It was my original intention to write another “From Where The Sun Now Stands, We’re Coming To Get You” piece on the Main Stream Media (or “Drive-By Media” as Rush Limbaugh likes to call therm). But as I worked up my notes and reflected on my own analysis I realized that if you are watching a person you really don’t like…a lot…and that person has a revolver already pointed at his head, hammer cocked, why bother listing all the justifications as to why you should not intervene? Can he be reformed? No. Can he be saved? No. Can he be replaced? Yes. So ponder that, instead.
I’ll post a follow-up later, about “We’re Coming to Restore the Free Press”, but for now, I think it’s important to understand that these folks, the MSM, really have little say in the matter. The allegory of the Tribbles (from Star Trek) fits, so read on.
When an evil thing already has suicide on its mind, all that is really necessary for us is to decide the proper course of action once the deed is done. What salvageable pieces can be found? What institutions can be built in its absence or on its ashes? With the MSM, the finality of this act is a serious matter, for it should cause us to reflect just what it is that is being blown away. For as the old British club story goes, when one member announced that Sir Reginald had taken his own life by blowing his brains out, another member chimed in, “Must’ve been a helluva shot.”
What’s lost? Not much really. What was there in the first place? For the longest time? Almost nothing. A black hole, a dying sun that had collapsed back on itself years ago. A separate universe having absolutely nothing to do with the world of the living. The death-by-its-own-hands of the main stream media is a done deal, a fact, an inevitability. The same is true for Progressivism in general, only by different causes, for as we shall see, underneath each of the major elements of the Left is a deeper pathology, only each is different. With media is a cult-like narcissism.
The thirst and need for news and truth will survive, but only if we make sure we are not drawn into that black hole. So, to hell with decent burials or long lamentations. Or even long waits. Just move ahead. Today. There is only restoration, and in the media’s case, we mean to restore the role of free press to its true role as that of quality control for the public against government, which is how the Founders, and nature, envisioned it. That guy standing there with a cocked .38 to his head?… pay him no mind. Ignore him and like a Tribble, and he will just disappear, with hardly an afterthought. He is only there because you are aware of him. Restoration lay in another direction.
The Certainty of the Main Stream Media’s Demise
In the manufacturing world we had a standard 3-stage analysis as to how corporations grow and eventually die from their own self-imposed cancers, all based on their perception of quality. The first stage, Explosive Growth, is when orders are coming in so fast you can’t pump out the goods quickly enough. There, quality takes a back seat, until refund demands and complaints start to pile up and people start to question the company’s ability to deliver a good product. So then, enter Stage Two, when the company realizes there’s a lot of money and reputation to be saved by reeling in poor manufacturing practices. They establish attainable levels of quality based on industry wide standards. In my company that standard was 2.5%, but rarely did a plant manager get called in because it had slipped to 2.6% or 2.7%. But at 3.5% there might be hell to pay, including that long drive (march) down to the principal’s, er, CEO’s office to explain why. In most corporations, this would be the standard for usually a generation, 15-25 years, and would also be referred to as the “golden years”. This process would be monitored by a staff of people measuring quality and an assigned person in accounting reporting on the monthly losses (or gains) when quality deviated from the norm. As the Russians would say, “Bizznezz iz norMal.” In the media, still today, quality is measured in facts. You can draw your own graph.
But then, Stage Three sneaks up, sort of like 40 years of smoking unfiltered Camels. It’s usually in the third generation when the cancer sets in, after two or three turnovers in management. New growth and expansion has all but swallowed the old company. No one can even remember the founder, or the original corporate mission. By then, say year 40-50, the finer art of knowing how to keep quality down to 2.5% has somehow mysteriously been lost, in part because the natural business reasons for doing so have also been lost, which incorporate much more than dollars and cents. This is not unlike Constantine, who couldn’t find any architects in the 4th Century to build a new Rome on the Dardanelles as had been built on the Tiber three centuries earlier. No one knew how all that old stuff had been erected. So the new heads of this third-generation company decide they must either raise the standard acceptable deviation to match actual performance (which really looks bad on paper and in front of the Board), or, as is most often, simply gin the reports to say that quality is much better than it actually is.
At this point you are hiding losses, but also hiding reasons as to why, over time, revenues begin to fall. But by this time, so many rice bowls are affected, at every level of management, from the quality control officer walking the plant floor, to the head guy who reports directly to the CEO or Board of Directors, it is imperative the final decision maker(s) remain in the dark. As we see in both government and corporate America now, a kind of shadow management emerges, which by the way had been typical of almost all socialist/communist production companies by the 1970s. Without knowing it, this separate reality, this shadow company, had reached in the desk drawer, pulled out a revolver, and quietly leveled it at its temple. All that remains is the when of it all, and as we found out with Enron, how many innocent people, who always suspected this was going on, will be sucked into the black hole created by the pistol’s report.
This is metasis, when an institution starts lying to itself. And this is where the American media stands today, a circular firing squad, with very predictable ends. Get as far away as you can.
As a rule, a private company is doomed, but in the old, and now almost defunct free market system in the private sector, some other corporation would quickly step in to fill the vacuum. But in the public sector, with its control over the public purse, and ability to print money, this killing cancer can be hidden and massaged and extended (with federo-therapy), as we’re seeing in Europe, until that inevitable fall over the cliff can carry an entire nation with it, not just a company. Those kinds of plunges can presage a new dark age, with civilization as we know literally loving to another hemisphere.
The parallels between the modern media with this 3-stage process and the morfing of a public thirst and need for factual honest news and a need for quality control over government (First Amendment) into a partner with government, inhibiting fact and finally drifting into a world is not hard to work out in your mind. It’s the inescapability of it all that I am writing today. That an institution has turned inward, collapsed in on itself, existing in a separate reality, explains why we see so many corporations reaching out to government now, as we’ve seen with many well-known brands, arguing that their name (brand) alone should keep them afloat. Like GM, they believe they (their rice bowls) are too big to fail so are easily gobbled up into the Great Fascist Conglomerate, Obama Inc., never understanding that have just abandoned a perfectly sea-worthy skiff in order to board an ocean liner with two holes already below waterline and listing heavily to port. Like addicts, all they want is that same federo-therapy that keeps extending Congress’ life, and will make any Faustian deal to get it. Long before GM or GE, the media brands were the first to do this.
First and foremost in our minds is of course that we should not let our government pull us over the cliff in this manner, and let corporations fend for themselves. That really is the battle we are engaged in now…against an evil army with a clear and present death wish planning to take us over the cliff with it. So we have to be more aggressive, but also more focused, for in my view, as with Gandhi, who I think first said “don’t sweat the little stuff”, we need to unburden ourselves of a hatred for mad dogs. Let them go. I will speak of their tiny role vis a vis their own troops in this war in the next posting. It is not significant. What is significant is the psychological weight they have imposed on us (you). It is what they do. They’re tribbles…with negative ions. So, hear me…even as they stand in a circle and talk only among themselves, their strength comes from the rage they create in us.
So, to tribble or not to tribble?
Understanding the role of the Media
Sometime last year National Review published a four-part article called “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalyse”, naming four principle founders of Progressivism in the US, from the late 19th Century, one each from Law, Economics, Education and yes, the Media. That article put to bed the notion, as Limbaugh often lamented, that the MSM was carrying the water for the Left. Nope. They are original founders of the Left in America, and need to be looked at all over again in this new context. They have always been part of the wannabe Ruling Class, actually Ruling Cult (for the media is indeed cult-like), which Limbaugh suddenly discovered only a few days ago, thanks to an historic article in American Spectator by Angelo Codevilla. Read it along with the “Four Horsemen” article (if someone has pull with Johan Goldberg, I’ve asked twice that they make that available on line) and you will see they were always mad dogs. Then stop to consider all that anger stirred in you all these years because you believed they were mere liars. Law: You should never get mad at dogs for being dogs, and the mad ones you shoot…only as I said, they’re already over there in the corner with a pistol to their head. Why bother?
So, for 120 years now, while most hometown daily or weekly Thunderstorms are trying to sell copy with the latest events in town, which every one is interested in keeping up with, a few (at first a very few) were trying to turn public policy at the national and state level in much the same way the recently divulged Journolist, By-Invitation-Only group was doing…out of public hearing and out of sight. By Wilson’s day (WWI), the Fourth Estate in America’s major populations had become a full-fledged Progressive Fifth Column.
With first the rise of Hollywood, television, then the internet, and advertising, the Progressive agenda has permeated every aspect of American life, so much so most of us have to go back and watch black and white television just to get some context of what “wholesome” meant to our grandparents. My sons still don’t get “Father Knows Best”. More important, and to give a shout out to Lady Penguin and her recent essay here on RedState on reading, books are even better teaching tools, not just for yourselves but for your children, in part because, if this government has its way, the bookshelf may be the only private access to learning in America. You may wake up some day to find RedState no longer here. Only thru books, and a few films, can we get a glimpse of morality and values, and how they have shifted the past 100 years…and this is important to know since now that you now know that behind that morality shift has been a purposeful defining down of our culture. I love watching Emma Thompson but reading Jane Austen is better. (Yep, I’m still a guy, too. Just checked.) Between the Civil War and 1920 there arose an army of female novelists (modern feminists will hardly acknowledge that such writing opportunities existed for women then), like Hallie Ermine Rives, who wrote “romances”. Only compare those with modern romances. While modern romances are closer to those old midnight readers you used to find in crummy motel nightstands, left there by some traveling salesman, with lots of heaving bosoms and stuff, the old romances were morality plays as the heroine is trying to size up a suitor’s character rather then his er, abs. “Tawdry” entered the fiction world in the FDR era, as well as “lusty”, in keeping with the rise of the newer arm of “social communication” from Hollywood. Erskine Caldwell wrote it and Hollywood produced it.
It’s not hard to see how this coarsening has occurred? The media…and Madison Avenue…where T&A always sold. It just depended on how much they could get away with. Every society in all history has had its purveyors, of everything. I’m not a big fan of public censorship, but am a huge fan of private, and just saying “no” is the first rule of shutting Madison Avenue down. They won’t market what they can’t sell, so it’s always been up to the media to make you (us) softer targets for their seductive sales pitches. (This sort of conduct is not really hard to walk back, by the way, but for another time.)
This little foray into Lady Penguin’s RedState Library has not been an aside. It shows the interconnectedness between all media, from Hollywood to CNN to Simon & Schuster to WaPo, and “the press” in its original form is the signatory member of the great Leftwing conspiracy. It’s the Cult wing of the Left.
As I said, the media is standing over there in the corner with a .38 to its head. Or, if you prefer, a circular firing squad. The MSM Cult Cabal has the same problem today the New York Times did in 1880, when it wanted to dictate American government policy but no one outside of New York read it, and there were fifty other competitors in that city alone, and weekly sales depended on could get the best scoop on a murder in Five Points. (I recommend Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, a novel, for insights as to what sold the most newspapers in New York in the 1880’s).
In short, the media is only speaking to itself…hence the circle. Take MSNBC, who Rush Limbaugh seems obsessed with. Probably half its audience are people who hate it, and watch and report only for the outrage. A good deal of time on Limbaugh, Beck, and other talk shows is spent in reporting on what all those people are saying about them, then passing onto us, since no one I know actually watches the stuff.
Something about this picture should make us all pause and reflect. Remember the Tribbles, from Star Trek? (You can probably find that episode on the internet.) They were so cute, warm and cuddly, you just had to adore them. Only in doing so, they multiplied. (I think that’s the same theory that causes so many young, pretty girls to go to Las Vegas with hardly enough clothes to cover the more important parts of their bodies. I was discussing that very subject with an influential RS member only this past Saturday. And now, it has sequed into an essay on the media and Tribbles.)
The same rule applies to the opposite of cute and cuddly. It applies to the ugliness of rage and hatred, especially when its only purpose is to draw attention to itself.
Star Trek’s bottom line, and mine: Ignore them and they will go away. Limbaugh and Beck revel in pointing out their detractors and haters, but in tribble-fashion, give them nourishment. Starve them and they will be crushed in the vortex of their own making. And we will not. We have much larger fish to fry, among them, restoring a totally new Free Press based on the original foundations of fact, and serving as quality control for our governments, at every level.
So then, the first step to victory is let the American media know we are not watching any longer…and do what must be done.
Part II to follow.