Why the mainstream media are shriveling: Check out this Rasmussen poll
Pretend you're a tech buyer. You need a software program run on HTML5. You go to Best Buy or some other major retail outlet. Much to your surprise, all they offer are products run on Adobe Flash, which was discontinued in 2020. Adobe itself says to take that obsolete program off your computer — it'll wreck it. Nevertheless, it's all that the hypothetical big-box retailer has in stock. Are you going to buy that Jurassic junk because it's all that's in stock? Most likely, you are going to exit the premises and look for what you need someplace else.
This is why such things never happen at places like Best Buy, or any major retailer that intends to stay in business in real life. It's pretty much that way with any product.
Somehow, though, that lesson has been missed in one quarter: in the corporate-owned mainstream media, which continue to "market" products the public has no interest in, while failing to stock products the public is actively looking for.
News, of course, is their product.
Get a load of this poll that ran yesterday from Rasmussen Reports:
ICYMI: Top Voter Midterm Issues vs Top Legacy Media Issues— Rasmussen Reports (@Rasmussen_Poll) June 21, 2022
Gasoline blows up. Was # 5. Look at it today.
Be kind, retweet and blow legacy media minds ... pic.twitter.com/ihduCXImNK
That is a damning lineup. Not one topic intersects between what the corporate media consider important and what the public consider important.
What's more, who among the public disagrees with it? Poll after poll shows that inflation and gas prices, fair elections, violent crime, school issues, and illegal immigration are foremost in the public's minds — such topics directly affect what the public live, vote on, and experience. Those are topics the public are looking for.
But the mainstream media are stuck like glue to reporting on topics such as global warming, the Jan. 6 hearings (which dismiss and ignore the root cause of the riot: election fraud), abortion, COVID, gays, and Ukraine. Perhaps a seventh category might be revealed in the one-sided coverage of gun control. The mainstream press report on these topics ad nauseam despite the fact that everyone knows what they think — they've said it once, they've said it a thousand times — and there's no variation in the "narrative." They hammer and hammer, hoping to bludgeon the public into caring about these special-interest topics over what is going on in their own lives — whether they are mugged at the meat counter, the gas pump, the voting machine, the school board, or the parking lot. Those are real-world issues, informed by real-world experiences, and they are hitting millions of Americans absolutely daily. Those are the subjects occupying voters' minds.
But the media would rather talk about global warming, what Trump said in some long-ago phone conversation, or the gay agenda. Yes, we know that reporting on inflation is hard. We know that most journalists can't do math. (At a Columbia Journalism School alumni event a few years ago in Los Angeles, the visiting then-dean of the school, Nicholas Lemann, joked to the attendees that he knew why we all went into journalism: because we couldn't do math.) We know that reporting on illegal immigration might require some uncomfortable questions about activist coaching of migrants to ensure they give the "right" answers to immigration authorities to game the system, wealthy migrants crossing the border illegally, the cost of welfare benefits to illegal border-crossers, the corruption at open-borders-promoting NGOs, and the cash paid to cartels by illegal migrants. We know that reporting on violent crime might mean some unflattering conclusions about Soros-financed district attorneys and their let-'em-out social justice "reform" agenda, or else raise uncomfortable questions about the race, culture, or immigration status of violent offenders, or equally uncomfortable questions about the race and economic status of most victims of violent crimes after the mostly wealthy white Soros D.A.s let the criminals out. Even some on the left are warning that ignoring these issues comes at the left's peril. But the mainstream press just ignores the topics.
But it's news like this that explains why the mainstream media are declining so significantly in their relevance to the public.
According to the Daily Wire, in a report last December:
Multiple sources recently found that mainstream news outlets saw a massive decline in interest between 2020 and 2021.
A report by the Nielsen company, cited by the Associated Press, found that weekday prime-time viewership at CNN dropped 38% between 2020 and 2021, along with a 34% decline at Fox News, and 25% at MSNBC. The same report found that individual evening news shows also saw less steep, but still double-digit declines in viewership: NBC “Nightly News” saw a 14% decline in nightly viewership, while both ABC’s “World News Tonight” and the “CBS Evening News” saw 12% drops in viewership.
Another report by Comscore, also cited by AP, found that digital traffic to mainstream news websites also declined sharply. The report found that the number of unique visitors to the website of the Washington Post website dropped by an enormous 44% between November 2020 and 2021, while the New York Times saw a 34% decline in unique visitors.
Anybody taken a look at what's going on at CNN?
CNN has worst weekend since 2000 among critical demographic as viewers flee network https://t.co/BkFn9S4YNI "SpongeBob SquarePants" kicks CNN's ass. 👍🤣— Johnny (@Flanagan72John) June 22, 2022
How many inflation and gas price stories have they done, and how many Ukraine and global warming stories?
Seems that when you are determined to foist a product onto the public that the public has no interest in, while keeping your inventory bare of actual stories of relevance that the public wants to know about, the public turns elsewhere — to Fox News, which doesn't shrink from most important topics, to smaller upstart outfits willing to give customers and readers what they are looking for.
That's not clickbaitism; it's basic customer service. If legacy news outlets cannot even come up with the basics about what their customers want, what business are they in? They resemble Soviet state outlets during the USSR era, telling viewers that American cow's milk tastes bad while tales of blue jeans and blow-dryers and incredibly well stocked store shelves full of 23 kinds of deodorant wafted back from Russian ex-pats via underground channels. What they are selling is garbage the public don't want, yet they insist on foisting it on the public anyway, as if driven by some invisible agenda.
To paraphrase economist Herbert Stein, anything that can't go on won't, and the declining media numbers show it. They can blame social media all they like and blame the rise of the internet. But the bottom line remains that they are selling a product the public isn't interested in buying, so the other issues are tangential. A good serious story on inflation and where it comes and whom it affects from, say, CBS would do a hell of a lot to restore their credibility with viewers. Instead, we get puff pieces on Jerome Powell and Janet Yellen, along with softball questions to Kamala Harris and Joe Biden. It's basically Adobe Flash in another form. Until the press addresses this issue on the irrelevance of its news stories, the media can expect to continue to decline.
Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.