In the chapter on the disloyal opposition, Atkkison documents multiple examples of audience stacking.
Like many other techniques used by the hidden, privately funded, fake news, smear based, unreality fired alternate realities, astroturf slinging bullshit artists that are out there, both parties were doing it in 2016.
Republican Example: South Carolina Debate. Note that Trump won the primary election in South Carolina debate by double digits and took home all the delegates. Trump makes a point and gets soundly booed by the audience. "Trump gets booed" gets printed by multiple MSM outlets. When confronted, the RNC admits that it allocated the audience tickets. Trump supporters couldn't get them. Rence Priebus claims that the 600 tickets were distributed evenly among the 6 candidates at the debate. Atkkisson digs and finds that there were 2,000 seats in the auditorium and also finds these seats were distributed to mostly anti-trump forces. The debate was The Truman Show.
Democrat example: It's the DNC convention and the DNC is afraid Bernie supporters will disrupt Hillary Clinton's nomination speech, so it hires hundreds of actors at $50 a piece to drown out the Bernie supporters. More of The Truman Show.
I agree that journalists and politicians are too close. They tend to live in the same neighborhoods, their kids attend the same schools, they go to the same parties, etc. But I don't think it causes them to have a political bias.
It's a lot worse then political bias. It's folks in the news business who are told what to write and when to write it and they comply in order to gain access. No bias required. You give me the story and I write it. The examples are documented and names are named.
The biggest problem, IMO is that the electorate has allowed political figures to screen which reporters have access. I keep going back to the way the UK reporters treat their politicians. There it is no holds barred and direct, hard questions are par for the course. If a reporter here tries that here, they are banned. In the UK, any politician that tried that would be ridiculed by all.
I should add, at least that's how it was. I'm not sure if this aspect of US culture has creeped into the UK also. Perhaps some of our UK members could comment as to whether that still pertains.
You think the other channels never have conservatives on? Have you ever watched those channels? It doesn't sound like you have.
Do you know what showed you both sides of an issue? The Fairness Doctrine. Growing up, I always heard both sides. it was required by law. Now, people like you live in an echo chamber and really have no idea what liberals say or want. You only know what Fox News and talk radio tells you liberals say or want. You never actually listen to and try to understand liberals.
Do you think the extensive smear operations against Sanders by the DNC and possibly the Hillary campaign (documented in this book) had a larger effect on the general election than the Russian meddling?
Hillary's campaign spent a quarter of a million working with "Correct the Record." Did they go after Bernie?
For anyone who wants to explore a single example of transactional journalism, here's one example covered by multiple sources. Other examples are included to make each author's points. The wikileaks intercepted emails are included.