Wednesday, May 27, 2020


The overthrow of the mainstream media has been a conservative dream for decades, but in recent years it seems the mission has changed: Now it has less to do with pushing rightwing ideas into public discourse and more to do with making that discourse so idiotic that no one who spends time in it will be able to tell a good idea from a bad one -- which, to be fair, is probably a better way to get the electoral results they want than airing think tank assholes to explain for the millionth time why rich people pay too much in taxes.

We've already seen the effect of long immersion in Fox News in recent polls finding Fox fans are likely to believe absurd conspiracy theories, but after a few years of exposure to Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens and their clones I imagine a President promoting bleach as a cure for a new disease will no longer be seen as an absurdity but rather as an arguable point over which intelligent people can disagree.

Which reminds me of the Bari Weiss New York Times column on Joe Rogan, in which she hips her readers to the new podcast thing which is totally taking down moldy ol' mainstream media:
Imagine if I had told you, a dozen years ago, that the former host of “The Fear Factor,” an MMA color commentator who loves cool cars and shooting guns and working out, a guy with a raw interview show featuring comedians, athletes and intellectuals, was more influential than the entire slate of hosts on CNN. 
You’d think I was nuts. But it’s true. His fans are everywhere — I’ve met them working behind the register and wearing loafers at hedge funds.
Wow, lazy signifiers for the high and the low -- he sounds even cooler than Cool Kids' Philosopher Ben Shapiro! I've only seen about 10 minutes of Rogan rappin' with Elon Musk, and he seemed to me not to have advanced much from his days watching people eat bugs. But maybe I'm just prejudiced. Who am I to judge? Maybe --
While GQ puts Pharrell gowned in a yellow sleeping bag on the cover of its “new masculinity” issue (introduced by the editor explaining that the men’s magazine “isn’t really trying to be exclusively for or about men at all”), Joe Rogan swings kettlebells and bow-hunts elk. Men are hungry. He’s serving steak, rare.
-- ugh, forget it, obviously I was right the first time. When Weiss says podcasts like Rogan's are causing a "world-changing, brain-rewiring transformation in how we consume information," she clearly means they are continuing the Great Work of making us all imbeciles.

Making everything worse as always is Rod Dreher, who's not only excited by Rogan's new status as a conservative intellectual, but angry that the snotty, limp-wristed cultural commissars of the MSM are giving jobs to uppities like Nikole Hannah-Jones instead of to Rogan:
Joe Rogan is one of the most popular and influential media figures in America, but he could never be hired at an American newspaper. Seriously, the little Robespierres in the cubicles would raise hell, and the lily-livered managers (like college presidents) would capitulate. Alas for journalism. [boldface in the original]
There are already newspapers with people like Joe Rogan in them. Doesn't Dreher get the Weekly World News? But I hope his column is a harbinger of class-A conservative journalism to come, and that we see the Washington Examiner, for example, running columns by Joe Rogan, Johnny Knoxville, Larry the Cable Guy, and Lee Greenwood. They can even run regular features about how stupid liberals are to take their political cues from celebrities, as an inside joke that no one, alas, will by then have enough brain cells to get.

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