Are your biggest concerns being manipulated by the media? The odds are - yes:
Bottom Line: As I often say, there are two sides to every story but one side to every fact. While there are many subjects that aren't as clear fact vs. fiction and I won't be able to prove that the media is the causation for what we perceive to be the biggest threats to our country - I'd be as willing to go out on a limb on this one as any topic without demonstrable proof. Why? Because it's implausible to think a majority of Americans would think we have so many significant threats otherwise.
Pew Research recently asked us if we perceive various topics as threats to the US. Here were the percentage of Americans who thought each of these are "major threats":
#1: North Korea: 75%
#2: Cyberattacks: 72%
#3: ISIS: 68%
#4 Global Climate Change: 59%
#5: Iran: 53%
#6: Russia: 52%
Granted I'm not an alarmist but most Americans think that there are six major threats to the US? That's bit much for me to accept without the help of media hype. I don't perceive North Korea to be a major threat to the US, nor Global Climate Change, Iran or Russia. Only cyberattacks and ISIS are major threats to me in part because they're the only ones that have demonstrated that they're major threats. Sure NoKo & Iran and Russia can be a threat to stability and our interests but not necessarily direct threats to us and as for global climate change...tell me that isn't media hype in action. I seriously doubt you've observed an environmental change in your day-to-day life that's been substantial to the point of you considering it a major threat. Climate change is real and always happening. We've had a minimum of three mass extinction events on earth due to it. If you want to sit around and worry about the fourth coming to wipe us out you're welcome to do so but I'm not joining you on that hippie bus to hell.