Playing the Indian Card

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The Media Cocoon around Trump

Trump supporter with cocoon.

I have now seen a couple of times, from those who list to the left, the argument that the rise of Donald Trump is due to the collapse of mainstream media. Now, they say, it is possible to read the news only from sites sympathetic to Trump, and never hear a counter-argument. We are all in our little news cocoons.

This is wrong. They can only think so because they get all their news from sites sympathetic to Clinton.

The truth is that the mainstream media is coordinating with the Clinton campaign—we know that from the Wikileaks material. Any alternative media on the left is likewise anti-Trump. But only those who never see the right-wing media could think that it is pro-Trump. Many of the established voices on the right are anti-Trump as well: the National Review, the Weekly Standard, Megyn Kelly on Fox. Nobody is giving him a free pass, it seems.

It might be possible, by careful selection, to avoid all news sources that are anti-Trump. But to do so would require a prior knowledge of who is pro or anti-Trump. And the only way to know that would be by listening to everything. It is not predictable by political ideology. You would have to know all about the matter you are supposed to be ignorant of.

In any case, if you stop and think for only a moment, the argument is saying that a generally wider access to information and to differing opinions, thanks to the improved technology of the Internet, is causing people to become more ignorant. That is like assuming that rain falls up.

Why are the old mainstream media dying? Surely it is not because nobody has discovered them, and many have not heard what they have to say. It is because they have heard, and made up their own minds that the product is biased and unreliable. They have flown the cocoon, not spun one.

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