Media portray political race as entertainment; student asks for facts

Amanda Kornak, Special to The Beacon

Author’s Note: Ben Carson has since suspended his campaign.

The 2016 Presidential Election has this young voter concerned about the priorities of American media.

As a communication studies major, I am aware of the importance of a good rating and the importance of sustaining a high viewership.

However, I am concerned as a young voter that these factors outshine the seriousness of an election, especially a presidential election.

I am concerned as a young voter because most of the headlines in the media revolve around two presidential candidates, both who are doing very well in the primary elections by the way.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have taken much of the focus and much of the media’s attention, which leaves candidates like Ben Carson without a fighting chance to get his name out there. Yes, I said his name rather than choosing to say his views, positions, and plans. The headlines currently read things like, “Is the Trump Show Ready for Prime Time?” and “The 23 Must-Read Emails from Clinton’s Inbox.” These are two headliners from Politico that make me wonder, is this politics or pop culture?

I was hoping to be able to turn my attention to the GOP and Democratic debates in order to get the information I was searching for. I cannot say I was surprised, but I was again disappointed with the chaos of these debates.

Unfortunately for me, I found myself watching grown men and women, current and future leaders of our country, verbally attacking each other.

Video clips, I have learned, are very affective when calling a candidate out on changing a position from years back.

One Democratic debate that aired on PBS had me hopeful. I was happy to finally be able to clearly understand both Sanders and Clinton and their priorities and missions. That is of course until Clinton decided to go after Sanders at the end and called him out calling President Obama “weak, he has called him a disappointment, and wrote a forward in a book that basically argues that voters
should have buyer’s remorse…”

This attack, like all of them I have witnessed during debates, was followed by chaos, talking over one another, and most importantly, neglecting the real issues.

At the end of the day I am confused, as you could guess, as to who I plan to vote for. This, however, does not concern me much since most people seem to be undecided at this stage of the “game.”

My main concern is that I cannot choose who the best candidate is because the media have neglected to focus on what Trump and the other candidates plan to do to better my future.

Thus far, the media have taught me about Trump’s hair, his feud with Megyn Kelly and his feud with the Pope.  I know about Clinton’s email scandal and I know about Sanders’ free public college idea. I have learned about the chaos of politics and the circus it has become.

I have learned that the media care more about the entertaining content rather than what is important for voters to not only know but understand. I applaud the Town Hall Meetings for having one candidate on stage at a time to eliminate this chaos. The CNN Town Hall was the first chance I had to get to know Ben Carson.