Some is made to make us feel bad toward others. Some is just to inform. Most is to say whatever sells regardless of the truth. Not sure any is designed to make us feel bad about ourselves, few would pay for that.
I thinks that true of much of advertising. They tell you that you are inadequate - that you are missing something important - and then offer you the cure.
Media is purposed to profit, all business is. Media is largely financed by those selling products or ideas so it's hardly surprising that at some level we desire, or at bare minimum are interested in, said products / ideas after media consumption.
I think it's an easy out to say media is purposed to make us feel bad about ourselves. The harder pill to swallow is in recognizing our own insecurities and addressing that rather than blaming shifting it onto 'media' in general which would be an incorrect personification from the start. imo
I keep telling myself I'm going to start reading all the answers before posting my own. Can we just say great minds? Or should it be "similar minds?" Great could be a bit subjective huh?
Dang, I see what you mean... We were on the same page here huh? Sure, 'similar' minds it is ;)
The only problem is...some comments are so smart they make you forget whatever your little bit of offering was going to be...that's the drawback of reading comments before making your own....
Media is a business that wants to earn a profit just like any other. They use tactics that will sell. Seeing any more of an agenda than that just a reflection of what see in ourselves right?