Mad Scientists in the Laboratory of Culture

We know the mainstream media are pervasively liberal.

But why?

There must be some root reason giants like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, and the network news shows have for decades consistently filtered what the nation knows about itself through ideological charcoal dedicated, in ways both grand and petty, to removing all suspended impurities suspiciously conservative.

Is it because the public is ubiquitously liberal and the media are just giving their market what it wants?

Or because media owners and managers are rich and the rich are by culture and inclination more liberal than the philistine public?

Because public communication simply attracts personalities that are by nature more caring and compassionate than the callous public?

None of these suppositions bears much scrutiny.

The solution lies elsewhere: namely, in the humanities departments of academia -- its journalism schools in particular. The most economical explanation is that academia simply trains the media's future cadre to be doctrinaire liberal crusaders.

Few incidents better illustrate this reality than Susan J. Douglas' recent revelation that it's okay to hate conservatives because they're hateful. Actually, Susan said it's okay to hate Republicans, but her hatred's real object is any conservative principled enough to politically disagree with her. 

Personally, I don't consider Republicans especially conservative, and many conservatives genuinely regret the two-party duopoly which neither permits nor suffers anything really resembling a truly conservative opposition party. But surely, conservatism of some sort still partially occupies the socialist Holy Land or else the liberal crusaders would already be in full possession of their dirigiste Jerusalem.  So, if Susan wishes to characterize the residual conservative occupation as especially Republican, well, what other party is there to hate?

Political hatred's nothing new, but doesn't the liberal party line make hating anything much above the level of the Black Death a politically incorrect crime? After all, it's only Susan, and who cares about Susan?

We should all care about Susan because she's the Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan.  "Department of Communication Studies" is another name for a journalism school which considers itself too ideologically evangelical to even call itself a journalism school.

Not only is Susan the honcho of a publicly-funded university's journalism school, she's also an ace columnist for the neo-socialist magazine In These Times which published her "I hate Republicans" article -- you can judge it for yourself here.

In These Times proclaims itself "dedicated to advancing . . . economic justice . . . [and] informing movements for a more humane world . . . ." Its self-proclaimed mission is to "identify and clarify the struggles against corporate power now multiplying in American society." It states it has "Through five presidential administrations adhered to the belief that to thrive, a progressive political movement needs its own media to inform, educate, and orient itself." Moreover founder James Weinstein "was joined in establishing this independent magazine . . . by noted intellectuals Daniel Ellsberg, E.P. Thompson, Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Julian Bond and Herbert Marcuse, all of whom were among the original sponsors of the magazine . . . ."

Ellsberg, Thompson, Ehrenreich, and Bond may be strong enough Leftist cheese, but Noam Chomsky's an altogether more malodorous one.  And Herbert Marcuse? 

As far as the modern American academy's New Left is concerned, Marcuse was nothing less than the latter-day reincarnation of Karl Marx. A shining prewar light of Frankfurt's radical Institut Für Sozialforschung (Institute for Social Research), it was Marcuse who took the Frankfurt School's cultural Marxism on a postwar American road trip through decades of students at Columbia University, Harvard University, Brandeis University, and the University of California during which he became the Hegelian hero of practically every radical subversive the American academy produced from the 1960s until today. 

Now is it merely an isolated curiosity the Republican-hating Chair of UMich's J-school is a commentator for Herbert Marcuse's old rag, which itself presently just chances to believe "that to thrive, a progressive political movement needs its own media to inform, educate, and orient itself"? 

Or, instead, is the mainstream media's pervasive liberalism more indicative of journalism schools whose professors and chairpersons themselves believe the progressive political movement needs its own media to "inform, educate, and orient itself"?  And the best way for the movement to achieve its own media is simply to start indoctrinating the mainstream media's future cadre while the impressionable young dears are still trying to figure out where the student uion is.  

Academia is the laboratory of culture, all politics are cultural, and the Frankfurt School's critical-theory contribution to the Marxist revival was this: if you change the culture, the economics will take care of themselves. In other words, forget the proletariat; it's the students who matter.  And, accordingly, the socialist international has shifted from the factory floor to the campus hall. If you doubt this, survey the ideological inclination of any modern American humanities department. This 2012 study the National Association of Scholars prepared for the University of California's Board of Regents is a good place to start

And it's not just journalism schools either. It's also law schools, psych-ed schools, social science schools, and the whole liberal-arts panoply from which society otherwise draws it elite generalists.

So, momma, don't let your babies of either gender grow up to be the useful fools of culturally-Marxist humanities departments either.

If you send your babies to the academy, spend your money teaching them something useful to, or at least not subversive of, free men in free markets.