November 21, 2014 by David K. Sutton
Obama, Immigration, And The Media Echo Chamber
The media echo chamber, influenced and amplified by contemporary communication mediums like social media, pretty much explains the polarizing conversation regarding President Obama’s executive action on immigration. The president did not grant amnesty. He did not enfranchise undocumented immigrants. Essentially all the president did was say to undocumented immigrants: We aren’t going to deport you. And many presidents have issued similar executive orders, including George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, and without all the fanfare. And that’s why I return to the media echo chamber. When Bush and Reagan did the same thing Obama just did, we didn’t have 24-hour cable news with dedicated channels for conservatives and liberals. We didn’t have the internet. We didn’t have social media. What we had were newspapers, Walter Cronkite, and later Tom Brokaw. That’s how America was informed, and with that paradigm, the partisan feedback loop was not nearly as strong. Of course, this analysis is not limited to Obama’s action on immigration, because this new paradigm is probably the single largest factor influencing the bastardization of most policy stories.