If a man from Mars came to America and sampled information on the internet and on the news, he might reach some pretty firm conclusions about our society. We might appear universally violent, polarized, racist and more.
But if that same Martian instead were to travel the United States, minus that information flow, he might reach entirely different conclusions. He’d see some big problems, to be sure. But he’d observe the vast majority of Americans living, working, playing and going to school together in relative harmony, day in and day out...
The stark difference in impressions might be explained, in part, by the manipulatable nature of what I refer to as “The Box”— information we receive on the news, online, and through social media. In recent years, I’ve researched and reported on the industry that works on behalf of various paid interests to control information within The Box. They do so with assistance from PR groups, think tanks, social media, lobby groups, law firms, nonprofits, letters to the editor, blogs, LLCs, SuperPACs, politicians, Hollywood, news reporters and even comedians... (continued)
Read the rest of my column in The Hill: