The mass media has a huge effect on how people view current events and has real weight in most political debates. The media, even in the age of the Internet, is still viewed by a sizeable portion of the population, and is often reported on even by Internet news sources.
Mass media has an effect on the thinking of the American people. That is the whole purpose of the media and that is to inform. Information that causes change in the economy for an example is provided to change the thinking of Americans. Therefore mass media does effect our thinking.