Thursday, April 05, 2018

The big Sinclair freakout

Good take here:

The Freakout Over Sinclair Isn’t About Bias. It’s About The Wrong Bias
All the usual suspects (hey Tater!) are up in arms about Sinclair’s rather anodyne branding exercise.

When Dan Rather denounces you and Dick Durbin threatens you… you’re probably doing something right.

I almost expect Team Mueller to leak that they’ve opened up an investigation on Sinclair for conspiracy to undermine the Deciders.

It is telling that this mass freakout began when Deadspin that miserable spawn of Gawker rang the bell. The herd of independent minds that make up the respectable chattering classes immediately started their Pavlovian barking.

The keepers of media ethics had no real problem with Journolist but a short promotional video is the end of free thought.

Well, actually, the Sinclair statement does present a real threat. Narratives are sustained by endless repetition. If local stations stop mindlessly parroting CNN-approved tropes, then the battle for explanation space could be lost.

Sinclair understands that what is good for the journalist guild and the New York Times is NOT good for Sinclair or their viewers. Sinclair has no desire to emulate Newsweek:

This is a case study in agency theory. The stockholders want Newsweek to maximize the returns it pays to them. The best way to do that is to write a high-quality publication that appeals to a broad audience. The writers and editors are seeking career advancement. You don’t get that appealing to the morons in flyover territory with simplistic bourgeois truth. You get ahead in the media by impressing the media elites, the unofficial campaigners, the reality-based community.

So Newsweek, like many publications, increasingly focused on appealing to a very narrow K-Street/Upper East Side/90210 crowd. That trashed the magazine’s reader base and ruined the company, but it made a lot of journolists into Big Names.

The Agents succeed by gutting the Principals. Tis a twice-told tale

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