Please note: the following is submitted, via the Czar, by The Mandarin, an inscrutable character from the shadows of Gormogonica.
While having lunch with Czar the other day in his royal dining hall, the conversation turned to a discussion of the media. The Czar stated that the Obama presidency was a real profit boon to the liberal media. I countered that if you look at the ratings of what are considered “conservative” or right-leaning outlets such as Fox News, they were still outperforming CNN and MSNBC combined, and newspaper after newspaper was either filing for bankruptcy or closing operations all together. After a couple of rounds of going back and forth on this point, I came upon the realization that there really isn’t a liberal press anymore (if there was ever really one to begin with), but a progressive press.
What is the difference between a liberal and a progressive? As I heard a radio talk show host once say, “A liberal may disagree with a conservative’s views but will fight for the conservative’s right to express them. A progressive on the other hand will disagree with the conservative’s views and will do every thing in his/her power to silence those views.” What has caused this shift from liberalism to progressivism? Harkening back to the sociology classes I was required to take in college, one concept that stuck with me was group dynamics, specifically what causes a group’s views to shift from a moderate to a more radical position over the course of time. What it boiled down to was that as members of the group jockeyed for leadership roles, they would take more radical positions and actions to prove to the now “less committed” members of the group that they were the true believers, and therefore worthy of leading the movement. Today the “true believers” in the press are so indoctrinated in progressive politics and philosophy that they no longer just report the news, they have become the news. In some ways they are like the referee in a professional wrestling match—seen by those less informed members of the audience as impartial, actually directing the action and the outcome of the match, and conveniently looking the other way when someone is swinging a chair at the good guy’s head.
There was a time when you opened a newspaper and there was a very distinct editorial section. Now, the entire paper is one large editorial section that may have some “facts” included. To say that the press has never had an agenda or tried to direct policy/politics would be naïve at best. The press has always asserted that they were the forth branch of government, there to keep the other three branches honest. It’s hard to keep others honest when you yourself no longer know what the truth is.