Conservative Movement: Lacking the Passion to Win?
By Alex Rosenwald
"The news is what I say it is."—David Brinkley, NBC News.
Bluntly put, those who refuse to believe that mass media propaganda is not a problem in America today, really need to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee. Because if it is not addressed by those in top leadership positions, America could well wind up with one party rule for generations to come.
One could point to President Bush's victory in Florida in 2000, via the Supreme Court Decision, Bush v. Gore, as the start of the endless media onslaught, which finally ended on November 4th, 2008 with the election victory of Barack Obama. Ever since 2000, mass media have been waging a relentless campaign to oust Republicans from the White House and Congress. And now they have succeeded.
There is no question that mass media wanted Barack Obama to win. Just ask former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe: “You know what - every independent study has said that this is the most biased coverage they have ever seen in a presidential campaign.”
Just how broad and pervasive mass media propaganda favoring the Left actually is has not been adequately aired. And it's not just the news media; it is every medium extant, from the “Idiot Box” to the silver screen to the CD and I-Pod, and even the burgeoning Internet. In short, there is an outlet for every audience for this propaganda—and the left is in control of virtually every venue. Comedy Central puts out their crew of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. MTV. Music. Movies. Television. Even more so than the news media, pop culture reaches the masses. The people can just ignore the news, but pop culture is everywhere. For the younger generation, who grew up with nothing but pop culture, there is, in fact, no other worldview.
Conservatives clearly have their backs against the ropes. And if they expect to survive in some politically viable form in the coming decades, they'd better step up and start swinging. In the euphoric electoral victories of 2002 and 2004, many Republicans pretended that the nation had been politically realigned—and that conservatives would be in control of government for a generation. This clearly has not come to pass.
And here is why: 7 out of 10 young people voted for Barack Obama, and that trend only needs to persist for a generation or two before the left has one party control over all facets of government.
So how were the left-wing handmaiden media successful at propelling their anointed candidates to victory? Well, they used mechanisms to which the right should pay close attention: selective agenda setting (giving attention to those issues that government will address) and the priming effect (skewing the standards by which government officials are evaluated by voters), as noted by the authors of News That Matters, Shanto Iyengar and Donald R. Kinder. As the authors state in the book's final chapter: “It seems clear to us that television news has become a major force in the American political process. The problems that government chooses to tackle, the president's power over the focus and direction of national policy, and the real and tangible consequences of elections are all affected by the glare of the television camera.”
But that book was only talking about the effects of broadcast news on the way voters evaluate politicians and issues. Multiply that effect ten-fold when the entire body of mass media—music, magazines, movies, and such—influencing the younger generations is brought into the mix. And the result is clearly monopolistic brainwashing.
To mightily pretend, then, that this has minimal impact upon the electorate is both foolish and irresponsible. The results of the 2008 election—at state and national levels—provide the irrefutable proof.
No one wants to understate the impact of Fox News, Rush, and Free Republic, for clearly the role they have played in keeping the conservative movement off life support has been critical to preserving the two-party system. But to stave off political extinction in the future, the Right will need to achieve parity with the mass media of the Left. And it must combat like the plague the reinstatement of the Unfairness Doctrine, regulation of the Internet, and local origination mandates.
In his fascinating—if chilling—autobiography A Passion to Win, Sumner Redstone stated time and again that one of the primary reasons he built his vast media empire was to gain ideological control of the American people from cradle to grave. And he has done it.
If that's not a wake-up call, you have to wonder what is. And, simply put: It's high time for conservatives to wake up, wipe away the sleep, and shake hands with Juan Valdez.
Alex Rosenwald is a contributing editor of ALG News Bureau.