How Mainstream Media Can Stop Itself and Other Institutions from Being Destroyed by Tribal Politics

Two areas of blindness in American culture that interact with one another, are systems and propaganda. For example, when I talk to liberal friends about the problems for our society caused by massive propaganda campaigns, their solution usually is “I don’t watch that station.” or “Just stop watching it” — as if the only possible concern I could have is about how that media outlet effects me as an individual — as if effects on whole systems don’t exist.

Many Americans don’t consider propaganda to be a serious issue at all. When the subject comes up, many people insist “Everyone just chooses the media that agrees with their own views.” While that is to some extent true, there is more to the story.

Just because someone chooses to consume media that promote lower taxes, fewer business regulations, or self-reliance in individuals, that doesn’t mean that these media won’t barrage people with massive propaganda campaigns. Some of these campaigns now have large numbers of people believing that Hillary Clinton ran a pay-to-play operation between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department, that she runs a child trafficking ring out of a pizza parlor, and that mainstream media and mainstream fact checking sites are all “fake news.”

A large percentage of our citizens have been trained for decades now to unquestioningly believe anything said about the “enemy” tribe or its leader, as long as it is negative. If a foreign power also sees that same tribe or leader as its enemy, it’s easy for them to multiply, the stream of falsehoods, without anyone detecting it for a while.

Roberts believes that media “must resist authoritarianism and tribal epistemology, which are disproportionately animating of one of America’s two political parties, without acting consciously on behalf of the other party. They cannot afford to be, or be seen as, primarily instruments of the Democrats.”

This is another case of locking the barn door after the horse has already escaped. It is true that mainstream media can not afford to BE instruments of the Democrats.

They can, however, afford to be SEEN as primarily instruments of the Democrats. The reason I am quite sure of this is that mainstream media are already are viewed like this by Right Wing people.





Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

ELP Testimonial: On a life-changing program that gives you what you put into it

“Journalism” Track: March 11–16

The Podcast Academy: Podcasting’s Usurper or Savior?

Hasbro’s Major Mr. Potato Head Blunder That Nobody Noticed

The guerrilla archivists saving the Internet’s dying websites from oblivion

Ethics in journalism, in light of Cuomogate

Reflection Writing on Media Conventions

Kill Your Television

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Julie Hotard

Julie Hotard


More from Medium

The Forgotten History of Martin Luthor King Jr.

How The Republican Climate Change Agenda Makes The World Great Again

Let’s Agree to Disagree

Democrats Might be Grateful

The Statue of Lady Justice blindfolded and holding scales, always carries a sword.