Thursday, January 05, 2006

Mainstreaming the Media

I get news from both the web and a few "old media" sources (which includes the local newspaper, The Dallas Morning News, The Wall Street Journal, and US News and World Report).

I frequently read editorials which make a claim that goes something along the lines of "you won't see this reported in the mainstream media, but..." at which point they go on to hyperbolize about some pet peeve. (The most common occurences seem to occur in "conservative" columnists, such as Michael Barone and John Leo).

Do these guys think they're writing for some underground newspaper or something? The readership of these publications places in the top ranks of media news sources. If these pubs aren't mainstream media, then there is no such thing as mainstream media.

At best, this sort of writing is disingenuous. At worst, it is dishonest.

At either, it is certainly mainstream.

Also now mainstream is the use of "cultural elite" to refer to people who form opinions different than the conservative mainstream. I find this term in use starting in the last Bush administration in about 1992, and over the last decade it has taken firm root.

Definitions vary, but in general the cultural elite includes those who have educational levels beyond high school, who live in major metropolitan areas (typically on either coast), who have above average income, and in most cases who have some relationship to entertainment or the media.

One of John Leo's descriptions went
...more likely to live in upscale neighborhoods, have maids, own Mercedes and trade stocks, and less likely to go to church, do volunteer work or put down roots in a community... overrepresented in ZIP code areas where residents are twice as likely as other Americans to rent foreign movies, drink chablis, own an espresso maker, and read magazines such as Architectural Digest and Food & Wine.


So basically, the more educated and demonstrably successful you are, the more likely you are to be a part of the "cultural elite", and the more likely it is that your opinions are wrong. According to the now conservative mainstream media.

I did an analysis once of how the pervasiveness of strong conservative religions inversely correlates to standard of living, and I'm starting to understand some of the reasons why. Ignorance, intolerance, and hate are great foundations for a poor and miserable society.

I may not be part of the cutural elite, but I may start rooting for them as the underdogs in the culture wars.

2 Comments:

At Friday, January 06, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woman: I didn't know we 'ad a king! I thought we were autonomous collective.
Man: (mad) You're fooling yourself! We're living in a dictatorship! A
self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--
Woman: There you go, bringing class into it again...

 
At Friday, January 06, 2006, Blogger A Muser said...

Come and see the violence inherent in the system!

HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!

(and so on)

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history" (George Bernard Shaw)

 

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