By Adam Gingrich
PA Political Consultant @DissingerToupee
To quote the great Ron Burgundy: “Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast.”
And so it can be said of our descent into the war over information control, a war that will likely permanently change the landscape of news analysis. Time, and time alone, will judge the winners and losers of this war, but it’s of paramount interest to realize that we, the people, will make that determination. In fact, it’s high time we all realize that complaining about media bias is like being stranded on an escalator.
How did we get here?
Is Donald Trump the predestined chosen one that brought to bear this moment of media singularity? Or is it vice versa? One thing is certain, be it a symptom or the disease itself, this presidential campaign has set traditional media and social media on a collision course like no other. So here we are, stuck in the middle, soldiers in a war in search of facts. What was once an academic debate has now shifted into outright hysteria, demagoguery and tasteless histrionics. And I’m only talking about the Washington Post here.
From Walter Cronkite to Alex Jones, in the blink of an eye, the pace by which we consume and discuss the news has gone from a gallop to light speed. The sheer enormity of these changes have consequences, and without a doubt, we are experiencing those consequences right about now.
The quiet subversion and malaise of Cronkite’s nightly reporting on the Vietnam War has been replaced by the bombastic and conspiratorial rants of Info Wars host Alex Jones. It’s not my place to judge the methodology of either man, but in a world of cut-throat lust for an 18-49 year old demographic haul, you can bet Madison Avenue is judging plenty. When you can reach millions of viewers without weighty overhead and personnel costs, you are essentially attacking the established media with devastating guerrilla warfare tactics. An age-old broadcast television Goliath will not sit back and go down without a fight, nor will the Titans of a long-dying print media. They will fight back, using every weapon, every pocketed politician they have in their mainstream arsenal to discredit, defy and destroy the upstart competition.
If you are in search of the closest enemy in this war to blame for the negative coverage of middle America and the conservative bias, look closer. The enemy is us. We vilify and malign these offensive media sources, but we do so by posting and tweeting the stories, thereby unwittingly ensuring these articles and network clips help keep the established media in business. Tactics must change if you want the media at large to normalize their coverage. We are driving their narrative for them; shouting angrily at the bus driver headed for the cliff, when we are actually the ones at the wheel.
What can we do?
Well, we can start by cutting subscriptions and paid online access to magazines and newspapers that do nothing but aggravate and antagonize our movement. Next, we can turn off the networks and tv personalities that do the same. They are the pathogen, we are the healthy host by which they survive. This war has pushed the narrative so far into the extreme, so fast, that we are forced to act. The established media enjoys constitutional protections, I concede that, but they do not have the inalienable right to undermine the peaceful transfer of power in our government, nor the sanctity of our election process. And that is exactly the path they have chosen.
On November 8th, we shocked the world with our ability to put faith in a new direction for our country. Since that date, we have been under siege. Now, more than ever, we must keep together our tenuous new coalition for change and push back against those who seek to unravel our nation at the seams. Yes, the news media is broken and stuck in the past. No, it’s not our job to fix it. Leave it. Snap out of it, folks. We are on a broken escalator, we can walk off at anytime.