17 Comments
Jan 10·edited Jan 10Liked by Brad

The Internet has broken so much of our system. My early career was managing a data center for a large bank. This was in the 80s before PCs and Ethernet had taken off. My first “mobile phone” and “mobile computer” did $2000 damage to my car’s dashboard having to slam on my brakes to avoid a crash. They were both on the passenger seat... we called them “bricks” back then. The nerds... they changed the world. They did. And for all the good it has done bringing information to the masses, it has too-quickly disrupted long-standing structures of everything... too quickly for us slow-adapting apes afflicted with baked-in evolutionary behavior constraints. Maybe we will catch up with appropriate adaption before our nerd-inventions destroy us completely. I remain hopeful.

However, there is something missing in all this terrific synopsis of the change to the MSM exploiting Trump as a desperate move to recover advertising revenue collapse from the nerd inventions. The missing question is best illustrated by pointing out the Tweets of Rob Reiner. The missing question is WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH OF THE UPPER CLASS? For the MSM to grow and profit off of Trump rage, something deeper needs to be diagnosed. Yeah Trump’s personality is abrasive. His penchant for speaking and Tweeting in eight-grade-level locker-room banter is distasteful and irritating. But Jesus can that explain all this Trump Derangement Syndrome? I don’t think so. I have not yet heard or derived a good enough explanation for what is wrong with my lefty educated and well-off friends frothing at the mouth is raw hate for a man who clearly loves his country and has a consistent platform of ideas to make it better. Certainly the repetitive chanting from their media feeds keeps the fire burning, but these are our most educated and sophisticated members of society and for that to be the full explanation it would mean they also possess a complete lack of control of their critical thinking apparatus... that they, for some reason, are the most susceptible to cult/ideological capture... the malady we typically attribute to the least educated/sophisticated.

Something is broken with my Democrat friends. Something deep. I have not yet put my finger on what that is.

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I am not a religious person, but I think the deep sickness on the left is the First Deadly Sin: Hubris. They believe their lust for control is compassion, and only they have the knowledge to save humanity and create utopia. And they are more than willing to use force to implement their vision. When I asked a fervent family member if she understood that coercion would be needed to attain her vision, she replied, “Well, how else can you make people do what they should do?”

The hubris is so overwhelming that they will expunge the cumulated wisdom of those who built civilization in favor of their own ideas. They cannot ever admit that their ideas have failed, and produce only dystopia. They will never see the truth and stop the destruction on their own. They must be stopped.

Augustine was right to put hubris as the first deadly sin.

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My view of what is broken in Democrats is that they believe they are liberal. So do most journalists and idealists.

They are not. The only liberals left in America are libertarians

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I wonder if it also has something to do with the tactic of progressives to DEMAND what they want immediately. (Example: End Oil NOW). And to get in peoples faces with their demands (e.g., Mad Max: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sml-G5v_x1A). Greta "How Dare You", etc. It's like a temper tantrum by 10 million people. All that rage flying around and manners are all gone.

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I read a little bit of everything because I want to see what every side is saying and doing. Substack has the most honest journalism. If you never hear something you don't agree with, you are in a bubble. Don't be manipulated. NYT and the Atlantic are just pathetic in their coverage 99% of the time.

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Jan 10Liked by Brad

Imagine what will happen once Joe Biden drops out of the race and the Democrat start running their Dark Horse candidate: Kim Kardashian. America will go full idiocracy with two reality TV stars battling it out in the presidential race. Ratings will be off the hook.

You heard it here first.

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Honestly, that would be awesome.

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Jan 10Liked by Brad

In a way the MSM exploitation of the Liberals hatred of Trump’s presidency is much akin to the old story tellers craft. The historical tales & tales of heroes might inspire their audiences, but to grip them & ensure a feeding after, they had to frighten their audiences with tales of monsters.

It’s not just Trump’s banner being used to terrorize their paying readers, look at how they cover ordinary meteorology as society ending events. Snow storms that might have closed schools in my youth, or not, now threaten to lay waste to entire states. Rain storms become biblical deluges. Climate change (duh) is now a civilization ending doom. They have become insane shriekers of the wolf is here to eat the flock. I’m completely certain they will soon pick up the mantle of UFO advocacy that they so long mocked as their game ending strategy unwinds. Fear & hatred are their banners.

And increasingly, they are being ignored.

I don’t know what will replace our need to gossip & babble & speculate. Maybe something wilder & crazier than Twitter/X. Or something completely iron jawed censoring all freedom. Something.

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The monetarisation of Trump Derangement Syndrome!....a fascinating and insightful analysis Brad. I would only add this: we need not shed a tear for the dying of 'The News'. It has always been one of the great delusions of modern times. 'The News' has always been a fraud on account of the inevitable Editorial Selectivity (whereby for instance, some murders warrant months of agonising and outrage whereas others don't even get a mention). Hence the very CONCEPT is a fraud........the illusion that you can know what the most important thing going on in the world is (without any effort on your part) just by checking 'The News'. And then came the great MSM invention of 24/7 'current affairs' which was really mostly about keeping the great army of MSM 'news' grifters in a job.

There has only ever been one way to be genuinely informed about the world beyond one's own direct experience.....putting in the time and effort to read widely. And that is something that was never going to happen for most people.

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Jan 9Liked by Brad

I haven't read a newspaper in probably 10 years or more. Haven't subscribed to a newspaper since the late 80s. Our neighbors, where we now live, would read their Sunday paper and then let us have it. I would read the funnies and do the puzzles. I don't consider that reading the paper. They no longer give us the paper. No biggie, the funnies aren't usually funny anymore and I really don't need to do the puzzles.

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Right there with you! The only main stream media I use is the NYT for their daily wordle (and a couple other word puzzles)

I get all the news and funnies right here on Substack 😊 (far superior to MSM!)

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You know it!

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Nice article.

But you could mention that some ideas, charts and data are borrowed from "Postjournalism and the death of newspapers", the chapter about the commodification of Trump - https://human-as-media.com/2020/10/20/the-trump-bump-in-the-news-media-commodifighting-trump/

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I should have labeled the graphics I pulled and mentioned the book, apologies. Postjournalism and the death of newspapers was fantastic.

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Fixed.

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Jan 10Liked by Brad

Matt Taibbi's book Hate, Inc. is all about how the Trump phenomenon turned the media industry upside down.

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