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The Affluence of Despair Research Papers

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Media in the United States controls the minds of the masses, according to Ray Bradbury in his article “The Affluence of Despair”. Bradbury's work accomplishes the following:

  1. Bradbury gives a scorching review of local and national news broadcasting
  2. Bradbury asserts the American public has been won over by the sensationalism of the television industry.
  3. Bradbury’s theme rests in the fact that no one forces Americans to watch the news, believe it or assimilate it into our lives;
  4. The American public “suffers” from “the astonishing proliferation of our images”.
The Affluence of Despair

Bradbury makes the assertion that sensationalism has driven the media to extreme lengths in order to provide the public with what they desire. The public desire rests in viewing themselves on television and reveling in the despair of tragedy. He sites the example of the media interviewing a woman on television and asking her how she felt about her son being shotgunned “minutes ago” and the woman’s greatest concern rests in how she appears on television.

The Mrs. Guiterrez analogy seems quite a bit off the mark. I can’t imagine that a mother would check her image in the camera after her son was gunned down. Bradbury has many good points in his article yet this extremism dashes his creditability and alerts the reader to the possibility of fanatical opinions.

Bradbury also places much of the blame on those that cover the news and present it. He calls them “TV Hookers” and asserts that they are overpaid and lack intelligence. However, Bradbury is forgetting the element that drives America on – capitalism. These “TV Hookers” are there because there is a demand for them and the dollar determines that ratings are high for sensationalism. Just as Bradbury’s style of journalism appeals to sensationalism and extreme ideas, so do the “TV hookers” in their field because that is what sells. There is no one but the American public to blame for poor quality news reporting and sensationalism.

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