So I just finished a discussion with my brother regarding a friend of his who he feels has no opinions of his own and only repeats what the media told him and it lead me down a path I felt was interesting enough to post about.
First and foremost from how he described the situation it sounds to me as though his friend does have his own opinion, but chooses not to air his opinion because he believes those in the news media to be smarter than himself and he'd prefer not to publicly disagree with someone he believes to be of greater intelligence.
Well it's not true that they are smarter than him and even if that was the case they're often not giving their honest opinions. You see the news media needs to stay in business so they're going to tell you whatever they believe will garner the largest audience thus driving up the price for ads on their station and making more money for their business. "It's nothing personal, it's just business" as they say. So while the news media is often misleading or outright dishonest it's not because they're trying to manipulate the public for a specific agenda, but because they need ratings to stay in business.
This leads me to outline the path from which their lies originate. Collectively society as a whole tells those in the media that they will not be allowed to survive unless they make money. In order for those in the media to make money they need garner the largest audience. In order to garner the largest audience those in the media need to make up sensational stories that people find interesting enough to spend time watching or reading.
There you have it. Essentially the public is asking the media to lie to them. Again the public will not allow people to survive unless they make money and those in the media must lie to the public in order to make money. This applies to politicians too, if they told the truth they'd lose their jobs and if they lose their jobs the public will not allow them to survive.