If you've got the time and energy, I highly recommend reading through Brian C. Anderson's article titled "We’re Not Losing the Culture Wars Anymore". It presents a fascinating and (honestly) awesome account of the ascension of conservative views in the media, largely due to the increased ease-of-access brought about by the internet, and good old capitialism. I'll quote a few paragraphs to whet your appetite, but really, do yourself a favor and go read the whole thing.

Adds Bernadette Malone, a former Regnery editor heading up Penguin’s new conservative imprint: “The success of Regnery’s books woke up the industry: ‘Hello? There’s 50 percent of the population that we’re underserving, even ignoring. We have an opportunity to talk to these people, figure out what interests them, and put out professional-quality books on topics that haven’t been sufficiently explored.’ ” Bellow puts it more bluntly: “Business rationality has trumped ideological aversion. And that’s capitalism.” ...

All these remarkable, brand-new transformations have sent the Left reeling. Fox News especially is driving liberals wild. Former vice president Al Gore likens Fox to an evil right-wing “fifth column,” and he yearns to set up a left-wing competitor, as if a left-wing media didn’t already exist. Comedian and activist Al Franken’s new book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them is one long jeremiad against Fox. Washington Post media critic Tom Shales calls Fox a “propaganda mill.” The Columbia Journalism School’s Todd Gitlin worries that Fox “emboldens the right wing to feel justified and confident they can promote their policies.” “There’s room for conservative talk radio on television,” allows CNN anchor Aaron Brown, the very embodiment of the elite journalist with, in Roger Ailes’s salty phrase, “a pick up their ass.” “But I don’t think anyone ought to pretend it’s the New York Times or CNN,” Brown sniffs.

But it’s not just Fox: liberals have been pooh-poohing all of these developments. Dennis Miller used to be the hippest joker around. Now, complains a critic in the liberal webzine Salon, he’s “uncomfortably juvenile,” exhibiting “the sort of simplistic, reactionary American stance that gives us a bad reputation around the world.” The Boston Globe’s Alex Beam dismisses the blogosphere with typical liberal hauteur: “Welcome to Blogistan, the Internet-based journalistic medium where no thought goes unpublished, no long-out-of-print book goes unhawked, and no fellow ‘blogger,’ no matter how outré, goes unpraised.” And those right-wing books are a danger to society, grouse liberals: their “bile-spewing” authors “have limited background expertise and a great flair for adding fuel to hot issues,” claims Norman Provizer, a Rocky Mountain News columnist. “The harm is if people start thinking these lightweights are providing heavyweight answers.”

Well. The fair and balanced observer will hear in such hysterical complaint and angry foot stamping baffled frustration over the loss of a liberal monoculture, which has long protected the Left from debate—and from the realization that its unexamined ideas are sadly threadbare. “The Left has never before had its point of view challenged and its arguments made fun of and shot full of holes on the public stage,” concludes social thinker Michael Novak, who has been around long enough to recognize how dramatically things are changing. Hoover Institute fellow Tod Lindberg agrees: “Liberals aren’t prepared for real argument,” he says. “Elite opinion is no longer univocal. It engages in real argument in real time.” New York Times columnist David Brooks even sees the Left falling into despair over the new conservative media that have “cohered to form a dazzlingly efficient delivery system that swamps liberal efforts to get their ideas out.”

Mr. Anderson also mentions an earlier topic of mine, America's youth are becoming more conservative than their parents. (Thanks for the pointer, Mr. Hobbs.)



Email blogmasterofnoneATgmailDOTcom for text link and key word rates.

Site Info