Contractions in the Media World

I saw a couple of articles about companies off-loading media properties.  ABC is trying to sell Nate Silver’s 538 site.  And it’s rumored that Jeff Bezos needs to sell off the Washington Post as part of a deal to buy a football team.

These are smaller parts of a bigger story.  ABC is trying to shed costs because Disney is looking to sell ABC and ESPN and wants to make them look less like money-losing properties than they are.

And this same loss of profitability is a general situation.  CNN is tanking and its competitors; MSNBC and Fox are also suffering ratings slumps.  Even streaming giant Netflix is feeling the pinch.  And Amazon is seeing red ink in various entertainment departments.

And how is any of this surprising?  These media companies don’t provide valuable products either as journalism or entertainment.  They despise their customers and provide content that is poorly done and rarely helpful to its consumers.  Watching what passes for network news is painful and rarely rises to the level of professional journalism or even honest reporting of the facts.

And what Hollywood tries to pass off as entertainment is an outrage.  Except for a very small proportion of the cable shows everything is hopelessly derivative and completely lacking in interest.  The network television shows, the police procedurals and situation comedies have fallen below the level of high school theatrical productions.  The scripts are worse than hack work.  The actors are uninspired and amateurish.  The only thing that keeps the whole thing from completely imploding is the low expectations of the Millennial viewers and the desperation of the sponsors who need some outlet for their commercials.

Back in the 1960s they called television the “great wasteland.”  If those culture critics could have foreseen what passes for television to day they would have begged the forgiveness of the network executives who provided a product that was at least geared to people of average intelligence.  Their modern day successors have crafted a product that even marching morons would run screaming from.

And that’s why I buy DVDs.  If I find a good show I buy it and add it to the Noah’s Ark of entertainment that I maintain.  Re-watching a one or ten or eighty year old movie is infinitely preferable to suffering through some new piece of tripe that will insult my intelligence and my morals.  And that’s why I’m so grateful for conservative critics who can pass along news of that rarest of unicorns, something new that’s worth watching.

So let ABC and the rest of the alphabet soup go out of business.  Let Disney’s next fifty gay rom-com cartoons crash and burn on the runway.  There’s plenty of old entertainment to watch and there will be some good things made by someone, somehow.

The big problem is finding reliable news.  The truth is not something that corporate America allows.  For that you have to go to small venues and the rare big media exception like Tucker Carlson.

But you always have OCF (Orion’s cold Fire).  What could be better than that?

2017: The Dawn of the Age of the Deplorables

As I noted in my previous post, I spent a very nice week and a half relaxing and enjoying the Christmas holiday.  As part of that I read an awful lot of right wing and sort of right wing commentary.  And it occurred to me that things are definitely looking up on our side of the blogosphere.  Christmas Eve I watched the beginning of this five hour (!) set of interviews.

 

 

The host Stefan Molyneux has a series of videos where he interviews people about politics, philosophy, religion and life.  Ostensibly this series of interviews are about Christmas.  But that’s a jumping off point in some cases to discuss the year just passed and the new year coming up.  If you are not familiar with most of these people then I’ll say that they are spread across a continuum of ideologies starting on the left at about what used to pass for a liberal (but now would be too mild for the left today) all the way to some pretty hard core alt-right types.  Happily, for me, none of them here have joined the goose-stepping lunatics that abut this political neighborhood a little too closely for comfort.  But they are all unapologetic in their scorn for social justice warriors, America-haters and other lefty lunatic types that reflexively attack all things normal and good.  Some of them are not Trump fans, others came around by the end and some were predicting his win a year, ago.  But all of them are part of the new media.  They have cast their lot with the new way of reaching the people.  They run their own businesses and have their own audiences and get paid for telling a side of the story that the main stream media doesn’t tell.  They are more interesting and more relevant than most of what Fox provides and a thousand times better than the nonsense on CNN, ABC, NBC or CBS.  It’s very hard to predict if any of these folks will survive the brutal competition that exists in the media environment today.  I hope they do.  They inject humor and wit and points of view that aren’t permitted to exist on the network shows.  And interestingly they seem to be plugged into some of the trends that everyone else missed this year.  If that fact indicates a better grasp on what really will be happening in the near future, then maybe they’ll thrive.  I recommend that if you’re interested in what different voices are saying about our changing world then look around and see what’s going on.  You may be pleasantly surprised.  After all these are the deplorables that that Hillary warned us about and you remember how well that worked out for her!