Susan Rice Story Highlights Division in Media, Consumers

Last week's revelation that former Obama security adviser Susan Rice spied on President Donald Trump's transition team highlights how far apart the mainstream and conservative media are – and also those who consume them.

Whether its Susan Rice, Carter Page or even Erik Prince, scholars have noted there is a definite difference in how each story is reported, or not reported, by network news, CNN, MSNBC versus Fox News and other right-leaning outlets.

“Although a story may have two different angles and it may have a partisan bent, one outlet may play up that part more than another, and that may exacerbate the perception that its more in line with one ideology or the other,” says Dr. Brandon Rottinghaus, professor of political science at the University of Houston.

Rottinghaus says that strategy is helping drive a wedge further between those on each end of the political spectrum.

“If you've got one party focusing on one set of issues and the other focusing on a different set of issues, then we can no longer find any kind of common ground and then you've got essentially legislative paralysis,” he says.

Consumers are finding it harder to participate in a common conversation about politics.

“You have people who are looking at the same issue with two different sets of eyes and that's creating a problem because we no longer have a way to common way to frame and issue or talk about an issue,” says Rottinghaus.  “If we can't agree on what the issue is or what the cause of it is, its impossible to find some kind of solution.”

He says its up to the public to get their news from several difference sources in order to draw their own conclusion.  “People are not thinking all the way through their issues and they believe what they believe, regardless of what the facts might be.”

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