Do you find yourself wondering what just happened? The last four years are bewildering without some coherent theoretical framework by which to make sense of them. I want to share with you an article which for me, at least, significantly helps me to understand the time we live in.
After the 2016 election I saved a half dozen opinion pieces by national columnists who identified an important factor in Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, namely, his skill in exploiting the resentment which many Americans felt toward political correctness and the superior attitude of most American elites. At no time since then have I seen any indication that the Democrats were conscious of that phenomenon. But now here is an opinion piece that helps to explain why the Democratic Party is so out of touch with exactly half of the American populace: “Slouching Toward Post-Journalism: The New York Times and other elite media outlets have openly embraced advocacy over reporting,” by Martin Gurri, City Journal, February 13, 2021 (https://www.city-journal.org/journalism-advocacy-over-reporting).
Gurri reports that the Times had given Hillary Clinton an 84% chance of winning the 2016 election. The actual outcome was profoundly disorienting for them. “In a somber column published the morning after, Liz Spayd, public editor, announced that the Times had entered ‘a period of self-reflection’ and expressed the hope that ‘its editors will think hard about the half of America the paper too seldom covers.’ The reflective mood quickly passed.”
Indeed it did, and it never returned. Gurri shows how social media delivered a one-two punch to traditional journalism and produced what he describes as “an extinction-level event.”
Do you remember Marshall McLuhan’s “The medium is the message?” What about Neil Postman’s Entertaining Ourselves to Death? Ever wonder why critical race theory and woke culture don’t die a natural death, given the tsunami of penetrating critical analysis they have attracted? Here it is. READ. THIS. ARTICLE (if you want to).