Television’s political forums of today can be extremely biased. The liberals have the majority of news stations in their favor such as NBC, MSNBC, CBS and CNN which is probably the most balanced but still tends to lean towards the democrat’s point of view the majority of the time. The major political forum for conservatives is Fox News and while they claim to be “Fair and balanced”, many Americans believe they are anything but fair and balanced. The most popular political forums on television are the night time shows such as Countdown with Keith Olbermann, The Rachel Maddow Show, 360 with Anderson Cooper, The Sean Hannity Show and The O’Reilly Factor just to name a few. These shows are political forums in which each host invite guests on their show who either strongly represent their opinion or are weak representatives of the opposing side.
• The most popular televised political forum for liberals is the MSNBC news channel. The two shows that include the strongest messages are Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show. Olbermann’s political forum tends to be one sides. He rarely has any guests from the opposing side and often uses strong language to promote his beliefs. One segment of the show is called “Today’s Worst Persons” where Olbermann provides three examples of conservatives doing or saying things that are in his opinion unjustified or morally wrong and rates them by worse, worser and worst. At the end of most of his shows, he provides a lengthy “special comment” in which he will directly voice his opinion on an important political issue. The Rachel Maddow show is a continuation of Countdown in that it is also a liberal political platform, but Rachel’s show tends to be more upbeat and humorous. The most noticeable difference between the two shows is that Maddow often has republican and conservative guests to debate her on popular political topics. Many of her debates with guests turn out to be extremely confrontational, providing other news shows entertaining video clips to air themselves in order to strengthen a specific message.
• In the past few years, Fox News has become extremely controversial. It is widely known that they are in favor of conservative views and it is a popular republican political platform. However, what makes it controversial is that their slogan is “Fair and balanced”. Since President Obama was elected, all of their hosts and contributors have done everything in their power to make the president and his administration look unintelligent and weak on every single issue. There have been many claims of Fox News hosts blatantly lying about statistics, proposed policies of the current administration and even opposing opinions. There are some that suggest this is the reason why their ratings are high. Some of the hosts such as Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly will have guests on their shows from the opposing side that are not strong representatives and that are most likely unknown by the general public. This tactic is used to make the opposing side look weak to the viewers. Although Fox New’s methods are questionable by many, there is no doubt that they work to some extent due to the channel’s popularity.
There are news channels for both the liberal and conservative sides, however, these political platforms could be potentially dangerous to the general public. If the majority of American citizens are getting their news from biased news channels and it’s possible that any of them could be obstructing the truth, then people will be miss-informed. This is an important issue especially during elections. Due in part to these news shows, many people do not want to hear the other side. They want their favorite television host to tell them that their side is right and strong in numbers. Some people suggest that the biased message of Fox Bews is partially responsible for the new extremely conservative Tea Party. People have been pictured at Tea Party rallies with signs claiming that President Obama is a socialist and Hitler mustaches painted on Obama’s face. This sort of protesting is not productive and can set us back decades in terms of morality. While television provides great political platforms, Americans must be aware of possible biased information.