« How the U.S. House Can Disclose the Tantalizing Secret Memo About Surveillance | Main | A master stroke is possible in Idlib. »

31 January 2018


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I believe you have hit this spot on. Thank you for presenting this diagnosis so clearly and concisely.


"No longer relevant to a world where most people do not read books."

Some days I still find this hard to believe. I just cannot imagine not reading books. But, I think you are correct that Trump not only understands this, he is one with those who don't read. As much as he comes across as fake to me in a lot of ways, he probably comes across as completely sincere to those, who like him, eschew the written word (in long form).


Eric Newhill

Hannity is the second most listened to radio show; 13.75 million weekly audience - on the air 3 hours a day.

However, the statistics can be somewhat misleading. Liberals tend to live in big cities and minorities comprise a substantial proportion of the liberal cohort. First, minorities tend to listen to their own ethnic radio and watch ethnic TV stations and news. Second, the listener/viewership is disaggregated because there are simply more choices for the city audience. So Hannity gets 13.75 mil listeners because he's the only option out there in fly-over land, whereas, in the city, there may be 13.75 million listeners spread across 200+ options (across various cities). No single source of news stands out. What matters is this; are the 200 options united in their liberal message or is it a hodgepodge?

You're correct though with regards to young people, who tend to get their news on "smart" phones and facebook. Guess that's how the Russians influence op was so able to be so devastating to the Clinton campaign ;-)

Getting back to Rush and Hannity; it's a great business model. You're pretty much the only option. Then you declare the MSM to be fake biased America hating propaganda. Then your audience takes a look at the MSM and sees the likes of Morning Joe, Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, etc and they can't relate to such people at all, Thus confirming what Rush and Hannity say. Now you've got a loyal listenership into perpetuity. The message resonates and sticks.



That's the best news the Democratic party has had all week. Best employment numbers for Black Americans in years, Congressional Black Caucus sits on fat asses. Congressman start a chant of "USA, USA" at the point inTrump's STOTU speech where he is praising veterans and the Congressman representing the "heart of Chicago" walked out.

"Now in his twelfth term, Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez is the senior member of the Illinois delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is an experienced legislator and energetic spokesman on behalf of his constituents in Illinois' Fourth District in the heart of Chicago,..." Good thing for him Trump didn't talk about the thousands of shootings in the "heart of Chicago" while the Honorable member has represented the residents of the city.

Let's not forget the #hertoo CYA whitewash she who was not elected put out explaining why she ignored the recommendations of her staff and kept a sexual harasser employed.

The official party response - was from a multi-millionaire not-white-priveleged Kennedy who couldn't be bothered to spend a couple hundred bucks on a make-up artist for a nation-wide broadcost. At least the background was correct. I hope he found somebody to get that bitch'n camero running 'cause he sure doesn't seem to know how those things work.


I get ALL my news from alternative sources. Haven't watched any network or cable news program in years.

I may be utterly uninformed about whatever CNN or NBC is pushing at the moment in terms of domestic issues or what used to be called "human interest" or the like, but my understanding of foreign affairs is far greater than it ever was back in the day (70's-80's-90's). And I owe that to blogs like this one and sites like Antiwar.com, Counterpunch, Consortium News, Asia Times, and the like.

The rest I get from pro-RUSSIAN sources like The Saker, Russia Insider and The Duran, because if you weed out the click-bait headlines, the articles are pretty good (although Russia Insider loses it now and then.)

They had a joke on Crosstalk today where someone referred to "Morning Joke and Meager", which I cracked up over.



This is true. In addition, corporate media has been consolidated into five conglomerates. They repeat the same stories. They only diverge from government stenography if it is in their owners’ best interest. Corporate news is diverging from the independent internet. Washington Post; an ongoing attack by the Russian government to publish the classified memo. ZeroHedge; the Democrats want to hide that the FBI used the Steele Dossier paid for by the Clinton Campaign to get a FISA warrant to surveil the Trump Campaign. What is true?

My sons and I don’t text. Twitter and Facebook are alien to me. I gave up cable news but still watch NBC News and NewsHour and read SST everday. There are whole new ways to communicate. Still, I see burgeoning tribalism that breeds cognitive dissonance and segregation. We are separating into urban and rural; rich and poor; healthy and sick; male and female; white, black and mestizo; clueless or scared; face glued to a screen or not.


I'm amazed anyone watches political speeches any more. They must be masochists...or have nothing better to do than watch a narcissist blow smoke, posture and grand stand. I mean, there's more wholesome entertainment at Netflix or at the library...

Moral of the story: watch what they do, not what they say.


Rush Limbaugh is lying about his audience size.

You can advertise on his network for pennies
($1000 on weekends, $8000 - 16,0000 during the week).

There is no way you can reach 26,000,000 people for that price.
Either his network is throwing away millions of dollars on missed advertising revenue (unlikely) or they grossly inflate their audience size.



I agree that Donald Trump is understanding the media reality of the 21st Century extraordinary well, and a lot better than most Democrats, and Republicans, and the Borg, and I also agree that there are shifts in what kind of media people consume. But I disagree with the idea that Trump is an internet driven star. His strength is understanding TV. TV, not internet, is what made Trump a star.

And I also disagree with a conclusion, that media shift factors were and are decisive for Trump winning. I think Trump won and wins, because he has a much better understanding than most Borgs, Democrat and Republican alike, about what important chunks of the electorate bother about.

Let me give an example. Hillary Clinton said in March 2016 when touring the northwest: "We Are Going To Put A Lot Of Coal Miners & Coal Companies Out Of Business." See it here:


That's while Trump supported coal.

About five months later team Clinton put out an old video of Trump saying "Grab her by the p*ssy." As seen for example here:


I think, though the world is clearly in the mid of a huge media change due to internet, most voters in the US presidential election 2016 had likely heard of both, Clinton's and Trump's, toxic word bits. And I think these, representative for their conflictive approach to the world, politics and the US electorate, have likely been decisive.

Clinton's and the Dem's calculus that Clinton will win the majority of votes after publishing Trump's "Grab her" word bit was basically correct. Clinton won the majority of the votes. However, in the rust belt, where, as I read, there are some people driving around with bumper stickers like "God, Guns & Coal" Clinton's and the Dems where out of touch not with understanding of the media, but with their should-be blue-collar voters.

Many of those blue-collar voters in the rust belt knew both statements, and the made a quite well-informed choice. Do we want someone to be President who promised she's "Going To Put A Lot Of Coal Miners & Coal Companies Out Of Business" or do we want someone to be President who made a couple of years ago a statement of "Grab her by the p*ssy?" Holding their nose many of those blue-collar voters in the rust belt voted for Trump.

So CLinton won the majority of the vote, but lost the Electoral College. I think that had not much to do with shifting media, but a lot to do with Dems being completely out of touch with their voters.

David E. Solomon


The world is infinitely worse off for every non-reader.

I cannot imagine a world without books.




I rely on SST first and foremost. I blame the 1996 Telecommunications Act for the current state of "mainstream news".


Well, simply said, in this age of internet, and easy access to alternative media and information, if one no longer can legally and forcefully (FCC) control the only sources and pipelines of information and the narrative, then the next best thing is, to turn away public’ interest on knowing the news and current affairs all together. IMO that is what has happened and is happening. That is, till something legal and serious can be done with the internet, and associated information and opinion sources like this site. God forbid, if sometime in future, RSH is called in to explain why his is only source of news is foreign media.

el sid

James T

Ah, the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Under the Clinton admin, I understnd. Small world, innit?

And I believe it also scrubbed the meadia's legal duty and responsibility to accurately report the news.

No wonder viewrship is down. As is readership of the printed press.

Seems the Sheeps ain't as daft as they make us out to be.



True ...Meanwhile the 1% continues to thrive. The more division there is on race, gender and sexuality etc, etc. The more they can keep control.


We will soon know if the Democrats get it or not.

I will be slightly controversial but the Democrats have there man for 2020 in Joseph Kennedy III and hopefully his running mate will be Tulsi Gabbard. I believe they have worked well together in the past and respect each other.

Trump would have no chance against that pair. But will the Dems grab it, probably not. However, one can dream.


I think this Death-of-Books trope among young people is a bit exaggerated.

The success of Harry Potter suggests that there is a real hunger for books among the young. The values it pushes - the solidarity of the weak against the violent and the oppressors - the importance of self sacrifice and of thinking of others - are hardly Borg-supportive values.

Again The Hunger Games - which a few years ago you couldn't get on a bus or tube train without seeing several youngsters devouring it - draws its heroes and warriors from amongst the red neck deplorables - and mercilessly satirizes and dissects the fashions and ruthless power-mongering of the coastal elites. It is reputedly written by a member of Catholic Worker.

Just as ever-fewer people follow the MSM for their information and are adapting to the many newer forms of media to get their news, so reading choices for the young are no longer decided by an elite in New York. Literary fiction is dying, much more critical political writing now centres around Sci Fi, Fantasy, and other genres. Similarly, at least in Britain, oppositional political ideas thrive on social media, and give immediate access to alternative media articles, videos, speeches and sources of information.

Account Deleted

You are absolutely right PT - Trump's real skill is not in the art of dealing, but in the equally ancient art of Rhetoric.

Dialectic discourse presumes that the protagonists wish to establish 'the truth'. But in the age of alternative facts and subjective truth, Trump sees that this method of discourse is outmoded - logos is now of little use. Other politicians, HRC included, could not and still cannot comprehend the profound implications of the Balkanisation of news; that logical argument can now be largely defeated, simply by calling into question the veracity of a premise's source.

He also understands that Twitter perfectly suits the 21st century attention span of sub 5 seconds and 140 characters (those new tweets are just so looooonnng).

Those of us still foolish enough to seek out good old fashioned objective truths are vastly outnumbered by voters who have neither the time, nor inclination, to leave their info bubbles. I expect the trend of government activity moving from Legislative to the Judicial branch to increase - until, perhaps, such time as the Law itself ceases to be widely recognized as an objective source of binary truth. Then of course we are all in trouble.

Nancy K

Unfortunately voters have chosen a president who is as ignorant of the written word as they are. Maybe they deserve him but what about the rest of us.


I stopped watching TV news when I realized what Obama was -- and wasn't. Not long after that I gave up TV altogether.

I watched the SOTU on YouTube. I think there is still information in the noisy pomp.


the media landscape is changing rapidly. so all numbers might be a bit misleading, i for example tossed my TV in 2005 and have not watched one since, yet still feel overloaded with media.

the rest of the numbers are pretty interesting.

i would say the biggest reason for the falloff of CNN/NBC etc was do to their behavior during the past election.


The ziocons have no decency: https://www.globalresearch.ca/oliver-stone-leads-tributes-to-robert-parry-as-shady-us-lobbyists-propornot-dance-on-his-grave/5627792
“The anonymous anti-Russia lobby group PropOrNot has stunned social media users with an outrageous attack on the memory of Robert Parry…” – The propornists are not anonymous anymore: https://thedailycoin.org/2018/01/29/unmasking-propornot-exposing-deep-state-crimes/
“Propornot is owned by Interpreter Mag… At the Interpreter Mag level, here are the people:
– Michael Weiss is the Editor-in-Chief at the InterpreterMag.com. He has been a Senior Editor at The Daily Beast since Jun 2015.
– Catherine A. Fitzpatrick is a Russian translator and analyst for the Interpreter. She has worked as an editor for EurasiaNet.org and RFE/RL.
– Pierre Vaux is an analyst and translator for the Interpreter. He is a contributor to the Daily Beast, Foreign Policy, RFE/RL and Left Foot Forward
– James Miller is a contributor at Reuters, The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy, and other publications.

The Interpreter is a product of the Atlantic Council. The Digital Forensics Research Lab has been carrying the weight in Ukrainian-Russian affairs for the Atlantic Council. Fellows working with the Atlantic Council in this area include:
– Eliot Higgins - This linked article shows how an underwear salesman became one of the most important faces of the deep state.
– Anne Applebaum [a “historian”]
– Irena Chalupa, the sister to the same Alexandra Chalupa that brought the term Russian hacking to worldwide attention. Irena Chalupa is a nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. She is also a senior correspondent at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL. Ms. Chalupa previously served as an editor for the Atlantic Council, where she covered Ukraine and Eastern Europe.
– Dimitry Alperovich- CEO of Crowdstrike”


Fred, such speeches bore me to tears: Kennedy III. Could you give me a hint, what you consider the most significant part?

More arbitrarily: I once walked out impulsively on a discussion in what we Seminar in university over here. I do have this basic choleric core, and moving helps if it attacks you. ;) The most funny thing was, in the identical larger context someone else followed my example a couple of weeks later. ;) Is there any chance to get statistical evidence or numbers on the frequency of such a response? I am not aware of any other incident, and I spent many years in the larger setting in different places.

Thus Luis V. Gutiérrez, what's your point exactly?


sorry, I get sloppy, correction:

correct:I once walked out impulsively on a discussion in what we Seminar

walked out impulsively at one point during a discussion in what we call Seminar over here.


PT, I recall news as we dealt with it as topic over here in Television Science. At that point in time from my limited memory space one private channel seemed to relax the standards somewhat. It seemed to be an American influence.

What puzzles me slightly, that's an earlier technical question on my mind. How do you use "news shows". As more general expression covering diverse formats dealing with news? ....


Good points - for example, my grandson read all of the Harry Potter books last year when he was in third grade. I read extensively, but I think the best I was doing in third grade was reading Hardy Boy mysteries.

And his parents have both been serious readers, but my observation is that their current lifestyle leaves them almost no time to read.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad