Monday, November 12, 2012

The Conservative Entertainment Complex: The right-wing firewall

In the lead up to the election, many pollsters commented on the resilience of President Obama's battleground state lead. This lead was buttressed by what they labeled as Obama's electoral firewall. 

To be sure, present and future political operatives and strategist will exhaustingly study how Obama's firewall defeated the super-pac rich GOP.

The Conservative Entertainment Complex

But in all honesty, the firewall that deserves the lion's share of our attention is the FOX World one. This firewall has its captives isolated in an alternate universe. The citizens of this universe are easily manipulated and conveniently separated from truth.

In today's Politico, Jonathan Walker writes about the GOP's media cocoon.

A long-simmering generational battle in the conservative movement is boiling over after last week’s shellacking, with younger operatives and ideologues going public with calls that Republicans break free from a political-media cocoon that has become intellectually suffocating and self-defeating.

And although he acknowledges that the Democrats have a strong bias media as well, he highlights how GOP bias has mushroomed into a cocoon, echo-chamber and truth defying bubble.

“Unfortunately, for us Republicans who want to rebuild this party, the echo chamber [now] is louder and more difficult to overcome,” said Grayson.

That’s partly because of the difference between the two cocoons in the two parties.
First, the Al Sharptons and Rachel Maddows of the left don’t have the same influence as their counterparts on the right. There are as many, if not more, NPR-oriented liberals as MSNBC devotees on the left; the Democratic media ecosystem is larger and more diverse.

Further, and more importantly, the Democratic Party has a leader in Obama who for over four years has sought to appeal to a majority of Americans for the obvious political reasons.
“Being a Democrat means being identified with Barack Obama, not Ed Schultz and Martin Bashir,” said Douthat, citing two liberal MSNBC hosts.

Conversely, for nearly six years, since President Bush’s second term went south, Republicans have been effectively without a leader. And into that vacuum has stepped a series of conservative figures whose incentives in most cases are not to win votes but to make money and score ratings by being provocative and even outlandish.

“Their bottom line is their main goal, but that doesn’t mean they’re serving the population that buys their books,” said Domenech.

And this, say next-generation Republicans, is where cocoonism has been detrimental to the cause.
The tension between the profit- and ratings-driven right — call them entertainment-based conservatives — and conservatives focused on ideas (the thinkers) and winning (the operatives) has never been more evident.

The latter group worries that too many on the right are credulous about the former.

“Dick Morris is a joke to every smart conservative in Washington and most every smart conservative under the age of 40 in America,” said Douthat. “The problem is that most of the people watching Dick Morris don’t know that.”

The egghead-hack coalition believes that the entertainment-based conservatives create an atmosphere that enables flawed down-ballot candidates, creates a cartoonish presidential primary and blocks needed policy reforms, and generally leave an odor on the party that turns off swing voters. Read the entire article

For more on the GOP conservative entertainment complex:

Frum: Republicans lied to by 'conservative entertainment complex'

1 comment:

  1. "And into that vacuum has stepped a series of conservative figures whose incentives in most cases are not to win votes but to make money and score ratings by being provocative and even outlandish."

    Here is the crux of the right wing political conundrum along with gerrymandered Congressional districts that result in safe seats run counter to the body politic and its demographics. While both parties gerrymander (Iowa style, non-political redistricting is the only sane method), both parties don't face a the same future based on demographics.