The Media’s Political Suicide

Daniel Greenfield writing in Frontpage Mag has some thoughts about how the media is committing suicide. They’re good thoughts.

McClatchy had bought Knight Ridder for $4.4 billion to create the second largest news company. After going into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, McClatchy was won in an auction by a hedge fund, which also owns the National Enquirer, in a secret bidding which started with $30 million cash and $270 million in debt.

None of this says anything good about the future of its D.C. bureau, or the Miami Herald, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Sacramento Bee, the Kansas City Star, and other hollowed out husks of major urban papers carrying huge loads of pension debt and even bigger loads of radical left-wing politics.

Earlier this year, Warren Buffett had dumped 30 newspapers that he had bought for $344 million for $140 million. The Newseum, a $450 million media museum, backed by Gannett, was sold off last year.

Gannett, the biggest newspaper chain in the country, lost $80 million in the first quarter of the year even after a merger in which it slashed jobs at some of the hundreds of newspapers which it controls.

Over 20,000 media jobs have been wiped out in the previous two years and it’s just getting started.

Just breaks your heart, doesn’t it? Yeah, no, mine either. But in a way it should. The press has been a driver of freedom since the modern world began, and I daresay we are already missing it. Still, it’s become a hollowed-out shell with little to recommend it.

Local papers are dying. Formerly influential national news magazines are irrelevant. When was the last time you heard anything from Time except around its annual Cause of the Year publicity stunt?

And it’s not just the dead tree media that’s in trouble. Digital darlings like the Huffington PostVice and Vox have been cutting jobs because clickbait doesn’t win over subscribers who will pay for content. Network television and cable news are on their last legs as cable subscribers cut the cord and content providers set up their own Netflix rivals. What happens to NBC News or CNN in a marketplace defined by Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Peacock, HBO Max, CBS All Access, and whatever other platforms will pop up?

The media hasn’t had a viable business model in a long while. It’s a zombie that kills even as it dies. […]

The transformation of the media from for-profits to non-profits sheds any commitment to the marketplace, to a community of readers who pay for its services, and instead puts it at the service of dot com tycoons who want to invest in left-wing causes. The experience of reading or watching the media’s content also changes from information to indoctrination. As is the case with so many of the dot com giants which finance the media and on whose platforms the media depends, the reader and the viewer are no longer consumers, they are the product that is being sold to the media’s political backers.

Even as the non-profit media claims that it’s now free to pursue journalism as a public service, it’s not providing a service to the public, it’s serving a small class of donors by trying to influence the public.

All pretty obvious when you look at it but who wants to look at a looming zombie, soon to be a corpse.

“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor,” Bari Weiss wrote in her resignation letter to the New York Times.

Twitter is the media’s editor. Its platform provides the content that fills the media, but it also makes the infrastructure of the media surplus to requirements. The medium is the message and the medium of Twitter is 280 characters. As Weiss notes, “the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space.”

But the real performance space is on Twitter where content is consumed and debated much more rapidly in short form than in the long form pages of the New York Times. As the media transforms into a pure instrument of political advocacy whose antics play out on social media, there’s less and less use for the expensive billion-dollar operations, the newspapers, channels, and even the sites of the media. […]

The media has been killing cities and the country to buy a little more time for its existence. But it is becoming a zombie that is killing the basis for its own existence and then the very thing that it does.

The members of the media began by killing their ethics and morals. They tossed away the truth as a value and a goal. They turned on their colleagues, incited mobs, celebrated violence and terror. And then they set out to destroy the organizations they worked for and the country that they live in.

Their final act of political suicide will be to kill their own writing.

As sad as that may be, well, they chose their own fate. The world can get by without the New York Times, the Washington Post, the various broadcast propaganda organizations, without The Telegraph and the Guardian, and even without the BBC. We will find the information somewhere as we always have. The media is no longer the message, the message is the message, as it always should have been.

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14 Responses to The Media’s Political Suicide

  1. audremyers says:

    Once again – a ‘keeper’. While I understand bias in print, electronic, and digital form, the new ‘platforms’ confuse me and I’m going to have to ask my son-in-law some questions about how to move forward in that regard.

    I’m a child of the fifties; tv is my home. Walter Cronkite was our tv gran’pa and we believed everything Walter said. Imagine my shock and horror to discover a YT video of him accepting a life time achievement award from the One World Order – which included a special congratulatory video from Hillary Clinton. That video was from the late 60s/early 70s – he accepted it after he retired so you can look up the date that way. But that video was my wake up call; it caused me to view things more closely, more intently.

    Now, of course, it’s so blatant a child could point to a broadcast and say Fake Nuths!

    Liked by 3 people

    • NEO says:

      Good old Uncle Walter whom I liked for years as well. The very man who caused the Congress to throw away our victory in Vietnam. The things we learn nearly too late.

      Liked by 2 people

    • 39 Pontiac Dream says:

      You’re fortunate in the US not to have a broadcaster which forces you to pay a tax which ties you to every live broadcast. I say force because despite the fact that we’re not forced to pay the license fee, it means we can’t watch any live broadcast on any TV station without it.

      Until a few months ago, TV was a staple for Tina and I. We haven’t watched it in ages now and despite feeling better for not funding the BBC, it’s annoying that we’re cut off from watching the things we’d like to see because they are tied to the TV tax.

      Ah well, at least we can get on with other things now…

      Liked by 3 people

      • audremyers says:

        I can’t really speak about the BBC as I’ve never had to live with it and it seems unfathomable to Americans but since I’ve been reading our other favorite site, I’ve learned to dislike it intensely.

        For information sake, can you give us a thumbnail sketch of how the BBC became fee based?

        Liked by 2 people

        • 39 Pontiac Dream says:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_licensing_in_the_United_Kingdom#:~:text=When%20first%20introduced%20on%201,public%20communications%20within%20the%20UK.

          Many BBC fanatics tend to point to the fact that the license costs a pittance. In that respect, they’re right when you think it amounts to about 50p a day to watch all live broadcasts but the money is not the point. Why would anyone pay for something which they do not want? Television in this country used to be broad and speak for all of us but now it doesn’t – it only speaks to those who are on message with all the various fads that the left promotes. There is no such thing as balanced news or reporting. If you’re a conservative, none of the main broadcasters speaks for you.

          The main issue, though, is that there are certain programmes on other channels we may want to watch but can’t because we have given up on the license fee. As more and more people stop paying their license, that means the advertising revenue will fall on commercial channels so they’re losing out as well.

          I may write to these channels and ask them to get behind the Defund the BBC campaign. After all, they have as much fight in this as we do.

          Liked by 3 people

        • audremyers says:

          Brilliant, 39! Thank you!

          Like

      • NEO says:

        A few years ago for a few months, I was able to watch British TV. I was wildly enthusiastic about having the BBC and others, for about 3 days. Then I found myself doing what I do here, when stuck in a motel room or something, watching the police live action shows (or similar) because the main offerings were so dire. I recommend Amazon Prime, Audre tends towards Netflix, both of us because the selection includes quite a lot of seriously good programming, most of it old. I haven’t watched any live TV in months now, and likely never will again, when it doesn’t bore me, it outrages me, and amazingly often both.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    Been waiting for someone I could plagiarize.
    Found it today…: “… how unhousebroken they are.”
    Thanks to M. Showwalter @ AT.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. the unit says:

    I keep reading elsewhere this and that and such and whatever mentioned is for another time/discussion.
    Did you see…

    Officers may be permanently blinded by lasers, saw one disabled from the neck down last week, and a few dead.
    I think… sorry, but posse comitatus don’t figure in here and they all hang together/or more quickly.
    But, you know me…I don’t jump to conclusions… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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