We called them “the media.” Some of us knew why: they were the middlemen between us and the information we sought. They formed a conduit between events of significance and those of us who wanted to know about them. We trusted them to pass the information about those events to us, undistorted and untainted by anyone’s personal opinions. And for a while, it seemed that our trust was justified.
Yes, they competed with one another. The collection and transmission of information is a business like any other. Their reporters slaved to keep up with events of significance, both in the United States and outside it. Their spokesmen strove to present the appearance of absolute integrity and unquestionable credibility. Their producers sweated over which stories should receive top billing, and which ones could reasonably be printed on the inside pages or left to the bottom of the hour. And the ones that appeared soberest, whose priorities struck us as the most sensible, led the race for readers, viewers, subscribers, and advertisers.
Those media are dead. Their hour passed some time ago; it’s difficult to pinpoint it. What we call “the media” today are not information middlemen. Indeed, more often than not they’re the fabricators of the stories they “report.” In place of the information conduits of yore, we have activists, propagandists, and assorted lowlifes whose priority is the incitement of anger against those who dare to differ with their dogmas, and the destruction of their privacy.
But Americans still want information, quite as much as “The Prisoner’s” Number Two. They want that information to be timely and accurate. They also want access to a range of opinions about that information. And so, with the aid of the World Wide Web, new conduits are springing forth. One of those is called Substack.
Substack is a content-neutral platform open to writers who wish to be out from under the editorial tyranny of “the media.” There is no intermediary between the Substack writer and his audience. Some publish their wares free of charge; others ask a subscription fee, of which they get by far the greater part. Several well known writers, formerly employees of various conventional organs, have adopted Substack for their outlet and are doing very well by it.
To “the media,” this is intolerable blasphemy. And so various of “the media’s” luminaries have lined up to defame it. Mark Judge deposeth and saith:
Of course, the mainstream media are fuming. In the leftist remnant of the New Republic, Alex Shepard warned that Substack’s “lax — which is to say, nearly nonexistent — content moderation policies have also come under fire. Transphobes … have found a home at Substack. Others have used their newsletters to launch harassment campaigns against other journalists.”
By “harassment,” Shepard means that journalists like Greenwald criticize the leftist and corporate media. Today’s journalists are coddled crybabies, unused to anyone having the freedom to push back.
Furthermore, “the media” dislike dissent from their preferred social and political positions – sufficiently so to have become activists who harass and endanger entirely private persons who differ with them. Consider the following attempts to intimidate persons who’ve contributed to Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense fund:
- WAVY.com: Norfolk PD investigating report that officer donated to Kenosha shooting suspect Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense fund
- Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Police officers and public officials donated to Kyle Rittenhouse defense, according to reports
- Summit News: Journalist Slammed For Paying Home Visit to Utah Paramedic Who Donated $10 to Kyle Rittenhouse
The practice is reported on further at the Gateway Pundit. And we have a bit more from Mark Judge:
At the height of the Kavanaugh nonsense reporters chased me to the beach. While I was sleeping they went through my car. The craziest rumors peddled by criminals were published as fact.
This is activism, not journalism.
What will follow is unclear. My hope is that the rising tide of dislike for “the media” will swell still further, resulting in their marginalization or demise. If, in concert with that, the alternative media, in which editorial staffs are unable to censor or bias the stories and opinions told by journalists, should rise to prominence, we will benefit from one of the best consequences of market competition: the defeat of a grossly inferior product by a greatly superior one.