Sunday, November 08, 2020

Update on Cultural and Political Influence.

I posted three years ago about media and institutions and their Cultural and Political Influence. It includes the quote 

Jonah Goldberg at National Review had a response (more than a decade earlier, Ed.) to the complaints about the growth of conservative media that I think still holds. I am paraphrasing from memory:  Well, then, let's trade. Conservatives get the NY Times, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and most of the other newspapers, plus the AP and UPI.  We'll take over ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and PBS.  You turn over Hollywood and academia to us, and the major publishing houses, including the textbooks.  Wait, I'm not finished. You give us Time, Newsweek, all the women's magazines, plus most of the political magazines.  In return you can have talk radio, the Wall Street Journal (usually), Drudge Report, Fox News, Weekly Standard, and National Review. Deal?

I think that could bear some updating.  Jonah missed it in the early 2000s, quite understandably, but there is no excuse for me missing the social media control even in 2017, never mind now. Some conservatives might dismiss Goldberg as not counting as a conservative anymore, and I think Drudge is fully off the reservation now. The Weekly Standard is gone, but now that things are online the internet is more wild and woolly, free-for all, and conservatives are doing well there.  The power underlying the open access internet are now even more an imbalance however, able to shut things off, and their errors seem to be 90%+ in  a liberal direction.  Fox has become suspect, I hear, though I wouldn't know myself. Time and Newsweek are no longer relevant. There are other networks to be added in now. But mostly, we would add to that equation "We get Google, Facebook, and Twitter."  If that seems unfair, because those people did build those platforms or had the power handed to them by those that did, that's a reasonable complaint. But they have been very effective in shutting down competition, pulling the ladder up behind them with further regulations that they can afford but startups can't.

Yet the principle still holds.  If liberals think it's all pretty even up and are resenting the amount of power Rush Limbaugh has (even Bill Clinton complained about his frustration with that.  Like the President of the United States doesn't have enough opportunity to get his opinions out there), or the Wall Street Journal, that sounds like narcissism to me, unable to tolerate any pushback at all, like a child screaming about his sister "She's looking at me!" It's similar to my post about political power earlier today.


Douglas2 said...

The Sacks Wealth and Poverty essay has been published as a £2 booklet, which may explain its disappearance from the web:

ISBN 0 907631 15 0

It is kind of funny though - the Social Affairs Unit website does appear to be dormant after a halfhearted rebuild, but even then the Wayback Machine/Internet Archive would typically have stuff like this. It looks like they (SAU) used a link to some external publisher for their essays, and that creates much more of a dead-end than I'm used to investigating.

Douglas2 said...

Sorry, the above comment was intended for the Jonathan Sacks post:

I've now commented there with archive links for each page of the Sacks Wealth and Poverty essay.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Thank you greatly. Knowing that it is available as a pamphlet, it may become a Christmas present for Son #2. Maybe I'll buy a few and pass them out.