“What to do with a dishonest media” has been a question that has dogged citizens for at least a hundred years.
In the September before the election I wrote a piece of how G K Chesterton felt about the English Press, going back to 1900. The American attitude has been somewhat different, as have been our laws both protecting the Press and punishing their transgressions. But the public respect for the media in both countries has been largely negative. Even cynical.
In America every city once had at least two newspapers, morning and evening edition, and each would become the mouthpiece for the principal political parties. And the bigger cities had several dailies, especially New York, and Hollywood built a genre of A and B-films during the Depression built around the city newsroom, and its fast-talking (mostly) male editors and reporters. They became archetypes. “Front Page” from 1931 was remade several times, under various names, into the 70s, my favorite “His Girl Friday” (1941) where they injected a woman star, Rosalind Russell to side-kick with Cary Grant. Even “Superman”, the DC-comic book and 50s TV series were staged around The Daily Planet newsroom and Perry White.
Interestingly, Hollywood portrayed a press the public loved to hate, often portrayed as front men for dirty politics in some of their most memorable films, “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” (1939) comes to mind, all built around cynical editors. You’ve seen the popular “Fountainhead” courtroom speech by Gary Cooper in 1949 about a man you didn’t see, and that fellow was Ellsworth M Toohey who steered that city’s press.
From comedy to drama to crime, that meme always sold well in theatres.
But I think it was DC Comics, who introduced Jimmy Olsen at the Daily Planet in 1938 that first included the cub reporter. I wasn’t even born then, but as a kid growing up in the 50s I never read a “Superman” comic that he wasn’t in the storyline. And even then I was interested in “how things work”, and how a news-writer earned his own byline with a newspaper, starting from the bottom. A big deal then.
And still is in fact. 90% of political writing today is performed by hungry kids looking to make a reputation, or what George Carlin coined “Dig me”….whether for a daily, weekly or monthly; The Post, Newsweek, or National Review. (Think about that when you consider that the 85-essays of “Federalist Papers” were published in only three New York papers, Independent Journal, the New York Packet, and The Daily Advertiser, written by three different men, and all under the same pseudonym “Publius”. In 1788 market terms, they spread like wildfire, to other cities, and two bound volumes were printed in Fall, 1788. I’m not sure who reaped the profits.)
So I’m interested what drives modern the modern Jimmie and Jennie Olson’s today; but better money and stardom high among them, I’m sure. And with the rise of the internet journalism all but replacing print media, and the apparent ambition by corporate media to corner the market on information and how it’s broadcast and thereby secure a seat in the boardrooms of world power, as a necessary cog in a new world order. These are not small ambitions and the Jimmie and Jennie’s would like to cash in on it.
I don’t think Hamilton, Madison and Jay had this in mind when they published The Federalist under fake names.
When Fidel Castro took power in Cuba in 1959, even with control of the means of Cuban public communication, it still took him 30 years, a full generation, and two boatlifts to Florida, to negate what I’ve always called the “tom-tom network” of word-of-mouth resistance that was dogging his plans. It required those boatlifts to insure that by 1990 almost all living memory of “freedom in Cuba” would be living in Miami, not Havana. Fidel knew how things work, as do most totalitarians and he played it by the book. And Cuba is a by-design basket case and largely dead as a nation.
Note: The Soviet people called this tom-tom networking “samizdat”, which I learned about while there in 1991-1992. Pre-computer age, it was all hand-written letters and papers, passed by hand, and almost impossible to intercept. The New China that emerged in the 1980s-and-90s, were more cunning than the Soviets, but also had a worldwide economic mission. They knew they would have to develop counter-measures against the rise of an internet tom-tom network that would creep into their systems, so they invited first Yahoo! then Google to develop software that would allow them to intercept and locate the sources of revolutionary thought in China. Thousands have been jailed, thanks to these tech giants, but the old fashioned paper to paper samizdat network goes on.
Interestingly, when Donald Trump won the 2016 election, he also won the presidency by using an American word-of-mouth tom-tom network which the national media couldn’t reach. Had the Democrats seen his voter-swell coming they would have had a counter-measure to steal that election too, but instead were caught flat footed. I even wrote about this in October, 2016, “America’s Lost Army, People Who Don’t Read Media” and I was largely correct. But after stealing Congress back in 2018 (yes, they did), and when Donald Trump’s hidden army swelled by even several million more in 2020, catching the Democrats unawares again by the magnitude of his growing army of voters, they were forced to resort to that Midnight-to-3 AM Doomsday plan, knowing that if they were caught they might all end up in jail. Instead the Supreme Court would add its imprimatur to the steal and they walked away with the steal.
Since we’ll likely never know the inside game to that story…I don’t even know who might be looking for it, since it’s now a dangerous occupation to even try to ferret it out…we ordinary people have to sit back and consider the long-game, which Mr Trump, I infer from his CPAC speech, has considered, and which may explain an emerging ground game based on a return to vigorous federalism at the state levels, which may well reverse the election theft of 2020, only say over a 4-8 year span, rather than the days and weeks we’d all hoped for in November-through-January.
The role the American media played in that theft was pivotal to the Dems being able to pull off this heist, largely by redefining an America that is populated by only the 30 or 40 million who make up the state class and their contracting agents, including the media. The other 60% or Mr and Mizz America are truly deplorables. Only don’t ask me, ask David French, or Bill Kristol both echoes for this vision of a 21st Century America.
You see, in the “How Things Work” department, Fidel Castro knew that cultural memory of “how things were” in Cuba would largely be erased in 30 years, if he could just pawn off the bulk of those most active members of the Cuban tom-tom network, which he was able to do. (I even knew a member of the Mariel Boat Lift in central Kentucky, and how he made it to that little rural county is a story unto itself.)uuuu8
Back to Jimmy Olson; I assume that the ruling “Menshevik” Left in Washington today (This is long on history, which you don’t need to study, but it helps in understanding statist thinking) is also looking at a long-term plan to simply kill off Trump’s tom-tom network by attrition, then use a total control of the media, which you’re seeing being fast-tracked now (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and corporate cancel culture) a la Castro. I’ve regularly published “dark alley” pieces about dealing with various aspects of the Left’s overall machinery, piece by piece. Things people can do at home in the dark.
Back to How Things work again, Drudge sold his brand, but it’s still out there, only new and different management. The same for “Newsweek”, a fine old print weekly, but WAPO sold its brand, as did Time, begun by Henry Luce, but reduced to this. But so has Disney and a host of non-media corporations but who have formed a pile of capital assets that pursues a management model that is not American in the sense we know it.
Since the election I’ve begun listing many of their writers, and note that many of the article-writers for Newsweek, HuffPo, Daily Beast, Politico, Vogue, The Wrap, along with the networks, CNN, (now that the election is over I think Fox is trying to regain its patriotic viewership) Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg…all of whom now have articles appearing in daily news feeds, beside their standard publications….
….and many of these writers are very young. Cubs, Jimmy and Jennie Olsens. Just read the lede and you can tell their ages.
Many of them write as if they see themselves as Media’s ANTIFA. And unlike “Publius” in 1788, they like seeing their names in print. In the days of print journalism, a writer would give his/her arm to get a by-line, to see their name alongside the story. But today, on-line, they are as common as the 3 day-old bread marked down at Krogers.
And many of those stories are mindless, inept, often glaringly wrong, almost as if they were writing for readers even younger than they are..
I’m not interested in schooling or debating these people. Ask Ben Shapiro how that works.
I want to offer here some suggestions about what might be done about the Jimmy and Jennie Olsen’s of the modern media when they step out from behind the protective shield of law they believe their employers and the First Amendment provide them and present to the public a course of hearsay, defamation, and out and out-and-out lying without fear of reprisal.
You can make your own lists. I started looking several names up, and each can be found simply by googling their name which generally lists who they write for. There is a ranking system in there, and while I haven’t quite figured it out, I assume you will be able to, for it largely will have something to do with their desire to set ahead within the community where they write…to be noticed by higher ups, and be offered more visibility and better paying assignments, much as Al Gore got after he spent 6 months in Vietnam as a writer for “Stars and Stripes” but with his own bodyguards. (Look it up.)
The reason they are sought out is that they are cheap and they are young, and it’s their front office’s intention to “capture” their younger generation, Millennials and Gen Z mostly.
Their editor, who is usually the “grown-up in the room”, will correct spelling, punctuation, and insure there is no defamation that could put the publisher in legal jeopardy. But beyond that, they can lie all they want, in fact, are encouraged to so long as it fits the meme of the day or week. The editors provide writers with these memes, or catch-words, as were used anytime a prominent political person mentioned the 2020 election as “fraud”. Editors may even supplement the writer’s piece with their own inserts of the day.
My criminal point is the lie. So learn the rules of dark alley ops
They simply need to be reminded that they have lied. And that there are consequences for lying. All you have to do is locate them and skunk their car-handles, see your options, and then send a note. Read the rules carefully, for they are all tom-tom network vetted. Give fear a chance. Take the “skip to my Lou” out what they think is a walk in the park.
Just a thought.