MSM: The Left's Most Braying Asset
It should come as no surprise that the divide between left and right in this country is mirrored in the divide between television and radio. With the exception of Fox--which is really more populist than conservative--television news is overwhelmingly to the left, whereas talk radio is overwhelmingly to the right.
The utter failure of Air America just proves the point. Since liberals habitually project their anger and hatred into conservatives, they literally experience them as propagating "hate radio." Therefore, they think that success lies in providing a mirror image of the hatred they feel when they hear conservatives speak. This is why if you tune into Air America and submit yourself to the likes of Randi Rhodes, Stephanie Miller, or Ed Schultz, you will be treated to little more than unmitigated anger, contempt, smirking, and painfully forced adolescent humor.
Likewise, it is very difficult for conservative ideas to compete against the downward emotional pull of histrionic television liberalism. It is much more difficult to wrestle with a weak mind than a strong one. I haven't won an argument yet with my one year-old.
Perhaps surprisingly, the other ideal forum for liberalism is academia. However, the humanities have largely been reduced to an echo chamber of self-validation of liberal ideas that never have to be tested against reality and especially never have to be defended in debate with intellectual equals; imagine Noam Chomsky having to defend his fixed delusional system to informed radio callers instead of the addle-brained college students and moonbat bloggers who idealize him.
For years, liberal newspapers have also been able to shield themselves from honest debate, which is why their readership will continue to plummet, now that there is a choice. None of their editors could survive a day in talk radio, nor would ideas and opinions so predictably lame attract much interest in the blogosphere. In fact, they wouldn'’t even be able to withstand an interview with Bill O'Reilly.
Television is the ideal medium to propagate liberalism, since it is so rooted in emotion rather than thought. Listening involves entering a detached, abstract world of knowledge and meaning, whereas television is an immediate, concrete world of pictures and images. So often, television reports a story as news simply because they happen to have some dramatic pictures to show you. On the other hand, important events with no pictures are not even recognized, much less reported.
Language is an abstraction from experience, while pictures are a concrete representation of it. Pictures do not show concepts, but things. As Neil Postman, author of The Disappearance of Childhood, puts it, unlike sentences, pictures are irrefutable. "A picture does not put forward a proposition, it implies no negation of itself, there are no rules of evidence or logic to which it must conform." Yet, these images "provide a primitive but irresistible alternative to linear and sequential logic,” rendering “the rigors of a literate education irrelevant." Watching television requires no skills and develops none. To paraphrase Postman, there is no one so disabled that he is disabled from staring at the TV.
The really pernicious thing about television is that it provides the illusion that it is simply depicting reality, when it is actually deifying our most primitive way of knowing the world. That is, there is no knowledge at the level of the senses. Television replaces truth with facts, but as Richard Weaver pointed out in his Ideas Have Consequences, it is a characteristic of the barbarian to believe that it is possible to grasp the world “barehanded,” without the symbolic imagination to mediate what the senses are telling us.
We are then faced with the "ravages of immediacy," for without imagination, reality is simply a brute fact with nothing to spiritualize it. The world shrinks down to our simplest way--animal way, really--of knowing it, and with it, our souls constrict correspondingly. In this regard, postmodern skepticism is provincialism of the worst sort, as it imagines that it is getting closer to the reality of things, when it is actually getting more and more distant--like pulverizing a work of art into smaller and smaller parts to try to get at its meaning.
People generally don't realize that it is possible to substitute facts for truth, to replace the higher reality perceived by the intellect and imagination with the lower reality perceived by the senses. When that happens, we literally become disoriented, away from the center and toward the periphery of existence. Today we live in an age in which we are being invaded by horizontal media barbarians who would ruthlessly strip aside the veils of the imagination to try to get at what's real, only to find that there is nothing there. Certainly nothing worth living or fighting for.
Recently we witnessed an orgy of self-congratulation in the liberal media for their brave and unblinking television coverage of hurricane Katrina--for showing America the FACE OF POVERTY, and ripping away our hypocritical pretensions of racial fairness.
True enough, those television pictures did depict a lot of black people. On the face of it, this should not have been altogether surprising, since New Orleans is two thirds black. Therefore, it would have been a statistical anomaly if at least two thirds of the victims had not been black.
As it eventually turned out, the victims were not disproportionately poor. Even so, the television pictures told us absolutely nothing about them except the shade of their skin. In this regard, it is the medium of television (not to mention liberalism in general) that dehumanizes and diminishes blacks and strips them of any other trait, good or bad. They are simply black. And poor. And it is not their fault. Because white people hate them. This is the unconscious template the MSM uses in every story that touches on race. I don'’t recall ever seeing a story in the MSM that focused on what blacks needed to do for themselves as opposed to what whites had done to them and needed to do for them. Therefore, the liberal racial narrative is never about blacks at all, only about the reinforcement of white guilt.
Since television images are atemporal, we do not see that the pictures may well be showing something that is actually the consequence of a bad idea that is not visible on screen--such as the idea that the traditional family is a patriarchal instrument of oppression, or that children do not need a mother and father, or that if restraints on sexual expression are removed we will live in a kind of secular paradise of instinctual free expression. The destructive ideas hatched by white liberal professors do no immediate damage to the professors themselves, so they never see their extraordinarily pathological consequences. They do not see that blacks are in fact the canaries of the liberal ghoul mind.
While there are certainly undeservedly poor people in America, what the television pictures cannot show is that very few people stay in the bottom quintile of income distribution their whole lives. Rather, people are constantly moving in and out of the bottom, and there are very clear behaviors associated with those who stay at the bottom and those who manage to get out.
For example, children born out of wedlock are seven times more likely to live in poverty, and two thirds of all children living in poverty come from single parent homes. Add to this the well known statistic that seventy percent of black children are born out of wedlock, and the television pictures begin to make more sense. The poverty rate of black children who come from an intact traditional family with mother and father is nearly identical to non-black children in the same fortunate circumstance.
But by portraying the poor as victimized automatons, the envious and bitter victim finds his envy and bitterness validated by television, so that he may loot and pillage in good conscience, since he is simply claiming those things that have been unfairly denied him through no doing of his own. Come to think of it, when the angry and entitled victim is exonerated for stealing a giant plasma television, it is just the medium of television looking out for one of its own.
Imagine an educational establishment that was not run by liberals. For example, in "sex education" class, they might teach high school students that traditional marriage is the most appropriate outlet for sexuality, or about the archetypal differences between men and women, or about the disastrous economic consequences of having children out of wedlock, or about how not being married carries the approximate health risk of smoking cigarettes (since people who are married live significantly longer and healthier lives on average).
But what are the chances? Liberals are too busy teaching all about family diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice, when the surest route to social justice is the decidedly un-diverse monoculturalism represented by the traditional family. And that system is totally rigged to benefit people who don't make stupid decisions.
You can't reason with a liberal, because they're too immature to know what's good for them.