Make no mistake my friends; the mainstream media has declared war upon us all. Like cornered animals, they are lashing out wildly at anyone who dares question their corporate fed version of reality. They do not stand upon the higher ground for this fight, and that is the true source of their careless slandering of Indy media across the political spectrum. They are desperate, and they are dying.
From the inception of network TV, corporate news networks and the elite owners who run them have slowly crafted the most insidious monopoly on this earth, utter control over the narrative. A narrative which ultimately crafts our collective reality and thereby set’s the parameters of debate in society. For too long these corporate news networks have had unchallenged and exclusive reign over what is deemed newsworthy, truthful, and real. They have been undeserving gatekeepers, deciding at will who shall be allowed to address the American people.
“We become slaves the moment we hand the keys to the definition of reality entirely over to someone else, whether it is a business, an economic theory, a political party, the White House, Newsworld or CNN.” ― B.W. Powe, Towards a Canada of Light
But, for all their money and all their power, these entities have finally met their match. They have run face first into what we now know is their kryptonite, our individual freedom to choose. Gathering our information from the sources we choose and formulating our own understanding of the world is what they fear the most. They want to spoon feed us reality; they are paternalistic and feign concern to paint a shiny veneer over unending attempts at mental tyranny.
These hegemonic forces have rightly lost their maniacal grip on what the people wish to watch and read. The internet has given birth to the first truly free market, and it is a marketplace of ideas, not commodities. This unique space of equality has reinvigorated our individual agency and increased our capacity to learn and interact with others on a level playing field both as consumers and content creators. Our freedom is their doom, and they know it.
Access to unbiased information is required for any viewer/reader to self-determine what they believe to be true, facilitating this process is the stated purpose of “news,” yet such independence is not at all what the oligarchs want us to have. They know that our critical thought has the capacity to undo all attempts at manufacturing consent to war, excessive consumerism, apathy, and participation in the vacuous theater that is the political system. They have always known this, and they are desperately trying to recapture that which will never be again, their exclusive control over our minds. Those days have passed, ignorance may be a reversible condition but enlightenment is not.
“Today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups… So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.” ― Philip K. Dick
There has been a notable increase in smears and attempts to discredit or disrupt Indy journalists and commentators of all stripes by mainstream outlets such as CNN, Washington Post, MSNBC, Fox, and others. Most recently YouTube limited live streaming for Tim Black and The Progressive Soapbox, The BBC/Skynews went after Sarah Abdallah and Ian56, CNN took aim at Alex Jones, WikiLeaks, and Jimmy Dore, while NPR set their sights on Anoa Changa. They are only the most recent victims though, countless others across the spectrum have suffered attempts to discredit, disparage, de-platform, and demonetize; Counterpunch going rounds with Caitlin Johnstone and Lee Camp’s dust-up with the Washington post come to mind. The victims are many and the perpetrators are few, yet the attacks just seem to keep coming. As we creep closer and closer to war, economic crash and climate disaster the owner class will surely tighten their grip not loosen it.
As consumers of these various content creators, we must understand the end goal here. These profit-driven behemoths intend to take away, or at least limit, our ability to choose who we get our information from, and the media-consuming public must make sure they do not get away with it. If our truth speakers are defunded then we must step up and fund them. If they de-platform our people then we must follow them to whatever platforms respect their free speech, and boycott the platforms that engage in corporate determined censorship.If they seek to divide us based on identity we must show solidarity with our words, our deeds, and our dollars. We must treat mainstream media as an enemy of truth and freedom because that is exactly what they are. Click To Tweet
In the end, these corporations, networks, and advertisers need us more than we need them. We must become the bulwark against their profit-driven desire to control content creators. If an advertiser pulls out of YouTube on a channel with millions of views due to a sense of decorum, they will not sell more of their products. In fact, they will lose profits by throwing away access to large swaths of internet watching consumers. If these advertisers and networks are not careful they will overplay their hand and lose viewers as well as ad revenue themselves.
Consumers have the leverage in this scenario so let us call their bluff. One way to do that is to make it clear to advertisers that they are cutting their own throats if they bend to the will of entities like CNN when they call for demonetizing the competition. We need to inundate the companies trying to peddle their wares to us with tweets, emails, phone calls, and in-store protests whenever they are pressured to abandon the content creators we have chosen. These people depend upon our consumption, so we must remind them how foolish it would be to abandon the younger demographics under pressure from decaying cable networks? The writing is already on the wall; the trajectory is clear and backed by data, one need only look to the business community itself for the proof.
“Teens (12-17) watched 11 hours and 47 minutes of traditional TV per week in Q1, a substantial 17.6% drop year-over-year (much larger than in Q1 2017) and a massive 45.5% contraction since 2012;
Older Millennials (25-34) watched 18 hours and 23 minutes per week in Q2, a 12.2% decrease year-over-year that was larger than Q1’s drop, along with a considerable 32.2% drop over 5 years;
Gen Xers (35-49) watched 26 hours and 59 minutes per week, a 7% decline that continues to accelerate over time (Q1’s drop was 4.8%; Q4 2016’s was 1.6%), and representing a 15.8% contraction over a 5-year period;
Adults aged 50-64 watched 39 hours and 35 minutes per week, down 1.8% year-over-year (weaker than in Q1), but relatively flat (-1.1%) over 5 years; and
Adults aged 65 and older watched 48 hours and 4 minutes per week, down by 1.2% from the previous year (the first decline since Q1 2015) and up by 6% over 5 years.” – The State of Traditional TV: Updated With Q2 2017 Data
“According to Nielsen Live +7 day data, in 2017 CNN’s median age was 60, while the median age of the Fox News and MSNBC viewer was 65.” – By A.J. Katz, on TV Newser
As I said, the trends are plain to see and we’ve gone too far down this technological path to turn back now. If you abandon the future you ensure your own demise in our economic model, so the sellers of goods would do well to take seriously how hungry people are for truth and independent media. Loss of profits are at stake here, and Indy media will not allow mainstreams media to resurrect their unholy monopoly upon our sources of knowledge and news.
Another way we can leverage our power as consumers of independent media is to lift the voices of our truth tellers, even the ones we don’t agree with on all things. Cultivate tolerance and empathy for people who you once thought of as opponents. Make room in your left or right reality bubbles for each other, and reach across the divide so we can figure out how to move forward together. Share the articles, videos, and content of the people who are under attack by mainstream media, at twice the rate you share content from those who dodged the bullet this time. Either way, share, share away. Donate to them if you can, and buy their merchandise. Like, Favorite, Pin, and broadcast on any platform which you frequent, exposure is a rare commodity when you don’t tow the status quo line.
Most importantly, always push back against unjust attempts to defame content creators; silence in the face of injustice is an injustice itself. If you are able and so inclined, then join them. Produce your own content and add your voice to the growing chorus of malcontents, rebels, and revolutionaries. Write articles, make videos, do whatever your skill set allows, but do not hesitate to add your energy to this fight. If the mainstream media wants to declare war on us and our content creators, well then, let’s make sure we give them a run for their money. #IStandWithFreeSpeech
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated” ~ Thomas Paine, The Crisis
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