Truth V.S. Ratings

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

Who do you trust when you can’t trust anyone?

Trust takes time to build and can disappear in an instant, so it takes long-term planning to maintain trust with a person.  Building trust requires thinking ahead about the repercussions of your actions on other people – sacrificing quick pleasure today for more pleasure in the future.  That does not sound conducive to a 24-hour news cycle in which a news station must develop new methods of holding the attention of an audience in a society that rewards instant gratification more than long-term planning, a society that records success in quarterly reports with the expectation of indefinite growth.

Screenshot_2018-08-02 Why don_t people trust the news and social media A new report lets them explain in their own words

“Why don’t people trust the news?  Concern about bias, spin, and hidden agendas (Ricardo Bilton, Nieman Lab, 2017)”

The 24-hour news cycle has ruined the news industry – it’s no longer about effective journalism with an intent on holding power accountable to people – it’s about voyeuristic, sadistic, and instant pleasure for the worst aspects of ourselves.  We are not going to find content of substance on the “mainstream” networks designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator of the public and there is a shift taking place from traditional forms of media to new media.  Some new media stars (commentators, pundits, call them what you want) are gaining their own audience by mocking the old guards, making substantive new content through satire.

Let’s compare an interview from BBC’s Newsnight to it’s satirical counterpart by rising YouTube entertainer Wizard of Cause:

Both of the above videos inform the audience about the people involved in the interview but which of the video is more entertaining?

If media spokesmen want to regain the trust of the public, I think the first thing they need to do is place more faith in the public, particularly their audiences.  Rather than dumbing down content to make viewing require less effort to undertake, trust that the viewers can figure things out for themselves.  Perhaps newsmen can learn some things from comedians.

 

Americans live under multiple governments.

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

It seems like most of the corporate media’s focus is on the dealings of the national government, the federal government.  CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC provide 24-hour coverage on what is happening with various national politicians.  It is too be expected since those organizations brand themselves as national news outlets but what about the states in which they are based?  The state governments that those organizations operate under have more of an effect on them than the national government.

A key component of a democratic-republic is its federalist structure (a separation of powers).  The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution give the national government ultimate authority in conflicting areas of interest between the national government and the state governments, but the state governments have their own authority within their own respective territories; the states can stand up to the national government in particular instances. Scholars of constitutionalism refer to American states as “laboratories of democracy” because elected officials in each state (and, by extension, their respective municipalities) can tailor their government to their particular populations.

I have yet to see a news program that focuses on the legislative processes of all the governments under which Americans live.

The Left is no longer liberal and liberals need to stand up.

By Dylan R.N. Crabb

 

There is a particular ideology in America today, fostered by the Left-wing of the political spectrum, so intent on giving voice to minority populations that it seemingly idolizes victimization while proclaiming their distaste for and their distrust of populations of privilege.  Some proponents of this ideology have even driven it to an extent of advocating for a dismantling of Western political and judicial systems on claims that Western civilization was founded on nothing more than the exploitation of minority populations.  Nevermind that individuals in the West today enjoy a relatively peaceful society as well as longer lifespans compared to other parts of the world, contemporary Leftists focus on negative aspects of human history while dismissing anything positive that has arisen from a cultivation of social norms.  As if humans would be better off without civilization, roaming the wilderness just like any other animal.

Western civilization is not perfect (of course), no civilization is perfect.  Human history is littered with violence because humans have a proclivity towards violence.  However; despite what post-modern ideologues would have you believe, power struggles are not the only thing that drive human actions.  Any (reasonable) scholar of history will recognize that some of the worst atrocities have been committed in pursuit of an utopian ideal.  In other words, some of the worst things ever accomplished were carried out with the best of intentions.  A pragmatic leader governs a society as humans are, not as humans ought to be.

Contemporary Leftists are indeed pushing an idealistic agenda and it seems eerily reminiscent of the old Marxist rhetoric leading up to the Russian Revolution which formed the Soviet Union.  These new “cultural Marxists,” or neo-Marxists, are driven by a desire for a utopia in which no group of people is prejudiced toward another group of people and all individuals live in harmony with one another with no hatred, jealousy, or exploitation.  This is a fantastical, pathological idea and it is most evident on college campuses (more so with large universities) where Leftist, student organizations will rally protests against specific people with a so-called controversial opinion simply for having the audacity to speak to a crowd of supporters.  Leftists students today are so “triggered” by differing opinions that they wish to limit individual freedom of speech to protect their own asinine sensabilities.  The political Left is no longer liberal and liberals must stand up against these neo-communists.

Liberalism is about individuality, liberty, entreprenuership, and the ability of one person to forge his/her own destiny regardless of the circumstances of his birth.  Liberals advocate for free speech for individuals, accountability for governments, separations of power, divisions in the structures of governments, and egalitarianism throughout a population.

The problem with idealistic, utopian ideologies like Marxist socialism/communism or Nazi socialism/fascism, as “well-intentioned” as they may be, they create “in-group” mentalities amongst specific populations which foster exclusiveness in pursuit of inclusiveness.  In pursuit of a so-called inclusive society, the ideologues advocate to silence any rhetoric that goes against their ideology (any rhetoric that they label as hateful).  Nevermind freedom of speech for individuals and the marketplace of ideas, any speech that may be interpreted as “hate speech” will not be tolerated by the contemporary neo-communists.  This pro-censorship stance is antithetical to classic Enlightenment values.  Censorship advocates are not liberal.

Examples of these pathological neo-communists can be seen in video recordings of public speeches by Milo Yiannopolous and Ben Shapiro.  Milo Yiannopolous is a former reporter/editor at “Breitbart News” who organized a tour of college campuses a couple years back during which he spoke to his supporters publicly.  Ben Shapiro is the current editor-in-chief of “The Daily Wire” who occasionally partners with various conservative organizations to speak to his supporters publicly at various American colleges.  Both Yiannopolous and Shapiro have had contact with protesters at their events, people who were protesting them simply because they were speaking publicly.

A reasonable person encounters a public speaker whom they disagree with and perhaps crafts an argument against the speaker, engaging in a debate.  However; the post-modern neo-communists do not believe in values of free speech and debate, they only care about asserting their own influence in the public sphere and obtaining power over our society.  They do this under a belief that truth does not exist and that power dynamics are all that matter in human relations; this belief justifies their own use of power.

Free speech only matters if it applies to every person.  Every person deserves the right to speak his mind regardless of how hateful it may be.  I write this as a person who used to describe himself as a socialist.  I used to describe myself as a socialist because I bought into the idealistic rhetoric of Marxism, “workers of the world unite,” and all that shit.  I did not understand the bitter pathology behind a strive for utopia.

Post-modernist, neo-communism must be stopped before human history repeats itself.  We do not want another Soviet Union to rise to prominence on the global stage.