Media: The Puppeteer of the Public's Perception.
Ever watch Bugs Bunny and the Looney Toon gang? Of course. Remember the episodes depicting Bugs and the gang in Word War I or World War II garb and situations? Bugs was always the red-blooded American hero and those Germans were depicted as despicable varmints. Those cartoons went along with the support the government had with the media in battling those wars. .
But then came Korea and Vietnam. And the government and the media were no longer bedfellows. The media became an enemy as great as the one the country was battling thousands of miles away in the Asian rice fields. "The media became the primary battlefield. Illusory events reported by the press as well as real events within the press corps were more decisive than the clash of arms or the contention of ideologies.""(Dudley & Bender, 1990, p. 76).
The media, ever since being the puppet of the World War I and World War II government has since strived not only to cut the strings, but also to become the puppet master. The media sensationalized and condemned the government during the Vietnam War and even as recently as the 9/11 terrorist attacks continued its revolt by not displaying flag lapels.
Most recently as President George Bush was winning support from the Senate and House on authority to use force against Iraq, the news media was painting a different picture. Bush won the legal authority he sought by a 296-133 vote in the House and a 77-23 vote in the Senate, but of the 81 sound bites used by the media covering the event 59 percent opposed the use of force, even though just 29 percent of the legislators actually did. (Noyes, 2002, p.1) .
Part of this media shift over the past 90 years can be media's need to keep the interest of the American public. The media has come to sensationalize everything it can. In a world where soap operas have their own Emmy's and billions are spent making big screen productions, the media has to come up with a way to get some of the ratings.