The media monolith still wins
Back in 2008, I thought to myself “The new internet media, when combined with existing conservative talk shows and Fox news, will be what finally breaks through the old media’s stranglehold on information in America. Old media is — thank God — dying.” Old media got Barack Obama elected president.
Back in 2012, I thought to myself “For the past four years, the new-ish internet media has worked hard to get out to the public the news that the dinosaur media, concerned primarily with protecting Obama’s reputation, refuses to print. The internet hasn’t proven as powerful a force as I had hoped, but these stories ought to be enough to break through the old media’s stranglehold, enabling a serious challenge to Obama’s corrupt, inept, and unconstitutional time in office.” Old media destroyed Romney and got Barack Obama elected president.
In 2015, I thought to myself, “This is it. We’ve got an extraordinary selection of candidates. The public is tired of the direction the country has taken, and the Democrats have managed to summon up only a corrupt old white lady, a white nonentity from Virginia, and an old white Communist. The dinosaur media will find it impossible to elevate Hillary over the amazing Republican line-up.” The dinosaur media, with unprecedented help from Fox, gave Trump at least 25 times more coverage than the other candidates, amounting to an incalculably valuable in-kind donation. The result was a Republican candidate that the majority of America, including vast numbers of people to the right of center, wouldn’t vote for if their lives depended on it. In other words, the old media — with Fox’s help — got Trump nominated as the unelectable Republican candidate. Next, with help from Democrat super-delegates, the media will guarantee Hillary’s nomination and election (and no, she will not be indicted).
The problem isn’t only the old media’s monolithic presence on television. The problem is also that, true to their “herding cats” reputation, conservatives have been unable to consolidate any new media. Just when we needed a little monolithism, we disintegrated in even smaller parts than usual thanks to Trump. Our diversity — and it’s true diversity because it’s ideological, not just skin color — has proven to be our downfall. We can’t coordinate long enough to offset the old media’s death grip on the political process.
Incidentally, a friend of mine came up with a wonderful scenario for the first debate against Hillary. (In his and my fantasy, Cruz has managed to win the convention. This fantasy would work for Trump, but less well than for Cruz, because Trump is also up to his neck in that swampy intersection between politics and business as usual.) Here’s the fantasy:
Cruz walks out on the stage and announces, “I do not understand why this woman is standing there. Solely on the evidence available, we know that she’s broken myriad very serious federal laws and that she’s substantially harmed national security. In a just nation, she would be indicted and, perhaps, even on her way to prison by now. Instead, we’ve become a nation with two sets of laws — one, a harsh one, for ordinary Americans; and another one, a disgracefully lax one, for those politically connected to the ruling Democrat party. I can tell you here and now that, in a Cruz administration, the law will apply equally to all Americans.”
Wouldn’t you like to see that? That would break through the old media’s monolithic efforts to control political discourse in America.