Being the House of Cards addict that Netflix made me into, I am now re-watching the first season before they release the second next week. So, I’m pretty much rattling off five episodes a night. I’ll probably be done with the second season by next week.
While re-watching the second episode, I noticed a classic example of the media not telling people what to think, but what to think about. Kevin Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood, strategically delivers bits of information to reporter Zoe Barnes who in turn tells the people what Frank wants them to know.
In this particular episode, Frank seeks to remove Secretary of State Michael Kern. He gets Zoe to write an article to bring Kern down (which it does), then gets Zoe to release a statement that Catherine Durant will be filling the position. Before Frank made a move, Durant wasn’t in the cards. But after Zoe releases the statement saying Durant is the favorite, the rest of the media follows suit.
This happens continually throughout the season. Frank leaks a rumor or prediction to Zoe and the media follows the leader. All Frank has to do is place a notion into Zoe’s hands. The rumor then flies around and sways the public all the way up to the President.
I’m not very well-versed in politics, but if this type of influence actually occurs, it’s terrifying. I knew the media was involved in politics, but not at this level. I’m fairly certain it’s an exaggeration, but it sure as hell makes for an interesting TV series.
*All images obtained from google images