An open letter to the former media.
I know this has been a very trying time for you lately. Your pundits and pollsters failed you. Your preferred political party failed you. Your panels of similarly minded media and movie star personalities failed you. The candidate you hated and actively campaigned against won and now treats you like you hated and campaigned against him – the nerve! The candidate you openly and totally supported lost the election even with a massive popular vote win in California.
A side note – that last point, about California? Yeah, that is the very reason that there is an Electoral College. We are the United States of America, not the Republic of California and the unincorporated boonies. Get over it.
You once took pride in being The Media. But petty whining about the electoral college and the popular vote, really?
Here’s the inconvenient truth, this is why . . . .
You are no longer The Media.
I and millions of other Americans have watched with utterly delight as you spun and spun, predicting that Trump could never win, had no chance, could not possible get to 270 electoral votes.
We watched with pure derision as the very people and personalities that revel in a highly sexualized world drenched with vulgarities and innuendos feigned outrage at Trump’s astute comment about the behavior of the gold-diggers and other hanger-on’s that flock to stars and celebrities. Behaviors that many if not all of you have at one time or another been exposed to if not outright involved in taking advantage of those willing to do “anything” to get a shot at stardom or fame. The more you repeated it, the more you tried to make political hay out of it, the more ridiculous you made yourselves appear.
Stars who have made millions off of vulgar, sexualized or otherwise “naughty” behavior both on-screen and off, also joined your faux-outrage party, but no matter how desperately and pathetic your attempts were to paint Trump as some kind of misogynistic monster, it fell on deaf ears because we have witnessed that and so much more from you every day for years on end now. Now, after all of the scandals and sensationalism that oozes constantly from our tv’s, tablets and smartphones thanks to you and the Hollywood celebrities, now you want us to be outraged that Trump commented on the reality of that world? Seriously. You thought this was going to somehow tarnish his reputation – this accusation coming from the likes of you? This was going to do it?
My god, we have never laughed so hard as we have during this election as you labored so futilely to have us ignore your own vulgar and obscene record on this subject as you cast dispersions about his character based on the type of comments that pale in comparison to any discussion normal people have related to Magic Mike, 50 Shades of Grey or any number of other movies and shows that are watched in this country every day. It was so absolutely juvenile and naïve on your part to think that this would have had any impact on a jaded population so desensitized to this topic by you!
This was all on you. You made sexuality a mainstream topic and humor about sexuality so common place we are not shocked by anything anymore. And then you had the audacity to try to claim the moral high ground when you are so deep into the filth that you could not even see solid ground let alone stand on it. Absolutely pathetic.
And this approach just typified everything about you that the American people have come to despise and reject.
The truth of the matter is that you are the victims of your own success.
You became so comfortable interpreting the news rather than simply reporting it.
Pushing a specific social agenda rather than observing and reporting the current culture.
Commenting on events rather than simply presenting them for us to decide.
Spinning the subtext of stories to point to one pre-determined conclusion you preferred.
Framing the conversation to fit the prescribed political agenda you supported.
Ignoring the validity of our point of view when it was inconvenient for you.
Offering infantile approaches to very real and substantive debates you did not like.
Injecting your own opinions into your news reporting or debate moderation.
Condescending in your approach, derisive in your comments, and dismissive in your opinions, you treated us as mindless, unintelligent inferiors who needed to be guided and instructed in what to think and what to say – what did you think the outcome of that was going to be?
The more you became comfortable as the final arbiter of what was fit for us to consume as “news”, the more we realized we did not need you. This is why . . .
You are no longer The Media
We got tired of having an interpreter who hated us and so we started to tune you out. This led to the rise of Fox News and other alternative news organizations, but then social media allowed us to go even farther and to see a world without you in it at all – except as potential content.
Your viewership numbers only let you know how many were actually watching, not what we thought of the spectacle you were bringing out each day.
At first we just stopped listening, but then we stopped looking at you. We paid attention to the images, the scenes and the footage behind you. We learned to interpret silently as we watched your channels with the sound muted. And then the new social media took us over that next hurdle
Now we are no longer even looking in your direction as we look out at the world for ourselves to see what is transpiring. We want to see the actual events and hear the actual comments. Thanks to the new social media platforms, we can do that now. We no longer need the pretty faces on the screen describing events on a monitor behind them. We longer need your shows at all. We just jump out onto social media and watch it unfold in real time for ourselves.
And while you were opining and emoting so powerfully on TV, we worked through the difficult days of the birth of anything new. We dealt with the spammers, the faux news sites and the time-wasting advertisers. We learn to recognize fake content and often passed it around as a joke with each other just to laugh and help others learn how stupid the efforts of these clowns really were. Yes, we aged lifetimes online while you were still trying to figure out if pay walls were effective or not. We were developing relationships with strangers on the other side of the globe in real time while you were busy planning your next show taping.
Our world became truly instantaneous and you were still trying to get us to tune in hours after an event had happened to get your preferred spin on things. In fact, we would often have already figured out what your spin was going to be and answered it in forums and hashtags before you even got the chance to come up with a unified message. We were responding to you before you even spoke. Yes you had become that predictable.
You were already a dead format and you did not even know it.
Let’s take the debates as an example. The public already knew what each person was going to say, we knew what the questions were going to be like. We knew how you would behave on screen and off during the debates. So it was like watching a rerun each debate night. We were really watching just to get the next series of memes fired off. So fast that even before you went to commercial, we were flooding the net with new versions complete with video of our favorite parts.
This is the world you cannot control.
The news is no longer your sole domain.
You do not get to decide what we hear and what we see.
You do not get to interpret it for us.
You do not get to silence the opposition.
This is why . . .
You are no longer The Media. You are now just part of the story.
We are the media. We are producing our own shows and content.
And so we now watch as you become the very thing you once feared – a censor, a bully and a tyrannical hate filled specter.
You once feared being censored and silenced by the conservatives, yet we never did any of that. We simple stood back as we gave you all the rope you needed to hang your tarnished reputations up high for all to see what you had become.
As this new world of media has replaced the old, you are the dinosaurs watching the meteorite streaking across the sky and not realizing you are already history.
So you see the new media as being fake media, but, be careful – you are calling us, the average ordinary people fake now. You are not just deriding and attacking conservative politicians and their supporting organizations. You are accusing us – the people – of being fake, of being stupid, of being unable to discern truth from lie. You try to silence us and to disparage our freedom and liberty of speech and press. This is why . . .
You are no longer The Media
We recognize it for what it is, this futile attempt of yours to salvage your reputation, your lofty perch above the huddled masses. We know you are simply going through the death throes that all massive creatures endure in their last tragic minutes.
We produce better content than you, faster than you and more accurately than you. And it is real, it is us, it is now.
We allow for real debate and discussion and truly appreciate all of our differences, but we do not hide behind politically correct speech anymore.
We are real, gritty, in-your-face and we love the vitality of news happening for us instantaneously around the globe.
We are free of your shackles on our thoughts, free of your restraints on our view of the world and free of you. This is why . . .
You are no longer The Media.
You have no power here now.
There was once a time when you mattered. When you meant something.
There was a time when a journalist was something special and unique. It had an special honor and beauty about it.
But you squandered that. You sold your souls for collectivist political favor. You sold your pen for petty ratings. You sold your thoughts for pointless accolades. You sold your golden micrpphone for petty cash.
And now, here at the end of all your past glories.
You only have yourselves to blame.
It was not the new media that destroyed you.
It was your own lack of character. Your inability to present truth untarnished and unfiltered.
The very moment we found a medium to obtain that untarnished unfiltered truth without you, we became the new media. The new media is life unfiltered. This is why . . .
You are no longer The Media.
The path back is near impossible for you now. You have to unshackle yourselves from chains of your own forging. You have to unfetter your own minds from the orthodoxy you wrote and that you enforced. You have to once again take pride in your craft – the real craft of journalism. Stop being spin-doctors and craven hacks – be real news journalists. There are some among you who retained their character and professionalism – but they too are migrating to the new media and leaving your dying ranks. But most of you can’t. You are so intertwined with the webs of deceit and disinformation that you wove that you could not understand the truth if it sat right in front of you and said . . . there is a better way. You are so focused on the narratives you must create that you can longer understand the stories that you see. We do. We understand the stories because we live them, we breath them and we share them. We do not need you anymore. You are an anachronism already and soon you will be history along with the clay stylus, the telegraph and the typewriter.
This is why . . .
You will never be The Media again.