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November 11, 2016

Michael Wolff: Trump Exposed Media as Smug Incompetents

And Michael Wolff is on the left side of things.

And also part of the media.

The media turned itself into the opposition and, accordingly, was voted down as the new political reality emerged: Ads don't work, polls don't work, celebrities donít work, media endorsements donít work, ground games don't work.

Not only did the media get almost everything about this presidential election wrong, but it became the central issue, or the stand-in for all those issues, that the great new American Trump Party voted against.

The transmutation of political identities has arguably devolved into two parties: the Trump one, the angry retro people, and the Media Party, representing the smug modern people, each anathema to and uncomprehending of the other. Certainly, there was no moment in the campaign where the Media Party did not see itself as a virtuous and, most often, determinative factor in the race. Given this, the chants of "CNN sucks" at Trump rallies should not have been entirely surprising.

But they were. The media took this as a comment about press freedom rather than its own failure to read the zeitgeist. In fact, it largely failed to tell any story other than its own.

...

In a situation that only had two possible outcomes, nobody was even able to pretend they had contemplated both....

It all washed away. Beyonce. The tax returns. The theoretical blue wall. Trump as sexual predator. Putin. His shambolic debate performances. Hispanics. Indeed, every aspect of the media narrative, dust. This narrative not only did not diminish him, it fortified him. The criticism of Trump defined the people who were criticizing him, reliably giving the counter-puncher something to punch. It was a juicy target. The Media Party not only fashioned the takedown narrative and demanded a special sort of allegiance to it - Twitter serving as the orthodoxy echo chamber -- but, suspending most ordinary conflict rules, according to the Center for Public Integrity, gave lots of cash to Hillary. The media turned itself into the opposition and, accordingly, was voted down.

And it was a failure of modern journalistic technique too. It was the day the data died. All of the money poured by a financially challenged media industry into polls and polling analysis was for naught. It profoundly misinformed. It created a compelling and powerful narrative that was the opposite of what was actually happening. There may be few instances, except perhaps under authoritarian regimes, where the media has so successfully propounded a view of events not only of its own making but at such odds with reality.

I have long criticized Twitter as being a very insidious conformity-creating engine, and have long advised people to get out of the sheltered comfort of their no-dissent-desired Twitter claques and behind-the-scenes list-servs and actually engage with people who will challenge their beliefs, rather that spending 10 hours a day having their thoughts validated by fellow Cultists.

And I've also said repeatedly these "thoughts" are by and large not "thoughts" at all, as they were never thought by the person parroting them. Beliefs no longer come out of someone's own brain as he sits alone and thinks about his situation; no, thoughts are now Twittered into someone's brain by the relentless yapping of the Twitter herd.

Beliefs are no longer being intellectualized into existence, but simply socialized into people through conformity rituals and group loyalty shibboleth recitations.

Thinking is not a team sport. It is not a group project. Deciding what you think is not a collaborative project to undertake with 1000 of your Very Bestest Fake Internet Friends on Twitter.

It never has been. It never will be.


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posted by Ace at 06:32 PM

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