Essay on Habituation: The Effect of Television on Politics

1966 Words 8 Pages
One of the readings that captured my attention was Diana C. Mutz's Effects of "In-Your-Face" Television Discourse on Perceptions of a Legitimate Opposition. American news media has interested me since I moved to the country, probably because television of that kind was a complete novelty for me until then. The most striking feature that I noticed before anything else was the rampant partisanship and the complete lack of effort to even disguise it. The media's importance in a country like Pakistan is diminished, since other issues of even great fundamental importance to the well-being of democracy usually dominate discussion. When Governor assassinations are celebrated and the assassins vigorously defended by hordes of Pakistani lawyers …show more content…
Mutz's article deals mostly with the how political television in America affects its viewers' perception of views in opposition to theirs. The major variable in the study, however, is the difference in perceptions when discourse is civil or uncivil, the uncivil side concerning me more since that is how much of the discourse appears to me, although that may simply be because I was used to the monotonous and deadeningly bland tones of the BBC for so long. The monotony of BBC English and its complete formality, however, is useful in that it helps reveal the difference when one comes in contact with what could be said to be a different approach to mass mediated discourse, if not the complete opposite. The presentation of one side over the other also becomes increasingly apparent in political television. For example, there is often the tendency to not simply disprove or defeat an opponent on televised debates but to do it with the aim of deligitimizing the opposition through utter ridicule, or "totally destroying" them, a pressure felt on both sides of the ideological divide in the media. Bill O'Reilly and Chris Matthews are two of a number of personalities on television who thrive on dominating discussions not only verbally but even with regard to volume and physicality. When discourse reaches the point where the two individuals are consistently

Related Documents