Wednesday, June 05, 2013

GOP's new leaders are Bill, Rush, and Glenn, according to young people

I found this interesting Scribe story through Kevin Drum:
During the January 2013 focus group research, respondents in the Columbus group of young men who voted for Obama were asked to name who they viewed as leaders of the Democratic Party. They named prominent former or currently elected officials: Pelosi, the Clintons, Obama, Kennedy, Gore. When those same respondents were asked to name Republican leaders, they focused heavily on media personalities and commentators: Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck.
This is a real problem for the Republican Party, when young people cite media personalities as leaders of your political party. Media personalities are not interested in formulating political policies to solve complex problems this country is facing. Media personalities are interested in building an audience to their TV and radio programs, so they can charge higher fees to advertisers. And how do you build that audience? How about manufacturing controversies and faux outrages to keep the hard-right, conservative base angry and looney all the time? How about pounding more stories on social issues of gays getting married, President Obama planning on taking away all your guns, the continuing "War on Christmas," ACORN, illegal immigrants getting government assistance while driving Cadillacs, or name-your-own culture war scandal?

Unfortunately, I doubt that the GOP could change and shake off the media personality leaders of O'Reilly, Limbaugh, and Beck. I'm guessing that Fox News has a strong viewership on older viewers, who have a history of regular voting. I am also guessing that Tea Party folks also regularly watch Fox News, or listen to Limbaugh and Beck, so they can become angry at the next latest outrage. Fox News will bring GOP congress critters to the studios to lob softball questions on culture war issues, or simplified solutions to complex issues--can you say flat tax anyone? The congress critters get free, and favorable, media coverage to their home states and districts, allowing them to keep the rabid, Tea Party conservative base angry enough to re-elect the same critters to office. Bill, Rush, and Glenn get to continue manufacturing their faux outrages to anger their audience, and sell more advertising. The system becomes self-serving for both the GOP and the conservative media establishment leaders that now control the GOP. With the development of blogs, Facebook, social media, Twitter, how many young people are getting their news and information from such social media sites, and not from the mainstream conservative media establishments of Fox, Rush, Bill, and Glenn?

No comments: