The Media’s Power to Manipulate the Public

The Nevada Caucus was another close outcome for Democrats, proving again that Hillary Clinton is in a real battle with Bernie Sanders to become the nominee of the Democratic voters. But, you would not know this if you let the mainstream media help you know ‘what’s going down’.

Take for example this photo:20160222.. HRC bias in media coverage at Las Vegas, markedup

There are seven identifiable faces in this picture. Seven lines have been added to connect campaign signs to faces. Five people are holding five Bernie signs (green lines), while only two people are holding the three Hillary signs (pink lines).

Bernie dominates by a landslide 70% of faces, but a quick glance at this photo in a paper or online leaves one with a strong impression that Hillary is dominating. Why? Because the editor selected a shot centered on one woman holding two signs. And the Bernie supporters behind her were too polite and did nothing to stop her aggressively shoving up front.

Money manipulates politics. In campaign season, that money goes to outfit faces with signs to create photo ops for journalists, whose job it is to help create the intended outcome. Here’s another example, from September 1996, aiding the reelection of Bill Clinton. The photo seems to connect candidate Bob Dole to the young/attractive geek demographic:19960900.. Bob Dole campaigning in Florida

Color or black-and-white: in either case, a photo is a handy tool, for the mainstream media to use to manipulate public perception.