The “fake news” phenomenon could turn out to be the most important turn of events in the Trump era. The simple reason is it has awoken millions of normies to the realities of mass media in America. Most white conservatives accepted that the news was real, but biased in favor of one side, the Progressive side. They never stopped to think that maybe the news was not even real, that the Prog news outlets were making stuff up. Now, most white conservatives assume the news is fake.
That is a positive development, one that our side can certainly exploit. It is a handy tool for whenever the megaphones start blasting the latest propaganda from our rulers. Simply yelling “fake news” has become a useful way to prevent the Progs from framing the debate, at least with regards to politics. The other aspect of the fake news stuff that is useful is that the mass media is no longer capable of doing real news. Mass media is no longer a feedback loop for the ruling class. It is just agit-prop.
The origins of fake news lie in the New Journalism that emerged in the 1960’s. Telling a story around the facts of a news event turned out to be a good way to go from ink stained wretch to rock star. Guys like Truman Capote and Norman Mailer were stars, because they made the news compelling. Why stick to old fashioned reporting, when telling a colorful tale, with colorful portraits of the main players, based on real events, was the road to fame and fortune? The result was New Journalism became the default.
An instructive anecdote in the book Banana Sunday, by the old Telegraph reporter Chris Munnion, is about the new breed of reporters from America arriving in Africa. These “reporters” would show up and spend their time in the hotel bar, picking up tidbits from the real reporters, who went into the field to gather news. They would then salt their pre-written stories with these facts. As a gag once, the real reporters made up crazy tales to tell around the Americans. All of them fell for it, but they were never called on it.
That seems to have been the lesson American media people figured out over the decades. There was never going to be a penalty for faking their stories, just as long as it was not too egregious. As long as the “reporting” fit the prevailing narrative, the copy would be accepted without question. That is how Bob Woodward allegedly interviewed Bill Casey, while Casey was in a coma. It is why Stephen Glass was able to sell whoppers to the New Republic. It is why Rolling Stone fell for the Virginia rape hoax.
Fake news is just one result. The other is the media no longer has the ability to do real news. From top to bottom, the business is staffed with people trained to tell stories. The “journalists” are tasked with taking what is given to them and spinning a colorful tale around it. That means cultivating cozy relationships. It is why close to two hundred journalists went to work in the Obama administration when he took office. The line between reporter and subject no longer exists. It is just one big story factory.
A good example of this is what is happening in college sports. The Feds have arrested five coaches and half a dozen others in a bribery scandal, involving Adidas, a major sneaker company. Read the filings by the prosecutor and it is clear they have a lot more information that they are withholding. This is already a huge case involving famous people. Rick Pitino is one of the biggest names in the sport. This will probably get much bigger and alter the economics of American sports forever.
Of course, anyone the least bit familiar with college athletics has known it is dirtier than boxing and it always has been. The sneaker companies bribe youth coaches, college coaches and college administrators. The recently fired Athletic Director of Louisville had his daughter on the payroll of the sneaker company doing business with his school. At high school camps and tournaments, runners and street agents are there “advising” kids and their parents, with handfuls of cash. It is dirty from top to bottom.
This is something that everyone has known for years. Yet, the people tasked with “covering” college sports never bother to report on this stuff. The “hard hitting investigative teams” are always too busy looking for white supremacy to notice outright bribery going on in the sport. All a sports reporter had to do was hang around the AAU circuit for a summer and he could have a book’s worth of stories. But that would mean mixing it up with the dirt people and why do that when the pay is the same for selling the narrative?
This was the situation with the steroid scandal in baseball. The beat writers for baseball spend their whole lives with the players. They travel on the road with them and they spend time together with them in the locker room. The one time a reporter mentioned that Mark McGuire had androstenedione in his locker, the reporter got in trouble. It is why sports reporters are the most oblivious people in the business. Noticing is so dangerous to a career that only the oblivious survive. The result is nothing but safe fake news.
This inability and unwillingness to do real news has been a boon to the Dissident Right. We saw that in the election. The fake news was so sure Hillary would win, they had magazine covers pre-printed and ready to go in advance. It is why their attempt to censor alternative media has been a failure. They simply do not understand what they are up against as they do not know anything about us. The clever boys on social media easily subvert the narrative and turn it against the fake news media.
For a long time, the media was a weapon the ruling class could use to keep the public in line. Newspapers would sell the claims of each faction in the political class, thus defining the bounds of political discourse. Then television became the voice of the ruling class in the living room of every home. The internet was supposed to be the voice on everyone’s desktop. While that remains true, the loss of credibility is now turning the mass media into an expensive wall between us and them.
That is a useful metaphor. The media used to inform the ruling class on trends among the Dirt People. Instructions from the rulers flowed through the press to the Dirt People. The responses flowed back up through the media to the Cloud People. Now, the media is a wall between the two. The people in the media face in toward their masters, rather than looking out over the wall at the rest of us. For those involved in dissident politics, this is useful as it makes it more difficult for the people in charge to respond.