponents hypothetical "Neo-Nazi" argument. Since this is value debate we are arguing what ought to be not what is, therefor I do believe we can both agree that the American people ought not be "Neo-Nazi's"."
It appears that we have an agreement here, also.
"since this is a value debate and we are still arguing what ought to be not what is"
I think my opponent has once again committed the fallacy of shifting ground - if I remember correctly, and if I am reading the title of this debate correctly, the topic of this debate is "The Influence of the Media is Detrimental to the Political Process". Yes, this is a value debate, but if I'm not mistaken, this debate is also about what is. Because, the question of this debate is, IS the media detrimental to the political process? And I say, yes.
"The people that we are speaking of are not mindless sub-human slaves at the hands of the government. We have the ability to think and perceive what is right and wrong."
Perhaps. However, this resource is my rebuttal:
"Last week, the national media widely reported on an important United States Supreme Court decision dealing with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Typical of many news media, the New York Times headline trumpeted, "COURT SAYS THAT SENIORITY HAS PRECEDENCE OVER DISABILITY." Although the body of the Times article explained the decision in more detail, many readers stopped at the headline and, as a result, came to a dangerously misleading impression of this decision
Like ignorance, misinterpretation of the law is no excuse, and can cause loads of legal trouble. In the interest of lawsuit avoidance, we need to set this record straight. In the case, an injured US Airways baggage handler, Barnett, sought a "reasonable accommodation" under the ADA - permanent assignment to a less physically demanding job in the US Airways mailroom. However, two other US Airways employees with more seniority also sought the mailroom job. US Airways was left with a "damned if you do - damned if you don't" choice: should it honor Barnett's request for a "reasonable accommodation" as required by the ADA, or should it honor its seniority system as required by its collective bargaining agreement with its union? US Airways chose to honor its seniority system, and Barnett sued, claiming that by failing to provide him with his requested "reasonable accommodation," US Airways violated the ADA.
The case eventually ended up before the United States Supreme Court, which rendered a 5-4 decision (there's nothing like legal decisiveness...) in favor of US Airways, triggering headlines like the "seniority has precedence over disability" report quoted above. Consequently, many employers now believe the rule of law to be this: if a disabled employee requests assignment to a particular position as a "reasonable accommodation," and another, more senior employee requests the same position, the employer can safely choose the more senior employee without risking an ADA suit.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Here's what the Supreme Court really said . . . The law will generally respect the sanctity of a seniority system like the one US Airways had - a structured, pervasive seniority system that consistently governed the most important aspects of the employer-employee relationship. But if an employer did not typically use seniority as the benchmark for work assignments and other employee management decisions, seniority will most likely not trump an employee's ADA-inspired request for a reasonable accommodation."
As per my opponents first two arguments in round 1, I would agree that knowledge is important - I believe anyone would. As per the third argument, yes, many people watch the news, that's tremendous - but does this really prove that the news is not detrimental to the political process? Ideological diffusion is good, I agree, but is the news the best form of ideological diffusion? Perhaps it is efficient, but is it the best? This is the claim that I am disputing.
Perhaps the news is accurate, but it is not always necessarily true. Back in the early 1900's, there existed many newspaper articles that were very racist and presented many false truths.
(such as this one http://www.oldmagazinearticles.com... )
Is this truly good press? Would a magazine article such as this one not have been detrimental to the American political process? I am not so much presenting this as new evidence as much as I am presenting it as a rebuttal to my opponent's argument of whether or not the news is the best form of ideological diffusion. In reference to my opponent's third argument in the first round, imagine what would have happened if someone saw this racist article in the magazine? To answer, I quote my opponent:
"...he shares this with two of his other friends. One of his friends is an author, and the other is a newspaper editor. The author writes a book about the topic and the editor writes a newspaper article about the topic. This is a great example of how through ideological diffusion, we can spread a single idea to a very large amount of people. Through news, TV, books, radio, newspapers, etc. We are able to convey all this information to the entire United States. A recent study from a journalist team consisting of KENNETH OLMSTEAD, MARK JURKOWITZ, AMY MITCHELL AND JODI ENDA. Shows that 71% of people watch local news, 65% view network TV news, and 38% watch cable TV news. Through these calculations we can see that ideological diffusion is efficiently reaching a mass number of people through only one of many types of media. This study also shows that 82% of local news viewers also view network TV, and 44% of them also watch cable TV. Other percentages of Americans who view more than one TV source are available upon request."
I would like to thank my opponent for his interesting debate; now the debate will be moved to the voters to decide the winner.
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