So, Will Rachel Maddow Replace Chick Todd?
NBC may still have a "survival instinct" if it awakes in time.
Plenty of strikingly unusual things have been "laid bare" since The Donald converted what was left of the Fourth Estate into a quivering whore with way too much make up. Now, even though MeanMesa, perpetually an unabashed political junkie of the first water, was dutifully disgusted at the outset with the wild, repeating, media dalliance with the "glitz appeal" of this grotesque "non-candidate," the presumption around here [Short Current Essays' Galactic Head Quarters] was that millions of US voters would be blindly "feasting" on the endless pablum of this embarrassing media indulgence in a truly unsettling way as the "alphabet networks" loaded more and more billions of dollars worth of free coverage to his Presidential reality show.
Still, even given the abysmally low, political quality of these media extravaganzas, the voters' comprehension of what is transpiring around them has -- surprisingly -- surpassed the very "low bar" with which MeanMesa typically measures our national efforts at democracy. Further, it's not just the voters who have surprised these old bones -- it is also the networks' media consumers who are also behaving quite surprisingly, in this case, with an unexpected and encouraging new realization of "having seen the light.".
|The Sleeper Awakes, HG Wells [image_YouTUBE]|
Following the traditional, utterly useless media coverage of previous election after dismal, tedious election, in every repetition another mind numbing stream of gaseous, superficial, carnival euphemisms masquerading as "political discourse," this year seems to have brought something quite remarkable and different. The 2016 political media world has, apparently, awakened all those heretofore credulous, comatose television watchers to glimpse a much clearer realization of just what these networks have been doing!
Yes, all these citizens in the electorate had become passive and sponge-like, abused to the point that they would grudgingly accept practically anything that came their way from the politics industry. However, a good number of these citizens have finally now noticed what went on in the first few months of Trump's campaign. Remember how it was? The network news editors lined up like prostitutes at the lumber camp bar on pay day, continuously obsessed with the prospect of publicizing another dump truck full of The Donald's meaningless ramblings.
Well, there was a message to be delivered, and it was not anything which could be found in Donald Trump's confused "word salad" string of talking points. The message wasn't about Donald Trump.
The message was about the media.
After decades the networks' spell seems to have been broken -- the tattered veil had been lifted. After watching the ugly saga of sausage being made for The Donald, a shockingly painless conclusion suddenly became as "plain as day."
Believing the media was a dangerous mistake.
This wasn't anything particularly new to political junkies such as MeanMesa, but this revelatory and auspicious moment was clear evidence that this new understanding of the media was no longer merely dancing in an isolated tavern for political junkies. No, it was "loose" on the streets, and voters who had, before this, long since ceased being interested in politics were, once again, truly taking notice.
Of course we find ourselves in a predictably awkward juncture in the immediate sense. With the US media finally revealed as the soiled charlatan which could only be made to look relevant with sparkly, white toothed "news actors" and plenty of cosmetics, all these voters are now seeking out sources with more dignity and rational credibility.
American Political Discourse Rises From the Dead
If you haven't sampled some progressive media, give it a try.
Don't be embarrassed. Welcome aboard!
|Exhuming the Fairness Doctrine [gif.source]|
At the time of this posting right wing broadcast media is overwhelming the tiny voices of progressives on the air waves by around 200 to 300 per cent. This means that every time Thom Hartmann airs a single hour of The Thom Hartmann Show, 200 or 300 hours of right wing radio broadcasts are also aired. It's been this way for decades.
Ronald Reagan obliterated the broadcast Fairness Doctrine in 1987. That law required broadcasters using the public air waves to attempt to mix and balance their broadcast content. The Doctrine had been law since 1949.
Once that troublesome irritant had been permanently VETOed, things began roaring down hill almost immediately. It is quite safe to say that we are either at "the bottom" of the hill or damned close to it. The trillions of dollars worth of free political news coverage of the non-news worthy Trump turns out to be the "straw that broke this camel's back."
The industrial media's total abandonment of any fealty to "broadcasting for the public good" has been egregious, arrogant and infuriating. The billionaires are now unquestionably in charge of what's left of the old, traditional networks, but their "return on investment" may not be as impressive as they thought.
"It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS," he said of the presidential race.
Moonves called the campaign for president a "circus" full of "bomb throwing," and he hopes it continues.
2/29/16: Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS, Columbia Broadcasting System.
So, What Comes Next?
Those who think that the networks are about to re-create themselves,
please join the line forming behind the dumpster.
If anyone has been waiting for a media "rags to riches" story, you've come to the right place. After the despicable sell out to birth the Donald Trump "movement," American media consumers will be searching for an alternative. They won't pause at MSNBC for any longer than it will take to find out where Rachel Maddow has moved.
The alphabet networks won't change because they can't. They are now no more than pitiful waifs being driven by shockingly single minded corporate oligarchs demanding high enough ratings to successfully sell toothpaste commercials for cash. American media consumers may fiddle away a few more weeks or months trying to convince themselves that "it wasn't as bad as all that," but as they gradually sober up, it looks very much like they're going to develop a refreshing new appetite for fact based media which will actually inform them about what's happening.
Happily, the "new news" market they seek is already well established as a minuscule presence buried below the surface of the brain fever infested swamps of ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and FOX. Many of these listeners and viewers will soon discover that the major media markets in their large urban communities have been entirely co-opted by the sold out toothpaste sellers for years.
They will discover that any entity broadcasting a progressive message has been quietly transformed into an "all sports," "all tel-evangelical" or "all business" alternative. If the curiosity of these new truth seekers is piqued, they will also discover that these new "alternately themed content" broadcast offerings have generated painfully unrewarding ratings for those who directed these changes.
At this point yet another very smelly elephant is entering the room.
These recently slaughtered progressive media options have not been slaughtered to improve station ratings. They have been slaughtered at the well financed behest of the billionaires' think tanks. They have been censored.
If we were describing the changes make to a sleepy, family owned, 100 KW AM station in Beaver Falls, it would be one thing. We're not. We are describing huge, popular radio and television broadcasters in cities such as Boston, New York and San Francisco. All across the country massive cities with populations in the millions have become right wing broadcast infested wastelands.
Residents in these places have no choices in the broadcast content they are able to receive. It will be stridently right wing -- day and night, or it will be silence.
Big Players On the Horizon
Probably so big that they will change our idea of "big."
That won't be all that is new, either.
At some point, perhaps a few decades ago, the Democrats slept through the effective end of the Party's presence in the domestic media. Since then all "news" originating from the Democratic Party, its politicians or its spokesmen gradually became a "curious dalliance," evoking a few seconds of the evening "news" as an aside.
This was the state of American journalism at the beginning of what Donald Trump was preparing to "do" to it. Now, after The Donald actually has done this to it, it is in tatters. Neither the billionaires nor the progressives have any thought of being able to effectively "use" the domestic media in any manner which could be "persuasive" to the disgusted, exhausted men and women in the electorate.
The Democrats have already been speaking about creating a network of their own to counter FOX -- and largely the other industrial networks, too. MeanMesa has posted about this: Will the Democrats Finally De-fang FOX?/MeanMesa.
However, not to be left out of the fray -- the tempestuous, democracy wrecking scrap between two openly opposing networks -- the Republicans are, most likely, going to wind up with their own network after Trump loses this election next month.
Trump, once the polls began to paint him as The Wreck of the Ancient Mariner, has, predictably, begun to blame the "liberal media." This is not a shocking development. Republican politicians have been doing the same thing for a long time when their Presidential campaigns become a death march.
What's different is that Trump has collected millions of illiterate hill billies and bigots, and this "scum of the earth" actually believes what he has said about the "liberal media." They are prepared to consider his now essential inevitable election failure as evidence that the process was "rigged" -- his words. They are also, most likely, quite prepared to become irrationally violent about it.
Not a problem. The pundits are now reporting that The Donald, staggering out of the ashes of his election disaster, will start his own network, too. There is little reason to expect The Donald's "new news" network to be even as committed to democratic principles and the good of the nation as, say, Murdoch's FOX. In fact The Donald's network will probably make FOX look like a collection of shows that were too "lefty" for PBS or NPR.
Within two or three years our divided nation will be even more divided, and by "divided" MeanMesa is saying permanently divided.
Nonetheless, the media consumers are awakening. Both the new Democratic Party network and the maniacal "Trump Truth" are going to have to work extra hours to remain salable and consumable to their respective audiences -- both now already cutting their consumption and consuming what they haven't cut with historical levels of skepticism -- network skepticism.
Perhaps the days of the dithering rube utterly packed with right wing blather are ending -- at least for the many Americans who are currently in the process of realizing what the industrial networks, think tanks, corporatists and oligarchs have been trying to do to them.
What To Expect
Let's just give it a little time. MeanMesa feels quite confident that the previously befuddled media consumers in the American market place are about to correct this current monopolistic gamble by the uber rich. Broadcasting businesses and broadcasting equipment is among the most "fickle girlfriend" there is. The same electrons, nuts and bolts that are presently broadcasting endless, rancid hate propaganda today can be broadcasting content that is radically different as soon as tomorrow.
Watch this blog.