Will 2022 be remembered as the year the left-wing propaganda leviathan ground to a halt and fell apart? CNN is in crisis, MSNBC is struggling to hold on to viewers, Twitter is fighting tooth and nail to prevent a takeover by a self-professed “free speech absolutist” in Elon Musk, and that social media platform’s former CEO, Jack Dorsey, has criticized its board of directors for resisting Musk’s offer to buy the company.
Even more telling is Dorsey’s perhaps surprising assault on CNN. In a series of April 18 tweets, the Twitter co-founder challenged the cable news network’s integrity, while columnists at left-leaning newspapers call for increased social media censorship. It’s the establishment media versus social media as the left’s messaging machine appears to be eating itself – and panic is setting in.
It doesn’t take much in the way of astounding insight to come up with a multitude of reasons for this implosion. One might begin by considering how badly the man propelled to the White House in 2020 by this all-powerful alliance of media and social media manipulators has performed. It is human nature for a group of people, nations, or special interest entities to turn on each other when an endeavor they jointly promoted fails so spectacularly.
The Turning of the Tide
Then there’s the dawning realization that they lost all credibility and the trust of most of the people they have sought to influence. They went too far, stretching the limits of decency, logic, and even common sense. That could well be why some of the people formerly on board with the whole plan – united mostly by a common desire to see former President Donald Trump banished – have since turned against them. Dorsey is just the latest, but there has been a string of others, including left-leaning journalists like Bari Weiss, formerly an editor and opinion writer for The New York Times, Glenn Greenwald, who quit The Intercept, and conservative columnist – previously for New York magazine – Andrew Sullivan. And then, of course, there’s every Democrat’s new favorite bogeyman, Joe Rogan.
Comedians Dave Chappelle and Russell Brand, neither known for their Republican leanings or their love of the 45th president, have railed against groupthink and cancel culture. Brand, especially, has made a point of savaging the “mainstream media” and, in particular, CNN’s Brian Stelter, who, these days, has become a sort of modern-day media King Canute, trying to hold back the tide of reality. Of course, Canute – a Viking ruler who later became king of England – attempted to hold back the advancing water just to prove it was not within his power to do so, whereas Stelter defiantly stands against the waves of factual discovery eroding his little kingdom of false narratives over at CNN.
Which brings us back to Dorsey, who responded to Stelter’s recent tweet criticizing Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for “selling doubt” by asking the question, “and you all are selling hope?” When accused of defending Carlson, the former Twitter chief replied, “not defending a thing. holding up a mirror.” Also, replying to another tweet about CNN selling “false news,” Dorsey observed, “I know this from being on the streets of Ferguson during the protests and watching [CNN] try to create conflict and film it causing the protestors to chant ‘f–k CNN’” [expletive censored by Liberty Nation, not by Dorsey].
Make no mistake, Dorsey has not suddenly become a conservative or a lover of free speech, but he has, for whatever reason, finally acknowledged that one of the left’s most loyal and reliable media outlets has peddled fake news and deception. Just two years ago, this turn of events would have been unthinkable.
There’s also perhaps a growing feeling within the establishment media that online public platforms might finally be fulfilling their destiny to put newspapers and television news out of business – or at least to supersede them as drivers of the political and cultural narratives. This could be, at least in part, what’s behind the demands made by columnists and pundits like Max Boot to impose greater censorship upon the Facebooks, Twitters, Gabs, and Instagrams of the world.
In another sign that the symbiotic relationship between left-wing media and left-controlled social media is destabilizing, the incoming president of CNN, Chris Licht, says he is leaving Twitter, opining, “Twitter can be a great journalistic tool, but it can also skew what’s really important in the world.” The network has reportedly told its journalists that social media is sometimes too heavily relied upon by reporters.
The political left’s information crisis doesn’t stop there, however. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are no longer dominating the social media world. Lovers of free speech have multiple alternative options: Gab, Parler, Rumble, and many others – and now Substack, a subscription-based newsletter service that adds a new dimension to social media and is catching on fast. If billionaire entrepreneur Musk finally succeeds in his quest to acquire Twitter, that would represent a major additional blow to the crumbling edifice that is the left’s stranglehold on political messaging.
The press – or what we now generally refer to as the media because it’s not just newspapers anymore – has never been apolitical, and there’s really no harm in that. But over the past ten years or so, the consolidation of most of the media, online and elsewhere, into a monolithic and single-minded purveyor of left-wing political, economic, and cultural idealism has arguably done great damage to America. All the signs suggest this era may be rapidly coming to an end, and society will benefit greatly from that because ideas, whether good or bad, must always be thrust into the fires of critical analysis and counterargument before they are sold to the public as rules to live by.