November 13, 2016

And He's Baaaaack

Blog friend tg, on fire:

The problem is not that Clinton lost this battle. The problem is that no one had any idea that the loss was coming. Or that the loss was possible. Or even where the battle would be fought. Clinton, her team, the vast media apparatus that had grown up around it--all were soaking in the same cesspool of self-deceit. The election has shown them all for what they are: an insular network of operators and opinion-makers charmed by their own cleverness and enthralled with their own moral certitude, more comfortable exchanging clever quips and flattering platitudes than confronting the world outside of their carefully constructed echo-chamber.

2016 Posted by John Kranz at November 13, 2016 10:47 AM

Thank you for linking jk. I enjoyed this tg piece as well as the previous one. You really are an excellent writer, tg. And your insights are spot on in this piece in particular. I only wonder if you felt the same way about what what my ilk calls "the Orwellian media" before you were taken by surprise in this election?

This is more than an academic curiosity, because there are other critical realities being distorted by "factiness." The security benefits of restricting private gun ownership. The economic benefits of omnibus multinational trade treaties. The economic sustainability of myriad "alternative" energy paradigms. The racism of American police departments and officers, and the citizens who support them. And of course the Big Kahuna, the "settled science" of anthropogenic global climate change.

Our civilization could make evolutionary progress in prosperity and cohesiveness if the popular media would reject the narratives fed it by selfish "green" billionaires and treat the news business with the scientific rigor they purport to hold as their only absolute.

Posted by: johngalt at November 13, 2016 2:05 PM

I have been pretty critical of the media before today. Especially Vox.


This is one of the ironies I've noticed about this election: everybody agrees something country changing has happened, but at the same time everybody blames the error on whatever they most hated before the election results were in. SJWs blamed all of America's problems on race, and so of course Trump was elected 'cuz everyone so racist; Berniebros wanted socialism, so of course what's wrong is Hillary was too far to the right; social conservatives hate liberal smugness, so of course that's the lefts critical error, and so forth. As for me--well I hate Vox. So of course Vox is the problem.

The election did not change my feelings for the media so much as it provided overwhelming evidence than media narrative-massaging has destructive real world consequences.

Posted by: T. Greer at November 14, 2016 11:12 AM

Well, clearly I've been slacking if TG didn't know how destructive this media-narrative game has gone. I've known for 20+ years that most of media gets most of it's stories wrong. Just wrong. From energy to telecommunications, they are unbelievably jacked up.

Exception was (and I've not followed them closely) was the WSJ, which wasn't 100% veritas, but at least got more right than wrong.

Vox I'd not heard of, and now I'm going to have trouble un-seeing what I just saw: "The real reason we have an Electoral College: to protect slave states" OMG - USA Today has reincarnated itself as Artificial Inability in a constant spewing of ignorance!

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 15, 2016 12:11 AM

Clearly, the Designated Hitter is to be blamed for for this election and the Tribe's loss.

I might mediate between tg and nb. Yes, there have been problems with media for many years (Bernie Goldberg wrote two serious and important books, "Bias" and "Arrogance") before he went off the deep end of partisanship.

And yet, the smug "factiness" of sites like Vox, Salon, an Slate do represent a new level of awful. Rather than USA Today, I'd compare them to Jon Stewart. They're cool, they know they're right, and all their readers know they're right.

Posted by: jk at November 15, 2016 10:15 AM

Buuuuut, it's not just Vox, tg. Or even Vox, Salon and Slate, jk. It's the New York Freaking Times. *

The bigger shock came on being told, at least twice, by Times editors who were describing the paper's daily Page One meeting: "We set the agenda for the country in that room."

* Edited to delete dual exclamation marks. I regretted the invective.

Posted by: johngalt at November 15, 2016 2:21 PM

That is a chilling read, JG; thought I new that old gray lady...

It was a shock on arriving at the New York Times in 2004, as the paper’s movie editor, to realize that its editorial dynamic was essentially the reverse. By and large, talented reporters scrambled to match stories with what internally was often called “the narrative.” We were occasionally asked to map a narrative for our various beats a year in advance, square the plan with editors, then generate stories that fit the pre-designated line.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 17, 2016 11:39 PM | What do you think? [6]