I’ve written before about the decline of local news and how it led to Trump. I’m always yelling on the Twitter machine about how if social media disappeared tomorrow we’d still have Republicans all over the TV so if we can have some hearings about that, it would be great.
A couple of links for further reading. First, this:
That year, Sinclair created a national news desk to produce segments for stations’ local newscasts, and in 2003 it followed up with a Washington bureau. Sinclair’s political leanings gained more widespread attention in 2004 when Ted Koppel planned to spend an episode of Nightline reading the names of soldiers killed in Iraq. Sinclair ordered its ABC affiliates not to run the show, saying it was “motivated by a political agenda.” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called Sinclair’s move “unpatriotic.” During that year’s presidential campaign, Sinclair sparked a national uproar when it planned to air Stolen Honor, a controversial documentary widely seen as a hit piece on then-Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the Democratic nominee. Amid the backlash, Mark Hyman compared news networks that refused to report Stolen Honor‘s allegations about Kerry’s anti-Vietnam War activism to Holocaust deniers. After Sinclair’s DC bureau chief described the documentary to a Baltimore Sun reporter as “biased political propaganda with clear intentions to sway this election,” the company fired him and sued him for breach of contract.
See that right there? 42% of adults 65 and older don’t use the internet. 16% of adults 50-64 don’t either. Those two age cohorts make up about HALF of all voters, and even more in midterm years. That’s why internet spending in politics doesn’t work yet. https://t.co/7kWDqz3VI4
— Thomas C. Bowen (@thomascbowen) November 21, 2017
I’m not discounting the fact of Russian meddling in Facebook and Twitter and the influence Reddit played in boosting the signals of inbred MAGA dipshits who wanted an excuse for why women wouldn’t service them. But Fox is omnipresent in ways the Internet still is not for the demographics that reliably vote Republican. Walk into any car dealership, any podiatrist’s office, hell any airport, and there’s a better than average chance Fox is what’s on. I had to yell at my doctor’s office to turn that shit off and I live in the People’s Republic.
Local news, which takes its cues from Fox and the like, tends to trivialize any “politics” in favor of stories about the conveniences of the upper middle class. You want an example? Last Friday, my local Fox affiliate ran a story about protests on Black Friday that focused on drawing attention to police brutality against black people. The protests focused on that, I mean. The story focused on shit like this:
At Boycott Black Friday demo in Chicago, two from Revolutionary Communist Progressive Labor Party told me Russia lost “true communism” after death of Joseph Stalin. He’s their hero, not a brutal mass murderer of millions. They called Nikita Krushchev’s famous 1956 speech about Stalin’s monstrous crimes “lies.” GULAG? Berlin Wall? Fuggetaboudit!
The entire tone of the piece (which isn’t online, natch, because why would you make your news site useful) was that these protests for black lives are dumb and over compared to suburban mommies buying overpriced dolls, and I mean tone in everything from the reporter’s voice to the word choice. “Yeah, there were protests, but whatevs, they’re not gonna change anything, they didn’t draw any huge crowds so they’re wrong, they just got in the way of shopping and were loud. Hee hee, commies.”
I seriously doubt these idiot kids were involved in Stalin’s purges. These dumb poseur-communists and the protesters marching right next to them have killed exactly nobody in the past year, in stark contrast to the Chicago Police Department, but sure, let’s spend some of our limited time on this planet making fun of them.
This, by the way, is the station’s “political editor.” A bazillion more people saw this broadcast than follow Trump’s tweets and what they saw was that black people protesting are worthy of ridicule and aren’t as important as the Disney Store.
Do you see where I’m going here? You don’t have to log on to Facebook to find this shit. Forget TV, even, since we’re talking about people who aren’t online: Talk radio, which has spent 30 YEARS calling all Democrats baby-killers who want to let black men rape all the white women, is omnipresent in the Midwest. Right now this shitbird is on a redemption tour but he was the main reason Republicans like Scott Walker — Trump with slightly better table manners — and his legislative cronies got elected in Wisconsin. His entire schtick was basically LOLOLOL LIBERALS R FAGS, sucking up to the right wing of the Roman Catholic church, and hating on food stamps.
Radio listeners across the Republican base of white-flight suburbia heard him. Tens of thousands of them. Far beyond the reach of any bot-driven MAGA shut-in re-tweeting Trump’s rage.
This is leaving out so many other things that reinforce the status-quo narrative, including broadcasts of religious leaders who are neither, profiles of FUCKING NAZIS because we have learned nothing since Charlottesville, celebrity coverage that lionizes inoffensive white girls who don’t speak up about being groped by man-pigs, and on and on and on.
We have to solve the media disparity before anything changes, and that doesn’t just mean hauling Snapchat in front of HUAC to find out if they have any rubles in their pockets. It is worse than pointless to bitch out Zuckerberg and leave out Rupert Murdoch and creatures like Limbaugh and his lesser acolytes. It is counter-productive.
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