Hitler’s use of mass media during the early 1900’s to influence a nation into participating in mass murder has been well documented, thoroughly examined, and is still studied ad nauseam by mass media graduates today. Advertisers know that it’s not only an art, it’s a well formulated science used to influence the masses.
Our nation hasn’t always been governed by unethical profit driven lunatics. Once upon a time, we had laws banning the creation of Fox “News” and other unregulated media giants like Sinclair Broadcasting. We knew that unrestricted media power was a threat to our lives and to our democracy. Orson Welles reinforced that fact after his “War of the Worlds” broadcast influenced many listeners into believing we were being invaded by aliens from outer space in 1938. By the time color TV was invented, we had long known how the media could be used to influence the masses. We weren’t stupid.
Regulations were so tight that if you wanted to own bandwidth to influence the American public, the same laws required to become President of the United States were applied to broadcasters in that you had to be born and raised in the United States to own bandwidth. You had to have a stake in the game. Unfortunately, in 1987, Ronald Reagan waved his magic pen and did away with all that, including the “Fairness Doctrine” which had required equal time be given to both sides of a political opinion.
Now, millions of Americans are being influenced by fake news propaganda from Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting, designed to prop up a potentially treasonous President. Neither situation serves the overall public good or the integrity of our nation. With the passing of Easter, I have been reminded that putting all of our eggs in one basket is never a good idea. Removing Trump is just one of many steps needed to reclaim our democracy and the FCC is ground zero.
Virginia is a lifelong contributor to and supporter of the First Amendment.