The Press and Media Cause Rampant Swaying of the Election Votes through Their Opinions and Reports

Powerful Essays
The Press and Media Cause Rampant Swaying of the Election Votes Through Their
Opinions and Reports

Today, the press and media cause rampant swaying of the vote through their own opinions and reports. People are often misled with half-truths and believable rumors that can aid or ruin an election. Journalists and the newspapers often print things too hastily, without first investigating the truth or at least both sides of a story. Candidates abuse the media, using money as a pass to publicly slander and deface the character of their opposition, his ideals, and even the innocent people related to him. These concepts did not start recently, or even in our century. The press and media's views affected the early presidencies too. Let's start with the first president elected by vote, John Adams.
John Adams took the office of president in the year 1797. He was a close admirer of Washington and was sometimes said to be Washington's shadow
(Presidency of John Adams, Ralph Adams Brown 1975). He and the Federalists believed that nothing the Anti-federalists and their supporting press could say would be enough to shake their control. Yet it was Adams who, in spite of his undoubted intelligence, made a mistake of such proportions that it brought about his own downfall and the party's (Press and the Presidency, John Tebbel 1985).
This mistake would be the Sedition Act, which tested the first amendment and the freedoms of the press. This obviously did not please the press and its opinions were generally shifted to that of the Anti-Federalist. This was a deadly blow to John Adams' presidency and the Federalist party. He himself was no stranger to the press, he worked together with the Sons of Liberty and "cooked up paragraphs" while "working the political engine" in the Boston Gazette (Brown
1975). Adams experience with the press had convinced him that it was a primary source of political persuasion, and the thought was intriguing to him. He is quoted as saying in response to mudslinging between the two parties "There is nothing that the people dislike that they do not attack" (Tebbel 1985). When the press was being used in his favor, or against the crown of England, he seemed to be proud of the individuality and freedoms of the American press.
However, when it was used against him f...

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...e receiving end of abuse from the press. As a candidate, he also came under blows delivered by Webb's corrosive pen. "Every paper almost we open speaks contemptuously of Van Buren's prospects for the presidency." (Wilson 1984) The New York American even declared: "Mr. Van Buren consorts most naturally with the degraded and vile--for among them he is a superior... The good we desire we may not be able to attain; but the evil we dread, the great and menacing evil, the blighting disgrace of placing Martin Van
Buren, illiterate, sycophant, and politically corrupt, at the head of this great republic... we can avert it and such a consummation is surely worth some trouble." (Tebbel 1985) With the press he wanted on his side backfiring on him like this, it is no wonder why he was not elected to a second term as president of the United States.
As you see, the press was, and is, a very fickle group. You are either with them, or against them. It makes men, breaks men, and aids one at the expense of another. Yet, I am glad we have such liberties and such an intriguing press that can be played like a big game where ultimately someone loses big.
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