Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Left-Wing Media Concerned About Media Bias...On The Right

   I have no doubt that this is a problem on the right...though Todd's chart seems pretty nutty / ill-informed to me. 4Chan isn't really a source of crackpot right-wing stories so far as I know. It's, rather, mostly a source of anti-left trolling. And Drudge doesn't really seem to be so much in the loop anymore. Gateway Pundit was, indeed, an absolutely loony source of intentional distortions...though it seems to have improved a lot. I don't watch cable news nor do I use Facebook, so I don't know anything about those.
   Seems like the most salient points here are:
(a) The MSM still seems to view itself as reasonably unbiased and evidence-based.
(b) Nutty stories on the right don't seem to have much impact, because the right isn't culturally powerful; nutty stories on the left are treated as indisputable (or barely-disputable) fact, and alter the trajectory of the culture.
(c) The "ecosystem" of right-wing mythologies and distortions includes nodes like 4chan and Gateway Pundit. The ecosystem of left-wing mythologies and distortions includes The New York Times, The Washington Post, academia, both the other cable news networks, Vox...basically everything else. And, of course: Meet The Press.

   And, of course: a significant aspect of the delusion of the left-wing ecosystem is that this problem is isolated to the right. This semi-willful blindness of the left to its own derangement--and its cultural hegemony (to use a term beloved by the PPCs)--is part of what breathes life into trends on the right. Chuck Todd's combination of (a) barely-contained, near-trembling outrage at the right and (b) utter cluelessness about the far more significant sins of the left/MSM is...well, it's certainly not all you need to know about the problem...but it's a pretty good little snapshot of it.
   Look, I now look at a whole lot of conservative stuff online, mostly because it's currently far less delusional than what one finds on the left. That wasn't true ten years ago. But I rarely see the kind of stuff Todd is talking about. It's easy for me to avoid the likes of Gateway Pundit (though, again, that site may have become less reliably nutty). It's easy to avoid substantially nutty stuff on the right. It's less easy to avoid the NYT, the WaPo, and the rest.
   None of this is supposed to exonerate the right for its biases. It's just to note that (a) the left has them, too, (b) it currently has more of them, (c) it currently has crazier ones, and (d) it's currently the mainstream, ergo the effects are more substantial. The right can't get over its Benghazi obsession. But that shit pales in comparison to Russiagate. There's no right-wing analog of climate apocalypticism--unless you want to count Christian apocalypticism, which is isolated to the conservative religious fringe. The latter is a joke; the former is the extremely consequential orthodoxy. Twenty years ago, the religious right was less fringy, and fought to get one of its pet theories--creationism--at least mentioned occasionally in schools. It was slapped down hard. Multiple leftist theories--climate hysteria, gender ideology in its myriad forms, multiculturalism, anti-liberal feminism, etc.--pervade education at all levels. In many cases, it's impermissible to even question them. And we're on a trajectory toward making questioning some of them illegal. We're lagging behind other Western democracies in that respect, actually.
   Blah, blah, blah.


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