The Future Of Media

Forty years ago, just as the microprocessor was making itself known to people in their daily lives, your news and entertainment options were pretty simple. For most people, news meant the newspaper or the evening TV news. Some cities had competing papers, but most had just one by the 1980’s. Talk radio was just coming on-line, so there was some alternative for politics to the Progressive media outlets. Otherwise, your information about the world came through three narrow pipes, newspapers, TV and radio.

Even if you lived through those dark times, it is still hard to imagine what it must have been like to have such limited choices. If you wanted to interact with a guy like Mike Cernovich, you had to wait until he tried breaking into your tool shed. If you were into Alex Jones type stuff, it meant meeting a guy behind the library where he distributed his mimeographed newsletters. Despite these deprivations, people managed to get along. In fact, there’s good evidence that people were happier without the 24×7 information fire hose.

That’s the first little clue that maybe the proliferation of news and information channels is not entirety driven by demand. Another little clue is the fact that commercial on-line sites appealing to a national audience can’t turn a profit. The rounds of lay-offs at second-tier sites like Buzzfeed and Huffington Post suggest there is no way to make money selling content to a broad audience. Niche sites and small operators can make it work, but their model does not scale up. It requires a subsidy of some sort.

Of course, this tracks with what happened to the local newspaper. When they had a monopoly and dominated retail advertising, they could scrape by. Once exposed to market forces, the daily newspaper has continued to shrink. The ones that make it as a commercial enterprise are very small and the larger ones are the public relations department for an oligarch. In the near future, most small and mid-sized cities will find themselves without a newspaper at all, unless a local rich guy has one.

We’re probably on the cusp of seeing something similar happen with cable television and cable news channels. ESPN has been feeling the pinch as people cut the cord. In most markets, ESPN gets about seven dollars per month from all cable subscribers, whether they watch or not. Cord-cutting is threatening that old model, which means lots of these channels will go away. The most likely outcome is a few services like Amazon, Apple and Hulu that provide your content. No more channels, just categories.

The one area where contraction does not seem to be on the horizon is the amateur content side of things. Live streams are popping up all over. The number of dissident YouTube channels has grown to a point where it is hard to track them. Podcasts exist for every conceivable audience. Again, the small footprint guys can do well enough to make a living from it, but this model does not scale up. One guy making videos from home can do well enough to live. A company with overheads cannot make it work.

One reason internet media operations cannot scale up is that sharing is integral to selling ads for the site. Sharing stories, video and comments brings eyeballs to the site. The trouble is, the cost of pulling that off for a broad audience, exceeds the revenue from selling ads on the site, so the site has to go the paywall route. Paywall content cannot be shared, so this solution actually makes the problem worse. In other words, you can be a paywall site or an ad-based site, but you can’t be both and you can’t be big.

The exception, of course, is when an oligarch owns the operations. Carlos Slim subsidizes the New York Times, so he can guarantee positive coverage in America of himself and his allies in Lebanon and Mexico. Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post for the same reason. Oligarchs have different motivations than companies, which is why corporate ownership is not a solution. Verizon expects to make money from the Huffington Post, which is why they are cutting costs and will eventually drop the site.

What all of this suggests is that we could be heading back to the old model of information, where the general public has a few large media pipes they can tap into for news, entertainment and information. If you’re a “prime” citizen, you get most of your information from Jeff Bezo approved sources. If you are an Apple Nazi, then you get your information from sources approved by the current degenerate running Apple. These pipes will not be commercially viable, but they will serve the political interests of their owners.

Small operators will exist, but as vanity projects and boutique businesses serving a niche audience. If you are really into the local sportsball team, you will have a pay site you can join where you get custom content just for that sportsball team. These kinds of sites have a proven model, where they have one or two owners, who keep the overheads low and stick to a very narrow audience. They can supplement their revenue by feeding the bigger players information, as long as they pose no threat to the big pipe.

Of course, given the outsourcing of censorship by the state to these commercial players, it means dissident content will be back to guys distributing mimeographed newsletters in the supermarket parking lot. Maybe the oligarchs will tolerate a limited amount of it on-line, as a relief valve, but they don’t appear to be the tolerant types. Even so, the public will be happy to return to their old ignorance, so returning to an updated version of the old model will probably be embraced, as long as it evolves slowly and gently.

94 thoughts on “The Future Of Media

  1. I’m curious how new news media will handle the gates closed to the public that magically open for press credentials.

    Currently, blog / tubers are opinion disseminators, not reporters. While trad papers have not promoted reporting, their opinion market is still based on it.

    With the shuttering of the traditional news media, there enters a void in reporting. How does an unassociated gaggle of tubers and bloggers fill that void?

  2. Someone above mentioned how fast times have changed and that Sobran was syndicated in the 90’s. Not only that but he had a regular segment on NPR. Professors listening to Joe Sobran in their Subarus on their way to work. hah

  3. The more the oligarchs control the media, the greater the status of the media for university educated people. Right now, if you want to have high status you need to be the type who reads the NYT or, at least, follows its narratives. Disavow their alternative reality and you are banished from the good people. The NYT and Bezos Blog serve as guides to progressing in the clown world

  4. Information. Win with it. Lose without it. If you can get to a point that you know what you need to know congratulations. That is half the battle. You will still have to work overtime to find the truth. Constant vigilance. Mainstream media will not help. Where is one to go? Who the F¥€£ knows. It’s a moving target. If we didn’t have to worry about an over reaching government it would be a lot easier to know what to focus on. Any superior thinker knows when it’s raining and when it’s something else. Heads up. Helmets on. We still have work to do.

  5. Streams s*ck *$$. I don’t want to see some moron who basically is in “Look at meee, I’m on TeeVee” mode. I want to read, so I can absorb it at my rate and stop absorbing when it getts tiresome. Really, spoon feeding is for infants and people who want to spoon feed infants are of no interest to me.

  6. Daaamn, son, you been ripping HARD on Cerno lately. I know he’s a bit of a bullshitter, but did he run over your dog or something?

  7. Big Other is why I’m a screaming lunatic Cassandra.

    The Infected are driven, generation after generation, to grow an army of susceptible hosts, some 5 billion strong now.

    Profit economics no longer matters, only the explosion of their pod people growth medium does.
    And we, the West, are as much as the Benevolence can do.

    Since this is the only place I congregate, I regretfully inflict such rantings here. Back to my lonely, ink-stained garret for me!

  8. Gently isn’t a word that Leftists and totalitarians understand.

    If Trump loses in 2020 we’ll see just how fast the Left silences us. Given they have support of the intelligence agencies and Big Tech and buy in from banking. They can pretty much end our presence on the web and probably will within a year of taking office.

    Look they’ve made it very public and clear they want us dead and gone. And they sure as s**t aren’t going to allow us to have a platform to communicate to others if they can have it their way.

    BTW they have to so they can implement their plans of getting rid of us. This is coming no matter what.

    Look at FoxNews, they hired Paul Ryan, Donna Brazile and just muzzled Jeanie Pirro. Hannity just interviewed Brazile and gushed all over her. Fox will just be another MSM outlet within a year.

    As Z wrote we will probably end up going back to being the guy peddling mimeographed newsletters in the parking lot.

  9. One of the most fascinating – though not surprising for anyone who’s ever known journalists – aspects of the growth of one-man show blogs, podcasts and videos is how they are often better written/produced than what comes out of massive media outlets.

    When I still got the WaPo, I was continually stunned at the reporters’ poor writing skills. Sure, they were biased. I understood that. But the poor craftsmanship was bizarre. I mean, this is your job, what you do every day. You’d think that they’d be at least decent writers. And that was at the WaPo. Internet webzines are laughably inept.

    • I agree. There’s better writing, intelligence and insight in this comments section than in your typical news paper.

    • It’s equal parts nepotism and numbers: nepotism ensures that people are hired into the MSM for reasons other than skill, and there are a million aspiring citizen journalists for every MSM hack – some of them are bound to be more talented than whomever the MSM gatekeepers let through.

      Also, the MSM are hampered by a multitude of PC rules; they can’t make jokes and they can’t use spicy rhetoric. Also, they are circumscribed by political partisanship, so they have to stay on the reservation on a lot of issues. That puts them way behind people who can just let their filthy mouths run free.

      My favourite Hillary-supporter, Devon Tracey, illustrates the problem: his extreme ad hominems and mindbogglingly vulgar language would have him forcibly ejected from any network before he got twenty seconds into his first rant, and still, the network would be in and out of courtrooms for the next two centuries.

    • When I moved to the DC area in 1991, the WaPo seemed like a breath of fresh air compared to the deadly dull local paper where I had formerly lived. The Post was at least literate and had a number of decent columnists. Very leftist, of course, but if my memory serves there was a feeble but honest attempt to provide a certain diversity of opinion.

      Today’s Post is so bad, not just politically, that I can’t read it. It seems to be staffed by a bunch of 20-something J-school graduates and affirmative action hires. They can often write grammatically and spell correctly (the latter probably thanks to computer spell checks).

  10. In 1993, I came across the Rush Limbaugh TV show on a Los Angeles UHF channel. I was shocked somebody was saying what I was thinking about political correctness and the Clintons.

  11. In Germany, the TV licence fee is 210-Euro per year. In Switzerland it’s 365 Swiss Francs and I believe the Brits are paying around £150 a year for their TV license.

    It’s a tax, pure and simple. No way around it. Everyone pays whether you watch TV or not.

    Here’s what it is and how it works in Germany. Every house or apartment must pay a monthly fee of €17.50 per month to support independent public television and radio stations. The €8-billion collected annually from 45-million homes goes to fund the public service broadcaster consortium ARD, as well as ZDF and radio station Deutschlandradio.

    The court in Karlsruhe ruled that the fee was justified by the broad programming options offered and was levied “specifically for the financing of public service programming that is fundamental to democracy.”

    So much for freedom of choice. You’ll lose yours soon enough too I’m afraid, if US media corporations figure out how to duplicate the European model to keep themselves in business.

  12. I’m tech illiterate, but I wonder how much it would take to create “pirate internet.” That is, something like a TOR browser — a TOR server? — that people can get on without too much grief. Think ham radio (we dissidents might actually have to go back to ham radio for a while, but I assume it’s easily triagulated by the Feds). “Micro-servers” (or whatever) might be the next killer app — sort of like BitTorrent etc but for news, something that jailbreaks not just your phone, but your internet. Or am I way off base?

    • Or am I way off base?

      Yes and no.

      Yes, you could launch tomorrow, but all the content – and all the money – is on the old internet. You’d have to start from scratch.

      TOR is run by the US defense department and is only open to civilian use because it masks their own activities, it drowns their signals in background noise. Using a TOR browser immediately puts you on their little list, since most of the traffic goes through military intelligence routers.

      You could use blockchain technology, but that is an extremely slow solution.

      No, because the core problem is the network: you’d have to use Big Telco infrastructure, so they could shut you down at their leisure.

    • BRICS have been working on an alt-backbone to Empire-dominated internet, stories pop up on RT, ZeroHedge, elsewhere since NSA scandals first broke. I’ve wondered about “pirate radio” style localized internet transmissions myself, pretty sure you’d need a big equipment footprint. The BRICS launching “pirate access” satellites might facilitate this but they don’t like unfettered expression any more than the Empire, want a physical network they can control just as much.

    • You could host your servers in a foreign nation that the U.S. can’t touch like Russia. But you’d need to have your people on the ground over there supporting it. No third parties.

      But anyone accessing them would be noticed by BigTech/NSA and put on the liquidation list.

      The thing is if you play the high tech game you are playing by the empire’s rules. Go meatspace like the other groups do such as the Triads, motorcycle gangs, various cartels. etc. This is something the Feds can’t do on a massive scale anymore since they are badly infested by affirmative action hires, nepotism and political cronyism that has crippled them. The Steele dossier disaster shows that in spades.

      Meatspace works but it requires discipline, hardwork and planning. something our side is not capable of.

      First off you keep a low profile. Do not engage in overt actions of any kind. Don’t do what the RAM guys did or what Spencer and his clown posse did at C’ville.

  13. There is a way around this, if someone would implement it: micropayments. Instead of ad-supported content or expensive paywalls, we need a PayPal-like system where people could pay a penny to access a piece of content. Multiplied by scores of millions of users, it would add up to enough to support news organizations and others, of all sizes.

    • One of the original ideas behind the internet was to have the person accessing the content also pay for it – so $ would flow from the consumer (by paying their ISP) to the producer naturally. But it quickly evolved into something completely backwards. I blame the big ISPs and things like AOL.

    • I looked at the amount I was spending on print media: local paper, economist, foreign policy mag, couple of other things it was about $6-700 a year.
      I picked ten sites I liked and send them $5 a month. (in the case of James Corbett 500 Yen) Get a thousand guys like me and that gives you $60k to pay the server bills,

      When someone irretrievably pisses me off, and you get a few freebies, I move on. The next one lined up for a monthly mite is Eric Peters, the car guy, who’ll be the first one to benefit from the inflation adjustment to $10,

  14. Last December, the Department of Agriculture launched a new program to bring broadband to rural areas.

    It would be good if our people were getting the word out to people in these areas, as they are also our people, they just don’t know it yet.

  15. China is big into local news and broadcasting. Providing lots of free content.

    The US is one giant open frontier for foreigners.

  16. I work for a company that runs a dozen niche sites. Our content is not controversial and we are very profitable. However, 90% of our traffic comes from Facebook and 60% of our revenue is from ads place on our sites by Google. Companies like mine will always exist because that is how Facebook and Google make their money. However, Zman is 100% correct that this model does not scale. And I have no doubt we would be squashed if we produced conservative content.

  17. Bored white boys (as McCleod mentions) give me some hope on this. Listening to a TDS podcast re: recent Beer Pong Shoah right now. They’re discussing these kids’ visceral backlash against myths & morals sacred to Boomers. The only heartfelt loyalties most GenZ’ers have are to their friends and maybe nuclear family. Extended families are rare, family dysfunction is the norm, history is a source of shame and critique, and Boomers have stolen their future. The same dog whistles won’t work on them. If anything, the echo chamber is making them hostile, not docile.

    Big Other is a parasite that’s killing its host. Subverting the existing culture worked on the Boomers but the strain of critique shredded that web. Today’s atomized masses, instinctively re-cohering on the Dunbar Number level, don’t have the same heartstrings to pull on. Big Other is forced to use the boot more often and more egregiously. Backlash results. An exploitable feedback loop for our side.

    • A dangerous one though and at the risk of parroting mainstream talking points, one that can lead quickly to tribalism and the end of the nation state.

      I know the US will probably end up breaking into smaller nations but I’m not obliged to like it and am old enough as Gen X to feel a bit sentimental about this , to paraphrase Ezra Pound For an old bitch gone in the teeth, For this botched civilization

      • I’m emotionally in the same boat, still missing the country I grew up in, somewhere between Depression and Acceptance on the grief stages (Denial was my GOPe days, Anger was Campaign Trump, Bargaining was 4D-chess Trump, Depression was Orange Judas Trump).

        Being willing to take that Yang Bag for my own good as plunder from the Empire that despises me will signal acceptance.

        • Ultimately, the thing that breaks the US as a nation and allows the creation of more “organic” nation-states in its stead may well be the moment where masses of Whites finally just say “fuck it, I’m going to become part of the problem”. This may be through surprising numbers of usually conservative Whites signing on for Yang’s $1000 plan or something similar. Once the draft horses break their reins everyone will realize just how heavy that cart was all along.

  18. As Mcleod said above, I think there will be technical workarounds for content.

    I think the real problem may not be technical-financial so much as political. Namely, that the commitment to free speech, explicit in America and implicit in other Anglosphere countries, is collapsing. The totalitarian left will just resort to the open persecution of content creators and sharers in the “meatspace.” In fact it has already started.

    In that awful dystopian way we see so often, there just seems to be a sudden shift in the hive-mind of the left, and values that had been in place for decades or centuries are suddenly and mysteriously just not the thing any more. Thus free speech.

    Look at the shocking reaction of the New Zealand government to their incident, the open deployment of Thought Police in the country that produced 1984, or Elizabeth Warren’s call to “prosecute” (i.e., persecute) “white nationalists” simply for their beliefs.

    Free speech seems to be another one of those many values that emanates from, and only operates among, white people in white nations. It looks like the Anglo-Saxon values, like the Sutton Hoo treasures, are going to be buried along with the Anglo-Saxons.

  19. Curious if anybody else has issues connecting to through their ISP? I can connect and comment using my mobile device as long as I am connected to cellular data, but not when I’m on wifi (Comcast). Sometimes I can get to the home page, but once I click on comments I get page load errors. I disabled “protected browsing” which allows me to access the comments, but trying to log into Disqus is a fail. I can get to the site through Sprint, which has me thinking this is an ISP-specific thing. I use Chrome browser typically, but this happens on Safari and Explorer as well. Same error messages across browsers. This has been a persistent problem for about 2 months, so my sense is that the “3rd Party” that Comcast outsources their filtering to is filtering more than just malicious code. idk, but this is the only site I have this issue with.

    I’m not fond of disabling protected browsing since I have kids who surf the web and who have an outstanding ability to go to websites loaded with all kinds of viruses and nasty stuff that requires me to rebuild my computers from time to time.

  20. The Internet has been great, anarchic fun for the past three decades. But it was never going to last. It was always going to turn into television. There’s too much money at stake for it to not be television. In addition to a few major players, there will also be the equivalent of local newspapers, book clubs, hobby groups, and sewing circles. But the major players will control everything, just as the big city dailies, a few broadcast networks, and Ma Bell did in the 1950s and 1960s. (But instead of preaching the perils of godless communism, they’ll be preaching the evils if white people.)

    • Your prediction (and Z’s) will come true if we don’t use regulation, antitrust laws and taxation to reclaim the public space that Big Tech has occupied. I’m starting to think it’s more important than any other issue. Even immigration is downstream from this. If we’re reduced to the equivalent of writing samizdat on toilet paper like Solzhenitsyn, there’s no point in worrying about any public policy.

      • The Internet is the last remaining space we have to congregate. We are locked out of the mainstream media and the universities, without the Internet we are reduced to printed newsletters (which they’d find an excuse to take that away under existing “obscenity laws”.) So even regulation is not enough, we need nationalization. We need protection not just from the deceptive oligarchs, but also from the radicalized Bay Area workforce.

        • Agree, I understated my case. Any regulation short of making them public utilities would be insufficient. Political expression should be more zealously protected than any other “protected classification” recognized under civil rights laws – it’s the main reason, religion close second, for having a 1st Am.

  21. Media is a reflection of most businesses these days. They work as tiny enterprises run by an individual or an extended family, or they are large, integrated, international corporations. Not much room between the two, because of liability and complicated rules.

    The internet is an intermediary between the two. Amazon, Uber, EBay, Etsy, YouTube, they all offer a wider audience to a micro business, in exchange for the “skim” taken by a company of size. Z-Man would not exist without the internet, and would also fail if it grew in size and became, say, like the National Review or something, or maybe a teeny, tiny piece of AT&T or Disney.

  22. Lots of intersecting issues with the future of media; the future of education is one of them. As public and secondary education continues to churn out exceptionally well-schooled idiots, the demand for quality media will continue to diminish. When media serves up “news” to an idiocracy, it must be dumbed-down & debauched. To put it in historical perspective, if Twain or Mencken were writing in the 21st century, they’d be relegated to small blogs … they’d be “theTman” and “theMman.”

    Going further back in time, the best-selling writer of the American 18th century was Thomas Paine. Not many read Paine today … because they CAN’T read. Oh, maybe they can phonetically mouth the words, but they CAN’T understand it. This brings up the point that Albert Jay Nock made about education: teaching a man to read doesn’t make him literate; teaching a man to understand and cogitate on his reading – that’s literacy. Today’s education gives people the mistaken belief that they’re literate. Newsflash – high ACT scores and college diplomas don’t yield a literate people.

    I think the future of media is probably going to be close to Huxley’s dystopian view – that man will happily choose diamond-studded handcuffs as long as his amusements continue unabated. Whether those amusements come via 20th-century cable TV & ESPN or via 22nd-century straight-stream into the brain, literacy is sunk either way.

    As an aside, there are a lot of younger readers here … I strongly recommend “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Neil Postman. He was a prophet … saw the future of media long, long ago.

  23. This just in from the Pull My Other Finger Department!!!

    The Fwench mass media is claiming that the citizenry Of Fwance have had a bellyful of those idiot yellow jacket protesters… and want the police to use lethal force to restore order! You heard it here first!!!

    The media is dead. They will never come back. Readership and subscriptions are driven by trust, and once you betray your customers … that’s that for that. I don’t care if they shut down the entire internet – I will never be so bored, or so intellectually and morally bankrupt that I will sit down and watch The View or some braying Jack ass talk show like Donahue or any of his retarded colleagues. Even the lefties are dropping out.

    The problem for our betters is this: when they destroyed our jobs or sent them overseas and contemptuously told us to learn to code … we did. If things get nasty we have gab, Dissenter, crypto currency and weapons we can deploy too. They are scared spitless by us… so don’t be surprised as they cheerfully whistle past the graveyard.

    • Won’t those talking heads be surprised when the government decides to shoot a few of the yellow-vesters, then suddenly ends up with 100k more….who are seriously pissed.

    • The polling data has never shown an indication that the French are prepared to give Le Pen a majority of the vote. That there is dissent in France isn’t surprising, or that Macron isn’t that popular. The French might be mad, but they still fear and loathe “Vichy”. The average ethnic Frenchman is complicit, and should not be let off the hook.

      • France people generally prefer a large active state and from what I understand La Pen ends to favor far more deregulation than most French want . Also her dad and the party founder was an actual Nazi and while the French are fine with Socialism, they had enough of the Austrian kind and this taints La Pen. Its actually a product of the broken system that she is doing so well

        Right now there haven’t yet been enough other immigration skeptic parties to make a dent and globalist parties left and right will collude to keep reformers out

        That will change one way or another

        Americans tend to conflate economic liberalism with social conservatism and anti immigration policies

        This is not the case in Europe and parties that are far Left by American standards like the Swedish Democrats can be anti immigration and Euro skeptic too.

        Also France is weird, as an example, Its not legal to get a DNA test to determine who the father is which ends up with the State approving of cuckoldry. This occasionally happens in the US with child support but its fairly rare and considered outrageous

    • France is pretty much back to where it was during the end of the Third Republic (France’s Weimar). If the Germans hadn’t gone 1488 first the French would have. Looks like it’s their turn to go first again.

      • Yes, exactly, this is why, for all their squalling about it today, Vichy was actually pretty popular, until the Germans moved in after Operation Torch. Had the Germans not invaded in 1940, France was most certainly headed for a Spanish-style civil war.

        • France never really was one Nation of people. It sort of became homogenized over a very long period of time from Gauls, Alamans, Franks, Aquitani, Latins, and Celts, but then the revolution happened and by the 19th century a whole bunch more ethnicities showed up.

  24. Hard news has always been a money loser because there is no consumer demand for it. In the golden era of newspaper “journalisms” – roughly 1950 – 1980 – such news was the vanity project of multi-millionaire newspaper owners, where in those owner competed with each other for prestige and trophies. The news guys were ther pets, like thoroughbreds, that would occasionally produce some gains but were long term consistent money pits. Which was fine because they were making so much from their local advertising monpolies that they could piss away a portion to beat that other son a bitch owner.

    The internet killed that by killing their monopoly.

    It’s says something about journalasses that even now, after decades of hard evidence that they still don’t get it. But you can totally trust their analysis of politics and the Mid East.

    • Yeah, back in the 1960’s – 1980’s the media was certainly biased – in fact, they may have been even more destructive, because guys like Walter Cronkite could impersonate an “objective” journalist, whereas everybody can see that Anderson Cooper (for example) is just a partisan hack. But say what you will, the media was less likely back then to just make sh*t up. I mean, Walter Cronkite would put a left-wing spin on the Tet Offensive or air pollution, but at least the Tet Offensive and air pollution did actually exist. Can the same be said for “Russiagate” and “Systemic Racism”?

      • True, but back then there was still a modicum of diversity (damn, the Booby hates using that word!) of opinion in the mainstream outlets.

        Today, each network or each newspaper is a one-party state. And frankly, love him or hate him, the Booby can’t imagine Walter Cronkite joining a media pile-on to destroy the life of someone for merely being overhead saying something politically incorrect, or merely having been rumoured to..

        Today’s media behaves more like the NKVD than a propaganda outfit.

        • “Today’s media behaves more like the NKVD than a propaganda outfit”

          Agreed. And yes, as much as I disliked him, and still do, Cronkite was better than that.

      • The primary function of the media under the initial phase of Project Mockingbird was to bury inconvenient facts rather than create convenient fictions.

  25. Once upon a time, news (and weather forecasting) was an important part of daily life. Local news and weather had direct practical value, and national news could be useful in longer range life consequences prediction and otherwise as mind exercise. Then national news largely transitioned into propaganda (subtle indoctrination) and bad entertainment. Now, it’s mostly fake news and operates as a social disease that does tangible harm.

    At some point, individual robustness will come back into vogue in a big way. Small groups of like-minded people will regularly congregate and participate in activities that improve useful skills and also enable healthy conversation and commiseration. Face-to-face will make a comeback.

    • Recently, there has been no need for accurate information to ensure survival. If we continue down our culture’s currently chosen path, the need for truth and accuracy will become more acute, and media’s current task, which is to amuse and to agitate, will fall away.

  26. “What all of this suggests is that we could be heading back to the old model of information, where the general public has a few large media pipes they can tap into for news, entertainment and information.”

    We’re already there.

    Only way to fight it is to turn it off!!!

    It’s not enough to stop turning to ESPN, for example, to catch up on your favourite “sportsball” team. Stop watching your stupid sportsball team altogether. It’s probably either owned by one of the same kind of leftist oligarch Bezos-types anyway, or it’s part of a league like the NFL that’s pushing the leftist agenda.

    Oh, and the Booby suggests we give Hollywood the finger, too.

  27. Internet blogs/channels are very similar to the old model of publishing newsletters or niche magazines. The magazines of course were not audited for advertising circ numbers. That was the outlet for communication outside of the large corporate media entities.

  28. Too much news or too much BS?

    That so many are turning to podcasts and streaming for content seems to suggest many people are tired of being snowjobbed with BS.

    As long as we keep heading full tilt for the brown utopia social fragmentation and frustration will continue to fragment information and its sources.

    If we can come out on the other side of this as a whole well functioning civilization then I believe news programming will loose a lot of its appeal.

  29. “You furnish the pictures and i’ll furnish the war.” – William Randolph Hearst

    Oligarchs controlling the flow of “information.” Same as it ever was.

  30. I’m interested to see how many people have to cut the cord from their $200/month cable TV before operators like Comcast de-bundle their channels, which has been well within their technical capability for years.

    Problem is, all the new streaming services are losing money, so once cable is dead, those services will jack up rates to the point where we’ll all be back to paying $200/month for content.

    • Spudsy, there are plenty of ways to get the entertainment you need without giving the media-giant scumbags one single cent. And if there’s a writer or director you really like, of course, you can buy a book or DVD to support him. Or use the Patreon-type sites.

      (If you’re reading this, Zman, we’d buy your anthologies, you know.)

  31. Back in the old days of the 1970’s – 1980’s monoculture, magazines like “National Review” and “American Spectator” were really valuable, because they were the only places where you could get an alternative viewpoint, although, to be fair, the MSM was somewhat less openly biased back then than it is today. But with the coming of the internet, mags of opinion like these lost any relevance that they had, which is one of the reasons that they are floundering so much today, and have such second rate talent. Back in the glory days of NR, they would not have dreamed of employing hacks like Goldberg and David French. Today, the guys who might once have been employed by NR have their own gigs online. Institutions without a purpose always drift, flounder, and go off the rails – which is exactly what we see with NR today.

    • The historic purpose of National Review is to be pro-NATO, against the historical grain of Middle America to disfavor “entangling alliances” as laid down in Washington’s Farewell Address. These days that is increasingly outmoded, as the “Russian threat” exists only in myth. So the MIC donors don’t particularly need to keep otherwise recalcitrant conservatives in line. It also helps that the European left has basically ceased opposing NATO.

      • “the European left has basically ceased opposing NATO.”
        Yeah, they stopped opposing it about the same time that it became un-necessary, which tells you something. Lots of younger people on both the Left and Right today really have no idea how much both the American and European Left carried water for the old USSR from the 1930’s until the 1980’s. Ted Kennedy basically asked the Soviets to try and intervene in the 1984 US Election – that’s a matter of public record. It explains a lot about why older Boomercons are still ranting about “The Russians”, who if anything are less of a threat to world peace than we are at this moment. Paranoia dies hard, especially when it was once at least sort of justified…

        • I think the Soviet threat was always exaggerated. They took ridiculously high casualties in WW2, a demographic hole that has echoed to the present. They always needed to steal technology, at least when it wasn’t outright given to them (see: Antony Sutton). When the Mig-25 was captured from a defector, it was exposed as less technologically developed and unable to dogfight. Russia is still flying this plane, and is too broke to afford the new Sukhoi PAK FA, which even the Indians rejected.

          • The Soviet military threat was exaggerated – the political threat was not. And the fact that the military threat was exaggerated is a lot easier to see in retrospect than it was at the time. And even if the whole thing was exaggerated, this does not alter the fact that the Left was very often their willing accomplices. I’m certainly not saying this about you, DeBeers, but a lot of younger Alt-Right/Neoreactionary types tend to downplay the threat of Communism during the Cold War for the same reason that Lefties did at the time – it complicates the “USA Bad!” narrative. It’s entirely possible that the Cold War USA was bad in many ways, but that the USSR was worse, and also a genuine danger, irrespective of the fact that there were those who exaggerated the threat for their own purposes.

          • I see your point, but I’d add in that the political threat of communism was significantly diminished after the Sino-Soviet split and the ousting of Khruschev. It didn’t help our cause that Trotskyites were paid by the CIA to switch sides.

            It’s true that the Cold War is before my time, but I’m even starting to think the contemporary Islamic threat is far less than we were led to believe.

            Fear of communism led to the numerous Latin American interventions. Fear of Islamism led to the endless Middle East wars. All we got out of both was mass immigration.

          • “All we got out of both was mass immigration.”

            Unfortunately, there’s a good deal of truth to this…

          • Indeed. If WW2 taught us anything about the evil empire its that they would send cities full their own people to their graves to advance their cause.

            As an 80’s kid the nuke threat was on my mind more than it should have been and that was even toward the end of the mess.

            At least i could imagine a distant enemy. Kids today “we’re all gonna die in 12 years” only have themselves and their own people to hate.

            Which brings me to: the Reds obviously won the cold war in terms of the kulture.

            Us yank capitalists won the economic front, but that victory is looking increasingly pyrrhic as the kultural loss consumes the economic engine that saved us from red dawn.

            Which was pretty spot on about the invasion, just wrong about the tactics. They took the school first. Coupla angry cubans for diversity sake.

            But in reality it turns out the commies saved a lot on parachutes and just filled out job apps to teach and ‘administer’ and then invited 1/3 of Mexico to bring their street tacos and lawncare skills to enrich our bland communities.

            Good thing we can get anything from Amazon in 24 hours tho. Try that in mother Russia! Besides, everybody knows shopping in meatspace is for proles. At least thats what my uber passengers and airbnb guests tell me.

          • The Chamber of Commerce has more to do with immigration than the commies… Conservatives need cheap labor more than liberals.

          • DeBeer, not sure of your analysis here. I remember the incident and the knock on the mig-25. Lots of laughs about the limited technology of the big bad “Bear”. However, steel in the aircraft, and vacuum tubes produced a fighter not vulnerable to an EMP from a high altitude blast. Shortly thereafter, I also remember the Pentigon scrambling to “harden” all their technological toys from such EMP which now seemed a logical tactic in a hot, nuclear war where population centers were not the primary targets.

          • The MiG-25 used steel mostly because they didn’t have good titanium welding technology. The use of vacuum tubes was, I suppose, similarly forced, and the strengths you refer to therefor serendipitous. But it was very fast and apparently good at its intended role. The T-34 wasn’t the most sophisticated tank of WW2, but that didn’t much diminish the Soviet threat to beat the Germans.

          • The MiG-25 was an interceptor, not an air superiority fighter. Of course it wasn’t designed to dogfight. Now, by imagining it to be made of titanium rather than stainless steel the American military-industrial complex was able to gen up a profitable requirement for an expensive high-tech American air superiority fighter… but that doesn’t mean the MiG-25 wasn’t good at what it was intended to be for.

        • Yeah. I guess it proves that I’m old, but I remember when everything revolved around the Cold War. Back then when we were locked in an existential death match with the Soviets, the American and Western European Left were always “carrying water” (you said it best) for the Soviet Union.
          NOW the Left gets around to being lunatic anti-Russians.
          Russia’s population, economy, and military is a fraction of America’s. Where much of Eastern Europe was either a part of the USSR or more or less wholly owned subsidiary client states of the Soviet Union, a shrunken modern Russia is surrounded by hostile powers, not least of which is a united Germany. Russia is not a threat other than they still have a huge number of nuclear missiles. So, the only thing we have to do is not unnecessarily antagonize Russia or get involved in something totally meaningless and irrelevant to us (like Syria) where Russia is involved which could accidentally lead to nuclear apocalypse. So, guess what we do.

          • Agreed. Russia could be our ally, if we had listened to Pat Buchanan, but that would have made too much sense. And yeah, Joe McCarthy wasn’t exactly correct when he thought that all domestic leftists were just tools of the USSR (the USSR is gone, the “tools” remain!), but he was more right than his critics.

          • The USSR was never a legitimate military threat to the West, at least not until it got the bomb, thanks to sympathetic Western leftists.

            The true threat was ideological. The USSR had the fawning adoration of the Western intelligentsia. It poured everything into demonizing the West, the “white man”, and free enterprise. It did this culturally with the eager help of Western artists, and it took control of academia.

            That the West lost the Cold War is one of the worst kept secrets in the modern world.

        • The left became NATO-friendly when NATO forces bombed Serbia to protect the Kosovans in 1999.

    • Not that long ago, (90’s) you would see guys like Joe Sobran or Sam Francis as nationally syndicated columnists on the editorial page in mainstream newspapers. Now the “right” is represented by guys like David Brooks or Jonah Goldberg. Acceptable opinion has shifted quite a bit to the left.

    • I mostly only follow the one-man-show types now. Like the Zman. I think I implicitly assume that they’re more independent because they don’t rely on big donors or sugar daddies.

      I also think that the inherent logic of larger organizations necessarily pushes them towards the establishment’s Overton Window.

      P.S. It’s pretty funny how getting defenestrated by National Review essentially constitutes certification of your intellectual integrity.

  32. “the outsourcing of censorship by the state to these commercial players”

    Luckily for us the diversified workforce that runs those commercial players aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. Right now they are playing the Wack a Mole game, and losing. Germany is trying to outlaw Tor, and is failing miserably. NZ tried to stop the spread of the Mosque video, and failed miserably. Hell, even liberal Reddit can’t stop alt right subs from popping up. They tried to stop the prostitute sites in the U.S., and failed miserably. The problem with the use of algorithms is that the minute you understands its parameters you can circumvent them. Bored white boys in their momas basements are not to be trifled with, and I think they want to watch the world burn.

    • ” Bored white boys in their momas basements ”
      These are, of course the source of a massive amount of innovation and creativity in the world. It’s a sad sign of the times that they no longer work out of their own garages.
      England, for now, still has her “Men in Sheds”

        • The dismaying fact about television is that it influences minds so profoundly without them knowing it.

          When you laze in front of the tube for 4-10 hours a day, it impressing you with its images and messages, it begins to way on you. What it does is THIS

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