Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death Essay

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Amusing Ourselves to Death; Mediums, Friend or Foe?

Electronic media is inferior to print media due to the fact that electronic media can be bias, selective, and evasive for the purpose of entertainment. Electronic media serves as a form of entertainment with a main goal of serving their ratings rather than serving the people. It would seem that Postman would agree with this theory since he describes electronic media as a form of entertainment rather than a reliable source of information and facts in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death.

Let’s start by taking a look at the bias side of electronic media. Take for instance the difference between Fox News and CBS. Both are news stations, both are intended to bring us the news, yet the
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Earlier this week, the FBI officially transferred the Chandra Levy investigation to its Cold Case unit, which historically has handled only the toughest of cases, which have few clues. [Rest of story]

RATHER: You may want to keep in mind the case remains officially a “missing person” case. No crime has been established, no one has been accused by lawmen—of anything, much less formally charged. No one’s been charged with breaking any laws. (Dan Rather and Jim Stewart, CBS Evening News, 7/18/01)

While the contrasts between the two are obviously different where one depicts that Condit is the cause of the problem, the other clearly states just the facts.

My second point is that Electronic Media tends to become evasive while broadcasting.
They tend to focus on points that were based on opinion rather than facts so that they may receive more ratings, in turn create more profit. I once again turn to the same story of Chandra Levy’s disappearance. Although CBS just states the facts, Fox News states opinions in their polls, news article headings, and their complete coverage of the story, while focusing on Mr. Condit (Fox News 7/15/01). Fox News gained high ratings for the Chandra Levy story, only because they fed off of the icon, Gary Condit. Bringing a celebrity into anything makes it more interesting because he or she is more widely known. Now when you have titles such as “Condit’s Acting Guilty” (Dana Blanton, Fox News 7/07/01), you will have
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