I spent a while yesterday watching Roseanne Barr talking online to Lionel Nation, and it reminded me of the Smoky Drinky Bar and interviews that Emily and I have done. They were having the same hardware problems we have.
One thing that was missing from it was Roseanne smoking, like she was last time I watched her. But that may have been because she was sitting in some girl’s bedroom, rather than her own home.
Lionel Nation’s real name is Michael Lebron. He’s a well-known US radio talk show host, and used to have a slot on Air America. Roseanne is of course a well-known TV star, who recently lost her TV show on ABC (I think it was for saying something politically incorrect). So they’re both outcasts. But they can both talk. And they seem now to be doing what Emily and me started doing a year ago, creating online video interviews.
There seem to be a lot of these outcasts floating around these days. Alex Jones is an outcast. So is Michael Savage (banned from entering Britain) So is Jerome Corsi. So is Roger Stone. They’re never invited to appear on mainstream media channels like CNN. And now that they’re banned from the MSM, attempts are being made to ban them from the internet as well (at least in the case of Alex Jones Infowars). And they’re all called Conspiracy Theorists. Lionel Nation is, for example, a true believer in QAnon (unlike Alex Jones, who is not).
I listen to Lionel because he’s insightful and amusing and quirky. And one thing he’s been saying recently is “We are the mainstream media.” And by “we” he means him and whoever’s watching him, and more generally the online community of outcasts. And since I never watch the mainstream media, but do watch Lionel, he’s actually right in a certain sense. Because the MSM are dying.
There’s a very simple reason why the mainstream media are dying, and it is that the number of media platforms is multiplying. In the UK there used to be just BBC radio, and in the 50s BBC TV got added. And back in the 50s there was only one TV channel. And after ITV got added, there were two channels. And then we got BBC2 some time in the 60s. And Channel 4 in the 70s. And now there seem to be hundreds of TV channels. And to them there have been added hundreds and thousands of online channels (which is what I mostly watch). The media is like a river: there’s only ever a single main stream while there’s a single watercourse down which all the water is flowing. As soon as the river reaches the sea, it widens into a delta that is made up of multiplying separate streams, and there ceases to be a single mainstream. And that’s what’s happened to the MSM: it’s widening and spreading into a delta, with hundreds and thousands of separate streams, each of which is much smaller than the single stream that enters the delta. So BBC and ITV and Channel 4 are seeing their audiences dwindle. And that’s why their products are getting cheaper and tackier, as fewer and fewer people watch them. And in my case I’m actually banned from watching BBC: I’m likely to be heavily fined if I watch it, because I don’t have a TV licence.
So I think that Lionel is wrong: it’s not that people like him have become the new mainstream media, but rather that there is no longer any mainstream at all. There are just lots and lots of competing voices. It’s like the tower of Babel, which started out with everyone speaking one language, and ended with them speaking lots.
And I’m one of those voices. And I’m also an outcast, although a different sort of outcast than Lionel or Roseanne. I’m a smoker who’s been exiled to the outdoors. We smokers have also been expelled from the BBC and all the old mainstream media. But like Alex Jones and Michael Savage, I’ve managed to create a voice for myself elsewhere. And so have quite a few others.
And I suppose that, as an outcast, I tend to listen to other outcasts. Lionel and Roseanne are outcasts. And Jordan Peterson is another outcast: he came to fame when people in his university tried to restrict his freedom of speech, and silence him. Everyone I pay any attention to seems to be an outcast of one sort or other. And the strictures of Political Correctness actually creates outcasts. There are more and more people being exiled to the outdoors, for one bit of political incorrectness or other. Smokers are just one bunch of exiles. There are lots and lots of other exiles.
And the outcasts are more interesting than the Politically Correct insiders. They were usually only sent into exile because they said something too interesting. For what the Politically Correct think is entirely predictable, and therefore dull and boring.
And the interesting thing is that it’s now got to the point there are more exiled outsiders than there are insiders. The Church of Political Correctness is gradually depleting its own ranks, as more and more people are made anathema, and sent into exile. The outsiders are beginning to outnumber the insiders. And this is how Political Correctness will die, as the Politically Incorrect come to outnumber the Politically Correct.
And it’s also how Tobacco Control will die. For they also are/were a mainstream media channel with their own megaphone voice. But fewer and fewer people are listening to them. And the money is drying up. And there are more and more other voices that people can listen to.