Michael Smerconish looks at the media’s role in the rapid escalation of extreme opinions; radio and television ‘tombstones in the graveyard of moderate, thoughtful analysis’:
While the most recent polling and voter registration data suggest that political power lies in the middle, it remains largely untapped because it lacks the fervor of the extremes.
Why does this matter? I’d argue that the climate in Washington is being shaped by an artificial presentation of attitudes on cable TV and talk radio. To view and to listen is to become convinced that there are only two, diametrically opposed philosophical approaches to the issues. And yet, working daily in both mediums, I often think that the only people I meet who see the world entirely through liberal or conservative lenses are the hosts with whom I rub shoulders.
Either you offer a consistent, possibly artificial, ideological view or you often don’t get a say.