There is this whole line of argument used most commonly by people on the far(ish) right. It’s also sometimes used by the people on the more extreme left. The thing that occured to me today, is there’s a bit of inconsistency, whichever side is using it.
The argument goes like this: The American people are being duped by a media gone out of control. At worst, there is a living conspiracy of people actively engaged in keeping the truth from us. At the bare minimum, the media has become so one-sided that there may as well be a conspiracy.
This causes news sources that are generally regarded as moderate to be discounted out of hand: NBC, CNN, Time, and Newsweek. For the sort-of far right wing, folks like Rush Limbaugh or Fox News are seen as the only sources not worth double checking their sources. For the sort-of far left wing, NPR and Michael Moore are the sources above scrutiny. There are extremeists on either end who go so far as to say that Rush is not right-wing enough; there are folks on the left who cry out that NPR is nothing but a corporate lap dog.
Here’s the thing. Call it an inconsistency, an irony, or even a hypocrisy.
One of the biggest points of disagreements between the left and the right is around how big an industry should be allowed to get.
Generally speaking, the right wing tends to believe that the market will regulate itself. They will tend to have less support for anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws.
Generally speaking, the left wing believes that government needs to play an active roll in breaking up monopolies and dealing with anti-trust issues.
If you’re on the right wing and you believe that the media is just the monolithic liberal plattitude machine, I have a question for you. The question is this:
Which way do you want it?
Because it seems to me that if you’re right, and an actual or a default conspiracy exists, where all the outlets are basically reporting the same half truths, then this is a good argument against allowing too much of an industry to be controlled by one or two vendors. There are unique factors about the media. But what you’re complaining about the media is exactly the same thing the liberals are saying about Wal-Mart: when one (or a few) corporations call the shots, we end up with an inferior product, service, or price.