Are Conservative Media Viable in Our Low Information Age?

February 22nd, 2013

By Dan Miller

Low information voters have the most fun. They must, since they are the majority and the majority rules. Therefore, what interests them is the most important.


One small step for FLOTUS, a giant leap for humankind.
Swoon, ye peasants, swoon! Bangs are in and that’s important. Ipse dixit.

Keeping up with daily Kos kerfuffles is wearisome because there are too many to keep track of, to write about or even to comment upon. Here are just a few, selected more or less at random:

Former Stenographer Secretary of State Clinton spoke with President Obama at ten o’clock on the night of September 11, 2012 and may have agreed to go along with the gag order clever idea of blaming the Benghazi mess on an obscure YouTube video. Less than an hour later, she released a statement claiming that the video had caused it; or did she?

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind. (Emphasis added.)

The anonymous “some” who blamed the Benghazi behavior on the video promptly became the Obama Administration. It remained the Administration’s position long after it was known to be farcically untrue.

We still know very little about what happened in Benghazi that day, how, why or what (apparently little if anything) was done to make it stop or has been done about it since then. Nevertheless, we are told that “hard core,” partisan Republicans (as well as the even worse conservatives) hate President Obama (just because he is half Black) and that’s why they obsess about such trivia.

Congressional politics in particular is driven by more than national polls. Most Americans may not see Benghazi as a Watergate for our times. But hard-core Republicans, whipped up by conservative media, certainly do, and they are egging on their elected officials. Some of whom, notably including McCain’s fellow Benghazi-obsessive Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, are sweating the prospect of a primary challenge. There’s nothing like some feisty Obama-bashing to buffer the right flank.

We are unlikely to have any way of knowing what happened, why or how, until “what does it matter now” can have only one answer, “nothing, stupid. That’s old stuff. Get over it!” Isn’t that best for President Obama and hence for the nation? Just be a patriot, shut up and admire Lady Michelle’s beautiful new hairdo. Oh. Did I mention that President Obama’s administration is the most transparent in history?

Iran and its cute new uranium centrifuges? Red lines? No problem. Getting closer to Israeli’s red line is of no consequence and besides, the United States hasn’t found its own red line yet. We apparently plan to continue negotiating until we turn blue in the face and Iran gets what it wants. That’s OK. Iran is an Islamic Republic and Islam is the religion of peace everlasting. Therefore, Iran has only peaceful intentions. Who could question that logic? Israel, maybe, but they are on suicide watch. Maybe we should give Iran and North Korea some of our own nukes instead of disposing of them otherwise; that should solve two problems.

Killing U.S. citizens with drones? That’s no big deal either. It’s the job of the Executive Branch so we peons shouldn’t worry about that either.

The Federal Government and some State governments continue to spend far more than they have or can extort without exacerbating an even worse recession. However, there is no spending problem. Maybe it’s just a comprehension problem, but with President Obama as the Greatest Communicator Ever, it’s probably just a Republican problem because that’s where the blame will be placed and our blissfully uninformed voters will agree.

The best is yet to come has arrived and more is on the way.

Uninformed voters now have (in addition to the “legitimate media”) their very own website to cater to and enhance their perceptions, Upworthy. They have many others, but at least Upchuck Upworthy is modern. Please click on the link to be appropriately awed at the great job the site does while requiring no thought whatever on the part of any visitor.

It may not always be good to be uninformed — knowing how, when and where to cast as many votes as possible for Democrats is good. However, being uninformed is not only good but necessary when that helps to keep folks content and in line. Then it’s way cool, bro.

Upworthy is the fastest growing website and already receives millions of visits a month despite being less than one year old, and has over 55 thousand Twitter followers.  It recently received $4 million in venture capital funding.

Upworthy is not interested in deep thinking.


The article continues,

There is nothing like Upworthy or BuzzFeed on the right.  The closest we have come is Twitchy, Michelle Malkin’s brilliant website.

But wait! As suggested below, that’s being worked on. Just be patient.

Are you surprised that Obama won the youth vote even though his policies are a complete disaster for the young?

We are losing the fight to the lowest of low information voters, who are pushed toward a liberal agenda by very smart and talented people who understand the power of social media in a way we don’t.

How many conservative sites with thoughtful and informative substantive content still publish? Many remain, principally the smaller blogs, and I follow as many of them as I can.

PJ Media

One of the better large sites, for which I wrote just over one hundred articles during a two year period until I decided that it was entering an increasingly steep downward spiral, was Pajamas Media (now PJ Media). It now seems to have accelerated its downward drift by dumbing down its comment mechanism. That seems likely to have been done in a quest for new and uninformed voters, many of whom are also young devotees of Facebook and other social media sites. Might some of them become better informed? Probably not, unless the articles are truncated and otherwise dumbed down as well. That’s OK; it might make more room for advertisements.

The changes have already frustrated many previously loyal (and older?) readers. I wonder how many the changes will drive away and how quickly that will happen. There have been more than two hundred and seventy comments thus far. With rare exceptions, all have been highly critical. The article announcing the changes was posted on February 19th and the comments continue to roll in, albeit more slowly than at first. Unfortunately, the author of the article has yet to respond. Many commenters haven taken umbrage at his failure to do so, perhaps because many of the author – reader comment interactions were quite good and valuable. Comments had been among the best reasons to visit the site. They were often at least as good as, if not better than, the principal articles and responsive comments by the authors were common. I looked forward to reading, and responding to, comments on my articles at the site.

In making its “improvements,” PJ Media deleted all comments posted to all prior articles.

Regrettably, we could not store the old comments and provide the new, improved commenting system at the same time. We made the choice to move ahead with the new features to keep improving the PJM user experience. We know there have  been some outstanding user-generated essays in the past, so it’s hard to see those go, but we have faith that our readers will populate the comments section with amazing posts in the future.

It also eliminated the use of HTML in commenting, rendering a preview pane superfluous; it is gone. HTML is not necessary for a simply formatted comment and learning to use it takes modest effort. However, a comment formatted with blockquotes, embedded links and the like can be better organized and easier to read.

Then there is the PJ Media Lifestyle section, which fits right in. Want to know why cats are inferior to dogs? Don’t know what types of chicks to avoid? Do you mind if your wife earns more than you do? Learn all about it here, here and here. Want to know why some babes won’t go to bed with you? Find out here. Whoops, that’s at Upworthy.

There is still some excellent stuff at PJTV  — Afterburner with Bill Whittle and Next Generation with Allen West, for example. Apparently scripted and in any event as stiff as a board when he first appeared on Next Generation, Colonel West has been loosening up a bit but still has far to go before he can communicate as effectively as he did when speaking extemporaneously, before Next Generation. Why not take his script away, give him a topic and tell him to run with it?

Perhaps the Afterburner and Next Generation videos will help the entire site and also interest more people who might become conservatives or at least Republicans. The Bill Whittle videos often become available on YouTube where they seem to attract a wide audience. When they get better, maybe the Next Generation videos will migrate there as well. At present, only the first few are available there.

PJ Media still has redeeming virtues, articles by Victor Davis Hanson and Barry Rubin among them. However, visiting the site is becoming like going to see an old friend who has an apparently terminal illness and anticipating that his health will continue to deteriorate. Is the site trying to promote youth or euthanasia? There is a difference.

Don’t get upset.

None of this matters. Swampland, a popular Time Magazine blog, has reported this fascinating news of critical importance to the future of the United States.

“This is my mid-life crisis, the bangs. I couldn’t get a sports car. They won’t let me bungee jump. So instead, I cut my bangs.”

— First Lady Michelle Obama to Rachel Ray on the host’s TV show yesterday. The First Lady’s second-term official portrait, with bangs, was released yesterday.

Even uninformed voters must want to know: Why no sports car? Why no bungee jumping? Shouldn’t Lady Obama be permitted to do as she wishes? Shouldn’t we learn about her daring exploits? Alas, we may never hear about those or other important matters of state. Might they be revealed long after information about Fast and Furious and its possibly companion exercise that may or may not have resulted in the death of poor Mr. Ghazi (whoever he was)?

Little of it matters. Let’s look instead at the important stuff, like the White House Easter Egg Roll lottery! The chickens finally came home to roost and probably laid beautiful eggs for the lucky winners. (Thanks and a giant tip of the hat to Swampland, a great bipartisan source of the important news of the day.)

Having done my small part as a blogger by relaying the important news about Lady Obama’s bangs and the egg roll lottery there is probably little more to say. Oh. Maybe this:

This also seems appropriate; maybe even necessary.

(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)

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