June 16, 2017
Last December, I noted the following in the post, ‘Then We Will Fight in the Shade’ – A Guide to Winning the Media Wars:
It is when you get desperate, scared and panicky that you make the biggest mistakes, and the legacy media is currently desperate, scared and panicky. As Napoleon Bonaparte allegedly said:
“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
Whether or not he actually said them, those words still ring true. We mustn’t get in the way of the legacy media’s inevitable self-destruction. Part of this means that we do not self-destruct in the process. We need to recognize that there’s a reason independent, alternative media is winning the battle of ideas in the first place. For all the warts, mistakes and bad actors, the emergence of the internet is indeed the historical equivalent of the invention of the printing press on steroids.
Only a clueless self-important elitist actually believes that the smartest, most informed people in America are the pundits on tv and the journalists employed by the mainstream media. With a handful of companies and a few oligarchs in charge, you’d have to be the most naive fool on earth to not understand that legacy media is driven by well defined narratives, and that these narratives are not in your best interest. The rest of us understand that the Internet has served as a much needed countervailing force, and has been an incredible blessing to human knowledge, connectivity and the marketplace of ideas. Just because some people can’t distinguish truth from fiction, doesn’t negate the incredible progress that decentralized information dissemination provides. It is only those who do not wish to engage in public debate on the issues themselves who want to censor stuff. The rest of us are more than happy to have an open discussion.
In a pathetic attempt to reinflate the discredited and failed neoliberal/neocon status quo political bubble it supports, corporate media has been relentless in its attacks on anyone or anything that offers an alternative vision. These attacks more often than not focus on Donald Trump, but it’s important to note that contempt for Bernie Sanders and his supporters is not far behind. It doesn’t matter what the alternative vision is, if it falls outside the neoliberal/neocon status quo, it must be demonized and destroyed by the likes of billionaire-owned media properties such as The Washington Post and The New York Times.
The alarm bells really went off for me regarding the hatred of Sanders by the New York Times upon reading the paper’s nonsensical endorsement of Hillary Clinton during the primary. You should read the entire article, but here’s some of what I wrote at the time:
One of the biggest trends of the post financial crisis period has been a plunge in the American public’s perception of the country’s powerful institutions. The establishment often admits this reality with a mixture of bewilderment and erroneous conclusions, ultimately settling on the idea people are upset because “Washington can’t get anything done.” However, nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to corruption and serving big monied interests, both Congress and the President are very, very good at getting things done. Yes it’s true Congress doesn’t get anything done on behalf of the people, but this is no accident. The government doesn’t work for the people.
With its dishonest and shifty endorsement of Hillary Clinton, I believe the New York Times has finally come out of the closet as an unabashed gatekeeper of the status quo. I suppose this makes sense since the paper has become the ultimate status quo journalistic publication. The sad truth is the publication has been living on borrowed time and a borrowed reputation for a long time. Long on prestige, it remains very short on substance when it comes to fighting difficult battles in the public interest. Content with its position of power and influence within the current paradigm, the paper doesn’t want to rock the boat. What the New York Times is actually telling its readers with the Hillary Clinton endorsement is that it likes things just the way they are, and will fight hard to keep them that way. It is as much a part of the American establishment as any government institution.
Truth be told, the paper continues to…