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OPINION

There Is No Hope for the Regime Media

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Ron Harris

We keep hearing that a vibrant news media is essential to a vibrant democracy, but we are not a democracy, and the regime media is trash. It is as useful as a thong on Chris Christie and as helpful to our society as a herpes chancre on your upper lip on a first date. Here’s my position, one you should adopt: I wish to do anything possible, legal, and moral (and there is a lot of latitude on that last one) to hurt the regime media and help hasten its agonizing suicide. 

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The new book by Steve Krakauer, “Uncovered: How the Media Got Cozy with Power, Abandoned Its Principles, and Lost the People,” which I liked enough to get in both audio and ebook, disagrees. His argument is important, and you need to understand it to understand the reality of the situation. Krakauer likes the media, or rather the idea of the media as he thinks it should be. Whether it ever was, that is open to debate, but it ultimately does not matter. The regime media is unsalvageable. 

Krakauer worked at various media outlets, including a pre-insane CNN, and now works with Megyn Kelly on her podcast (she was, of course, famously canceled over nonsense). He believes that the media needs to go back to its allegedly objective roots, albeit after making allowances for Twitter and other changes that disrupt the financial models and create incentives for journalists to forgo actual journalism in favor of personal branding. And I believe in unicorns – hey, there’s Chet now!

It is interesting how many of the media folks that Krakauer talks to (all but one named and on the record) who you will know as being liberal – because they are –bemoan the current cancel climate, mostly mildly. They claim to be troubled by how objectivity has been abandoned and how the post-adolescent lunatics on the staffs of these famed institutions are terrifying the leadership and bending the alleged adults in the room to their woke will. Remember Tom Cotton and his pretty anodyne NYT column about using the military to crush the scumbag 2020 rioters? I thought his position was substantively flawed, but that was not why it sparked a Schiffstorm. Substantive criticism does not matter – the woke staff rebelled because it claimed Cotton’s article was “endangering” them. A sitting senator, explaining a view that a huge number of people now, and throughout history, have held, was beyond the pale and could not be countenanced. The management actually caved instead of firing every one of these jerks (a recent trans coverage revolt at the Times was gently suppressed, but gentle is not going to get it done).

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All these moderates who talked to Krakauer – he does not talk to anyone who is full-tilt loony left, at least not in the snippets he quotes – bemoan, in general terms, the turn towards advocacy journalism. They all mouth the familiar and tired platitudes about journalism as a sacred duty and vital to our civilization, but they are utterly ineffectual. None of them called for the ruthless suppression of the insurgents they let inside their newsrooms, who proceeded to burn down the house. Not one could stomach the backlash that would come with telling the whole sorry lot to pack their stuff and get the hell out, to be replaced with geographically and ideologically diverse replacements who believe the stuff the tired warhorses are saying.

You cannot fix a problem if you will not actually do what you need to do to fix the problem, and it is unclear whether these media leaders (that is, at least until the worse generation drives them all away) really want the kind of neutral truth-teller journalism model they all wax nostalgic for. After all, it was not the post-teen radical crowd that pushed the Russia hoax, the insurrection hoax, the climate hoax, the mask/vaxx hoax, the pangolin hoax, and all the other hoaxes. These same “respected journalists” are now upset because these kooky kids are making it hard to hide the bias inherent in the nature of American media.

Krakauer has it right on the nature of the media and how that creates these problems – these people are all the same, geographically co-located in the same coastal enclaves, educated in the same overrated resorts for rich kids, and they are all eager members of the same mediocre ruling class. They talk about speaking truth to power, but that becomes a challenge when they like the power that comes from being them. And they hate the rest of us. They are not us. We are Other. Walk through a major newsroom. Is there anyone who goes to an evangelical church? Who owns a Wilson Combat CQB .45 or similar lead freedom dispenser? Who thinks that men cannot become women through the power of wanting? Who thinks global warming is a crock and that Greta Thunberg is a weird, scowling kobold? How about someone who did a hitch in the 82nd Airborne? Or who did a job that involved perspiration?

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These defenders of democracy will never democratize themselves, which is why Krakauer is wrong. He hopes that revealing the regime media’s failures will shame it into reform, but he fails to account for the possibility that these bugs are actually features. The media likes it how it is. The ones currently in charge or with prestige want to keep their power and positions. To them, the real problem with those wokesters is that the younger radicals are the competition.

Krakauer gives you plenty of reasons to hate the regime media and to seek its demise. After all, it hates you. So hate it back. I refuse to help it – reporters get super mad when they ask me for a comment and I reply “I do not speak to regime puppets.” Do not buy or consume their swill. Do what Ron DeSantis does – ignore it and go around it. There are plenty of outlets out there that do not despise you. Read them.

Krakauer worries that our democracy (okay, our constitutional republic) is in danger without journalists to keep those in power honest, but here’s a news flash. We have not had that for decades. Moreover, the journalists themselves have affirmatively endangered our democracy with their lies, falsehoods, and stubborn failure to cover stories that will embarrass their pals and offend their dwindling readership. Have we seen a hard-hitting story on the manifestly political targeting of Donald Trump by the NYC DA, or an explanation about how utterly ridiculous the legal theory against him is? How about some hard-hitting stuff on Ukrainian corruption and the Ukrainian army's problems? Remember anything about big liberal banks embracing ESG and DEI instead of, you know, competent banking? No. So the NYT/WaPo readership will be shocked when the charges against Trump get tossed and when the Ukrainian army collapses in the face of a coming offensive, just like they were surprised that Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank went nipples-north.

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The media sucks. It is comprised of a few mostly dull people who have little life experience not involving daddy’s money or a keyboard choosing and writing stories based entirely on received woke wisdom. Expecting it to change is like expecting the sun to pop up in the west. It can’t. It won’t.

Let the regime media die, and laugh as it does.

Follow Kurt on Twitter @KurtSchlichter. Get Inferno, the seventh book in the Kelly Turnbull People's Republic series of conservative action novels set in America after a notional national divorce, as well as his non-fiction book We’ll Be Back: The Fall and Rise of America.

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