Radio was simply used at first to broadcast news live and entertainment came later. Either way, radio was the quickest way for word to spread at the time. Eventually, radio was soon overpowered by television, as seen in Standage’s novel. According to him, sleeping required less effort than the pervasive medium of television.
Lonesome Rhodes made the perfect star for both radio and television because he was a “man of the people.” He knew how to appeal to them, so he used these skills to build his crowd. Most importantly, he knew how to appeal to the female crowd, since they were the main listeners throughout the day. After pulling a successful prank on the local sheriff, he realized the power that he had in his crowd. When television came around, he continued to use his power. At first though, he did it to build up his image, such as helping raise money so an African American woman can find a new home for her family. Then, when advertising came around, having his face on an energy pill helped sales skyrocket. He knew what the people liked and what they wanted to hear. His ads are a good example as to how the media in this film is very American. As Americans, we want big. Go big or go home. If we don’t see that, then we don’t want the product. Not only that, but we, as a people, love our stars. If we see them promote a product, then it must be good. If Michael Phelps promoted a certain brand of swimming goggles, then many swimmers in training will want the same brand because of his image. We also are very willing to allow several celebrities have monumental things. Lonesome becomes a “national treasure’ and has a mountain named in his honor. In real life, Ronald Regan, who started as an actor, became president. History has shown that if it wasn’t for TV, John F. Kennedy might not have won the presidency, as many loved his image. Lonesome comes very close to entering the political party as well. However, once the public realizes that they have been duped, they immediately pull all support from a celebrity or a product. When Marsha turns on Lonesome’s microphone, and the audience can hear his true opinions, they immediately stop watching him and stop supporting the products he’s associated with. This would be the case today, if it wasn’t for the presidential election. When Trump’s face was in the media, about the latest scandal he did, he rarely lost an audience member. However, when fake news was released about Hillary Clinton, or when her e-mails were brought up again, everyone couldn’t stand her. Trump has simply too tight of a grip on the media from his years of experience being in it. Even when media tries to fight back, he already has appealed to such a large demographic of people that nothing can break him. He appealed to people’s fears and their anger. These are some of the strongest, and most destructive emotions in humanity. If you can do that, there’s very little chance of stopping it from growing.