I’ve been troubled for a few years now about the changing attitudes, tactics, and behavior of our mass media. I have thought it was somewhat Orwellian and a very disturbing development, with profound and frightening implications. Ace of Spades, a favorite blog and source, wrote on this topic. I think it’s well worth sharing and very well written and thought out. Here it is.
We Must Do Something About The Media
I already mentioned the media’s Hillary Tributes, but there’s even more of it.
And I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m truly alarmed about it: What we are witnessing is the full and seamless fusion of media power with government power.
The media used to hide it a bit, in their actions; they would temper their scorn of conservatism, throw them a bone now and again just to prove they were capable of such a thing.
No longer. The media no longer hides it in their actions. They are fully fused with the Obama Administration and DNC. The only way in which they do hide it is by simply lying when confronted about it: They’ll issue a snide denial, then go about doing precisely what it is they were accused of doing.
This is dangerous and unhealthy. I keep banging this drum but honestly, some patriotic billionaires do have to band together to purchase or build a media outlet. The outlet would be founded upon a simple premise: that it is dangerous and ultimately fatal for democracy for media power to fuse with government power, that the adversarial press is vital.
Fox alone isn’t enough. For one thing, any venture needs competition; Fox doesn’t really have competition, not for the audience it’s targeting.
For another thing, frankly, look: Fox is often pitched too low to do any good with any but the already-alarmed. (Which I consider to be possibly a function of a lack of competition.)
The media considers its adversarial function to consist of serving as adversaries to critics of Obama and the Democrats; thus Terry Moran shaming himself by rushing out to ask what right a Senator has to question the Secretary of State on matters of foreign policy.
They do not consider themselves required to exert any adversarial pressure on governmental power itself (at least not so long as it is held by socialist Democrats; why sure, they’ll rough up John Boehner!).
This is dark, and dangerous, and will lead to horrors. It always has lead to horrors before.
I wrote sarcastically on Twitter about this. I’m putting that below, just to have it in one place.
.@terrymoran, wouldn’t you agree that it’s a wonderful thing that media power has fused seamlessly with government power?
This is precisely what an advanced liberal society is supposed to look like, right? Criticism of political leaders is quasi-criminal?
It’s a sign of a perfectly healthy democracy that the “Watchdog Media” fuses completely with the government power.
Nothing bad could possibly flow from this, a “Watchdog Media” fused in every way with the government power.
If you look at history, you’ll find that most of the free, liberal periods occurred during a fusion of media power with state power.
If history shows us anything, it’s that government functions best when it is vigorously defended and covered-up for by a compliant media.
There is absolutely no reason at all for the media to re-evaluate its short-term politicizing for government power and consider consequences.
Let’s face it, the Adversarial Press is an anachronism. Modern times demand a press working hand-in-glove with the government.
As New York Times pundit Thomas Friedman so astutely observes, we can learn a lot from the Chinese government & their media.
A government that wishes Results and Transformations cannot deal with the niggling of press critics, or political opponents for that matter.
Certainly the media (and every other powerful corporation) should do everything within its power to stamp out the subversions of disunity.
Efficiency requires that all citizens, and of course all media outlets, vigorously support the five-year plans announced by the government.
If the American Experiment means anything, it’s that we must all be united in the exact same system of beliefs and political desires.
Just to add to this: What we call “liberal” politics in this country has always been a mix of actual liberalism (one strain of it, at least) and outright leftism. (This W.R. Meade piece notes that liberalism began absorbing parts of socialism/communism/leftism in order to compete with those groups, when they threatened liberalism politically from the left.)
Liberalism is highly concerned with process. Both the liberal version of classic liberalism and the conservative version of classic liberalism consider process (fairness, equal access, and other such concerns) to be almost as vital as outcomes.
Actually, in reality, process is more important than outcomes, as far as the long-term health of a democracy, and all politically-minded people tend to put outcomes over process; we all do it, we all lapse. But generally we keep process firmly in mind, even if we don’t quite give it the priority it deserves.
But leftism is a different beast. Leftism considers concerns of process to be a weakness, and indulgence for sissies and the faint-hearts; the only thing that matters — the only thing that should be a concern for the properly-masculine, properly-indoctrinated New Man of the Left is outcomes.
Any tactic, fair or foul, is permissible in the quest for the Leftist State.
Now, until recently, liberalism had at least tried to give some lip service, and perhaps some actual consideration, to the faggy notions of process, fairness, access, and such.
But no longer. The press is actually not more nakedly liberal now; in fact, it’s never been more illiberal, at least not since some press organizations romanticized fascism, Naziism, and socialist dictatorship in the tumultuous years of the thirties.
What it is is more unabashedly leftist. It no longer has any fears of qualms about government power (power, I mean, held by the Right Hands); it cheers it on, it coddles it, it encourages it, it nurtures it.
Consider: The government locked up a filmmaker because the filmmaker expressed his free speech rights in a way the president found politically problematic. Not only has the press shown no fears about this, they’ve actively campaigned for the man’s jailing.
That’s frightening. Even if you come down on the side that the guy did what he’s accused of and all that… to have absolutely no trepidations about the government jailing people primarily for their Speech Crimes? That’s something.
I don’t think I’m being alarmist. At every point in history when media power has fused with government power — whether involuntarily or, for one of the first times in history, now voluntarily — it has resulted in disaster and misery.
It has so resulted every time before. I don’t see why now would be different. And I don’t consider our new Media Masters “better” or “smarter” than the old ones — indeed, these seem like the most incompetent, most callow, and most ethically challenged crop in history.