On The Use & Abuse Of Media

After all that’s been written for and against gay marriage, there’s one major aspect of the issue that has received almost no attention at all. And it may be the most important part.

In the early 2000’s, 31 U.S. states passed constitutional amendments that specifically reiterated the definition of marriage as being one-man-one-woman. By 2015, when the Supreme Court struck those down, a majority of Americans in surveys said they no longer disapproved of gay marriage.

Aside from any feeling about the issue itself, that change should be fascinating. Has there ever been a faster shift of so large a portion of the population on so major an issue? In only about a decade, millions of people just changed their mind.

And nobody seems to be asking why or how.

I think the answer is obvious, if we do bother to ask. Those millions of people didn’t all just spontaneously have random changes of heart, in history’s biggest coincidence.

No. The media worked on us. What else could it have been?

There’s no need here to rehash the many, many positive portrayals of gay people and their relationships on TV over the last few decades (a short summary, though, is here); I don’t think anyone would deny that such portrayals were very common, that they became more common over time, and that the amount of characters involved was disproportionate to the general population in real life.  Again, no value judgment about gay marriage either way is needed in order to simply see that TV’s tendency to preach the virtue of gays was widespread. One might say that this trend was meant to combat ignorance–fair enough. My point here is that the trend exists.

I read a revealing account of Hollywood once where, when asked if they were trying to force their left-wing opinions on America, TV producers and writers said, “No, of course not!” But when they were asked if they were raising awareness and helping people become more conscious about important issues, they said, “Oh, yes, we absolutely do that.”

We might describe it differently based on views on the issue, but again, the trend exists.

My question is, why doesn’t this worry anybody? The media decided what belief to promote to the country, embarked on a decades-long mission to promote that belief, and successfully changed the nature of the country. That is just spreading propaganda, pure and simple.

You might think the result is a wonderful thing–I’m not arguing about that here–but shouldn’t the method worry us? Is it really ethical to manipulate society like this, as if the creators of our media are omniscient puppet masters? Maybe the manner in which the country had its mind changed should make us examine the issue more closely.

If this still doesn’t bother you, because you’re pro-gay marriage, just imagine if this process had been used to enforce a new policy that you don’t approve of. If you still think that Hollywood’s social engineering is good because you agree with gay marriage and “the ends justify the means,” keep in mind that such thinking is typical of fascism.

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One comment on “On The Use & Abuse Of Media

  1. Actually, this is *not* going to be a problem for the Left, even hypothetically; because the modern mass media is – I have argued – intrinsically Leftist: indeed it is the core and source of Leftism in the modern world (and has been, increasingly, since the middle 1960s – which is related to the change in Leftism from economics and politics, to sexuality and race):

    http://addictedtodistraction.blogspot.co.uk

    (Online text of a 26K words book, published in 2014 – beta-read and recommended by Adam G from Junior Ganymede!)

    The ‘Right’ and Left are not symmetrical in the way often assumed – because the mainstream secualr Right e.g. Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives) are actually moderate-Left – and based on the same ultimate metaphysics and the middling and extreme Left (i.e. a kind of utilitarianism, aimed-at increasing happiness/ pleasure and reducing suffering/ pain).

    The opposite of the Left is actually Religion: ie. that the ultimate aim of human society is other-worldly not this-worldly – and that is what society ought to aim-at.

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