If you hadn’t heard, the NBC-owned Vox Media recently launched a war against conservative YouTuber Steven Crowder:
“On Thursday, Carlos Maza, who writes Vox’s “Strikethrough” video series, launched a campaign to pressure YouTube to ban conservative commentator and comedian Steven Crowder. Crowder’s crime? Producing a series of rebuttal videos to “Strikethrough” that include mocking references to Maza’s identity.
In response, YouTube says its now looking into Crowder’s channel and has reportedly already begun demonetizing some of his videos.
On Friday, Crowder responded by condemning this as yet another example of “corporate censorship” of a conservative voice and making clear that “this is a war … we will fight to the absolute bitter end both legally and publicly.”
Now, the stated reason by NBC–I mean Vox’s Carlos Maza–was because Crowder Said Mean Things about a Gay Man Of Color, who we all know are the most sacred of cows.
But that’s not the real reason. That’s the excuse for the real reason. The real reason is because Maza’s employer NBC wants to destroy Crowder because Crowder is popular, dissident and above all because he represents the Future of Media in the era of cord-cutting.
If you think about it, this, more than anything else, is why the Legacy Media has suddenly become so intolerant of conservative voices: because now, in the era of online media, the traditional media–cable news, newspapers–has never been less relevant.
Until quite recently, I believed the recent turn towards political censorship by the media and Silicon Valley was all about silencing dissident voices who dared speak the truth. But that’s only part of it. There’s more to it than simply getting rid of conservative voices.
There have always been conservatives in the mainstream media. Not just on Fox News, but conservative voices have always been given platforms on all the major media outlets, from NBC to CBS to ABC and CNN, even MSNBC. New York Times and Washington Post have always had their token conservative opinion columnists, even if the rest of the paper was in the hands of archliberals.
The mainstream legacy media, while definitely leaning way to the left, has not until quite recently been intolerant of conservatives. At any time over the past 25 years or so, you could always turn on Meet the Press and see conservatives on the show. All the major Sunday talk shows feature voices from both sides.
So it’s not just a war against conservatism being waged by the traditional media and Silicon Valley: it’s a war against the new, online media, which, incidentally, is mostly dominated by conservatives, who first turned to online media out of necessity because the left had a stranglehold on the traditional media.
Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder, Paul Joseph Watson–these guys are not only targeted for censorship by the Blue Checked Mainstream Media “journalists” because of their political views, but because of the existential threat they represent to the legacy media. They represent a future where the legacy media has lost control of the narrative.
The guy trying to destroy Steven Crowder is Vox’s Carlos Maza. Vox is owned by NBC. This is not a coincidence. NBC is siccing its trained attack dog on Steven Crowder in an attempt to destroy a New Media Threat.
If you’ve ever wondered why it seems like so many of these blue-checked “journalists” are nothing more than glorified hall monitors tattling and whining to Big Tech anytime a conservative pundit Says A Mean Word, now you know why. CNN’s Oliver Darcy’s entire job appears to be to Destroy Alex Jones and InfoWars by tattling on them violating the terms and conditions of social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Carlos Maza’s job is to take down Steven Crowder.
The legacy media wasn’t intolerant of conservative voices when they were confined to the controlled environment of Uniparty-run cable news. It was fine to allow George Will and William F. Buckley and all the other conservatives of past eras to be fixtures in the mainstream media, because they were still playing on the Uniparty media’s turf. They were controlled, almost like tamed animals.
But now, in the era of online media, conservative voices don’t have to be kept in captivity like zoo animals by the Uniparty media. They can express their opinions freely online, completely unbeholden to the traditional media system. No longer is the Uniparty media the gatekeeper through which all views and opinions may enter the public debate.
Because of YouTube and social media, there is no gatekeeper anymore. Well, at least there was no gatekeeper, until the old gatekeepers, in their desperate attempt to regain control of the narrative, demanded the new social media companies put the clamp on all these new right-wing voices.
The Uniparty Legacy media’s tattletale “journalists” realized that although conservative New Media figures no longer have to play by the Uniparty Media’s rules, they still have to play by the social media companies’ rules, and this is where Tattletale Journalism comes from. “Dear YouTube: This is CNN’s Oliver Darcy. I am writing to inform you that Alex Jones has violated your terms and conditions. According to your policies, Alex Jones must be banned from YouTube. You’re welcome. Signed, Oliver.”
So the old gatekeeper is still trying to play gatekeeper by demanding the social media giants get rid of all threats to the Legacy Media.
It’s not even really about the profits, either. The New York Times’ profits have been declining since 2003:
You didn’t see the traditional media desperate to silence and censor conservatives in 2005 when the NYTimes‘ profit was in the midst of a serious decline. It’s only now that they’re trying to ban people.
Long gone are the days when traditional media companies were seriously profitable. The whole newspaper industry nationwide has shrunk by nearly two-thirds since 2006:
And in terms of money, the big cable networks don’t even make that much in the grand scheme of things. In 2014, Morgan Stanley estimated CNN to be worth around $10 billion. That sounds like a lot of money, but consider that AT&T, which recently bought CNN’s parent company Time Warner, and thus CNN itself, is worth over $235 billion.
That means CNN represents 4.2% of its parent company AT&T.
It is not about the money and profits. If CNN went belly-up tomorrow it would barely be a blip on AT&T’s bottom line. CNN is not important financially.
It’s important in terms of power.
You don’t get into the media business for the money. It’s about power and influence.
The Uniparty Legacy media’s turn towards censorship and against freedom of the press is not some desperate ploy to save their collapsing profits. Their profits have been collapsing for years. It’s not about the money.
It’s about preserving their power and influence.
Conservative New Media figures represent an existential threat to the Uniparty media in the age of cord cutting and smartphones.
The Uniparty Media was at the height of its power when everyone in America had to get their news from either TV or the newspaper. Up until the mid-2000s, the Uniparty Media was the gatekeeper through which all Americans got their news and information.
But with the rise of blogs, social media sites, YouTube and other online media starting in the mid-late-2000s, the Legacy Media’s status as Gatekeeper was put in serious jeopardy.
Over the past decade or so the legacy media has been in an existential struggle not for survival–because NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, NYT, and WaPo will always exist in some form–but for power and influence over the minds of 320 million Americans.
Want to know why the media was so blindsided by Trump’s victory in 2016? Because it believed there was no way his populist, anti-immigration ideas would be popular with a significant number of voters. The media, believing itself to still be in control of Americans’ minds and the primary shaper of their political views, was confident that it had inoculated the American public against Trump’s brand of right-wing populism.
The real shock to the media in 2016 was not only Trump winning, but the media realizing how little sway it had over the minds of millions of Americans. They thought they had conditioned Americans to reject Trump’s ideas, but they were wrong.
Tens of millions of Americans had their views shaped and developed somewhere else. Somewhere other than cable news and the newspapers.
The first time a parent hears their young child swear, their first question is “Where did you learn that word?!”
That was the Legacy Media’s reaction to Trump winning in 2016: “Where did all you voters get exposed to these right-wing populist ideas?! Who red-pilled you!?!?! Who exposed you to non-Uniparty-Approved Ideas!?!??!”
In the wake of Trump’s victory, the Uniparty media came to the collective realization that it had lost its control over Americans’ minds.
After gathering themselves, they went to work figuring out exactly how all these non-Uniparty-Approved Ideas had made their way into Americans’ minds. The culprits were clear: conservative New Media like the blogosphere, Twitter, YouTube and the so-called “Intellectual Dark Web.”
They branded it all with a name: “the alt-right” which, of course, means “NAZISM.” No matter how much you protest being called alt-right, it doesn’t matter: anyone on the right who is not George Will, Brett Stephens or National Review Magazine is considered “alt-right.” In other words, if you’re on the right and you don’t harbor an obsessive, almost religious-level of hatred for President Trump, you’re “alt-right.”
And that means NAZI, of course.
Now, there were mentions of the “alt-right” by the media prior to Trump’s victory. There was some awareness that a different type of conservatism was rising in the Republican Party. But until Donald Trump won 306 electoral votes on the night of November 8, 2016, there was never any serious concern that the “alt-right,” a.k.a. the Non-Uniparty-Approved Version of Conservatism, had gained serious influence in the GOP.
If you look at Google Trends, interest in the term “alt-right” did not peak until after the 2016 election, when the media was trying to identify a culprit for Trump’s victory:
The media calls the New Right “alt-right” because the term “alt” signifies illegitimacy. It’s not the true right, but merely an alternative to Mainstream Conservatism. It’s meant to portray right-wing populism as a fringe sect of illegitimate extremists.
The Uniparty media hates the New Right and tries to slander it with a Nazi-associated term like “alt-right” because the Uniparty media very much liked the Old Right as embodied by Mitt Romney, John McCain and the Bush family. They represented the Uniparty-Approved Version of Conservatism. They knew their role: they were to somewhat indulge the passions of the party base so that passion didn’t boil over into a full-on revolt, but ultimately lose graciously to a Democrat. Or, in the event they won the election, they were expected to strictly adhere to the Uniparty-Approved Version of Conservatism and under *NO CIRCUMSTANCES* do anything of that stuff they promised their voters they’d do, like cut government spending, reduce the federal debt, reign in the federal bureaucracy, and pare back the welfare state (see “Bush, George W.”)
The Uniparty-Approved Version of Conservatism is pro-immigration (“Diversity Is Our Strength!”), pro-foreign wars (Neoconservatism), pro-corporate tax cuts and free trade (“Economic Freedom!”) and nominally anti-gay marriage and pro-life, but ultimately too afraid to say so publicly, much less actually act on those sentiments legislatively.
All the way up until election night 2016, the media was operating under the assumption that the Republican Party was still the party of the Uniparty-Approved Version of Conservatism. This was why the media was so confident that Trump would lose: because the Uniparty media believed Trump’s agenda of anti-immigration, anti-foreign war, anti-free trade policies was simply not that popular in the Republican Party.
But it was. Or, rather, it had become popular with Republican voters in the few years prior to the 2016 election. And it happened right under the Media Gatekeepers’ noses.
No longer was YouTube for silly cat videos and the Evolution of Dance. It had become a full-on competitor to the legacy media. By 2016, people were actually getting their news from YouTube, Twitter, the blogosphere and Facebook instead of from the Uniparty Legacy Media.
That’s where people discovered Non-Uniparty-Approved Conservatism. That’s why the Legacy Media has been on a two-year mission to destroy any and all New Media conservative voices. Steven Crowder is the latest.
Ultimately, the Uniparty Media’s attempt to retroactively punish those they hold responsible for Trump’s victory in 2016 is a futile effort. They cannot put the genie back in the bottle. They cannot regain their status as Gatekeepers after the gates have already flung open. It’s like trying to put the Berlin Wall back up. It ain’t happening.
You can ban and censor all the people you hold responsible for Trump’s victory in 2016, but it’s not going to make their ideas disappear. It’s not going to make their fans turn against them. It’s not going to make Republicans turn back to Romney and Bush-style Uniparty-Approved Conservatism.
The Uniparty will never regain control of the narrative. They will never again be the Gatekeepers who control what we see, hear and learn.