Essay Do You Hate America?

Essay Do You Hate America?

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“Do you hate America?” A common question in the days after 9/11, when it seemed that if you didn’t support the US’ troops involvement in the Middle East, you supported terrorism. This “us vs them” mentality, and the nationalistic support that comes with it has not always been around, and while there have been many notable examples of controversial US wars, none stand out more than the Vietnam War. Opposition to the United States’ involvement in Vietnam was due to many reasons, including the draft, questionable reasons for entering the war, and the widespread media coverage of the war, which for the first time was being televised right into people’s homes. Being informed is critical to the life of any responsible citizen, and so one would believe that letting the media do as they please would allow for the most informative and transparent content being delivered to citizens. However, this is not the case; TV studios will always gravitate to that which attracts the most viewers, negative news. This gravitation led CBS to portray army commanding officers as incompetent and soldiers as unwilling participants in television coverage of the war. It is important that the television studio’s ability to publish content freely is examined, as the lessons learnt from their acts in Vietnam will hold doubly true in our modern work of media hyper consumption. While TV studios may try to push their grim perspective on viewers, access to report freely should not be diminished out of the fear of bias.

Coverage of the Vietnam war was being delivered to average people, who were not very different than the people of today, and therefore payed greater attention to negative news. This inevitably lead to unbalanced coverage of the war as negative report...

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...s conflict, which created a positive feedback loop with TV studios, as their ratings would keep increasing with more and more negative news, further perpetuating the ill-conceived notions, which would once again increase the interest of viewers towards the news. As media continues to become more sensationalistic and events continue to get blown out of proportion, it is important that we, as responsible citizens, become aware of the feedback loop and how it can alter the media’s actions, and thus our perception of current events. If every person became critical of the news they received, and others did not believe that by questioning the narrative they are presented they are supporting the other side, news would not have the result to being so sensationalistic and polarizing, and perhaps unfettered media access to events could become the powerful tool it should be.

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