What made North American journalism ultimately broke it. It is Patriarchal narrative.
Journalism promised facts and information along with cogent arguments and logic as time went on, but those were just the excuses for what was the lure for the profession: the authority to set the terms of debate and the story with labelling people, elevating those who agreed with the narrative, and casting off those who didn’t.
For those middle-class denizens wishing to sound learned without having the benefit of acceptable pedigree or the proper pragmatic education in the minutae complex societal dynamics, their “cheat sheet”, so to speak, was newspapers such as the New York Times, where they could have the acceptable opinions on the issues of the day without having actual deep knowledge on the matter. They could nod at the right moments, and side with the “correct” side of the issue without looking like the rubes they always imagined their working class or lower class parents to be.
Times have changed, but the propagandistic spine of journalistic narrative never did. The Internet didn’t just open the floodgates of a sea of previously ignored voices, it broke the monopoly the press had, forever shattering the stranglehold they had on those same middle class script followers.
And now they are, in the pages of the Op-Ed section, trying to scheme and work out how they can regain control without having to change a thing.
The latest knee-slapper piece “When Smug Liberals Met Conservative Trolls” shows just how out of touch every US publication is. The editor of Reason magazine — a smug Libertarian rag, is dispatched to tell the little people all about it: that there is stalemate in the ideological war because the Left and the Right malign each other and won’t listen to reason — and this is why we have a growing base of political “independents.”
We have always had independents. People like me are radical centrists, but we aren’t radical centrists because we are sick of two pretentious political churches babbling nonsense. We aren’t sandwiched between two groups of ideologue — we rose above it for years — the problem is, this is now a childish war for ideological control where the goal is to have all the plebs walk lockstep and applaud the “winning” ideology, but it is not happening, no one is “winning” the mind control battle; so now one side is looking at the holdouts, trying to win converts by acknowledging them, and then speaking to them, pretending to validate their existence; so maybe a strategic coalition can be formed, and then get rid of that big old meany Donald Trump so journalists can pretend they aren’t in a dead profession.
Nice try. The piece is insincere on every possible level imaginable. It still is firmly entrenched Patriarchal narrative. Bringing in someone who seems non-aligned with either political side is a ploy, and a very transparent one at that.
This isn’t a science fiction movie where everyone from a certain planet all look, talk, think, dress, and act the same way. Individuality and variation is normal. The Internet was a rude shock to journalists because it put out in the open what was always there all along: that people had their own beliefs in their head, and were given almost no choice in many regards; and so, they made what they could with the limited resources they were allotted. Those feelings were always there; the problem was there was no way for people to put them out in a public forum.
It also isn’t as if people didn’t try to tell the press of their feelings. They did. They wrote letters and made phone calls to complain, and the press either ignored them, ridiculed them, or wore them as a badge of honour for going against them.
So here is someone who is an editor of a national magazine discussing an ancient dynamic as if it were some sort of a new phenomenon. It’s not.
This isn’t news. This isn’t some sort of jaw-dropping revelation or a new-fangled belief. This is clearly Captain Obvious speaking. This is the press still seeing the world in binary terms, but then trying to win converts in a obvious way: to court those “independents”, they are spared a label such as “smug” or “troll.” It is truly a shameless attempt at courting a segment that refuses to be courted, as there is an attempt to co-opt their voices.
They are independent because they do not wish to be courted or co-opted. They are not looking for applause or a clubhouse to play in: they are looking for facts and action.
And a place other than the New York Times to get informed so they can make their own decisions for themselves. They aren’t going to be recruited to save a dead industry, either.
And for people like me, I am looking to create something new, not give life to something that expired a long time ago.