Who are we when the room service runs out?
From Mainstream to Regime
Call woke "news" what it is.
Grab your television remote and scroll through the (few) right-wing channels; scan some of the most prominent GOP-friendly newspapers, listen to a syndicated podcast host, stop by a political fundraiser meeting.
What is the common thread you hear across these platforms and others in the conservative movement?
The Right tends to refer to well-funded and left-wing news outlets as the mainstream media. The term is bellowed into the airwaves with often little consideration of what its usage connotes, resulting in everyday people adopting it.
But language precision is something those on the Right should be especially cognizant of nowadays—as the Left redefines sexuality and gender, for instance, or shames you as a bigot for calling a virus by its place of origin. Or for finding the use of the confected word “Latinx” silly.
It is long past time for right-wing journalists to signal to Americans inside and outside the conservative movement what they well understand and what people already know; the “mainstream” media does not run through the heart of the American consciousness. While the ruling class imagines that its media apparatus speaks to and for the broad center of the American polity, they are wrong. What is new is that they know it, and the broad center knows it too. Now is the time to make clear that we not only understand the reality behind the illusion but, for the good of the country, are acting accordingly.
Want accuracy in how we describe news? It’s more accurate to refer to the dominant sector of the media as left-wing, corporate, or legacy. The major outlets produce news that usually sounds like it was written by hacks from the Democratic National Committee. These outlets are owned by major corporations. ABC, NBC, and CBS are owned by Disney, Comcast, and Paramount, respectively. CNN is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, the latest media conglomerate.
What’s more, these channels have been around for a long time—longer than the new regime they propagandize for. Before there was conservative TV— namely Fox News—these outlets were “the news.” They were dedicated to leading the nation—even though, as the Sixties set in, a left-wing political perspective began to skew reporting tactics.
Finally, the evidence is piling up everywhere that Americans as a whole know what time it is. It’s not just laughingstocks like CNN+. As Elle Reynolds of The Federalist wrote a year back:
The public communication cartel headed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, CBS, and MSNBC does not represent mainstream Americans. Earlier this year, Axios (another culprit of heavy-handed political spin) reported that 56 percent of Americans believe “Journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.”
A June 2021 report found that the U.S. ranks last among 46 countries in media trust, worse than Poland, the Philippines, and Peru. Results from a survey conducted in March by The Economist and YouGov found that only 30 percent of Americans trust USA Today and 33 percent trust The Associated Press. Only 36 percent trust The New York Times and 35 percent trust The Washington Post.
Situating such outlets in the mainstream doesn’t even speak to their actual reach, which diminishes further with every botched story breathlessly put on blast only to melt into nothing, from the original “Russiagate” to the supposed Russian misinformation campaign around Hunter Biden’s laptop and the supposedly racist Covington Catholic schoolboys. It took a freshman student at the University of Chicago in April to call out CNN’s Brian Stelter over the disinformation his employer has pushed.
Right-wing institutions should stop referring to their left-wing counterparts in media as mainstream. It not only insults themselves by casting their own outlets as fringe, but it does a disservice to the normal people of America who don’t actually accept the slop that the leftwing media dishes out.