For two and a half years, I worked for two television stations in Savannah, GA. I learned first hand how personal bias in television news functions from station owner, station manager, news director, assignment editor, producer, reporter, photographer (me), and even editor (usually one of the above). Notwithstanding the sincere protestations of objectivity that were voiced from every corner, I realized that any realistic objectivity was impossible from a personal and psychological perspective. Additionally, decisions were and are made from the top down, determining which stories to cover and exactly how to cover those stories. This is done daily at the networks and the affiliates. And it is all determined by each media company’s financial bottom line, not by their public political persona.
This is obviously a much larger topic, but it is cultural conditioning at a very base, but practical level. These influencers both influence and are influenced by the masses and reflect and influence the values of these same masses. However, certain cues, codes, and boundaries are necessary for this cultural conditioning to function and create a marketplace where conditioning can succeed.
It is both simpler and more complicated, and yes Fox is stereotypically credited for this, but the other media outlets (as well as the smaller and local alternatives) can and should be credited as welll. And this has been happening for a lot longer than most realize, longer than most people care to admit, older than the so-called good-old days when everyone was supposedly happily married, had a working husband, a stay-at-home wife, and 2.5 kids.