The media uses many tactics to form public opinion. I have pointed out a few here, the most common being logical fallacy of all stripes. However, there is a tactic that is becoming increasingly more common that I have tangentially referenced (especially in regard to gun control) but not brought out in its own post. One could call it Sheeping.
In the latest way of forming public opinion, a talking head will assure the viewer or reader that a vast majority of the people/experts/professionals believe that the policy or belief is the correct one. Meanwhile, there is no majority opinion on the matter, the results of the poll used are contrived, the statistical methodology used to derive the results flawed, etc. Accordingly, the talking implies, you should accept this belief or policy as a good one, because of course, everyone else is doing it – and everyone can’t be wrong, can they? The strategy is extremely effective, until you are aware they are doing it. All the media needs to do is pretend that public opinion heavily supports an idea, and proclaim it from the mountaintops. The result is that more people will inevitably bandwagon onto the belief, until virtual consensus is achieved.
Once you know it, though, it is much easier to see and ignore. Form your own opinions, disregarding what other people say!