The recent dismissal of Bill O’Reilly from Fox News confirms that no man has a secure job in the media—especially if they don’t conform to leftist ideology. The fact that he had a long career in TV news, the highest rated news show on cable, bestselling books and was practically the face of a network wasn’t enough to protect him from allegations of sexual misconduct. O’Reilly’s name could be replaced with that of countless other media personalities targeted with negative coverage resulting in career damage. Both the means and the reasons for this targeting is a combination of snobbery, greed and an establishment trying to protect itself and its ideology.
Working in the media (journalism/Hollywood etc.) is like any corporate job. Many care more for the prestige of the position and the perks it brings rather than the actual job itself. As Nassim Taleb wrote, journalists, “worry considerably more about the opinion of other journalists than that of the general public.” Once in, they will do anything to protect their position, even it means sucking up to those in power and embracing its ideology (leftist/globalist). For those who have put in the time and made whatever compromise to ingratiate themselves, it is almost natural to want to discredit those trying to encroach on perceived territory or those refusing to comply with accepted practices and ideological dictates.
They Aren’t One Of “Us”
Hostility, suspicion, and condescension towards perceived outsiders are common in any field or social group and so it is with media. Before the 2016 Presidential election, Alex Jones was considered a curiosity to the mainstream. He hosted a niche independent radio show out of Austin, Texas, appealing to fans of Ron Paul and those interested in conspiracies—a slightly more political version of Art Bell. He even appeared in two movies directed by leftie (and fellow Austinite) Richard Linklater.
But with his support of Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election he got more influential. His YouTube views surpassed many of the legacy media outlets and he even bragged about his personal conversations with then President-elect Trump. When Wikileaks released the CIA “Vault 7” documents, his some of his conspiracy theories became fact. He was now a rival of legacy media. And that meant they would use any opportunity to discredit him.
So, when a gunman fired shots at Comet Pizza in Washington DC, the center of the “Pizzagate” pedophile ring, Jones was one of those blamed for propagating the story and “Fake News” in general. Lawsuits were threatened and Jones had to denounce “Pizzagate” on air whilst firing some reporters.
The yogurt company Chobani is suing Alex Jones and InfoWars https://t.co/7ApmXl1r8u
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 26, 2017
His Infowars’ operation in general was also affected when YouTube demonetized all content they deemed “controversial”. Facebook went after sites propagating “Fake News” with Infowars’ as a clear target. Vendors for Google had them ranked as a “low-quality” site. And when a custody battle between him and his ex-wife went to court, the media pounced, reporting on every lurid detail—especially when he stated that he plays a “character” on his show.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) April 18, 2017
Mike Cernovich, another person covering stories outside the system, is a current target. After tweets of support from both Donald Trump Jr. and Kellyanne Conway for breaking the story of Susan Rice ordering Trump associates wiretaps “unmasked”, it was only natural to arouse the establishment media’s jealousy. Immediately, articles appeared in mainstream publications (like The Washington Post and The New York Times) critical of him, publicizing his “misogynist” tweets. In The Weekly Standard, Eli Lake of Bloomberg called Cernovich a “fake news artist,”—even though Cernovich broke the Rice story before Lake “confirmed” it.
Recently, Jack Posobiec, who works for The Rebel Media, came under fire for publicizing the release of leaked email documents of then French Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron. Almost verbatim, news outlets cited the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab findings: “#MacronLeaks reached 47,000 tweets in three and a half hours after it was first used by Jack Posobiec, a writer in Washington for the far-right news organization The Rebel.” Did these articles mention that the Atlantic Council was a globalist think tank with donors like the European Commission, NATO, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates? No. The more important story was “far-right activists”—not journalists—were trying to influence an important election in France.
In the legacy media’s eyes, the above can have their niche audiences but they can’t be stealing praise from those in power nor have influence. It’s why the whole “Fake News” meme was started: Only “real” journalists can report “real” news. If a story influences an election, a “real” journalist is just “reporting”. If it’s done by an “outsider”, it’s “activism” at best, “fake news” at worst. If an opportunity arises, if there is a third party with dirt or embarrassing anecdotes or tweets, an enterprising establishment reporter will exploit the opportunity to discredit an outsider.
What of the likes of Edgar Snow, Walter Duranty, Stephen Glass, Judith Miller and Dan Rather—those who pedaled actual fake news (writing apologia for mass murdering dictators and helping start wars on false premises no less)? They get a pass. Their legacies are kept intact; sometimes with a movie made sympathetic to their plight. Why? They’re “real” journalists. They’re one of US.
There’s Reputations (And Profits) At Stake
It’s attractive to write off legacy media companies as dinosaurs lumbering towards extinction. However, many of the companies still have deep pockets (with billionaire benefactors like Carlos Slim and Jeff Bezos) and the ear of the cultural and political establishment. And since there is a slight profit motive, there’s occasionally someone willing to try and make some money on opinion that might be a little dissenting.
This is especially the case in terrestrial radio, an industry that is desperately fighting for relevance in the digital age. Rush Limbaugh, the most successful conservative radio talk show host in the US, was credited with “saving” the AM Band when it was dying out in the late 80s. But this success did not ingratiate him to the media elite.
When Limbaugh tried to branch out in to other avenues, he was met with varying degrees of resistance. His first pass at television in 1990—guest hosting a late-night CBS talk show—resulted in disaster. In 2003, his stint on ESPN’s NFL Pre-game show ended quickly when he made a statement deemed “racist”. In 2006, when he was being investigated for prescription drug abuse by law enforcement, news outlet covered it sensationally like he was El Chapo. In 2009, his attempt at owning an NFL franchise was stillborn when dubious “racist” comments were publicized by the media. Outside of talk radio and publishing, media companies and sports organizations didn’t want to risk bad press for being associated with him.
Nationalist radio host Michael Savage met immediate backlash when he got a show on MSNBC in 2003. It was only on little more than a month when he made a comment that upset GLAAD. The network quickly canceled the program, not wanting bad press and decided to go in a full-on leftie direction.
Since then, Savage (who Donald Trump borrowed many talking points from) has been relegated to radio and publishing—rarely appearing on mainstream news shows. However, some of his criticisms towards Islam were publicized to such a degree and deemed so “hateful” he was banned from visiting Great Britain in 2009.
John Derbyshire wasn’t banned from his native Britain but in 2012 he lost his job as a columnist for National Review when wrote a frank politically incorrect piece on race relations for Takimag. Since it provoked outcry from the likes of Ta-Nehesi Coates and Forbes’ Josh Barro, Review editor Rich Lowry kowtowed to leftist outcry and said the piece, “lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible.” Derbyshire, who had both fiction and non-fiction books published by mainstream outlets (and even appeared in a Bruce Lee movie), found himself exiled from the establishment press.
This type of leftwing media outcry towards successful, established ideological opponents has a two-pronged effect: First, it creates a self-policing of speech. By knowing that certain speech can be punished, it forces non-leftists to act like controlled opposition. Secondly, it forces companies to terminate deals and contracts because they don’t want the bad press due to threat of losing advertisers and other revenue (as happened with O’Reilly).
Media corporations only stand on principle when they know it will earn them establishment brownie points and (maybe) increase advertiser revenue. There’s scant publicity of CNN’s racial discrimination lawsuit that has a potential 175 plaintiffs. Robert Downey Jr, had very public battles with cocaine addiction—even going to prison—but still got to play Iron Man. David Letterman had his sexual proclivities publicized but got to keep his job as talk show host. Bill Maher can allegedly pussy grab with the best of them and criticize Islam all he wants. Stephen Colbert can pejoratively accuse President Trump of giving Vladimir Putin fellatio without impunity. Why? Because they think “correctly.”
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) April 20, 2017
Shifting The Goal Posts
Publicly virtue signaling will only get one so far in this age of SJW’s becoming more like Mao’s Red Guards. The goal posts are continually shifting and no one seems to be free of scrutiny. In 2014, when chic feminism became all the rage, Bill Cosby, once a symbol of racial egalitarianism in the media, had his entire legacy besmirched due to a host of rape accusations. Story after story suddenly appeared with women making allegations—most from years before. Maybe he did the deeds, maybe he didn’t, but why didn’t those women press charges then? Why wasn’t that question even asked?
Nate Parker also experienced this media 180. His film Birth Of A Nation, about Nat Turner’s slave rebellion, was met with a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival (before the movie started no less!) and sold for a record sum. But the film’s release imploded due to a rape charge from years before—that Parker had been acquitted of. That didn’t stop public outcry from Hollywood celebs like Lena Dunham. All of the sudden, in 2016, rape hysteria trumped race.
And what of convicted rapists like Roman Polanski, or Woody Allen’s sleeping with his adopted daughter and alleged molestation of another daughter? No punishment. Why? They aren’t (publicly) against feminism and globalism, right? They agree with US. They think like US. They are one of US, until the goalposts shift again and until a new accepted establishment cause reassessments of careers and personalities once thought untouchable (maybe being an alpha male will be a crime in itself).
For those “outside the system”, maybe negative media coverage will result in certain channels or platforms being shut down (as PayPal did to Roosh, Occidental Dissent and Bare Naked Islam). Maybe any dissenting opinion or (controlled) opposition won’t be tolerated inside corporate media at all. Or maybe the left will cannibalize itself; it’s uncertain at the moment. But until then, it’s best for outsiders to treat legacy media as a no-go zone and for those inside to move towards building their own platforms.