Technology does not advance political knowledge

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The development of new technology has made entertainment shows more and more accessible. Web services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon allow people to take more time to watch entertainment shows. For instance, if you are a big fan of American political shows, you can finish watching the entire season of “House of Cards” in three days.

Also, more and more people are interested in watching political entertainment shows, such as “The Daily Show” or “Saturday Night Live.”  Those shows invite celebrities to talk about politics because celebrities can use their influence to draw public attention.

During elections, politicians will use celebrities, such as George Clooney, to help with the campaigns because he can reach certain targets most politicians cannot: those young people or the middle-aged women who may not be as involved in politics. It may be good that these people become engaged in the election and vote.

However, opinion leaders use the young or the less educated who do not really know much about politics to rack up votes. At the same time, these celebrities may also mislead voters whose  votes will be based on their impression of those celebrities rather than politicians and their policies.

People tend to believe that entertainment shows drive a negative view of politics and diminish people’s interest in public affairs because these shows focus on sensationalism and scandals. However, shows such as “The Daily Show” can also cultivate interest because what they portray is not totally fake news. Instead, they pick things from politics and portray politics in a  particularly humorous way.

This cultivation can be especially true for people who do not pay attention to politics. Such people are susceptible to influence, but at the same time they at least get some news from watching “The Daily Show.” Then they hear about the Ukrainian crisis, at least they will know where Russia is, who Putin is and that there was an invasion.


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