To the editor:
Like many of you, I have been watching the latest impeachment trial in the Senate. Last week, MSNBC was fully devoted to the trial while FOX was covering Mark Cuban’s declining to play the National Anthem at his basketball games.
I initially thought that Trump’s rioting supporters were just ignorant of the facts of the election, but with FOX and other outlets supplying rationalizations about the election results, like phony claims about biased programming in voting machines and rigged Black voter drives, it became obvious that basic information was slanted to please their viewing audience.
Many ordinary conservatives engage with a diverse source of opinion, not just FOX and the internet. Most TV channels want to tell their viewers what they want to hear and affirm their beliefs, to keep them watching. This technique is amplified by the sources on the internet that feed “likes” to their viewers, which can become a tidal wave of misinformation to the approximately 50 percent of viewers who only get their news from the internet.
The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other sources, including The Conway Daily Sun, have editors that review articles for basic facts and eliminate the more obvious crazed opinions or statements. The internet doesn’t have this filter. Some viewers cannot discern opinion from news (“Morning Joe” and “Hannity” are opinion shows.) This missing gatekeeping function can result in rapid development of fanaticism, as opinion migrates into propaganda.
We need a functioning conservative party to offset the more radical pandering of some liberals. FOX likes to portray AOC as the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party, and the liberals will soon assure listeners that Marjorie Taylor Greene is a typical Republican. Political gridlock is also not a functioning answer to our nation’s problems. Politicians need to vote and answer to the public for that vote, or this year there will be many pols auditioning for a new book: “Profiles in Cowardice.”