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Talk shows are programs that offer a forum for various individuals to express their opinions and points of view about a certain topic. Individuals participate in a conversation, and listeners are often invited to join in via social media, text messages, or live phone calls. In such a case, the guests can either disagree by endorsing one side of the debate and dismissing the other, or they can take a balanced stance and address both sides of the debate to achieve a compromise. In the documentary, the brainwashing of my dad, filmmaker, Jen Senko argues that her dad's views on politics were influenced by listening to talk radio and watching fox news (Alm). Initially, Jen_x0092_s dad was not a fan of politics; however, after listening to the media outlets, he developed a strong negative opinion about racism, homosexuality, poor people, and Hispanics among others. Jen is on a mission to understand what happened to her dad particularly after he developed an interest in talk radio, fox news, and the internet.
The media has for a long time been blamed for influencing the masses. While it is true that people have a right to express their opinion regarding matters politics, racism, or terrorism, the media has been cited has a major influence of public opinion (Kessler). Media outlets are trusted by their audience to air news without any bias. After listening to the information, it is, therefore, up to the listener to add up the facts and choose the side to support. However, the documentary, the brainwashing of my dad, brings in a different perspective of media, particularly talk shows. The film maker, Jen Senko, is convinced that her father_x0092_s opinion on racism, Hispanics, homosexuality and the poor people was influenced by talk radio which he loved so much (Alm). She bases her argument on the fact that, her father was not a political individual and that he did not have issues with poor people or homosexuals in the society. However, the media made him develop a negative about most things happening around him.
WikiLeaks is another example of an information outlet which has not only influenced public opinion regarding governments but also changed the way traditional journalism is viewed. Just as the name suggests, WikiLeaks leaks secret information regarding a government creating a debate in the said country the country or the globe. One such example was the 2016 presidential election in the United States of America. The primary contenders were the current president Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The whole world was convinced that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential race and clinch the seat more so because she had the support of the outgoing president Barrack Obama. Opinion polls were in Hillary Clinton_x0092_s favor while the media outlets seemed to support her based on the discussion which highlighted Hillary as a more proffered candidate because of her political experience. On the other hand, Donald Trump lacked the political experience and was only known as an entrepreneur. He also had various scandals following him regarding sexual harassment and racism. Donald Trump, eventually, won the elections something which shock the world. Trump_x0092_s win is partly attributed to WikiLeaks as part of his campaign involved referencing certain emails and documents which tainted the image of Hilary Clinton, her campaign manager and her entire campaign team. The documents and emails which were from John Podesta, Hillary_x0092_s campaign manager and from the Democratic National Committee alleged misconduct against senator Bernie Sanders who was a Democratic Party candidate among other issues.
The leaking of the information painted Hillary Clinton and her entire campaign team in bad light. It caused embarrassment to Hillary because it portrayed her in a sense that she supported corruption, impropriety or the failure to observe standards (Enten). Hilary Clinton running on the democratic republic ticket and WikiLeaks shared conspiracy theories against her and her party. On the other hand, WikiLeaks seemed to support Donald Trump to the extent that it encouraged him to contest the election in the event that he lost the election to Hilary. The public had aces to the information which had not been reported in the main stream media. This shaped the public opinion regarding Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. the public was torn between supporting Hillary Clinton whose image was tainted by the emails or to support Donald Trump who did not have any political experience and attracted many scandals. The ethical issue in the country then was to choose between two leaders who both had skeletons in the closets which had found their way out. It was, therefore, up to the public to decide which of the two candidates had done less evil compared to the other. Professional behavior is the ethical principle which applied. People had expectation on Hillary Clinton and such accusations did not portray her as a leader particular since she was actively involved in politics.
In conclusion, the documentary, the brain washing of my dada, and the presidential elections are examples of what information from media outlets does to people. The fact that this information is repeated almost on a daily bias pushes people to accept it as the truth. People develop an opinion once they are exposed to information. The way in which the information is packaged influences the public on which faction to support and which faction to oppose.
Alm, David. "Review: 'The Brainwashing of My Dad' Explores the Human Impact of Right-Wing Media." Forbes, 25 Mar. 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/davidalm/2016/03/25/review-the-brainwashing-of-my-dad-a-new-film-on-the-human-impact-of-right-wing-media/#7f2e59744a72. Accessed 13 Dec. 2017.
Enten, Harry. "How Much Did WikiLeaks Hurt Hillary Clinton?" FiveThirtyEight, 23 Dec. 2016, fivethirtyeight.com/features/wikileaks-hillary-clinton/. Accessed 13 Dec. 2017.
Kessler, Josh. "How Does the Media Influence Public Opinion? | Josh Kessler's Civic Issues Blog." Sites at Penn State - WordPress | Powered by WordPress, 24 Jan. 2013, sites.psu.edu/joshkesslerblog/2013/01/24/how-does-the-media-influence-public-opinion/. Accessed 13 Dec. 2017.
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