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TV Shows Are Changing Your Political Opinions Without You Knowing It


Right now, we’re living in a super-political
environment. Even reading the news is considered political. Just mentioning a show can start a political
argument! But is it the media that’s political or
are we politicizing it? We consume a lot of media from news to mindless
entertainment television. And studies show the media we consume can
affect our opinions. From body image to political leanings our
media consumption can affect a lot. There are a lot of variables here, but that
doesn’t mean we can’t apply a little bit of science. So, first, we have to think about television
not as scripted drama or stage play, but as images and messages that are brought into
your home in highly-produced packages, creating a shared national culture. And some research shows that people who consume
more “light” television are more likely to be swayed. Light television is in contrast to heavy. So while heavy might be a documentary, or
hard-hitting news, light might be entertainment or variety tv. But while we all see the politicization of
news, surely light tv is okay. RIGHT? Not so much. One particular team of researchers looked
at Italy as a case study. They focused on areas where the TV network
Mediaset was most widely syndicated. Mediaset was owned by a guy who ran for (and
won) the office of prime minister of Italy. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the network showed
light entertainment content and then gradually shifted to biased content in favor of the
owner’s own political party. The data science found, on average, Mediaset
turned more voters toward the populist PM candidate, compared to regions where his network
was introduced later. This suggests a correlation between long-term
exposure to entertainment television (and its possible political bias) and voting habits. Back in the US, this is connected to a thing
called the Fox News effect. This American news network has an extreme
right-leaning bias, that caters more to small-town and suburban areas with populist bends. Its viewers, too, skew ideologically conservative
based on 2012 Pew studies. But other media outlets are also skewed. For example, while Fox was tough on the 2012
Democratic candidate, MSNBC was far tougher on the Republican candidate that year. But back back to Italy, the researchers also
found a correlation between TV habits and education. On average, children exposed to entertainment
tv at a young age grew into “cognitively disadvantaged” adults. And it’s not just kids. People exposed to entertainment TV over time,
regardless of age, are more likely to be taken in by populist political rhetoric. Across the board, entertainment content was
shown to influence political attitudes, creating what the researchers call a, quote, “fertile
ground for the spread of populist messages.” Which we know has become more popular in 2017. Plus, the 2012 Pew Study found, Fox News viewers
were on average less informed about current events than people who don’t watch the news
at all. That’s right, less-informed than people
who watched no news at all. They conducted surveys covering both political
events and general knowledge and a correlation between lower scores on the survey and Fox
News as the primary news outlet emerged. Though, again, let’s be clear: this is a
correlation, not a causation. But still, the correlation is there. Another team of researchers from an apolitical
nonprofit, looked at data for over 9,200 towns in 2006, and found that areas where Fox News
entered the cable market by the year 2000 had a significant rise in Republican support. That suggests a link between the station’s
bias and its audience. Fox News, they found, reinforced the views
of Republican voters and shifted support among independents. Look, we’re not trying to pick on any specific
news outlet. We’re looking at the data, and the data
says, some media is more ideological than others And can possibly affect how people see the
world. Plus, this was in 2012, we are far more polarized
today than we were then. Fox News is currently leading cable news channels
for viewership. Though viewers overall are fewer with the
rise of alternatives to cable news online. Which we didn’t even talk about here. Some have gone so far as to say that stations
airing such slanted programming is, and I’ll paraphrase here, like an all-meat diet when
really you need some variety. Watching multiple news sources is always recommended
as the best way to have a healthy news diet. Exactly, is there a perfect news source? No. But there might be a better way to consume
the news. Instead of only watching Fox News or MSNBC,
watch both. And see what’s happening on Twitter. And read the New York Times and the Wall Street
Journal and the BBC! And if you don’t have time to do all that, find a source that curates them for you. If you’re worried about bias, don’t put
all your eggs in one basket. Anytime we can consider more sources we gain
a broader opinion to have a better overall sense of the world. For more sciencey looks at your daily life,
subscribe to Seeker! And it’s not just news outlets affecting
your voting habits, politicians also play mind games to win. Julia’s got more on that right here. Here’s a fun fact to keep in mind, the definition
of propaganda is “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to
promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.” Hmm.

100 Comments

  1. Dee Snider
    Dee Snider December 23, 2017

    Isn't it ironic that they try to influence our opinions on Fox News and those who watch it? They then go on to surmise that those who watch Fox News are readily programmed to support "populist rhetoric" because they're "cognitively disadvantaged adults". The Fox News Effect?? Extreme right-leaning bias? i suppose "small town suburban areas" is a politically correct, roundabout way of saying "uneducated bumpkins". The whole video is a textbook example of media bias.

  2. Two-Face
    Two-Face December 23, 2017

    No shit

  3. mrdocprofessor patrick
    mrdocprofessor patrick December 23, 2017

    Hahaha they pic th one only one right leaning channel to pic on hahaha. Please someone name one other for me….anyone…..anyone??? Nope didn't think so all other channels are left and super left including this one ( which I love btw) but it's the fox news effect hahahahaha

  4. VariantAEC
    VariantAEC December 23, 2017

    This is why NN is so popular!

  5. Saad
    Saad December 23, 2017

    I only enjoy trace doing the talk, love ya!

  6. Ambrose-adventure
    Ambrose-adventure December 23, 2017

    Had a feeling of this. Thank you.
    It is just hard to keep up on all the news. Another option is, you can move to the woods and live off the land and not have to worry about any of this. Because all this mental altering information, can make every day communication difficult.

  7. Forrest Man
    Forrest Man December 23, 2017

    You are trying to pick on a news network by calling fox news far right implying they are facsist.

  8. Brantley Fletcher
    Brantley Fletcher December 23, 2017

    Wow. Just wow. This video was really well written and well performed. I am flabbergasted and hugely impressed. I love Seeker and this is the reason why.

  9. Rupesh Rai
    Rupesh Rai December 23, 2017

    Wow😶😯

  10. Organon
    Organon December 23, 2017

    Can we get Trace and Carlos from Vox together?

  11. NYA5H
    NYA5H December 23, 2017

    hmmm 😀

  12. TheUnatuber
    TheUnatuber December 23, 2017

    Politics? The Tube molds our views on every aspect of life! Just keep in mind: "Network Programming" is a double entendre!

  13. ȘȚɄƑƑɎǾɄ1oo
    ȘȚɄƑƑɎǾɄ1oo December 23, 2017

    All true, but you're forgetting to mention CNN, by virtue of exposure, they're the most dangerous news organization around and they don't even try to hide their support for the domocratsleft.

  14. Aaron Jones
    Aaron Jones December 23, 2017

    Don't consume news from one shitty propaganda outlet, consume it from all of them! ~seeker. Time to unsub from this hipster libtard channel.

  15. Event Hʘriךּon
    Event Hʘriךּon December 23, 2017

    Lol we knew that in italy already in 2000. But im glad someone is noticing that too.

  16. choco flavored cookies 56
    choco flavored cookies 56 December 23, 2017

    just ignore the political side of it and enjoy it for the show

  17. Ilmari Vahteristo
    Ilmari Vahteristo December 23, 2017

    This definitely earned my like. My dislike, I mean. It doesn't really matter whether Fox News or MSNBC has a bias. They are pretty clear about it. What matters are channels which claim to be unbiased, but are infact biased (such as this channel).

  18. Peter Servinis
    Peter Servinis December 23, 2017

    Funny how they name Fox News multiple times and didn't mention that they are 49% anti Trump and 51% pro Trump… Never once mention CNN once and that' they are 98% anti Trump… There suggestion to get other alternative news from NY Times 98% anti Trump too… What a joke this vid shows some truth and throws a lite bias view at the same time😂😂😂

  19. Hyperstar96
    Hyperstar96 December 23, 2017

    3:34 “You should watch multiple news sources to have a healthy diet”
    5 of the 7 recommendations are left leaning, if not far left, and one source is infamous for how often it blatantly lies to its viewers
    Hmmmmm…

  20. BJP
    BJP December 23, 2017

    It is horribly irresponsible to suggest people watch Fox News. They have pretty much become a propaganda wing for Conservatives. They outright lie, routinely, for their own political gain. It has gone way, way beyond slant at this point.

  21. Andrew Godly
    Andrew Godly December 23, 2017

    Well the rich control all of the supposed "news" sources and they suppress independent voices. So the rich, being the greedy psychopaths they are, push pro-capitalist/pro-rich propaganda. You can't trust any source of informatiom funded by the rich, whether they donate to the source or pay for advertisements on it

  22. Parris island Blades
    Parris island Blades December 23, 2017

    Wow of course they only say fox new, and not CNN

  23. Parris island Blades
    Parris island Blades December 23, 2017

    Fake news

  24. Phillip Mai
    Phillip Mai December 24, 2017

    What about Philip DeFranco?

  25. Terence H.
    Terence H. December 24, 2017

    Love this channel so much! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  26. 256shadesofgrey
    256shadesofgrey December 24, 2017

    So that's why the far left has taken over Hollywood.

  27. Tyler Smith
    Tyler Smith December 24, 2017

    It's the memes…

  28. Dakota
    Dakota December 24, 2017

    My political views were never really based in politics to begin with! They are mainly based on morals and common sense. So, no, I highly doubt the biased information (different) from each television news broadcast is changing my opinion – subtly or otherwise!

  29. Jerry Fitness
    Jerry Fitness December 24, 2017

    Hollywood is the #1 propaganda machine controlled by Liberal elitists to brainwash the public.

  30. Давид Аливердиев
    Давид Аливердиев December 24, 2017

    TV for the losers

  31. Mosef
    Mosef December 24, 2017

    PROPAGANDA !!! – Is what every extreme party would say about the media of an opposing party.

  32. Avasthi Gautam
    Avasthi Gautam December 24, 2017

    "We are far more polarised now than then" its light TV bias at its best

  33. Kronaz邪児
    Kronaz邪児 December 24, 2017

    All politics is garbage. It doesn't matter if you consume it from the left garbage can or the right dumpster. You're still consuming garbage.

  34. Tom
    Tom December 24, 2017

    Leftist propaganda

  35. Rodolfo Rodriguez
    Rodolfo Rodriguez December 24, 2017

    And our president watches how many hours of TV?

  36. MadeUThink
    MadeUThink December 24, 2017

    This is a science oriented channel that tells people to watch both sides of news media for balance. While that might be good for truth, the majority of people who are interested in watching science videos are left-leaning, therefore the effect of this video will only make left-leaning people move to the right, while the right stays where it is, creating an overall effect of more right-leaning voters. Perhaps if this video were posted in a church or a NASCAR ad, it would be balanced.

  37. lateralpathways1
    lateralpathways1 December 24, 2017

    that tiny space ninja is totally standing on a box

  38. Steven Kramer
    Steven Kramer December 25, 2017

    Daaaaang. Poor fox. CNN, NBC, and others are EXTREAM Democrat. I know. Because I watch them until I get mad over all the lies they tell. I search for the truth myself. All the news media have one goal in mind. Tell you a lie so you vote there way. A half truth is a howl lie.

  39. RocketLR
    RocketLR December 25, 2017

    Can we just say that people are sheep and morons?

  40. Concerned Citizen
    Concerned Citizen December 25, 2017

    The Fox News effect? Why don't you call it the Fake News/CNN Effect? There is only one major conservative platform and virtually all other news media has a liberal bias.

  41. P Bebnowski
    P Bebnowski December 25, 2017

    All thoes news channels they mentioned are garbage

  42. Keith Warren
    Keith Warren December 25, 2017

    The media can only change one's opinion if the viewer doesn't listen or study both sides of an issue.

  43. Johnny J
    Johnny J December 25, 2017

    ….so conservatives on the only ones in their right minds.

  44. ABHISHEK
    ABHISHEK December 25, 2017

    any one from india…any watch REPUBLICTV then they can relate.#BIASED

  45. Nosknut
    Nosknut December 25, 2017

    Trump anyone?

  46. Dallas Gross
    Dallas Gross December 25, 2017

    HAH i dont watch tv

  47. LawdHammercy
    LawdHammercy December 25, 2017

    :] I just wanted to say hi Trace. <3

  48. Switch Back
    Switch Back December 26, 2017

    Lol

  49. Cool Guy
    Cool Guy December 26, 2017

    There are a lot more left leaning news outlets than right, therefore if you watch more variety of outlets u will be more exposed to left views. Also noted how they avoided mentioning CNN like the plague

  50. mesa S
    mesa S December 26, 2017

    If you're worried about biased you shouldn't throw your eggs in any basket

  51. The Lucas
    The Lucas December 26, 2017

    So Hollywood is left, and is trying to make people left. What's new?

  52. Christian Glover
    Christian Glover December 26, 2017

    Fish infant assert lost game garage impact six gesture equipment.

  53. Rayan Faure
    Rayan Faure December 26, 2017

    Entity cold cause psychology save construction realm scream charge.

  54. bksst
    bksst December 27, 2017

    I saw video that showed Fox "news" network is licensed as entertainment and not as a news source. This is why they get away with reporting with very little journalistic integrity.

  55. Sym
    Sym December 27, 2017

    Why does trace look like Michael Pena?

  56. Dominic P
    Dominic P December 28, 2017

    Amy Shira Teitel and Trace Dominguez teamed up to push their Leftist Agenda by bashing conservative values and views… Besides, MSNBC & CNN have been caught broadcasting fake news so many times!! You guys are a joke Vintage Space and Seeker…

  57. Dominic P
    Dominic P December 28, 2017

    "Hi I'm Amy Shira Teitel with Vintage Space and I'm Trace Dominguez the Hispanic Wanna Be but I'm too white to be… with Seeker, And we approve this Democrat backed Video" … "Oh, and please watch more Fake News on CNN and MSNBC"

  58. Dominic P
    Dominic P December 28, 2017

    I just unsubscribed to Seeker and Vintage Space

  59. Time Remap
    Time Remap December 28, 2017

    (2:58) "Look, we're not trying to pick on any specific news outlet."

    Bashes Fox the entire video lol.

  60. Filthy Connoisseur
    Filthy Connoisseur December 28, 2017

    I watch both, left wing Vice news and Vox along with right wing Mark Dice and a few others and all I can say is, all of them are full of lies and all are fake news and I refuse to be brainwashed by any side. Why do I watch them then? For entertainment of course

  61. hollow
    hollow December 28, 2017

    meno male che silvio c'è

  62. Gggkygjf
    Gggkygjf December 28, 2017

    Star wars, episode 7-8

  63. Coldwelth Simms
    Coldwelth Simms December 29, 2017

    I knew it all along…all my friends called me crazy when I point out this media manipulation

  64. Coldwelth Simms
    Coldwelth Simms December 29, 2017

    Why do we need to consume news anyway? What good does it do

  65. Peter Smythe
    Peter Smythe December 30, 2017

    The media is political. Specifically corporate propaganda.

  66. Peter Smythe
    Peter Smythe December 30, 2017

    Oh good. So the solution to bourgeois media is more bourgeois media…

  67. yammyharrone
    yammyharrone December 30, 2017

    I'm safe then! I don't watch the propaganda box!! I'm not self righteous, it's just boring repetitive shit full of adverts.

  68. Slowp0w
    Slowp0w December 30, 2017

    @03:54 "Find a source that curates them for you" ohh yeah, let personalization algorithms/automated gatekeepers decide/limit your intake of news, now the information power is just centralized yet again, as with the network channels. The filterbubble effect is no joke.

  69. TheTCOLL
    TheTCOLL December 30, 2017

    This has been going on for a long time with the liberal media. Looks at Will and Grace, shows in the 90s.

  70. C —
    C — January 1, 2018

    ‘We’ meaning Americans

  71. Brent Ten
    Brent Ten January 2, 2018

    You guys are so smart. Okay, now I’m going to go watch a stupid channel to get an equal view.

  72. Abi Begin
    Abi Begin January 3, 2018

    Even before this video, I have been stating that entertainment television is public "education" for adults, meaning that "education" is largely political swaying.

    When I delve into watching tv, I largely resort to BBC documentaries.

  73. oneway mike
    oneway mike January 4, 2018

    Infowars with Alex Jones…

  74. Adam B
    Adam B January 6, 2018

    I have to disagree. It's the people not the media. For example take a liberal they are not going to watch Fox News cause it's not what they want to hear and then flip the coin with a conservative. They are not going to watch CNN. The media outlets play to there market. The exception to this rule is anything but news. All T.V. Shows even "Heavy T.V" are extremely biased and liberal and people reject it. If there was a coronation trump would have never been elected.

  75. shadfurman
    shadfurman January 6, 2018

    "There is bias…"
    "Fox news… Sure msnbc… But also fox news and fox news…"

    Lol

    All news media is heavily biased towards the opinions of their customer base. They're businesses trying to make money and will readily make up shit and "retract" it after its views spike.

    Whatching multiple news sources doesn't help. That's like saying if you listen to people you know lie you'll get the truth.

    You've gotta repeatedly fact check from original sources. No snopes isn't a legit fact check source, you can check snopes sources, you have to look at the original sources.

    Hopefully over a period of time, you'll find journalists you trust because they've never made up or inflated a source.

  76. Michael Brown
    Michael Brown January 7, 2018

    Majority of it is the left… Not stating my opinion thats just a fact lol.

  77. Richard Taylor
    Richard Taylor January 9, 2018

    Love traces glasses … what ones are they

  78. ZombieCorp.
    ZombieCorp. January 10, 2018

    I sense your bias, try again please.

  79. Xezarious42
    Xezarious42 January 10, 2018

    Fox has, according to Seeker, an "extreme" right-leaning bias.

    Oh the irony.

  80. Riley Lynch
    Riley Lynch January 13, 2018

    Couldn't agree more. I find blood boiling over the idiotic reporting of Fox, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, TNYT, and various youtube channels. We all need to broaden our outlook on the world. With that being said, some argue that, people are too fragile to be exposed to opposing views.

  81. Michael Andrew Pamintuan
    Michael Andrew Pamintuan January 14, 2018

    really? How come natzis are still themselves then?

  82. Atlas Tobin
    Atlas Tobin January 15, 2018

    It’s fuckin Fox News I tell you!!!

  83. CrythornMadness
    CrythornMadness January 15, 2018

    Yeah… this video didnt show your own bias did it, ahahahaha! How you said fox news, then "or MSNBC" in such a fast quiet tone.
    I thought this channel for was science? If your going to start the left wing crap say so now, I would rather not be stuck with a dead channel in my list.

  84. Blu Singlet
    Blu Singlet January 18, 2018

    Mediaset is rubbish I can guarantee you

  85. Jack Goodrich
    Jack Goodrich January 27, 2018

    Don’t do Fox News but do all the other liberal news

  86. Honest Joe
    Honest Joe January 29, 2018

    It's funny how fox is the only right wing source mentioned when you speak on biases. Then you recommend 10 different left wing outlets to "expand" thought. How about the almost entirely left wing programming on light tv? You want to talk about bias in media? Let's talk about hollywood, and how they are attempting to brainwash a generation of potential voters.

  87. Fros-T13
    Fros-T13 February 9, 2018

    I see Xavier Renegade Angel and Drawn Together. What political affiliation does that make me?!

  88. Oliver Dobson
    Oliver Dobson February 15, 2018

    CNN is fake news!!!!!!!!!111!!

  89. wordgeezer
    wordgeezer March 3, 2018

    The good news is that there is no bad news
    The bad news is that there is no news…zzz
    ~0~

  90. Shreyansh Das
    Shreyansh Das April 3, 2018

    I like his glasses

  91. Satya Dani
    Satya Dani April 5, 2018

    Wow this channel really hates MSNBC its constantly bashing it in.

  92. Phat As Phoebe
    Phat As Phoebe April 22, 2018

    “Tougher” on one candidate over another, is much different than straight up Lying about a candidate. When a “News” outlet perpetuates propaganda like “Pizzagate” or “Tiller the Baby Killer”, that type of abuse of platform has serious or (as in the above mentioned examples) deadly consequences.

    The failure to point out this difference is called False Equivalency.

  93. Lightsoutlightson1
    Lightsoutlightson1 August 14, 2018

    Clearly, it works to change opinion whether the message is in a news cast or a dramatized show. Of course, the change can be for good or ill depending in the agenda of the people behind the change. I am a little surprised that the largest and fastest growing demographics in the country (gens m and z) are not self organizing more and using media to have a greater say now that the cost of reaching people with social media platforms is so much less.

  94. Kers1
    Kers1 September 19, 2018

    Thanks seeker for teaching me the best way to make propaganda.

  95. COMARto
    COMARto September 19, 2018

    Hahaha, nice try Buzzfeed 🙂

  96. Audrey Dunham
    Audrey Dunham October 13, 2018

    it is time for all men and women to find God soon. Why allow bullying, mocking, slandering, name calling and blaming.

  97. Leo
    Leo October 18, 2018

    Glued to a black mirror, a screen, a veil?
    Like zombies, unaware, lost, oblivious, in Hell?
    Unknowingly, worshiping, the entity BAAL
    Existing, in illusion, a matrix, under a spell.🐯👍by Leo

  98. Chris Maatouk
    Chris Maatouk October 21, 2018

    Harvard study showed over 90% of media coverage like CNN, MSNBC etc were negative on Trump
    It showed Fox had 52% negative cover on Trump which is almost 50-50

    Conclusion isn't "fox is biased towards the right because of the gap between them and other networks"
    It's rather "other networks are blatantly biased towards the left"
    Pretty sure 50-50 isn't biased

  99. Guilherme Biem
    Guilherme Biem November 18, 2018

    (((TV)))

  100. cmdmd
    cmdmd August 13, 2019

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/millennial-media/201304/do-racism-conservatism-and-low-iq-go-hand-in-hand

    Just some fun info.

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