Why do people hate the media so much?

I usually do not wish to reprise posts, but this one from 2016 deserves another exposure, given recent events.  What would be the point of trying to rewrite the same idea in other words?:

Haven’t you noticed this?

I have a simple hypothesis.  No matter what the media tells you their job is, the feature of media that actually draws viewer interest is how media stories either raise or lower particular individuals in status.  (It’s a bit like “politics isn’t about policy.”)  That’s even true for this blog, though of course that is never my direct intention.

But now you can see why people get so teed off at the media.  The status ranking of individuals implied by a particular media source is never the same as yours, and often not even close.  You hold more of a grudge from the status slights than you get a positive and memorable charge from the status agreements.

In essence, (some) media is insulting your own personal status rankings all the time.  You might even say the media is insulting you.  Indeed that is why other people enjoy those media sources, because they take pleasure in your status, and the status of your allies, being lowered.  It’s like they get to throw a media pie in your face.

In return you resent the media.

A good rule of thumb is that if you resent the media “lots,” you are probably making a number of other emotional mistakes in your political thought.

Here is the original link.  And here is my 2017 post on social media, also more relevant than ever.  And here is my 2016 post on how today’s world reminds me increasingly of the Reformation — all the more true today and even this week.


The worst non-violent people in society are those that will lie for a cause. The second worst non-violent people in society are those that will claim to be impartial while actively working behind the scenes to drive an agenda.

The media are both of these.

news is information
media has becomeqq

media has been overrun by pseudomoralizing pharisees

Wow, tolle Geburtstagsparty! Bei dir kann man wirklich coole Ideen sammeln.

I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your content. The article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.

For a second there, I thought you were describing Congress

George! You’re back! Good post dude! I thought for a minute we were gonna get the de rigeuer dutiful center left mouth piece argument!

Keep up the good work!

Well that's right neighborly.

Sure, I was going to mention that maybe people hate the media because the right has spent the last thirty years telling people to hate the media. That might have something to do with it too.

Yes the media is there to protect democracy. Without it democracy is doomed and possibly “dies in the darkness.”

Thank god for the “media.”

Hopefully you are listening to the whole truth instead of what some rotted twisted half ass story that someone on the mainstream media is trying to spew at you. You know they are speaking out one side of their mouth and pooing out the left side at the same time so don’t stand there and get covered in it!

God bless the truth!

You are touching upon it, for some/many it is the blatant hypocrisy of the media which is enraging.

But really, for many (myself included) it is the Orwellian nature of the media/left which is the most triggering.

The media sells outrage.

Most left wing people enjoy being outraged because the availing order is CAPITALIST and right wing.

Every major city on planet earth is implicitly right wing. Left wing people are stuck living in cities like Paris, London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and all they can do is look at oligarchic architecture, ideologies of meritocracy, successful allocation of capital.

However, their ideology tells them this is bad. This duality causes perpetual torment and the self hate drives them to madness.

Social media, presentism only serves to drive the madness even further.

Imagine being built and programmed and fed by an ideology and hating it. We must modernize the Schumpterian thesis. This is Schumpeter’s thesis taken to its highest level and metastasized by the prevailing technological order.

Capitalism is creating its own everlasting revolt but because we are all so drunk on capitalism we can’t actual take the plunge off the cliff.

We are a perpetual motion machine to nowhere of perpetual revolt to nowhere because there is NOWHERE to go.

We saw the other side it looks like a grocery store in Caracas with empty shelves.

Not a bad take.

> Every major city on planet earth is implicitly right wing.

Successful families too. Families that have successful kids limit screen time, are brutal with the quality of the homework turned in, do not tolerate their kids smoking pot/drinking/having sex.

I have many friends that wanted to see pot legalized, but would NEVER let their kids smoke it and did everything in their power to ensure they didn't. Ditto with drinking.

When I'd cite that it appears that legalizing pot has hurt poor communities and left rich, white communities unscathed they'd seem conflicted for a bit. And then just ignore it.

Every raving green lunatic in my friend circle flies the family to Europe or Asia once a year for holiday. They don't care about their CO2 consumption. But they lose their minds over someone in flyover driving a pickup (ignore the fact that a family of 4 flying overseas is WAY WORSE than driving a pickup).

One friend, a huge greenie, sheepishly drove up to lunch one day in a massive Lexus SUV, remembering years before he'd said nobody needs a car that big. Ever.

"Well, the wife said the car seats are hard to fit into regular cars..."

Uh huh.

Everyone lives like a conservative. The only difference is some claim they don't.

It's true that every major city is right wing, if by that you mean that they are corporatist/fascist and operate on the basis of managed capitalism. But, I'd call that left wing.

I have to push back on Tyler’s “a pox on both houses” and “it’s just status”.

Orwellian thought control isn’t a status game. Accusing people of racism isn’t a status game. Threatening people’s livelihood isn’t a status game. This is the playbook of the modern left/media. Don’t downplay its reprehensible nature. It’s evil.

You are making Tyler’s point for him. “Accusing people of racism” is exactly a status game.

It may be other things too.

It is a status game and a threat with real consequences.

Calling those consequences a status game stretches the definition of the words such that they are meaningless.

"Pariah" and "outlaw" are statuses, too.

Does it seem that the left is far more status-sensitive vs the right?

+1 nailed it
"This is the playbook of the modern left/media. Don’t downplay its reprehensible nature. It’s evil."

the liberal elite under-rate how much the media has lost credibility
just because they don't do basic journalism
the dubyas and verifying sources.
the status theory seems sketchy. we don't want our priors confirmed
we need objective information not fraught-fraught
the most media hate is probably for popup ads

Oh wow, "Reason" gets "triggered" by the media! No wonder he thinks that the most important thing he can do is "trigger libs" rather than tell the truth, with his going on about Orwell as clear sign that he is the Orwellian one here, big time.

Ah the old I’m rubber and your glue argument.

Brilliant as always Barkley. You deliver!

No matter what the media tells you their job is, the feature of media that actually draws viewer interest is how media stories either raise or lower particular individuals in status.

Thanks for the projection. Been an education.

But, the media is not individual persons; there are no persons in media, just AIs. Invented, built, run by China. Which is not an individual, or even group of individuals, but just AIs building AIs to destroy the world for people, while cynically profiting from individuals by turning their plans into media like Terminator, Rise of the Machines, with an AI constructed fake individual, James Cameron. In this timeline, today, Skynet is named Huawei, and the leader of the resistance is Donald J Trump.

Hmm. I have heard that ghost-writers create the books that lead to almost 50% of amazon's new book fiction sales. It wouldn't be a huge stretch if AI was blasting out the majority of 'current events' content for us to read, talking heads to present, and local politicians to over-react/ pander to. The content seems so key-word heavy and prose-light that it could have come out of some centralized content clearing house with various 'flavours' just as many generic factories provide similar no-name and branded products based on niche preferences. Sadly, the burning question is what would we do if someone just tuned it off. Go back to raising our kids, communicating with our spouses, walking in our neighbourhoods, pulling out the Nordic-Track? -- I have my doubts. Maybe we watch because we are all just so empty and uninspired to start with - Mainstream Media - empty calories and makes you want to piss alot. We need to look at ourselves and find a path? Where's that guy from tv, 10 - 20 years ago with the Richard Simmons hair who liked to teach us to paint?

mulp. I have not been smiling a lot recently. Thank you, that was hilarious.

Actually, Tyler seems pretty spot on about this, especially with respect to social media. Professional lobbyists, people that are paid to influence policy, do not post on social media. They speak directly to political decision makers: office holders, regulators, etc. Social media viewers have almost zero influence on policy. So, obviously, social media posts are not intended to influence policy. Instead, the audience for one's Facebook and Twitter posts are one's social network and perhaps general public of followers, respectively. Those people are decision makers about the poster's status. Then, one concludes that the primary purpose of social media posts is to raise one's own status, i.e., promote and establish one's personal brand. QED.

Of course, admitting that one is seeking to raise one's status actually lowers one's status, which is why people are so resistant to claims that this or that activity is about status seeking.

Here's a link to an article recently published in The Globe and Mail (in Toronto) written by the TV columnist. It's an opinion piece of course as befits, not fact. But it's an opinion that might resonate with some as an alternative to "status adjustment" -- although I suppose the article is suggesting that, if there is status adjustment, it's the reporters and commentators whose status is in play:



Think about the phrasing of the question:

Why Do People Hate the Media So Much?

You are anchored in the reply to focus on why you do not like the "Media"

What if the question was:

"Why Do People Like the Media So Much?"

After all, advertisers pay money to have there advertisements placed on that media.

Maybe the other question, Why Don't Markets Work?

Markets reveal information, and the information is: Your answer here:

Maybe the question that should be asked
In the Posted headline above should be:

Why Do So Many People With Their Eyes
And Advertisers With Their Money
Support the Media
I Don't Like?

+1 Bill

This is actually insightful and the real question, I think. Also, applicable to both sides of the aisle. I’ll contemplate this today.

Umm. It's called the Car Crash effect. You know its morbid and unhelpful to watch but you cannot look away. The cigarette companies banked on it for decades as 'addiction is not a thing, its personal choice'. duh.

Your dismissive use of the word 'duh' heavily discounts the probability that you're approaching this in a thoughtful or open minded way. Thanks for the heads up, I'll save some time ignoring the rest of your comments.

Oh snap!! Good status lower dude!!!

Doesn't really mesh with the fact that newspapers are closing across the country and non-local TV news had been steadily decreasing before the coronavirus (that's an interesting coincidence).

As for the advertisements, it's pretty clear that the market you speak of is not in product exposure. There's an entire cottage industry of leftists getting paid to operate publications at a loss for the sole purpose of gaslighting conservatives. The news divisions of the major networks/media corporations are their least profitable. And of course there's Bezos and the Washington Post.

Maybe the reason people don't like the media is because they're a bunch of paid hacks telling us how noble and objective their profession is, and how important freedom of the press is, while constantly disseminating increasingly transparent agitprop for their corporate masters.

On the other hand, there's a whole bunch of people out there just like you who need to uncritically parrot anyone you've been told is a Very Smart and Serious Person™ so that you, as well, can feel Very Smart and Serious™, so perhaps there is life left in the media just yet.

I like the inclusion of 'agitprop' on this topic, but the word's history indicates that you used it in a completely counterintuitive way. Agitprop ≠ Corporate Masters in any reasonable context.

You're still in the mindset of the last era, the pre-convergence era, when corporate leaders were The Man and the purpose of agitprop was to turn the proles (and more gullible assets in the outer bourgeois) against The Man.

Now that the left has taken over the corporations, dethroning The Man to themselves become The Man, we're in the convergence era, where the purpose of agitprop is to turn the proles (and more gullible assets in the outer bourgeois) against the outer bourgeois, i.e., the people who have the greatest native capacity to resist The Man.

That's why The Man doesn't mind losing some sales volume to lay off workers and lock them in their house for two months over the glorified flu; or why The Man doesn't mind having a few stores looted and windows broken to kowtow the outer bourgeois into bending the knee to The Man and his agents of chaos in the proletariat. These things that would have been unacceptable in the last era are now actually cheered on by The Man.

The left is perfectly willing to burn real and social capital of the corporations they inherited if it means they can consolidate their hegemony by ruining anyone who might have the means for independence from The Man. That's why you might notice that many of the past complaints of The Man, that he was a threat to free speech, that his aim was to turn workers into slaves, are now actively employed by the left as well.

It was all a sham but it worked, and continues to work, only because of the collaboration by the gullible elements of the outer bourgeois. Unfortunately, as you can see from this comment section, they aren't in short supply.

We shall see what happens after that November Thing.

To me this just shows the paranoia on the right...if you feel this way, than ok but please don't expect to be taken seriously by most people...

Bill! Does the Ne Plus Ultra of established and esteemed media, the New York Times, even like itself anymore?

The Marxist Leninist wing seems to be gunning for the center left wing....im just saying dude!!

All in all it’s a mediocre status lower of TC on your part!!

Maybe what you are saying is that the specific media organizations represent their subscribers in a specific market. The NYT upperclass eastern liberals, WashPo the Washington bureaucracy and political establishment, Fox the boomer GOP, etc. What the NYT says makes no sense at all to Fox viewers, and visa versa.

Sure that makes sense... but why then are the two major Canadian newspapers more conservative than the average Canadian (after all the cons never got more than 40 percent in any election since 2004 when we they were founded)...?

Another thing to remember is that the advertising incomes have dropped substantially. These large organizations had people everywhere reporting on what was going on. That doesn't exist anymore. It is cheaper to pay some opinion columnist than people in the field.

That leads into their next problem, which is a lack of human capital.

The plain truth is that most of the talking heads in the media aren't that smart; certainly not in proportion to their reach. There's no reason, for example, why a twentysomething woman who just C-averaged her way out of J-school ought to pen opinion columns for a nationwide publication, other than that she's impressionable, freshly indoctrinated, and willing to write what the higher-ups tell her. Yet the vast majority of the material you see is written by people whose peers outside the media industry haven't left the mailroom. Other talking heads hired by media companies, being actors/models, "experts" with shady histories in their fields, or failed bureaucrats, don't fare any better. Combine this with the incestuous nature of the industry and it's not clear why we should be listening to anything they say, the botched coverage of the Deep State Fever being the latest example. These people are frauds and it was only a matter of time before their audience noticed.

I think you are giving 'their audiences' too much credit.

Though I believe Journalists are the lowest form of life. And Professional Journalist is the most severe kind of Oxymoron. As with governments, tyrannies, mayors, and Social Media companies, the People, through their actions or lack, end up getting the System they deserve. No happy endings here.

Yes. They are mostly not particularly bright, and often quite ignorant. Was fun to watch them react to the 2016 election returns.

I cut off cable 10 years ago, so other than in passing in a restaurant I very seldom see TV news. It’s designed and executed to incite emotion rather than convey information. I don’t miss it.

There was one guy, Brian Lamb I think, who used to do really good interviews of book authors on C-SPAN. He was unique.

...but like you I never watch cable news, or TV news, of any flavor. Useless.

Brian Lamb is the founder of C-SPAN. Interesting that you only remember him as an interviewer, and not the founder, executive chairman, and former CEO of C-SPAN.

Does this increase or decrease his status in accordance with the framing of this topic?

By coincidence, I only knew Lamb was the CEO and founder of C-SPAN two days ago after watching his interview of Milton Friedman from 1994. The obvious reason people know him as an interviewer is because he was among the best interviewers in television. Oh, he says he voted for both Democrats and Republicans.

I knew, apart from knowing people he and Ted Turner worked with, because he and people like Turner were pioneers at using deregulation surrounding the cable industry and interest in public affairs programming to bring broader flows of information to people.

And here we are today, talking about the 'media' when anyone can watch C-SPAN or various government hearings or videos posted directly on youtube/twitter/facebook to see for themselves what the media is talking about - without needing the media at all.

C-SPAN plays an interesting role in this development especially since, of course, it does not pay for its major programming feeds. Which is one reason Lamb did interviews - he had to fill airtime, and it was cheap for him to do it during office hours in a barebones studio. Never, ever underestimate just how penny pinching people like Lamb or Turner are at heart.

And it should be added that I have always assumed that a man like Lamb voted for the best candidate, without caring about what party they belonged to.

Even today, that remains how most Americas vote, after all.

I have voted for the best candidate regardless of party. I'm not sure I'm still willing to do after since our slide into a de facto parliamentary system.

+1 brian lamb
somebody needs to incentivize him out of retirement

"' Why Do People Like the Media So Much?' After all, advertisers pay money to have there advertisements placed on that media."

Because people want to see what is happening to their status and the status of others. So, nothing about these rhetorical questions contradicts Tyler's thesis or implies that markets don't work. Next question.

Mainstream Media - gossip, incite, finger-point, repeat.

I remember being a little kid in the nineties and one of the tv channels showed news in almost a stacked ticker format - precise to the point. That was the time of the 100s of thousands of people killed very suddenly in that cyclone/ tidal wave in Bangladesh. The info told what happened, how many died, where it happened, and that was it. The next news item was the sports scores. No Op-Eds, harrowing stories of escape and tragedy. No news anchors blasted on the seaside. 50 words told you the facts. Nothing I could do. I had the knowledge. The media didn't force me to care. Do I have a right to my apathy?

I wonder what percentage of the mainstream media's front page is news (the actual facts of the situation) and what is opinion, context, follow-up, observer/ stakeholder's opinion, etc - maybe 20/80?


Sometimes I turn on the tv or go to cnn.com or foxnews.com just to see how long it takes for me to want to put my fist through a wall. Usually it takes <5 minutes. I’d propose a different hypothesis to Tyler’s for why this is so: When I utilize the media, I’m there expecting facts. Instead I get opinions. That difference between expectations and reality makes me angry, but I refuse to change my expectations because that’s what I think it *should* be.

Re: The fist through the wall.

This is interesting as well. Sometimes people confirm their beliefs by knowingly looking at the extreme on the other side. So, you can guess, I look at Fox, and either laugh or scream, and then go back to watching Rachel Maddow, confirmed in my belief, the other side is bad and she is not as bad as Fox is. You need to graze in many pastures. CNN, I don't think is that bad, but I don't watch it much unless I'm interested in some of the foreign commenters, whose names I can't remember. I like to graze through newspaper--JapanTimes, TheGuardian, Der Spiegel, etc. and regional newspapers as to regional issues. And podcasts. And, websites like this. So, everyone, thank you for the entertainment and insights as to what other people think.

I think there is far too much opinion on TV, but, I am heartened that with the lockdown TV programs are reaching out to experts to interview in their house.

Yeah. The unfortunate outcomes of getting a reliable, facts-only outlet is you get the BBC, CBC, etc., or other publicly-supported news 'supplier', which very quickly slides into a very left-leaning, hyper-woke, etc., selection of news stories, as there is only a certain type of individual that would work in such a place. We get better numbers on real news/ opinion ratio but that opinion area is just so stifling and oppressive that Fox becomes very tempting again. I think Reuters was fairly news-content-pure for awhile. A high-facts, low fluff news info outlet would be a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, the audience is 'what it is'.

Here in Canada most "mainstream media" is right-leaning though...(national post, globe and mail, Maclean's... only Toronto Star is centre-left)...so maybe the CBC overcompensates ?

I think you have completely missed the boat here. The major problems people like me have with the media are:

(1) The media have made it their mission in life to keep the public afraid. That means whenever we get to feeling relaxed about the world for more than a week or so, they make up one more phony emergency and start selling it to us.

(2) Reporters and editors are even more corrupt than politicians, to the point that they'll suppress real news and pretend obvious lies such as the Russia Hoax and Climate Hoax are real for as long as they're paid to say those things.

And (3) they'll never give non-elite members of the public the benefit of the doubt that we know what's good for ourselves.

Note that they would not do it if there was not money to be made, careers to be enriched, and personal competitions to be won. I don't believe in evil per se, just the craving to publicly best others and gain 'face' in the perception of others.

I'm not sure how people like you still believe climate change (global warming) is a hoax...😒... thankfully the majority has moved beyond that, though I actually think people like you should have to pay extra taxes just for your beliefs...

Define media? I can’t stand most cable news and newspapers and would agree they attract viewers and thus advertisers through divisiveness. I love my podcasts, blogs, and insta—local news isn’t terrible in some places.

This might be true for some people but I don't really think it is true for me. What drives me nuts with the media is the lack of clarity in their mission and complete and utter hypocrisy in the execution. In my view, informing people does not mean drawing conclusions for people. Reporters believe their mission is to "change the world" which is completely absurd. So every single time the media shows me a "conclusion" that I disagree with, I hate them for trying to patronize me and for failing their mission in informing me so I could get to a conclusion.

Where does Julie Brown's piece in the Miami Herald on Jeffrey Epstein fit in? She definitely changed the world. Her series shamed federal prosecutors in New York into reopening an investigation and led to a series of events that resulted in him dying in jail and becoming an internet meme.

A Trump supporter at the time might have said that Brown was just being a typical liberal media opponent of Trump. After all, a key part of her story was the fact that Epstein was given a sweetheart deal by a person who had since been appointed by Trump to be Secretary of Labor.

There are a few people doing good work, and shining light on stories that are important. There aren't enough of them, and they are discredited by the shoddy bs that usually gets published.

Toronto Star, or TorStar was sold recently for a fraction of what it was worth a decade ago. They are now laying off the old hands to cut costs.

Much of the response to media right now is the kicking of a dying corpse.

Investigative journalism is exactly what we need! Go after information and publish it, no matter who it offends. But publish the facts, not your interpretation of the facts or anything like that. It is a pretty clear cut distinction.

Epstein is a great example of the media forcing conclusions rather than providing information. Epstein's links to Trump are tenuous and almost entirely predate anyone knowing about him raping kids. His connections to prominent Democrats are much more significant and also keep going after the raping is fairly well known. However, almost every article about Epstein played up Trump connections, even when they had to take 15 year quotes out of context to do so.

bigly odd how quickly the media lost interest in epstein

"The categorical imperative of agitprop sociological utopianism" could well be deemed THE trademark of contemporary American "journalism".

(Apart from chapters in university Sociology Departments, post-secondary schools of journalism seem also to keep offices in Departments of Languages and Literatures so that they can keep abreast of the fictional forms and styles commonly repaired to in presenting "the news" and thereby keep the old "New Journalism" alive and well for all eager and earnest practitioners.)

Things that have caused me to consume less news media over time:

1. Reporters letting us know their opinions in "news" stories, sports reports, fashion features, movie reviews, etc.

2. First-person memoir pieces by young persons who want attention but have not much else to say.

3. Bad writing: Unfamiliarity with concepts of subject-verb agreement, nominative v. objective pronouns, dependent and independent clauses, and overall imprecision in word choices, among others.

4. Stories with gaping holes that no editor has pointed out.

5. Lazy headlines like this year's constant "What You Need to Know Now".

"No matter what the media tells you their job is, the feature of media that actually draws viewer interest is how media stories either raise or lower particular individuals in status. "

And this is the entire raison d'etre for Twitter. It is not unreasonable to treat every twitter user as a vainglorious status seeker (and therefore mostly useless, but potentially harmful).

It is far simpler. Media has turned into a religious ministry. We tell you what you should think. It isn't unlike the Catholic priest telling you what is right or wrong all the while diddling the kids.

This year is going to be about people coming to the realisation that the misinformation coming from the media isn't only useless, but that decisions made based on that misinformation has cost them.

Case in point. The Democratic Party.

In the Reformation link, 2: cities don't look quite the same as they did a few years ago. A very bad place during a pandemic and when protests flare up.

Well we'll see... I assume you were certain the cons would win in Canada last year?

Tyler is trolling us.

And, he refuses to pay me for my comments and poetry!!!
The Man is exploiting all of us.

Seems like a straightforward result of Chris Anderson's long tail. As technology has made a longer tail of media economically feasible, more people find themselves on the tail. Because it's available. And if the media you desire isn't available, then with Twitter or with the comments sections to a widely read blog, you can be own media outlet, creating a vantage point from which to view (and, depending on your personality, hate) competing media of all kinds, including other Twitter publishers or commenters.

It's the same reason many folks with long-tail musical tastes take special pleasure and have extra verve in hating Top 40.

In turn, the vantage point on the long tail becomes a ready-made, self-defined status point from which TC's status mechanism can work. This assumes some level of status matters to you, and to most people, it does (the psychology of even non-status types will still resort to self-esteem, which is self-appointed status).

Test: Watch CNN Headline News coverage of an event prior to let's say 1995. Now watch HLN coverage today. Just describe the differences, and compare what you see to this article.

Today's CNN:
-Few attempts at neutrality, almost always have a discernable slant, weasel words.
-News coverage clearly aimed at purse-clutching Boomers. Stories like shoving an old man get more coverage than 12 deaths (current protest coverage).
-Racists, felons, and cannibals allowed on air if they're liberal. Sanjay Gupta threatened to assault the Covington kid, and ate human meat for a segment. But he says orange man bad, so he's a moral paragon.

The same is true of NPR, MSNBC, and on the other end Fox News.

If I want professional reporting I - sadly - have to turn to Al Jazeera, maybe Reuters. I know they're biased, but their homepage alone is more professional than CNN.

Current headlines:

CNN: "Behind Trump's Fortress walls" (emotional much?)
Al Jazeera: "Washington DC prepares for largest protest." (A fact)
Reuters: "DC Prepares for huge protest as officials move to reign in police" (sounds factual)
NPR: "Amid brutal responses to protestors, Will moments of solidarity bring real change?" (blatant activism)
Fox: "Buffalo cops caught on video pushing 75-year-old to the ground plead not guilty" (purse-clutching Boomer news)

American media is trash because we really are a Police State, and both "sides" in this conflict are pawns. As Noam Chomsky said, the key to controlling speech isn't to limit speaking. It's to control the allowable state of opinions. Being "pro cop" or "anti cop" is easier than admitting easily 80% of our problem is our failed war on drugs. If cops weren't crawling the streets treating marijuana smokers like serial murderers, the vast majority of these incidences would vanish instantly.

I was going to make a different reply about the insanity of making this blog post a day after the media spent an entire day screaming that Trump said George Floyd would love the job numbers, but instead I'll respond to this other bit of insanity.

80% of our problem is the war on drugs? Do you not think there were murders before the war on drugs?

The timeline goes: 60/70s crime increase -> crack cocaine crime wave -> war on drugs -> crime goes down. You can argue the causation all you want, but there's no support for even simple correlation to the current narrative floating around on social media that things were great before we started cracking down on crime for no reason.

our (previously low violent crime) state with a liberal princeton elite governor did mass un-incarceration of violent criminals early on.
in the largest city the violent crime went up more 50% in about 5 years.
the elite liberals donna wanna talk about it

+1. Yep. I'd only add that it's because of the long tail in media that much "mainstream" media has, as you point out, mostly gone tabloid. To stay in business, they have to.

That was pretty good.

People don’t seem to have a lot of for hate Consumer Reports or the sports page. I think that tells you something.

I hasten to point you to most Sports page publications where soccer/ football is prominent (and in season). Many an inflammatory article has precipitated a mob, whether it be Manchester, Porto, Madrid, or industrial Bavaria. Forsake not the Sports to precipitate passions, violence, and civil unrest. I think the safe/ happy sections are Homes and Autos.

I have never been a fan of this theory, but I've got to admit it's a bit poignant this week.

And with the Big Disintermediation it isn't even really about the media.

It's about what news, what clip, even what truths, do you want to hear ..

I guess I could crank up the cynicism on that comment. It is also about what lie you want to hear.

I gotta say, the comments are providing some pretty strong evidence for Tyler's thesis. I think the boring truth is that structural incentives of engagement/views as the defining metric of journalism drives a race to the bottom where you quickly become dopamine dealers to your user base. Corporate subsidies (Amazon and the WaPo) can alleviate these pressures but introduce problems of their own.

Yep, and no better example than Senator Cotton promoting invasion of American cities by our own military. The entire NYT staff revolted. Against the NYT! Do they hate media? What separates America from the rest of the world is the heterogeneity (I couldn't resist that stupid word) across media, from stupid right to stupid left. Something for everyone to hate. Heterogeneity is the enemy of the people!

Let's define the terms better next time. By Media I am assuming you mean MSM. By MSM I would generally define as the liberal MSM. Fox News and other less mainstream sources notwithstanding, since that is marketed for flyover territory with generally a more 'consevative' viewpoint, the bias is already baked in but welcome change in viewpoint for some.

Some criticisms:
-The liberal MSM has created a liberal monoculture/echo chamber/group think
-Deviation from the liberal MSM consensus (especially foreign policy) will cause one sided criticism or exclusion from sources to convey to the audience
-Liberal MSM will tut-tut but will never introspect
-Liberal MSM relies on the same sensationalism that Fox News etc. get criticized for including frothing at the mouth editorialists
-Blurring of lines between editorialists and news
-Faux objectivity as they are maintaining some sort of liberal consensus position, should adopt the European model where the newspapers don't pretend they are objective sources
-News is sometimes about the news corps. themselves, especially during the Trump era

Everyone is the US wants to claim they are middle class and moderate. To do that you need to have some ridiculous economic and political definitions.

I have been a news junky my whole life. I don't have strong political affiliations. I hate CNN because their hatred of Trump has grown so extreme that they are willing to do damage to the country to defeat him. I am not a Trump fan but the game should be played by some rules. Fox News I don't care for. They are biased and their analysis is normally superficial at best. The quality of the media seems to get worse every day, less to inform more to distort for political advantage.

Wasn't that the whole point of him? He's not a normal politician, and he tears apart norms all the time, so why should 'the rules' apply to him? He attacks the media (except his personal network Fox) relentlessly, of course they fight back.

+1. Trump saw the long tail of media, jumped into it, and then grabbed and shook the tiger by it. He merely added political office to both the tail he grabbed and the tiger he shook. Which is all normal politicians do with what we used to call normal media. Why would he do it? The same reason we all do. Dopamine. Which has no rules.

Trump didn't cause the media bias, remember NBC fabricating documents to score points against Bush the younger, and circulating memos demanding affiliates run more negative stories about him during the reelection campaign? Their excuse was they normally are impartial, but those were extenuating circumstances. What trump does is make them so apoplectic they can't help themselves but abandon all pretence of objectivity. As much as it's mostly a policy failure, it's also been a public service to completely discredit any media that could allow itself to join #resistance. I.e., all corporate outlets besides fox.

Pretty clearly, Trump loves the media and the media love Trump. Each is the other's nutrition.

Personally I think this whole "I don't like Trump but people shouldn't talk about how bad he is" thing is a protection of status.

I mean, obviously.

If you looked at it straight on you might have to do something about it. Like say impeachment for perfectly available crimes.

But impeaching Trump might lower the status of other people who you feel are less guilty.

I don't like trump, but I think people should talk about the actual bad things he does, like war crimes in Yemen. But if they say that is bad, then they'd have to admit messiah Barack was a naughty boy too, so they do this ridiculous orange mad bad #resistance schtick that's completely predicated on bad faith partisanship and is destructive to discourse and reasoned argument.

I mean, obviously.

I don't want to say this is you, but I do have a problem with people who believe in the permanently balanced false equivalence.

Like literally anything Trump does can be balanced by naming something from the past.

At this point it should be obvious how stupid that is. We have never been in such a hole, with such a low quality president.

But "such a hole"? Before the virus, which isn't Trump's fault, what 'hole' do you mean?

I don't know about you, but I think nothing this presidentially dumb has happened before in my lifetime:


But again, is that all you meant by the 'hole' we are in? That he's an idiot? Agreed.

But the country was doing fine even with the idiot in the WH.

Let's hope he doesn't get re-elected.

You do realize that this tweet was very misleading, I hope.


From the article, quotes demonstrate that the swabs to be produced during the president's visit were planned to be discarded prior to the visit.

"The running of the factory machines is very limited today and will only occur when the president is touring the facility floor," Virginia Templet, the company's marketing manager told USA TODAY in response to questions about the event. "Swabs produced during that time will be discarded."

This Onion video isn't a serious attempt to determine what he meant, but the coincidence of phrasing compelled me to share it.


"Whataboutism" Is just a fancy way of saying "don't call me out on my hypocrisy!"

I'm not defending trump, I'm saying #resistance is hypocritical BS. They'd be happy to have all the same things happening as long as it was a D was in the White House.

Well trump plays the media... and they play him? Not sure about the last one... I mean if he were highly intelligent there would be some grand plan behind it...but it seems he just likes to be "triggered" or whatever, and then spew his "entertainment"...

To use the old word 'bias' was the reporter injecting what he thinks into his article. I'd say that, especially for a publication as a whole, doing that perfectly is impossible, but one can do the best one can, with varying results. The way it was put was 'you cannot tell from reading or watching whether the story was done by republicans or democrats', at least better than chance.

When that more or less stopped, I'd say it had definitely stopped by 1992, about the same time as baby boomers took over and reporters went to college and became journalists, the journalists always made sure, like now, that their reader or viewer know what they think, it's all opinion.

Journalists seem to have forgotten that the desire for 'bias free' news, is that, at bottom, no one wants to know what journalists think. The journalists of yesteryear were probably no smarter than the ones now, but they didn't inflict what they think on a defenseless public. So in the past, journalists were probably pretty stupid, but didn't flaunt it, now they do, and I am not sure 'hated' is always the right word to use, but since they violated that saying of Lincolns, no one respects them.

Just for fun... out here in the wild.... in the private sector.... among the great unwashed.... academics as a whole are behind journalists in the esteem the public holds them, but seem to be catching up. I am not sure they realize it.

...started taking over from the networks, first with CNN then many others. Then it all gets supercharged by the internet. Journalism is simply a completely different industry than it was 40+ years ago.

Heck, big 3 network news was a loss leader, so they could be basically impartial. Now news is delivered to make money. And here we are.

What may have driven these changes is technology.

When television news was only on air, ie, delivered by TV towers, there was such a thing called "broadcasting"--think, broad, non-controversial, casting, so as to attract a broad audience. Opinion in the news was rare: it was a rare event when Walter Cronkite downloaded on the Vietnam war because it was so unusual to hear opinion in news.

But, with introduction of cable, firms could product differentiate on a different platform, so you can see a multiplicity of viewpoints.

But, what has changed since cable has been "internet publishing"--by which I mean people who are really not independent fact searching journalist, but basically, people in their kitchen table putting an exciting label or headline on some national news item, or just rewriting what they picked up on some other guys website.

There is no main stream media. There is just media. In all types and flavors.

By the way, I look at this more as an industry study exercise So, if you are interested in this subject, I can highly recommend: The Business of Media Distribution by Jeffrey Ulin. You can use it as an industrial organization book or a case study of an industry book. Ulin has written several editions of his book, and its fun to compare the history of media over time between different editions.

+1. Chris Anderson, The Long Tail.

No. They 1) tell me what to think 2) lie to me. I unapologetically resent both.
What a foolish post by Tyler. (And an example of unchangeable priors.)

If you want to understand Fox News, listen to it from the next room over while someone is watching it with the volume turned way up.

With the video and copy removed, you focus on impact of the volume and character of the sounds, of the pacing, the tone of voice. And what it does to your body and mind.

It is quite literaly a sustained assault on your lizard brain of fear & outrage and then outrage & fear. Continuously.

I suspect all your brain actually hears is: crisis crisis crisis

All TV news tends to do this, but Fox took it to a whole new level.

Re Media distribution : What you don't know is that Fox pays hotels to put their programming on the hotel breakfast room television. I think CNN used to pay, and maybe still does, to have CNN played on airport televisions.

If you ever visit a parent in the nursing home, look at the TV. I've been told that they do not play Fox News in the dementia unit because it gets the patients too excited. Instead, they play reruns of Lawrence Welk and old movies.

I freaking hate that about hotel breakfast rooms.

All I want is my microwave breakfast buffet with some coffee. The blaring insistent commentators on Fox shouting at the otherwise peaceful and quiet room gets old fast.

I wonder if this affects the mental illness of the hotel desk clerks after long term continuous exposure.

Listening to CNN drone on about the same damn story for two hours straight while waiting for a flight isn't much better, but at least CNN is not trying quite so hard to bombard my lizard brain with jagged cuts and jarring sound dynamics.

I recently wrote down this Ross Douthat line that I think explains why many people (especially conservatives) hate the media:

"The heart of polarization is often not a disagreement about the facts of a particular narrative, but about whether that story is somehow representative — or whether it’s just one tale among many in our teeming society, and doesn’t stand for anything larger than itself."

People often hate the media because they think: "You are only elevating this particular story because it suits your favored narrative." I do notice, for example, that the Washington Post often has stories on its front page that are essentially "a white person in a small town somewhere said a racist thing", while by any objective measure there are vastly more newsworthy stories getting little attention.

Fox/Breitbart does the exact same thing. So we all 'hate the media' when really we hate those bad guys at CNN/WaPo/Fox and love our team's outlet.

May I alter the question: Why do those with age, experience, long memories, a life of reading, meeting people, travelling, managing, examining their own views, thinking about life,
find media, bloggers, commenters,
lacking in knowledge, experience and self knowledge? And, eager to display their ignorance, arrogance and lack of self understanding.

I like and respect "the media".
For the most part.
Do not respect Breitbart.

Well, Tyler, you got what I suspect you fully and accurately expected: a whole pile of your regular commenters here outing themselves fully as proving your post to be on the money and absolutely correct. Just hilarious. Congratulations. You really triggered them, :-).

Yes, I was about to post a similar comment.

Tyler's older post said this: "That’s even true for this blog" ... and yup.

And his even older post said this:

"Imagine if I wrote a post that just served up a list like this:

The people who deserve to be raised in status: [...]


The people who deserve to be lowered in status: [...]

It’s pretty easy — too easy in fact — to dissect most Paul Krugman blog posts along these lines"

There's a lot of merit in that observation of Tyler's as well. I actually like Krugman and his work, but I almost never read his column and Tyler's hit upon one of the main reasons why.

Similarly, sports columnists love to write -- and readers love to read, and then argue about -- top 10 lists: best baseball player ever, best rookie this season, worst-coached football team, etc. There actually can be information content in those columns and discussions; same thing with best movies of the year, best non-fiction books, etc.

But they can easily devolve into status-raising/lowering exercises. That's happened to one of the sports discussion groups that I follow; for the past several months there's been an irritating flood of people asking "who was better, athlete X or athlete Y" or "who's on your Mt. Rushmore of all-time players" and an even bigger flood of people spewing out lists with little thought and less information.

Still, as with top 10 lists, there can be interesting questions and discussions. E.g. best player to never make the playoffs? Where would player Z have ranked if injuries hadn't shortened his career? Similarly I do pay attention to Tyler's lists of best books or movies of the year, what he's been reading, etc. and often there'll be a comment or two or three that says something useful.

Everyone commenting here is either:
1) Resentful/angry that the police have been better at politics than they are
2) Wish that that they were as good as the police at politics.

When you have most of the guns and are the bodyguards.

Re: Tyler’s theory, when you combine that with (status) loss aversion, the slights against your side are remembered long after the plaudits are forgotten

It’s also clear there is no hatred against media in general, only the half of the media deemed to be in bed with the other side.

The risks to the polity when the two sides aren’t living in the same solipsistic reality any more are well-known. There just isn’t any money to be made in objective factual and unbiased reporting or fact-checking, if there ever was.

I personally find all the US media, dumbed down by the commercial pressures of infotainment as they are, largely worthless, and rely on a balanced information diet from many primary sources left and right (thanks to RSS feed readers, I keep track of over 400 feeds including this site) and foreign news outlets like Nikkei News’ excellent coverage of Asian affairs. There are some paid trade publications like The Information that are also worth what you are paying for.

It is a mutual hatred. People hate the media and the media hate the people.

More like the liberal media hates the people. Fox is the champion of real Americans.

Vicente fox? Yep I definitely agree...!

Vicente Fox? Yep I definitely agree...! If you're about the network, then yes, family guy is as close it gets...

The media is a conglomeration of old Marxist adolescent revolutionaries from the 1960s or illiterate people who do not and will never know history.

why not satirize postmodern media memezombies?
-the recent hydroxychloroquine reporting was an epically bad case of
histrionic fraughting.

wakey wakey!
david brooks.con
just birthed a new postmodern and undefined
trump diagnosis/meme -"mental brutalism"

IMHO, the status question should focus on the media instead of the consumers. Those media types want to continue to insist on their place at the top table, regardless of methods used to attain and maintain that place.
They want the Fourth Estate to be viewed as a legitimate voice in the Great American Conversation, while pretending that so many of their practitioners have not become Fifth Columnists for what in their minds is the only true way to believe.
Egos in media, who coulda knowed?
Next step, follow the money. Who pays up for those eyeball demographics? Look at Big Pharma for the nightly 'news' broadcasts, where other advertisers don't enjoy the high level of federal-enhanced economies and political/lobbyist support.

Correct for this sample, at least.


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