There are a few phrases that have been tossed around since the 2016 election, those phrases are “fake news” and “alternative facts”. Some cases one candidate says it just to deter from an issue that came up…. but that is another day. Let’s talk about the theories of agenda setting and selective exposure theories through the lens of the song, “Dirty Laundry” by at that time former Eagle, Don Henley.

The first verse of the song is as follows:

I make my living off the evening news
Just give me something-something I can use
People love it when you lose,
They love dirty laundry
Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry.
This opens the door to the discussion about selective exposure theory. Selective Exposure
theory in normal language is when people only seek and listen to news that confirms their original train of thought instead of viewing different sides of the conversation. This theory is one of the main reasons why Breitbart and Occupy Democrats have gotten so large. Everyone is looking for Dirty Laundry about the other side, since as the song states above, people love it when you lose. The nation has been running rampant with selective exposure, but it became more and more clear during this last election cycle.
Skipping down to the third verse, which is:

Dirty little secrets
Dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers in everybody’s pie
We love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry

We can do “The Innuendo”
We can dance and sing
When it’s said and done we haven’t told you a thing
We all know that Kraft is king
Give us dirty laundry!

Agenda setting theory is when the media has so much power in society they can actually control thoughts and actions of the people who rely on a particular network for news.  Don’t believe me? Sit down with two people and talk politics, not just any people, sit with one person who gets all their news from Fox, and the other who gets all their news from either MSNBC or CNN. Even though they experienced the same events, there will be perspectives that align with whichever network they are a loyal follower to.

Fake news is a result of agenda setting theory and alternative facts are a result of selective exposure theory. The argument that the song brings up is valid in that, people preach that they want rainbows and puppies on the news however, that is not what sells. Even in my experience, writing for different blogs, I noticed that the more of the reaction I get, the higher the views. Kraft is definitley king, as the song states. Dirty Laundry is rampant in society, and that will never change, because it is more interesting when people die in the United States, it garners more of a reaction which results in higher views and that is how the major news outlets sell advertising space. So there will be more Dirty Laundry as long as we keep reacting to it. Especially if the Dirty Laundry is on the other side of the aisle that does not reinforce our original beliefs.

The media has too much control over the nation and we need to take it back. That starts when people start being more open to listening to the side that does not reinforce their beliefs.

To end the article….. here is the link to the song so people can jam out.

  • Corey Decker
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