01 Sep 2010

US Media Committing Suicide By Ideology

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Daniel Greenfield, from across the border in Canada, looks at, and reflects upon, the American mainstream media’s determined self destruction.

Whether it’s Newsweek being sold to the husband of a Democratic congresswoman for a dollar, or ABC deciding to turn This Week into a BBC program by turning it over to Christiane Amanpour, last week the dying media itself provided us with two examples of why it’s dying.

By choosing radicalism over readers, the media continues narrowing its own readership and viewership, pursuing ideological purity, not only over integrity, but even over its own profits and future viability.

Take ABC’s news division, which has always been notorious for its political radicalism and distaste for the average American viewer.

Whether it was Peter Jennings comparing American voters to “a nation two-year olds” throwing a tantrum for voting in a Republican congress in 1994 (expect this metaphor to make a comeback after these midterm elections) or Ted Koppel turning the names of dead servicemen into an anti-war statement (Koppel was the alternative candidate to take over This Week), this has been the ABC way. But turning over This Week to Christiane Amanpour is part of the growing blend of ABC News and the BBC.

The question though is who is Christiane Amanpour meant to appeal to? To viewers who wanted another foreign talking head snootily reading the news at them, not to them. Who were desperately longing for an ABC News on air personality sympathetic to Islamic terrorists? And why would those people even bother with ABC News, when they already have the BBC.

The problem with the American media is that it doesn’t speak to Americans. That’s why FOX News is successful, and CNN is in the basement. Network news exists underwritten by medication and mutual fund commercials, and even so it’s losing money. ABC News is making severe cutbacks even while cutting Amanpour a 2 million dollar paycheck for a show hardly anyone watches anymore. …

And that is why the media is doomed. By putting politics over profitability, the media left alienated viewers and readers exactly during the critical transition period when it needed them most. And the worse its fortunes grow, the more radical its politics have become.

Ruling out NewsMax as a buyer, while selling Newsweek to the husband of a Democratic congresswoman for a dollar (still more than it’s worth) will allow it to keep grinding along for a time as a source of lifestyle tips and left wing rants. It is however only a matter of delaying the inevitable. The media cannot survive as a pity project. Not while it is alienating its remaining viewers and readers. And even a government bailout cannot sustain a financially unsustainable industry. And finally there are only so many jobs available at PBS and NPR.

When the left turned magazines, newspapers and TV news into its own bully pulpit, they helped drive away consumers, while locking up those same publications and broadcasts into a liberal ghetto, that was still not liberal enough for them. As print publications increasingly turn their websites into masses of blogs, it becomes hard to tell the difference between Time Magazine, Foreign Policy and the New York Times—and the Huffington Post and Daily Kos. All of them have angry left wing bloggers denouncing Republicans, America and Israel. The difference is that the official media outlets have more prominent names like Joe Klein or Robert Mackey blogging for them.

The Journalist scandal is the tip of the iceberg that shows just how thin the line between the press and the policies that they advocate really is. But that’s not news to anyone. The liberal media is not some right wing talking point, poll after poll shows most of people who read newspapers and watch the news have come to that conclusion on their own. Because while the media elite may sneer at them, the public knows quite well what they stand for. And the more the media goes left, the less the public trusts it. …

The left’s hijacking of American culture has turned institutions into rags and rubble, and it will only get worse. Because the left does not know when to stop. Does not understand that it should stop. That is why left wing revolutions that do succeed, eventually culminate in multiple levels of purges that exterminate many of the original revolutionaries, or send them off to fight and die somewhere else, turning them into convenient martyrs who look good on blood-red T-shirts.

Read the whole thing.

Hat tip to the Barrister.

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3 Feedbacks on "US Media Committing Suicide By Ideology"

SDD

The so-called mainstream media made a very fundamental mistake. They ignored the sorts of lessons about market segmentation and product differentiation that any reasonably bright marketing executive would understand instantly. They allowed themselves to be outflanked by competitors — e.g. Talk Radio and Fox News — who adopted brand identities that are not only distinct but positioned against attitudes that constitute a majority of the population.

Imagine the wine industry had been forever producing nothing but red wines (which, after all is, what a “real” wine drinker with any sense of taste would prefer). Suddenly somebody with half a brain reads the market research reports and says, “Hey, did you know that most of the population actually prefers a lighter taste? I wonder what would happen if we brought out a Chardonnay or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc?”



No Man

Faster, please.



Bk

HaraKirii



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