Monday, August 21, 2017

Why Does the Mainstream Media Act Afraid of a Website?

A website run out of someone's basement is not a "powerhouse" of journalism.

The New York Times and the Washington Post are at it again - trying to get us all confused and scared and to keep us clicking on their pages so they can sell ad space.   Trump is good for their Business, and so is Steve Bannon.  What they are selling is fear, and fear, as I have noted time and time again, is never an emotion to be trusted.

The latest gag in fear-mongering is Steve Bannon.   Now ousted as White House Strategist, he is "declared war!" on the Trump Administration, and everyone is waiting with bated breath as to what he will say next.  Behind the desk of his all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful Breitbart News, he can control the news cycle for years to come.   Petty newsletters like the Times and Post cannot possibly compete!

Or can they?   What people fail to realize is that Breitbart is nothing more than a website, that until recently, was operating out of Steve Bannon's old townhouse basement near Capital Hill - and moved to a new location only because of zoning restrictions (operating a business in a residential area).   Their staff is very limited, which is by design - coming up with crackpot "news" stories doesn't require a staff of investigative journalists, just a few people with creative imaginations, lead by a paranoid.

That is reality.   Breitbart is a very small megaphone, that talks only to a small "base" of people who are presupposed to listen to nonsense anyway.   Nothing much will change with Bannon back at the helm, declaring "War" or not.   Mainstream journalism still predominates.  Breitbart and The Druge Report are still in the margins and always will be.

So why does The New York Times and The Washington Post make so much of a website run out of someone's basement?   Well, the short answer is, they need a bogeyman to wave in front of their readers, to convince them that somehow lunatic fringe websites - and that is all they are is websites - are a threat to their readers.   That somehow a website run by three people in a townhouse basement is going to take down the grey lady and that Democracy will Die in the Darkness.

In a way, it is like Twitter.  No one actually uses Twitter except media types, which is why Twitter is losing money.   I've never been on Twitter, but I've been forced to read hundreds of "Tweets" as journalists think that Tweets are News.   Similarly, I've never read an article on Breitbart, but have been exposed to dozens of them by The Times, The Post and other mainstream media outlets which report on stories published on fringe websites.

Maybe - and this is just another one of my wild crazy ideas - if the mainstream media stopped re-posting crap from Breitbart, it would not seem to have as much impact or credibility as the media seems to think it does.   Breitbart is not a megaphone for the alt-right, the New York Times is, when they report on Breitbart as if it were relevant.