February 24, 2012

Decreasingly Asymmetric Media

Henry Canaday comments:
Here’s another, related hypothesis: 
1. In the early 1970s, Big Media switched from generally favoring the Democratic Party to essentially defining the liberal agenda, with the Democrats piggy-backing on this agenda to hold onto office. 

For example, AFL-CIO boss George Meany, an elderly ex-plumber, went from being The Man for Democratic-leaning newspapers to being an embarrassing relic in a few years.
2. This happened because: a) Big Media had far more presence in front of voter eyeballs, in both news and entertainment, than a Democratic Party badly fractured by Vietnam and Civil Rights; b) Big Media was far more accustomed to pleasing and persuading readers-viewers-voters, since they make a living at this; c) Big Media was more unified in its view of how things should be than even Democratic politicians, who have to deal with different constituencies and with the consequences of dreamy policies. 
3. For the next 20 or 30 years, Dissident Conservative Media, on radio and TV talk shows and in a few publications, devoted itself to opposing the idiocies of the Big Media-Democratic liberal agenda. This Dissident Conservative Media influenced but did not define the Republican Party’s own program. 
4. During roughly the last ten years, Dissident Conservative Media has grown in presence and power and has begun to play the same role for Republicans as Big Media does for Democrats. And for much the same reasons. As media, it has far more daily contact with readers-viewers-voters than the shreds of the old Party organization and more power than even new grass-roots organizations like the Tea Party. As Media, it pleases for its daily bread and is skilled at persuading.  
5. In its role of now defining the Republican Party and conservative agenda, Dissident Conservative Media is affected by some of the same factors that affect Big Media. Certain subjects are simply too unpleasant and difficult to speak about to a general audience, while retaining this audience and the revenue it brings in. These troublesome subjects include race, ethnicity and the transformation of even American whites into a slob-and-slut society. 
6. So Dissident Conservative Media sticks with safer, less-offensive arguments about political principles on foreign policy, domestic policy and market economics.
I don’t think this is the whole explanation, but I think it is at least part of the explanation.

By the way, why do Republican insiders, media and wonk, really want to reclaim the White House in 2012? A second term for Obama would likely be a halcyon age for Dissident Conservative Big Media, while a first term for Romney would likely put them on the snooze-inducing defensive?

My guess is that the real reason Republican apparatchiks in Washington desperately want to win in 2012 is so that they can put in a couple of years as an assistant deputy undersecretary of this or that, making $147k or whatever, then resign and make approaching 7 figures on K Street because they have White House Experience.

Okay, I can understand that. But what's in it for the rest of us, other than the thrill of seeing Our Team Win?

27 comments:

Fred said...

Post-Obama and post-Lin, there's been at least one change in the media: white sportswriters can now chasten black sportswriters and athletes for racist comments. This is the most recent of a few examples I've seen in the last couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

There's only one issue that really matters. Supreme Court nominations. A few more Kagans and we can kiss free speech goodbye.

Carol said...

Oh don't you know, it's always the Most Important Election Ever, and if we lose, the world will Never Be the Same.

But, it could be true this time!

beowulf said...

Let's face it, deficits only matter when Democrats are in power. Banks aren't lending (over 95% of new mortgages are either owned or guaranteed by one govt agency or another).

The only to get the economy moving is by jacking up the budget deficit with tax cuts and/or new spending (eliminating the trade deficit would help but even that wouldn't be enough).

Romney's dark secret (one that I applaud) is that, as Paul Krugman has noted, he's a closet Keynesian. Since Romney isn't a Democrat, he won't face the political constraints Obama has and will have in running up the deficit.

DaveinHackensack said...

If Obama gets reelected and gets an amnesty / open borders immigration reform passed in his second term, that wouldn't be good, would it? So that seems like a reason to vote for the one guy who opposes amnesty.

bjdubbs said...

A Dem fundraiser who told me nothing gets Dem donors more excited than Media Matters, the shock troops of the thought crime police. The $22 million budget does seem like overkill though - how many interns does it take to post blog items about Rush Limbaugh? Glenn Beck, Pat Buchanan, and Lou Dobbs have already been taken down, so they're running out of material.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that the real reason Republican apparatchiks in Washington desperately want to win in 2012 is so that they can put in a couple of years as an assistant deputy undersecretary of this or that, making $147k or whatever, then resign and make approaching 7 figures on K Street because they have White House Experience.

Yup. It's the spoils system.

Auntie Analogue said...

May I recommend that everyone should read Neil Postman's book 'Amusing Ourselves To Death'? - and then think of how, by several orders of magnitude, the internet has worsened the national discourse even more than TV turned it into nothing but the 24x7 hoopla-plus-comic "news cycle" for our ADD/ADHD consumerist public. We no longer have politics, we have political entertainment, on the level of junior high school put-down mock-fights, in this horrid Age Of Entertainment.

Whiskey said...

What's in it for White people is that President Obama in a second term will go whole hog. If you liked Fast and Furious, the Keystone XL pipeline cancellation, the New Black Panthers, wait till you get Reparations for Slavery, official second class citizenship for Whites, giving up your nice house so a Black or Hispanic person can have "more" (per Michelle Obama), Michelle Obama as President in two succeeding terms (ala the Kirchners in Argentina), the dismantling of the US Military and semi-occupation by the Chinese and Iranians (Obama wants to eliminate all nukes), and taxing and regulating the White non-wealthy population to death.

Oh yeah, and more Kagans and Wise Latinas on a packed, 25-Justice Supreme Court.

Whiskey said...

And let me add, most Republican Establishment types don't want to win. They'd rather be the toothless, official opposition than actually govern. Hence the anybody but Romney campaign.

Henry Canady is spot on about the Media System. The other part of it is that like the Church for the minor nobility, the Media is a "respectable" occupation for the rich, ala Anderson Cooper who is the son of some wealthy socialite.

AmericanGoy said...

Fred, your link is.. golden.

I greatly enjoyed this little tidbit:

"[Y! News: Asian American Journalists Association issues guidelines on Jeremy Lin coverage]".

Fantastic!

Anonymous said...

After your series of brilliant articles in the mid 90s to early 2000s you've been going downhill catering to...well.. most of the people who post in the comment section. But that bit on why the Republicans want to win is bang on.

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 3:22 pm said: There's only one issue that really matters. Supreme Court nominations. A few more Kagans and we can kiss free speech goodbye.

Hunsdon replied: There is truth here. (Yo.)

Hunsdon said...

Whiskey said: What's in it for White people is that President Obama in a second term will go whole hog.

Hunsdon said: I begin to find your opinion of our intellect to be really quite insulting. Dude, everything you listed would require straight up abrogating the Constitution. Sell your line at the NY Post, or something.

David said...

>that seems like a reason to vote for the one guy who opposes amnesty.<

You geniuses keep omitting to mention who this mysterious candidate is.

Anonymous said...

American flag pins for everyone!

DaveinHackensack said...

"You geniuses keep omitting to mention who this mysterious candidate is."

You don't have to be genius to know it's Romney; you just have to have paid a modicum of attention to the campaign.

Steve is being overly cynical in this post. It's not even clear that Republican apparatchiks want to win next year. If they did, they'd be supporting Romney, but as Ann Coulter points out ("What's their problem with Romney?"), most of the so-called GOP establishment doesn't support him.

Romney may be a square, but he's the most capable candidate the GOP has run for president in decades. If apathy on the right leads to another four years of Obama, we will have gotten the government we deserve.

Anonymous said...

We hate Romney [passionately, feverishly, zealously] because he is just another libtard RINO tool who is itching to solidify [and to build upon] the Obama legacy.

Although, if he had the cajones to name Ron Paul as his VEEP, then many of the old sins could be forgiven and the deep wounds might begin to heel.

But, instead, we're more likely to get Governor Doughnut from New Jersey or one of those off-white teddy bears from Florida [Marco or George Prescott Gallo or one of their ilk].

Aaron in Israel said...

This echoes some of what David Frum's been saying for the last few years. For instance, he remarked that the Republican Party had always thought that Fox News worked for them, until they discovered that now the Republican Party works for Fox News. He's also been writing that the professional interests of talk radio types like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Levin - interests in polemics, ideological purity, and polarization - go against the Republican Party's interest in winning the election and governing effectively.

bjdubbs said...

This is OT, but this cover story from Time is telling.

http://media.zenfs.com/en/blogs/thecutline/time-yo-decido.jpg

Those "Hispanics" look nothing like the typical Hispanic I'm familiar with. Time didn't want to scare it's audience with lots of brown faces, so it pretends that 80% of Hispanics have fair skin. But who's being the racist here - is it more or less racist to pretend that Hispanics all look like Cubans?

Good luck finding many ads or magazine covers that look like this.

http://www.advancedtele.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/hispanics1.jpg

Jeff W. said...

Canaday has a very good analysis here of the power of media.

The peak moment of TV's new political power came in 1974-75 with the Watergate hearings and Nixon's resignation. Had TV not been invented, Nixon would have survived. With TV under Republican control, he would have survived. The liberal media got Nixon, though, and they are still doing victory laps to celebrate it.

For those who oppose the rule of media darlings (Obama is Exhibit A), the continuing collapse of the political influence of TV is our best hope.

Tony said...

Two issues that matter- Supreme Court nominations and the imposition of homosexual marriage.

Anonymous said...

He's also been writing that the professional interests of talk radio types like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Levin - interests in polemics, ideological purity, and polarization - go against the Republican Party's interest in winning the election and governing effectively.

I get it: Republicans should be more like Democrats, so that Republicans can win more elections and then govern like your favorite Democrats.

DaveinHackensack said...

"Although, if he had the cajones to name Ron Paul as his VEEP"

That's unlikely, but if you've been paying close attention, you've noticed there's been a de facto detente between Romney and Paul -- they haven't attacked each other during recent debates, and Paul has taken cracks at Romney's rivals. That suggests there may be something in the works for Paul's son Rand if Romney wins, and perhaps an embrace of some aspect of Paul's platform.

DaveinHackensack said...

Steve,

I shared this with you via Twitter, but I'm not sure if you check your profile for @ messages, so I'll post it here: "The New Battle for the Old Soul of the Republican Party" <-- Chris Caldwell's take on the GOP's future. Curious what your thoughts are on it.

David Davenport said...

I get it: Republicans should be more like Democrats...

I said that. Must've clicked on "anon." last night.

Mr. Hackysack, I can't get to the FT piece, not being registered with FT.

I'll just assume the piece says, "The USA needs another Operation Wetback and the same ratio of CEO earnings to workers' wages as in Ike's time. And bring back the Glass-Steagall Act and laws against sodomy."

neil craig said...

Working class people being an embarrassment to the "left" is also de rigeur (ok so I'm not working class either) in Europe.

It shows how the "new left" isn't part of the traditional left at all but the governmental, "liberal" academic and advertising classes (ie those who don't actually produce anything and are scared of being found out) using "leftist" flags but being willing to do any damage (closing down the economy to prevent "catastrophic warming" while promoting unlimited immigration) to maintain their relative position.

In America the "liberals" are extreme conservative reactionaries and the conservatives are conservative only in promoting the world's most traditional liberal & revolutionary constitution.