The Role Of The Media In Democracy — страница 2

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because it makes a better story. Although the media does not directly create or change opinions, it tells the public what to think about. By using priming techniques, we can see the media directly swaying the direction of the voters choices. By looking simply at these facts we can see that the media is quite possibly the most influential tool available to regulate voter choice. How many choices does the media actually make when it comes to choices in leadership? The media doesn t stop with making attempts to sway voter choice. Occasionally we see a rare example that goes in the history books because of its unique characteristics and powerful influence on the nation. A prime example of a case of powerful media influence can be found in the recent activities of Larry Flynt. Flynt,

of Hustler Magazine, used his power and influence to uncover the hypocrisy lying deep beneath the surface of the Republican Party. He placed an $85,000 full page ad in the Washington Post, offering up to $1,000,000 (Shepard, March 1999, 2) for evidence of illicit sexual relations involving high ranking members of Congress or upper level government officials. His plan was that if anyone could give solid proof that someone high in the rankings of the impeachment trial were found to have committed the same acts as the President himself committed, he could get this person removed from office also. The responses flooded Flynt s desk, and he narrowed them down from 2,000 to 12. He hired two full time investigators for $100,000 a piece, and sent them to look into the allegations. These

investigators dug up the unfaithfulness of the Speaker of the House-elect, Bob Livingston. However, before Flynt even had the chance to publish the faults of the Representative, Livingston resigned. By resigning, he indirectly admitted that the allegations were true and proved that there was hypocrisy in the House Majority party, and even among those they choose as their leaders. Flynt didn t stop with the investigation of Livingston however, instead he continued on well into the impeachment trial of the President. Not only could the Republicans not find a member that had not had some form of sexual unfaithfulness, which forced them to elect the most conservative of their party to represent them, but they also had problems with their prosecution for the impeachment trial. This

time the focus was on Bob Barr, one of the 13 members of the Senate chosen to act as prosecuting attorneys on the impeachment of the President. Not only had Barr been unfaithful to his wife, but he also refused to admit so when he was placed on the stand. To make matters worse, Barr had at one point stood on the House floor and said that abortion was equivalent to murder, yet later, he admitted to taking his own wife to have an abortion. (Shepard, March 1999, 2) In the mind of Flynt and many others, these actions were acts of pure hypocrisy and Barr should have no right choosing the fate of our President on a moral basis. Eventually, Barr resigned and Flynt had another victory under his belt. If a man like Larry Flynt can determine the people that step on to the House Floor, and

those who represent the prosecution of the President of the United States of America, obviously the media plays an important role in the democratic society in which we live. Basically, Larry Flynt proved that with enough power, money, and publicity, and task could be accomplished, even if it is evicting the representatives that the people elected. All in all we have learned that no matter what way we look at it, the media is one of the most influential and important tools that enters our democratic nation. It is a nation founded on free speech and freedom of the press, and the media uses these freedoms to influence some of the most important decisions that may ever occur in our country. It is somewhat scary that the fate of our nation could be put in the hands of the King of

Porn, but at the same time it is somewhat invigorating. As citizens, the framers entrusted everyday citizens with the right to influence the actions and fate of our government, even if only through a small article in the newspaper. Even though they did give the media this right, and we as citizens the right to use it, they still found fault with the nation as a whole. Otherwise, citizens would have been given the chance to directly elect those they feel represent them the best. The question of why they did this remains, but the fault lies at the feet of the media for keeping the citizens left uninformed and unable to cast a reasonable vote. Works Cited Janda, Berry, Goldman. The Challenge of Democracy. Sixth Edition. Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Muraca, Stephanie, T.. In-class-notes.