There are three reasons for this: 1) Conflicts make good ratings and sell newspapers, or at least they hope; 2) If you can't get along with your neighbor, then perhaps you'll turn to the government as a referee who will pick winners and losers, which serves the major media's dominant ideology; and 3) If you're an average, hard-working American and especially if you're successful, a lot of these media folks just don't like you, think you've gained an unfair advantage and want to find someone to put you in your place. Believe me on that last point; I've heard the conversations.
The latest example can be found on the New Media site HeatStreet, which issued this report.
The liberal ABC-Disney Television Network generated outrage during its televised coverage of the Houston Texans’ victory over the Oakland Raiders Saturday night in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs, but it had nothing to do with the football.Now political debate in sitcoms has a rich history in America, dating back to the classic "All In The Family." But at least Archie and "Meathead" had substantive arguments about issues and didn't resort to shallow cliches, and as much as they disagreed, they still managed to live together as a family.
Instead many viewers were annoyed at a promo for next Wednesday’s episode of ABC’s sitcom Black-ish, which features a predominantly African-American cast being decidedly anti-Trump in tone and nature.
In the promo, which bills the episode as the “election through the eyes of Black-ish”, Lucy (a white character played by Christine Reitman) tells her predominantly African-American co-workers: “I voted for Trump!” before adding the clichéd justification, “I’m a racist? I have black friends!”
In another scene, her colleague Daphne (Wanda Sykes) appears to kick out at her for merely expressing that she had chosen to cast her vote for the Republican Party.
In 2016-17, however, the goal isn't to entertain or get people to think but to drive a wedge. According to MTV, you're a bigot -- you just don't know it. TNT -- which airs NBA basketball -- uses a former NBA great to present America as a country that "has lost its way, become mired in partisan politics, social divides and entrenched corporate interests." And its not just the TV networks playing this game. The disgraceful outfit BuzzFeed hounds a couple that hosts an HGTV home improvement show for, essentially, their Christian beliefs, and many formerly mainstream outlets pile on. And these examples barely scratch the surface of what's happening.
Just over the weekend, one executive of a Silicon Valley tech start-up tweeted with regard to creating new jobs in middle America: “(N)o educated person wants to live in a sh-thole with stupid people.” Particularly, in a “sh-thole” filled with people who are “violent, racist, and/or misogynistic.” Redding, he means us.
Most Americans are tuning the major networks out; at a time when they could be benefiting amid all the cord-cutting by bringing free TV for folks, they're instead seeing double-digit drops in ratings across their fall schedule. But all this dividing still has had a devastating effect on our society, as last year's killings of more than 60 police officers and the recent torture of a disabled man by four thugs in Chicago demonstrate.
That's why for many people, the question of whether to fund these media companies through subscription and advertising dollars is a moral issue. It's not enough to just tune away. In the minds of many, finding and supporting alternative voices that affirm and seek solutions will be crucial in the weeks and months ahead.