Politics aren’t entertainment

Certain televisions series give falsifed looks at the country, and many people take them to be facts.

by Meghan O'Connor

Political ambition has been hitting our television screens for the past 12 months. I’m talking about shows like “Scandal,” “Veep” and “House of Cards.” While these shows prove to be highly entertaining, there seems to be a strong misunderstanding to the truth of these shows.

In an article in The Atlantic that appeared last year, Hillary Clinton was quoted saying that politicians in Burma have told her they have been attempting to understand American democracy by watching “The West Wing.” Note that this television series has been off the air since 2006. However, with the availability of all episodes on Netflix and other instant streaming devices, this show has come back into the hands of many.

“The West Wing,” among other shows, should not be turned to for information on how the American government is run. While this seems to be common sense, there is a problem. In 1993, 60 percent of Americans tuned into the evening news, now only 23 percent do. Additionally, the average American watches 34 hours of TV a week. So, the trend seems to depict that more people watch television dramas than stay informed by daily news.

Personally, I found the themes and actions depicted in “House of Cards” and “Scandal” to be wildly cynical and an overall poor representation of American politics.

I understand the nature of politics and that sometimes the only way to get ahead is to push your way to the top, but television shows like these are offering dramatic realities that could potentially be swaying its viewers in a curious direction.

Imagine the American population making voting decisions based on fictitious casts of characters versus the evaluation of actual candidates.

I understand how entertaining these shows are. I have watched them all, but we need to not be placing any kind of political merit in them.

It is my firm belief that television series such as these should be approached in a non-educational way. Don’t place merit in the actual politics being presented. Leave that to your morning newspaper.