It’s all too often the case that one is tempted to do something he knows is wrong by a prospect for personal gain. Temptations of that sort are the most reliable for the evocation of evil. And of course, the larger the gain at stake, the stronger the temptation.
In a column of great importance, Brownstone Institute founder Jeffrey Tucker asks a plaintive question about a stunning contemporary phenomenon: The Valorization Of The Tyrants:
This is surely one of the strangest twists in official narratives in perhaps hundreds of years. The bad guys have been christened as the good guys, and the good guys have been purged, deplatformed, canceled, and demonized. It’s a turn of events none of us could have imagined back in 2020. It cries out for an explanation. I truly fear knowing the answer as to why.
Tucker mentions in this connection the odious Jacinda Ardern, until recently the supremo of New Zealand, who ruled that nation with an iron fist under the pretext of the COVID-19 “pandemic.” She’s deeply unpopular with her former subjects, but since her fall from power she’s garnered two Harvard fellowships. Moreover, the media have swooned over her, despite her recent denunciation of freedom of speech as “a weapon of war:”
Jacinda Ardern wants to control your thoughts.
During UN speech yesterday, Jacinda says free speech is a weapon of war, and global censorship is necessary to save humanity.pic.twitter.com/TruYuRZxid
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) September 20, 2023
It’s not just Ardern. The whole tiny but global junta that imposed all these policies seemed to be enjoying a glorious send-off by the entire establishment, even though they have been 100 percent wrong about everything. Fauci’s successor is Fauci II, and same with Walensky’s successor at the CDC. And the media propagandists who for three years lied to the public about lockdowns, masks, school closures, and shots are now writing books that are calling people like me the bad guys!
I almost cannot imagine that this has happened and I cannot fathom why.
The Establishment’s ruling motivation seems plain enough: We must protect our own. The alternative is a wave of defections and the eruption of internal contests over who shall reign over whom. No Establishment can survive such internal discord. But the questions don’t end there.
Why are the media seemingly in love with such persons as Ardern, Zelensky, Fauci, and deposed Twitter censor Yoel Roth? Aren’t those people the epitome of everything the media despise? Aren’t they enemies of media freedom? After all, they want to impose censorship – the antithesis of the media’s function. Surely the press would oppose that!
Not so surely, Gentle Reader. Once again we collide with one of the unpleasant truths of existence: However passionate Smith may be about freedom for Smith, he cares not a fig for Jones’s freedom. Indeed, he may be passionately opposed to it, depending on what consequences he foresees.
To those in the communications trades, the supreme value is access to information. Today, the information most highly valued by professional communicators is that which flows from governments and the officials thereof. Thus access to those agencies and individuals is the coin of the media realm. He who has such access is understandably jealous of it: he wants to preserve it, to maximize it, and if possible to deny it to his competitors. But his competitors have the same basic motivations.
The Left has understood this far better than have we on the Right. They’ve pandered to the media so shamelessly as to make a hooker blush. And the media, flattered and seduced by that treatment, have responded by treating their officials and luminaries with extreme deference. Their watchword is Keep the access open. Continuing access guarantees continuing fodder for their publications.
Both sets of motives – those of the tyrants and those of the reporters and commentators who fawn on them – are highly trustworthy. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine an incentive structure that would have more power. And it is likely to hold sway for as long as we permit the lowest of men and women – individuals that decent persons would cross the street to avoid – power over our lives and liberties.