Why mainstream media hysteria is increasing

The past week featured well-known cable news hosts in tears over the separation of children from their parents at the border, a practice that was common in the Obama administration, drawing little notice and no weeping.  And every day in the United States, when the head of a single-parent household is arrested, children of American citizens are separated from their family and placed in the custodial care of others.

Were Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell entirely ignorant of this reality?  Was last week the first time they realized that parental criminality breaks up families?

Screen grab, MSNBC.


I sincerely doubt that either of them was so ignorant of the realities of the criminal justice system.  So what accounts for their total loss of composure on air?

A cynic would argue that the tears were artificial, intentionally forced out of tear ducts and emotions faked.  Maybe so, but this then raises the question of why they felt driven to such emotional manipulation of the audience.

And what if the emotions were real?  What could drive seasoned professionals to such a loss of self-control if manipulation were not the intent?

I think the answer in both scenarios is the same: genuine mass hysteria is gripping the mainstream media.  The first source is the political rise, election, and continuing successes of Donald Trump, currently presiding over the best economic times since the Reagan administration.  Trump violates all the political norms that they learned, embraced, and enforced in their own rise to media prominence.  When norms are violated, anger is the dominant response of members of the group that holds the norms.

But what accounts for the hysteria that results in loss of self-control?  I think a second factor is at play.  The mainstream media perceive that they have lost the ability to shape public perceptions beyond the 30% or so of the populace that is committed to left-progressivism.  The majority of the public no longer trusts or believes what they have to say.  And this sense of powerlessness in the face of a hated opponent is literally driving them crazy.  Even before the Rasmussen poll showed the futility of their efforts ("54% of Likely U.S. Voters say the parents are more to blame for breaking the law ... only 35% believe the federal government is more to blame for enforcing the law"), they must have realized that their efforts were failing.  Knowing no other means of persuasion than intensifying the current efforts, they pulled out all the stops: anger and sadness replaced facts and logic, which don't really stand up to scrutiny anyway.

Andrew Malcolm, writing at Hot Air, describes the awful truth to which they are awakening with horror every day: they no longer have traction.

Now, come the Knight Foundation and Gallup Polls dissecting Americans' thoughts about media.  In general, Americans overall estimate that of the news they're exposed to via radio, TV and print, nearly two-thirds of it is biased (62 percent).

They believe that nearly half the news they see is inaccurate (44 percent).  And they're sure that more than a third of the news moving through those media conduits is misinformation, that is, wrong or fake but distributed as if true.

They also believe that 64 percent of news carried by social media is inaccurate. And – maybe you've felt this way too – more than 80 percent of adult Americans report feeling angry or bothered by detecting such false reports.  They believe that 65 percent of such news is misinformation and a whopping 80 percent is biased.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of media integrity.

The sense of loss must be destabilizing for those who devoted their life's work to changing society via their media activities.

There is a clear trajectory at work.  Media effort to destroy Trump's political support are failing, and their old tools are disintegrating as they are wielded.  Stormy Daniels failed, and the border children are failing.  Adapting to reality and reconsidering their views is an impossibility considering the solidarity among media figures in opposition to Trump.  Anyone defecting to the position that "Trump may be different, but he's working out pretty well in terms of economy and national security" would be immediately sanctioned with cries of traitorous behavior.

So the only option is metaphorically turning up the volume.  As the midterm election nears and the fantasy of a blue wave diminishes in prospect, expect to see even more hysteria.  What lies ahead?  Who knows?  But look for dramatic gestures, such as chaining themselves to the gates of facilities they object to, hunger strikes, and (of course) more weeping and yelling.

The mainstream media are caught in a vise of their own making, slowly being crushed between the jaws of Trump's successes and their own impotence.

We are watching the disintegration of the progressive mentality.

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