sIX reasonS to snob many media personalities; Ray
"They have not declared themselves politicians"
"they are not a movement of any kind."
"...they are not agenda setters."
"They are very special interest groups."
Firstly, sensational media personalities are not politicians. They have not declared themselves as politicians; they are not yet in the game of politics and have not said what team they are on. However, they have a right under the constitution to associate with whoever they want after the show.
Secondly, they are not a movement of any kind. They could be media activists by default and do very constructive media intervention if they are able to. Investigative journalism skills are an asset here. This is good for democracy.
Thirdly, they can be alternative opinion leaders but they are not agenda setters. There are many around and they are among the best in the field. Again, by default, they have taken up the tough, long, un-ending task of building and/or repairing Civil Society – not building a political party, (whether they are aware of it or not). When and where both the established media and the established political opposition are weak, media personalities can fill that void in political processes but they are still not significant factors in political outcomes – not yet.
Fourthly, they are part of a Public Relations (PR) industry that thrives on long and negative political campaigns. They are a brand of very special interest groups. Call them sharks; they construe every pigment as blood in the water of politics. They feed on people’s fears and failures and will turn a government’s term of office into a four-year campaign because it is good business.
And finally, they have a visibility imperative. They must or have to remain visible in the media to stay relevant or be relegated to a permanent non-factor status in the realm of influence. So their purpose and existence is and will remain issue-driven.
Keep in mind that not all these reasons necessarily apply to one and the same sensational media personality. So what do we do with those sparkles anyway?
Call them watchdog, gatekeeper, mirror, conscience, educator or observer…they sound political but they do not hold power and certainly do not make or shape laws at this time. They entertain!