TV is Still Politically Powerful


If anyone truly understood the political power of TV it was the late Roger Ailes, the creator of FOX News, who, according to news report, died because he fell and hit his head in the bathroom of his Palm Beach, Florida home.  He played a major role in helping Republican presidential candidates from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump get elected by advising them on how to  use TV.

President Trump certainly seemed to  understand Ailes’ “orchestra pit theory.” It enabled him to get tons of free TV news time, especially during the Republican primary fights. TV fell for the ploy hook, line, and sinker. Many, including me, believe this is the main reason he won the nomination. The “pit” theory, I read in Wikipedia, is explained in this Ailes quote:

“If you have two guys on a stage and one guy says, ‘I have a solution to the Middle East problem,’ and the other guy falls into the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?”

During Nixon’s time, TV was, no doubt where, to a large degree, elections were lost or won. It was and still is where most people get their news. At least, that’s what a Pew poll tells us that was the case in 2016..  However, that is changing.

The poll shows that 57 percent of US adults get their news from TV, cable, network, and local; 38 percent from social media, websites/apps; 25 percent from radio, and 20 percent from print newspapers.

However,  the trend appears headed online.  50 percent of people ages 18 – 29 get their news online, 27 percent of them get it on TV, 14 percent on radio and 5 percent print newspapers.

49 percent of 30 through 49 years old get their news online, 45 percent  on TV, 27 percent  on radio, and 10 percent from print newspapers.

Seniors still depend on TV heavily, 72 percent ages 50 – 64, and 85 percent ages 64 plus. The  age 64 plus crowd give print newspapers their highest percentage, 48 percent.

Where I get my news? From TV, online, radio, and magazines.  What about newspapers? Definitely. Big time.  But, not print editions, unless you count the Ledger-Enquirer online copy of the print edition as a print edition. I read both the e-edition and the website edition. I also occasionally sample newspaper websites from Washington D.C, Atlanta, New York,  Israel, U.K., Russia, France, China, and other countries. It’s amazing what’s out there for us to read now.



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2 Responses to “TV is Still Politically Powerful”

  1. Cale Morgan Says:

    Hey Dick!
    I just stopped by your blog for the first time in a while. Glad to see you’re still doing well. I don’t expect you to remember me, but I’ve been your server in a few restaurants over the years, namely Red Lobster around 5-7 years ago. I also always spoke with you about the Muscogee Democrats while I was presiding over the Columbus State Young Dems.

    I had a question I was wondering if you could answer. Every Saturday at Noon we hear the Emergency Alert system test in Columbus, and I even hear it at my home in Harris County (about a mile or two north of the county line, in Midland/Ellerslie.) Is your old friend Al Fleming the voice of the emergency alert system here? I swear it sounds just like him if it isn’t, and my Nana (90 years young, been living in Columbus 50+ years so she’s very familiar with your work as well as Al’s) agrees.

    Again, nice to see your blog is still up and running even though it’s been a few years since I’ve frequented it.

    All the best,
    Cale Morgan

  2. Says:

    Always nice to know some folks still read the blog. I get more comments when I publish on Facebook.

    I’m not sure who voices the Emergency Network message.

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