Media Hegemony and the American Dream 

Three simple steps to living the American Dream:
1. Start with a little.
2. Work hard or get lucky.
3. End up with a lot (and live happily ever after).

So I’m reading The Gazette yesterday and a headline in the business section catches my eye: ‘Trump’s hit reality show pushes American dream’. A vague recollection of a short lived class discussion comes to mind in which one student was heard to say "it happens everyday". Well, that may be true, but I’m not convinced. As far as I’m concerned, the question isn’t whether ‘rags to riches’ success stories are daily occurings or not but rather why the mainstream media is so set on convincing us that they are?

The Gazette article went on, not to critique the Trump show at all, but to focus on how NYC tourists are now flocking to the Trump Towers with their cameras, wanting to re-enact the "You’re fired!" catch phrase, which, by the way, may soon be copyrighted property of Trump himself.

The whole concept of ‘The Apprentice’ is based on glorifying material wealth as a measure of success and happiness as do most ads on mainstream television. You’re not complete. You need more stuff. Why don’t you buy this new car? Of course you can afford it cause you’re going to make it rich some day.

But where are all the reality shows about people who don't make it rich? Real people who work hard all their lives and still don't end up any better off, financially at least, than when they began. This obviously doesn't fit with the dominant ideologies the media wants to present, and it certainly wouldn't sell as many products as the escapist breed of reality shows which make people envious of what they see on tv.

So, getting back to my original question of why the media is so intent on perpetuating the belief that the average Joe can become a millionaire, could it be because the notion of the American Dream as a metanarrative of "common sense" encourages the ‘more is better’ mentality, in turn driving the consumer-tendencies in all of us?

Oh yeah. The article also plugs Trump’s new book, aptly titled How to Get Rich. Because we all know it’s as easy as one, two, three.

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