November 16, 2016

They didn't "get it wrong" -- the goal was propaganda and emotionalism

Trump's decisive win on election night did not "burst the bubble" of so many people who thought they had "gotten it right". That assumes their goal was accuracy, insight, forecasting, and so on.

If their audience came to them for this reason, then their catastrophic failure would have rendered them invisible in the media. Instead, there they still are, rolling on with whatever BS they've been peddling the whole time.

Having tuned out the media for the past 10-15 years, I didn't know quite what the 21st-century media were about until tuning in here and there during the first election that has actually mattered in my lifetime. The old knock against them is that it's just propaganda -- outlining a narrative favorable to those with wealth and power, filling in details from one day to the next, etc. It's informational warfare by The Powers That Be against the people.

That's somewhat true, but only for CNN, whose anchors affect a sober and "just the facts" demeanor, and whose presentation is mostly pumping out key factoids and talking points from the Establishment (liberal wing). Of course CNN has been in decline over the years, and certainly during this election season and likely into the near future.

The other approach is emotional button-pushing and ego validation for the audience. The anchors speak and act with zero emotional restraint (not always spazzing out, but allowing bursts and long rants). They're trying to work up the emotional energy of the viewer, and build them up to a climactic release of ego validation -- this one quick proof of why your side is superior, or the other side is inferior. It's not the Establishment vs. the people, but one side vs. another in a culture war.

That's the approach of the older Fox News (which has mellowed out somewhat), MSNBC, and The Daily Show and its imitators. This is the genre that has gradually taken over news on cable TV since the medium began in the 1990s, when CNN was the only game in town and Fox and MSNBC effectively did not exist just yet. The CNN propaganda genre belonged more to the three-network era of TV news. I guess viewers figure they can get "the facts" from ordinary sources, and cable TV ought to provide more of an emotional high for what you're paying.

With that framework in mind, it's easy to see what role the punditry and the polls played in the election season. For the propaganda genre, they were meant to push the Establishment narrative that Trump and his platform were doomed, since what the American people truly wanted was Clinton. For the emotionalist genre, they were meant to pump you up about why your candidate was a great savior, and the other candidate was a vicious monster. During the primaries, Fox provided emotional highs to the anti-Trump viewers, while MSNBC hyped up its anti-Bernie liberal audience.

Now that those ends no longer apply, the pollsters and pundits can go right on making appearances in these media because the propaganda and emotionalist goals have changed to the post-election environment. Now the goal is to obstruct the Trump administration and amp up support for his political opponents.

So now we might get phony polls about how 90% of Americans want Syrian refugees to settle right next door to them, or pundits weighing in on how impossible it will be for Trump to get his way on re-industrializing the American economy by threatening tariffs on manufacturers.

True, these pollsters and pundits were liars and failures during the election, but we're not judging them anymore by the standard of forecasting election results. We're judging them by how well they manage to obstruct Trump from accomplishing his campaign promises -- and their performance there remains to be seen, so let's cut them some slack for awhile.

This applies to the usual and intended audience for the media, the ones who look to CNN for "the facts" or who crave ego validation and hook up Fox or MSNBC to their veins during primetime.

However, given the wide-ranging interest among the public for this most momentous of all elections, a large chunk of the non-news-watching public just got a rude awakening about how biased and abjectly clueless the media is. At a gut level, they already did not trust the media, but now they have something they can consciously articulate as the reason why they are not to be trusted -- look at how badly they fucked up everything about the election! Whadda buncha geniuses these guys are!

Having conscious reasons to defend your gut-level intuitions makes it all the more easy to stick with your convictions. Before, the general public (not the niche audience of cable news) might have felt awkward admitting to not trusting the media, as though they would be thought anti-factual, post-truth, etc. Now they can behave that way all they want, because they're convinced by real-world proof -- the pathetic failure of the polls and pundits about the most important election they'll ever experience.

Before, taunts against the media were unspecific ("CNN sucks"), whereas now I wouldn't be surprised if real-life trolls started walking by reporters shouting, "Who won the election, dumbass? Hahahaha."

Once Trump begins breaking up the media monopoly, ordinary people will be not just glad because they hate the media, but also vindicated to see total failure punished by going out of business. Sadly for them, the media still think they have high status ("Fourth Estate"), and are doubling down on how important, serious, and totally on-the-right-track they are, after having their credibility vaporized overnight in front of literally the entire world.

That haughty attitude will only make normal people cry louder for Trump to go "off with their heads!" rather than show any mercy. And it will help to solidify Trump's position in the recently blue Rust Belt region of flyover country. Will Minnesota go red in four years? It can if the media keep whining about Trump ditching his press detail while going out for dinner, rather than apologizing and showing humility in the wake of the biggest blow-up the media has ever lived through.

Please, keep it up, media!

11 comments:

  1. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/11/16/the_god_that_failed_132363.html

    Realtalk and Hatefacts.
    - Whites still matter, more than any other demo.
    - Hispanics, especially the more rooted ones, may gravitate towards white preferences in a way that's unthinkable for blacks (Trende commits the heresy of noting that California's notorious mid 90's props. were supported by some Hispanics; liberal orthodoxy doesn't admit that blacks are the only group that consistently supports mooching)
    - Alienating men is a dumb idea.
    - Parties and elites frequently get on drunk on hubris that makes them think they're invulnerable and always righteous.

    That's about as much reality as you'll see from a non-partisan "mainstream" article. Trende has been criticized as, get this, a racist for even bothering to acknowledge the importance of white voters.

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  2. CNN is the more establishmentarian of shitlib networks with their constant identity politics pandering and NPR-like travelogues. MSNBC has freaks like Maddow, but it could become home to an emergent "alt-left."

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  3. Every time the so-called mainstream media is caught in a lie, their credibility erodes further. The more we point it out to those around us, the faster the MSM will decline.

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  4. There's zero chance that MSNBC turns into an alt-left outlet, anymore than Fox will turn into the alt-right.

    They savaged Sanders and anyone supporting him during the primaries, and were in full "praise Hillary, Trump = Putin" mode during the general.

    Chris Matthews is the only one there who places the issues of class and government above SJW identity crap. And he's the least trendy one there.

    They will be busy crying racism, sexism, homophobia for the next 20 years to no effect.

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  5. So basically the only outcomes possible will be civil war or Mexico style one party rule. I like Trump's idea of allowing default on student loans with universities paying the balance, it would put all the shitlib social studies fields on the cutting board.

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  6. Yes, and it's time to defund all "public" media. This stuff is poisonious. There was a time when it did its duty to bring quality subject matter forward to the public because the private entertainment media had O incentive to deliver such content. But those days are long gone. Public media is now soley the turf of left wing causes, anti Gentilism, and anti middle-class propaganda.

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  7. Random Dude on the Internet11/16/16, 9:02 PM

    The media is calling Trump a big meanie for not allowing them to hound him while he wanted to eat a steak dinner. These people are too far gone to snap back into reality on their own and need some rude awakenings, whether that be breaking up the media monopolies or having those same monopolies shed hundreds into thousands of jobs just to stay afloat. The public hates them, the President-Elect has fun trolling them, yet they pretend that they are a special class of citizens and that people still care about what they have to say. They are delusional, which will make for an entertaining eight years as they will keep getting slapped down and trolled for the public's amusement. Soon a journalist will be lumped in with used car salesmen and multi level marketers as the sleaziest professions to be in. It's going to be great!

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  8. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/clinton-campaign-neglect_us_582cacb0e4b058ce7aa8b861

    "The results bear this out. In Philadelphia County, Clinton got slightly more votes than Obama did in 2012 despite having a slightly smaller percentage of the vote total. But outside the city and suburbs, she lost badly. Whereas Mitt Romney won 57 percent of Elk County, 63.7 percent of Clearfield County and 72 percent of Jefferson County in 2012, Trump took in 70 percent, 73.1 percent and 78.3 percent of those counties respectively."

    "The system is rigged, believe me." Says Trump.

    How does urban PA turn out far more enthusiastically for Clinton than virtually anywhere else in the country? Ohio and Wis. appear to be on the level (Trump won easily in OH while Wis. whites were more willing to vote for the GOP this time around with reduced Milwaukee black turnout). Mich. seems pretty legit, in light of evidently low reported turnout of blacks in the state.

    The GOP is insane if they don't junk E-voting in PA and ferret out the operatives and chicanery that the Dems pull in PA. That means finally confronting Soros the vampire. Trump needs to at least punish those who do business with Soros, if we can't pull the right strings to get Soros busted or exiled into an Assange like pariah and fugitive.

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  9. Someone who lives in Philly told me the Muslim population there (converts and immigrants) is very large, so it's possible they were more motivated to vote this time. Of course fraud is still the more likely explanation.

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  10. Gave you a shoutout on my podcast for seeing this election play out properly unlike everyone else. Keep up the great commentary.

    http://www.socialmatter.net/2016/11/16/weimerica-weekly-episode-47-two-billionaires/

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  11. Cabinet wise, Sessions is evidently set to be Trump's Attorney General.

    Sessions, btw, was rejected for a federal judge position in 1986 when his history of criticizing civil rights groups and legislations was publicized. Also, a black judge said that Sessions was disrespectful towards him and made a flippant remark about the KKK (which Sessions says was a joke).

    It's very difficult to survive the stigma of un-PCness. Let's hope that the GOP has the guts to fight for Sessions' approval.

    Giuliani seems a bit iffy. He's been involved with a less than stellar crowd while raking in lots of dough. I'd trust Giuliani to have Trump's back but if we really want to put the best integrity foot forward we're gonna have to leave the Guiliani's out.

    Mike Pompeo as CIA director? I dunno, he's tight with the Kock bros.

    Anyway, Pat McRory and his staff are claiming massive voter fraud in the NC Gov. race. Dead votes, felon votes, absentee mischief, etc. Lets see if Trump has anything to say about this....Could be a dry run for election clean-up that we're gonna need in 4 years. The Dems are desperate....getting annihilated in one cycle after another. The only things they've got for sure are alien hordes, West coast lib-fags (Trump did abysmally among West coast whites compared to the whites of most other regions), and blacks. Repel the hordes, fahget about the Pacific flake belt, and dismantle the urban Dem machine. The time's come.

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