There isn't a "liberal media" and a "conservative media"; there's a Consensus Media, a Bubble Media, and a Fringe Media. Conservatism, as it drifted out of the mainstream, built the Bubble as a deliberate reaction to their perception of Consensus Media's bias against them.
It crafted a narrative of scrappy resistance to crushing dogma, of Speaking Dangerous Truths To Power, when in reality its core goal was rolling back post-WWII cultural shifts on wealth, gender, sex, and race.
The "Fringe" media is not explicitly conservative or liberal, and has been with us as long as snake oil and revolutionary pamphleteering. But on the right, it was empowered and energized by the "Speaking The Unspeakable Truths" narrative Conservatism leaned into.
That narrative now has the force of unquestionable moral truth in the Bubble Media; its identity and the appetites of its consumers are entirely defined by contradicting and violating the norms of Consensus Media, rather than advancing any particular perceived truth.
I say this not as a disgruntled liberal, angry at Fox News. I say it as someone whose formative years were spent helping build the Bubble and convince the world of a conspiracy against Us™. I marched for Jesus, I published zines, I interviewed republican legislators.
I appeared on the 700 Club the year before Rush Limbaugh debuted as a news correspondent, and co-hosted it the year after. I promoted a brand new web site called "Townhall" the month it launched, and railed against the world's bias.
Obviously, that's not the person I am now — but the evolution and putrefaction of this self-contained information Safe Space that my people built is a fact, not a fever-dream, and Fox, Brietbart, FDRLST… they're the inheritors, not the origins, of the grand project.
It feels like their narratives and messages are everywhere, because they've been working at it, tearing up the floorboards of a cultural shift they felt was fundamentally illegitimate, for *generations* now. And they can't stop tearing, because they have nothing to build.
I despair at what they have achieved and the small but culpable part I played in its earlier years. I hope, because I remember how long and slow and unglamorous THAT project's progress was, and I know slow, steady work to turn the tide back will bear fruit, too.
You can follow @eaton.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: