Our readings for this week discussed the fact that media can be used to create social change or to challenge ideas. Michael Chanan’s “Cinemas in Revolution” demonstrates this and shows how these “radical and experimental” (232) moments in cinema sought to further a Marxist way of thinking. While it is no doubt that media has evolved and grown since the 1920s and 1960s, the persuasive nature of media has stayed the same. Sometimes, this is good; media can alert the masses to various forms of injustice, it can build revolutions, and much more.
However, this power that media has can also be detrimental. Take, for instance, Donald Trump’s recent interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. During the interview, Fallon allows Trump to use this platform to come off as a funny, easy going, possibly even relatable guy, rather than the racist and misogynistic man that he truly is. In the instance (linked below) when Fallon ruffles Trump’s hair, Trump comes off as an easy going and likable person. Trump’s use of this media platform—and Fallon’s allowance of him to use it—could have repercussions come November. Some people, such as those who are on the fence about whom to vote for and those who are uneducated about the candidates, may see this clip and decide that Trump is a likable, funny man who is worthy of their votes.
Clearly, media is a powerful political tool when it is yielded correctly, and I think it is worth being aware of this when one is engaging with media.