One of our greatest God-given rights is our right to vote. This right has not been taken, but slowly swayed by an outlet we seek often, the media.
The media’s effect on our knowledge of the candidates is more prevalent than ever. With almost constant coverage on the candidates, networks like Fox News, MSNBC and CNN have informed and outraged us on the latest antics and stances from our future Commander-in-Chief.
In December 2014 a study by Gregory J. Martin and Ali Yurukoglu of Stanford University took a look at how one’s media choice affects their voting. It was deemed the Fox News Effect. Their study later revealed that voting was indeed swayed by the channel they watched. Those who watched Fox News for four minutes were 0.9% more likely to vote for the Republican candidate. Those who watched MSNBC for four minutes were 0.7% less likely to vote for the Republican candidate.
With that being said, the networks, even the democratic ones, are clearly showing the most air time to Trump. But, why? MSNBC clearly wouldn’t want Donald Trump as president, yet they have devoted a large chunk of air time in covering him. All their viewers are seeing is TRUMP! TRUMP! TRUMP! Rarely any air time for Bernie Sanders who continues to climb the polls as Hillary Clinton sinks amid her server scandal.
Meanwhile, Fox News has seemingly given up on their agenda to sink Trump. Sean Hannity has kept his show focused on the billionaire candidate. So viewers who are seeking more information on the Carson’s and the Fiorina’s are left Trumped. If Fox News does want us to vote for Trump, we are seeing more than enough of him.
CNN, an often neutral news source has also fed into the constant coverage of Trump, though it has given other candidates a chance. An argument for higher TV ratings could be made after CNN advertised a one-on-one interview with Donald Trump days after his debate performance and controversial comments. Cleverly, CNN did not once say it was a phone interview. When they went live to Don Lemon, he was alone in a studio, “Joining us now on the phone is Donald Trump…” we had been had.
So are the networks guiding the voters to Trump or are they just following the ratings? Either way, we continue to watch, not knowing if we are being swayed to elect their choice for the next President of the United States.