John O’Sullivan writes:
“Moreover, I fear that Mark Steyn is right in saying that Derb’s departure will further narrow the already narrow limits of acceptable debate in American intellectual life.”
If you really think about it, there are no limits of acceptable debate in American anymore; there are just the dominant taboos of the dinosaur media colliding with the free discourse of the new Darwinian social media landscape.
(1) First, there is nothing stopping anyone from setting up their own website and publishing their own point of view. As I have stressed repeatedly, a website is a website is a website. If ordinary conservatives don’t like the content of Newsweek or National Review, they have a choice to visit a rival website which is only a click away.
(2) Second, the tools which are used to build audiences and share opinion are now available to everyone: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, vBulletin, etc. It is only a matter of time before cable television subscription packages (and thus “mainstream” control over television) share the fate of Blockbuster after Netflix.
(3) Third, in the new social media landscape, every reader and commentator has the choice to reject the eunuchs like Rich Lowry who dominate the “mainstream.” There are plenty of Americans who don’t care what the “mainstream” is saying and who don’t want to be a part of the “mainstream” when they can seek out other forms of association.
In considering the fate of National Review, it is worth noting that Newsweek was once a pillar of “mainstream” liberalism. It has since been sold for a dollar and has lost its web independence to a mere upstart like The Daily Beast.
Note: It took decades to build up “the prevailing structure of taboos” (through the obsolete pyramid structure of network television) which are ruthlessly policed within the “mainstream.” There was no Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube as recently as Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
How long will it take the new social media platforms to poison the discourse of the “mainstream” and corrode “the prevailing structure of taboos” that works to the advantage of liberalism?
It took less than three week of discourse poisoning on the internet to destroy the Trayvon Martin narrative that was being peddling by the Mainstream Media and to polarize the country along racial lines.
Update: I notice that Kievsky’s liked the Bob Wayne 2012 video so I will relink to it here. I’ve been linking to some crazy country boy music lately. It helps lighten the mood while drinking.