The Crooked Dope

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So much wrong here…

with 2 comments

My friend Cenk Uygur is so missing the point here

Cenk begins by telling us that the conservative media isn’t profitable – several high-profile outlets lose tens of millions of dollars every year.

That’s well enough to point out, but it’s also absolutely irrelevant to any sane conversation of media effectiveness.

Cenk’s article implies that the conservative media is a dinosaur on its way to extinction. He writes:

The bottom line is that most of these conservative media outlets don’t stand a chance. Sure, some will have staying power in representing a certain percentage of the population. Those are the ones that focus on opinions. But no one is taking their “news” operations seriously. On the other hand, a progressive colossus is rising on the web and the conservatives are powerless to stop it. That is not a future that bodes well for the Republican Party or the conservative movement in this country. We’re coming for them. They’re standing in front of a steamroller and they don’t even know it.

This betrays a profound degree of ignorance on Cenk’s part.

You see, the point is that the conservative benefactors of these media outlets use them strategically. By controlling “media,” the sugar-daddies of wingnuttia provide a crucial service to the regressive movement:

  • they shape public opinion by providing legitimizing source material for otherwise discredited policy prescriptions.
  • they expose and enlarge Democratic or “liberal” scandals to discredit otherwise legitimate progressive policies prescriptions.
  • they serve as a “farm-team” that nurtures young regressive talent and prepares them for more influential roles as their careers progress
  • they serve as conduits for regressive conventional wisdom. Sarah Palin didn’t learn her euphemisms in a vacuum; she has Bill Kristol and a bevy of Weekly Standard aides to thank for her rote regressivism

I’m sure I’ve missed many, many other reasons for conservative billionaire’s willingness to throw billions of dollars into these pet projects, but in the final analysis, these folks are largely responsible for making it very difficult for sane progressives to be heard in Washington. From the repeal of the estate tax to the trillions of dollars wasted on defense spending, to the corporate-friendly federal bench to the lack of accountability for Enron, S&L’s, BCCI, Tyco, Global Crossing, and the current financial crisis… well… their billions oinvested has returned to them a thousand-fold.

While I’m raining on my friend’s parades, I might as well say something about a post I saw earlier in the week that I was initially excited about…

David Waldman argues that Twitter may replace Drudge as the go-to source for media types looking to stay on the bleeding edge of the news cycle. After the events in Iran, it seemed plausible at the very least.

But now Drudge has this on his home-page:

A BILLION THANKS FOR MAKING JUNE 2009 — TOP JUNE IN DRUDGEREPORT’S 14 YEAR HISTORY! PAGE HIT 675,406,736 VIEWS FROM 129,922,878 VISITS… TRAFFIC ROSE 21% FOR MONTH OVER YEAR AGO [+39% OVER JUNE 2007]…

Worse, there’s this:

FOX NEWS RECORDS UNPRECEDENTED TOP 10 OUT OF 10 PROGRAMS IN CABLE NEWS FOR 2ND QUARTER… ON PACE TO BE NETWORK’S BEST YEAR EVER…

THE O’REILLY FACTOR 3,191,000
HANNITY 2,345,000
GLENN BECK 2,053,000
ON THE RECORD W/GRETA 1,950,000
SPECIAL REPORT W/BRET BAIER 1,889,000
FOX REPORT/SHEP SMITH 1,783,000
THE O’REILLY FACTOR (RPT) 1,579,000
AMERICA’S NEWSROOM BILL HEMMER & MEGYN KELLY 1,399,000
YOUR WORLD W/NEIL CAVUTO 1,389,000
STUDIO B W/SHEP SMITH 1,169,000

The reason I’m commenting on all of this stuff is this: Progressives have to keep the clouds out of their eyes. We’ve got a Democratic Senate and a Democratic President and we are getting watered down, corporate-friendly progressive-in-name-only legislation every step of the way.

So whether it is believing that Obama is an aggressive progressive fighting for us every inch of the way… Or believing that 60 Democratic votes in the Senate is going to bring about the dawn of a new day… Or crowing about the financial and ratings successes of your progressive media product while mocking Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda organs…

Well… it’s all very dangerous delusional thinking. We need to spend more time fighting for progress and less time imagining that we’ve already won.

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Written by crookeddope

July 1, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Excellent post and correct.

    Dave Johnson

    July 2, 2009 at 1:02 am

  2. Great post Mike. I love how the free market types never want to talk about the ROI of think tanks.

    Every year they go back to their donors asking for more because they didn’t earn any money the year before. In San Francisco we expect out Art’s groups to at least TRY to make money.

    It would be fun to ask them a few questions.
    “How much money did you make from people buying your reports? How much money did you make from people attending your conferences. How much money did the tv and radio stations for being their “expert” on a topic? Could the money you raised from selling actual products and expertise pay all your salaries? ”

    Because they don’t make enough money to pay for their people they are in the red every single year. They are not self supporting. Each year they have to beg for money. That doesn’t sound like a company who believes in capitalism. Wouldn’t in a strictly capitalist system companies who don’t earn a profit go out of business?

    (I realize that my argument can be rebutted with comments about the ROI that they deliver their donors, but that would force them to admit that they are a money losing operation and that the funders expect to get their ROI by long term idea fixing or changing. Ideas like, “Taxes are always bad. Government health care will be terrible. No Regulation, ever. Global Warming is a Hoax, etc.”)

    spocko

    July 2, 2009 at 9:56 am


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