The same article that introduces the immediately-indispensable phase “dirty culture war” presents its deeply blue-tribal take on the state of the media struggle. Among much of interest:
Andrew Breitbart, Stephen Bannon’s collaborator in right-wing tabloid journalism and the founder of Breitbart News, often reiterated a maxim: “Politics is downstream from culture.” When normal voters assess, say, a complex piece of legislation, they are unlikely to read the bill itself; more likely, they will base their opinions on how the bill is portrayed by their friends and Facebook friends, by celebrities, and in the media. In his 2011 memoir, Breitbart summed up his position, writing, “The left wins because it controls the narrative. The narrative is controlled by the media. . . . I am at war to gain back control of the American narrative.”
To assume that Andrew Breitbart rates lower for culture-war strategic genius than Antonio Gramsci is mere Cathedral class-prejudice (favoring academic-format thought). He understood the basic thing, and there’s not much sign yet that Steve Bannon is deviating from his mentor’s path in the direction of pacifism:
He now refers to the media, with monotonous insistence, as “the opposition party.”
It’s almost impossible to over-estimate how important this is (and the trend matters more than the current level). Regime legitimacy is sunk in radical crisis.
Broken on Twitter, but containing far too much insight into traumatic discrimination disorder to leave there:
NRx and Alt Right share just about one thing in common, but because that thing is “hating the media” the media naturally can’t tell them apart.
(Sentence unchanged, but glued back together, with one semiotic shortcut — “bc” for “because” — edited up into English)
For historical reference, this was the occasion.
Their delight at the decision burns:
For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year.
Divided States of America is worth everything.
Greer on the recent media fail (among other things):
It turned out that Clinton was playing by a rulebook that was long past its sell-by date, while Trump had gauged the shift in popular opinion and directed his resources accordingly. While she sank her money into television ads on prime time, he concentrated on social media and barnstorming speaking tours through regions that rarely see a presidential candidate. He also figured out early on that the mainstream media was a limitless source of free publicity, and the best way to make use of it was to outrage the tender sensibilities of the media itself and get denounced by media talking heads. […] That worked because a very large number of people here in the United States no longer trust the news media to tell them anything remotely resembling the truth. That’s why so many of them have turned to blogs for the services that newspapers and broadcast media used to provide: accurate reporting and thoughtful analysis of the events that affect their lives. Nor is this an unreasonable choice. The issue’s not just that the mainstream news media is biased; it’s not just that it never gets around to mentioning many issues that affect people’s lives in today’s America; it’s not even that it only airs a suffocatingly narrow range of viewpoints, running the gamut of opinion from A to A minus — though of course all these are true. It’s also that so much of it is so smug, so shallow, and so dull.
[I’ve corrected one trivial (and uncontroversial) typo without marking it.]
Sailer on the NYT ‘news’ process:
These are not news, they are planned campaigns of psychological warfare.
It’s the enemy, but no longer a competent enemy.
You are where your attention is.
(Among much else of interest in an excellent contrarian essay I’ve only just got around to.)
James Kirkpatrick defending the Alt-Right at Unz:
All politics in the Information Age is a media war.
There’s almost certainly massive consensus on this point, although it’s not in the interests of installed power to emphasize the fact.
Single most deluded passage in a consistently dismal effort:
Elsewhere on the Internet, a woman calling herself “hbd chick” runs a wide-ranging personal blog on HBD; she seems particularly consumed by the inbreeding habits of Ashkenazi Jews and the genetic makeup of Europeans.
Alternatively (recommended) you could actually read one of the most brilliant blogs on the Internet. The groundless paranoia of this slur would then quickly be evident.