The GOP holds the reins to both houses of Congress and the Presidency, so why do I feel less hopeful about conservatism than I did even when Barack Obama was in the White House? I think largely it is because the number of people I trust to tell me the truth has dwindled to a precious few.
The media has always been biased but at one time you could at least tease out the facts from the spin. Lately you can’t even do that. In the wake of Trump’s election the facts have become irrelevant. The mainstream media simply cannot be trusted to get anything right anymore. That in itself is bad enough but you can’t trust the White House to give you the truth either.
On one side you have a left wing activist media pursuing an agenda to take down the Trump presidency. On the other you have right wing media that is almost entirely sold out to Trump, and salivating over the chance to land some body blows on the left wing media. Both sides are entrenched and are colluding with their elected counterparts. The left versus right debate is like two competing late night infomercials selling similarly crappy products.
Part of it, I think, is that people are playing by old rules in an entirely different game. Rush Limbaugh and other talk radio hosts still view the political world as crazy liberals trying to take down sensible liberty loving conservatism. The Trump administration is shoehorned into the role of sensible conservatism because something has to. That’s the narrative that sells iced tea and “buy gold” advertisements.
It doesn’t matter whether Trump is actually doing anything to advance conservatism as long as he’s the target of the far left. Anything the far left attacks is assumed to be good. Acknowledging that both sides may be equally incompetent or out of control is not part of the proven business model so they take what’s out there and force it to fit what’s proven to be profitable.
Erick Erickson writes today at The Resurgent about how the lunatic fringe on the media right has been granted legitimacy by this White House.
I try to ignore this, but I think people on the right need to stand up for integrity on our own side. Whether there’s a traffic obsession and that site is willing to publish nonsense knowingly or a mental issue and that site is publishing nonsense they really believe or something else, it is still a problem.
There has been a lot of reporting out there in the past few months about websites knowing they can throw out the most absurd stories and generate loads of cash for themselves off the suckers who believe because they want to. It has, unfortunately, become a profitable business.
I often get accused of having an ax to grind against certain media outlets and figures. In a way I do. For me, being against Trump was partly about being against bloggers and pundits who were unapologetically pro-Trump. Even before Trump barged into politics I was seeing the troublesome trend of bloggers selling out entirely for candidates at various levels of politics. At that point you lose legitimacy as a blogger or pundit because you can no longer respond objectively to any action taken by that candidate or anything said about him or her. You have become another campaign surrogate. What you publish is no longer news or opinion but propaganda.
At one time the alternative media on the right was about speaking truth to power. Now it’s just as often about speaking for the powerful.