The famous classic Citizen Kane, by Orson Welles, lashes out at the way we are affected by the mass media. The film paints a stingingly clear picture of the malleability of the public opinion, and the power that the media possesses over it. The film outlines the life a newspaper tycoon by the name of Charles Foster Kane, showing the significant influence his newspaper had on politics, war, and the personal lives of several people. It is a harsh reminder of how we have gotten to the point where we have stopped thinking for ourselves, and believe everything we're told.
Very often, the media plays a major role in political decisions by influencing the opinion (or rather emotion) of the public, which in turn has an effect on the government's decision. The party scene in the beginning of the film is meant to show the viewer the extent of the influence of the media.
During the party Kane asks his employees "'Are we going to declare war on Spain, or are we not?'" "'The Inquirer already has,'" is the reply. Welles makes an effort to point out that the Inquirer has so much influence, that the decision to declare war practically lies with it, not the government.
Elections are mostly decided by the media as well. Very often, the public doesn't need reasons why a certain person is worthy of office. If the candidate is already well known, all they need is do is smear dirt in the face of their opponent, and everyone votes for them. The elections become a popularity contest. In Citizen Kane, Kane was doing well in the elections because he was so well known through his own newspaper. During his speech, all he had to do was dump trash on his opponent,