The Dying Mainstream Media

A couple of bits of news. First, in the UK:

…record numbers of people are already abandoning the BBC, either giving up television altogether or migrating to more modern streaming services like Netflix and others, which offer a range of content at a lower annual subscription rate. Breitbart London reported in January that more than 860,000 viewers cancelled their television licence in 2017/18 — the equivalent to around 2,300 people a day.

Those dropping away from the corporation are often those the company needs most to sustain its long-term future — young people. The Times reported 44 per cent of males aged 16-34 watch no BBC TV whatsoever in a typical week, and British viewers aged 16-24 spent more time watching just one rival — Netflix — than every BBC platform including TV, radio, and internet combined in 2017.

And second, in the USA:

Polling proves that public trust in the establishment media has collapsed in every imaginable way during Trump’s presidency.

There is no doubt anymore that corporate media’s ongoing assault against President Trump has backfired in a way that journalists will never recover from.

An IBD/TIPP poll asked about “the public’s perception of the mainstream news media” and found that “fully half the country says its trust in the media decreased over the past two years,” while only eight percent say they have more trust in the media.

I can only speak for myself. And I have to say that I stopped watching television in 2010. I also stopped reading newspapers at about the same time.

Why did I stop? Because none of them spoke up for me.

With the UK smoking ban of 1 July 2007, I – along with about 13 million other people –  was expelled from society. Nobody in the BBC spoke up for us smokers. Nor did any newspaper speak up for us either. We smokers simply ceased to exist in the UK mainstream media. And when they stopped listening to us, I stopped listening to them.

Antismoking is just like antisemitism. And being a smoker in the UK (and in fact more or less everywhere in the world) is now very much like being a Jew in Nazi Germany, prior to the Holocaust. We have been driven to the margins of society. We are treated with complete and perfect contempt. And some of us have done the same thing that many Jews in Nazi Germany did: they’ve emigrated to the dwindling numbers of countries where they’re still welcome (Greece, Austria?), and where the writ of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has yet to run.

Did the Jews in Nazi Germany read German newspapers or listen to German radio? Probably not. Or if they did it was only to find out what was going to be done to them next. Certainly none of them would have felt part of the wider German society of which they had once been members.

And that’s how it is with me also. I’m not interested in the debates and discussions that may or may not be taking place in the mainstream UK media. I only want to know what they’re going to do to us smokers next. If I haven’t left the country, and gone to live elsewhere, it’s because I’m an old man, a bit unsteady on my feet, and unwilling to travel.

And also I don’t believe there’s going to be a Smoker Holocaust to rival the Jewish Holocaust. It’s not that I think that the antismoking zealots in Tobacco Control are any better or any less murderous than their Nazi forebears – they’re not -, but simply because there are far too many smokers in the world (I estimate about 1.5 billion) to gas them all. And also they are a valuable cash cow for governments to rob with high tobacco taxes.

But once very large numbers of people are expelled from society, and stop paying attention to a mainstream media which no longer makes any attempt whatsoever to speak up for them, is it any surprise if they find that their audience is gradually vanishing, bearing in mind that there are other very large social groups (drinkers, fat people, climate change deniers, etc.) who are also treated with almost equal contempt in the mainstream media?

Furthermore, in the internet era there are multiple sources of news and debate and discussion. You don’t have to listen to the BBC to find out what’s going on in the UK. In many ways the 20th century was the only era of the monopoly megaphone broadcast media, and it was an era that came to an end with the arrival of the conversational internet. It is no longer possible for the mainstream media to shape public opinion as it once could, because fewer and fewer people are paying any attention to it.

I don’t live in the USA, but I find the treatment of Donald Trump in the US mainstream media to be utterly sickening. He is, after all, the duly elected President of the United States. So I’m not at all surprised to learn that the US mainstream media is losing customers at the same sort of rate as the UK mainstream media. They have no-one but themselves to blame.

The only real question is: How long will it take for the mainstream media to die?

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5 Responses to The Dying Mainstream Media

  1. Rose says:

    Nor did any newspaper speak up for us either

    The Telegraph did long and often, ASH even took them to the Press Commision in 1998, but I don’t think many people were aware of what Anti-tobacco, New Labour, The WHO and the drug companies, were up to until years later, we all got banned from everywhere.

    Passive smoking doesn’t cause cancer – official
    By Victoria Macdonald, Health Correspondent

    “THE world’s leading health organisation has withheld from publication a study which shows that not only might there be no link between passive smoking and lung cancer but that it could even have a protective effect.

    The astounding results are set to throw wide open the debate on passive smoking health risks. The World Health Organisation, which commissioned the 12-centre, seven-country European study has failed to make the findings public, and has instead produced only a summary of the results in an internal report.

    Despite repeated approaches, nobody at the WHO headquarters in Geneva would comment on the findings last week. At its International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, which coordinated the study, a spokesman would say only that the full report had been submitted to a science journal and no publication date had been set.

    The findings are certain to be an embarrassment to the WHO, which has spent years and vast sums on anti-smoking and anti-tobacco campaigns. The study is one of the largest ever to look at the link between passive smoking – or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) – and lung cancer, and had been eagerly awaited by medical experts and campaigning groups.

    Yet the scientists have found that there was no statistical evidence that passive smoking caused lung cancer. The research compared 650 lung cancer patients with 1,542 healthy people. It looked at people who were married to smokers, worked with smokers, both worked and were married to smokers, and those who grew up with smokers.

    The results are consistent with their being no additional risk for a person living or working with a smoker and could be consistent with passive smoke having a protective effect against lung cancer. The summary, seen by The Telegraph, also states: “There was no association between lung cancer risk and ETS exposure during childhood.”

    Passive smokers inhale six cigarettes a year
    Author: Robert Matthews and Victoria Macdonald

    “PASSIVE smokers inhale the equivalent of just six cigarettes a year from other people’s smoke, according to the largest ever study of actual exposure levels of non-smokers.

    The figure, which undermines previous warnings about the dangers of passive smoking, is a thousand times lower than that faced by direct smokers, and so tiny that it could not be measured statistically. Results from personal air monitors carried by more that 1,000 people in cities across Europe reveal that even the most highly-exposed passive smoker inhales the equivalent of 0.02 of a cigarette a day – 10 times lower than Government-backed estimates.

    The findings, published by an internationally respected UK-based team of air monitoring experts, are the biggest blow yet to the credibility of the Government’s insistence that passive smoking causes fatal diseases. . .

    A team led by Dr Keith Phillips of Covance Laboratories, an independent consultancy in Harrogate, has found that even passive smokers who live and work with smokers are typically exposed to just 0.1 per cent of the dangerous components of cigarette smoke inhaled by smokers.”

    Sunday Telegraph reports on passive smoking
    Articles and editorial from the Sunday Telegraph regarding passive smoking. Appendix 1. Published : 08/03/1998

    Click to access ASH_654.pdf

    Press Release WHO/4
    30 January 1999


    Warning: the health police can seriously addle your brain
    By Robert Matthews
    18 May 2003

    “Researchers who dissent from the party line face character assassination and the termination of grants. Those who report their findings are vilified as lackeys of the tobacco industry, and accused of professional misconduct (in 1998, campaigners tried to have this newspaper censured by the Press Complaints Commission for our reports on passive smoking. They failed.).”

    Could you fix the links for me, Frank? They may be from before our exile started but I think they are still worth reading.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Rose, These are excellent resources. They should be shared fa and wide to counter the antismoker propaganda suppression of inconvenient facts.

  2. smokingscot says:

    As in your post, I never watch the BBC, nor CNN. Al Jazeera, France 24 and NHK are my preferred source of visual information.

    That said I much prefer to trawl the web. Newspapers and blogs – and I still log in to Nisakiman’s favourite keep talking greece.

    And after years of denying it’s happening the BBC has finally woken up to the fact their income is drying up. So, rather than become more relevant, or cut expenditure, they want to stop letting the over 75’s watch it without a licence.

  3. I remember the day the news died for me; it was leading up to the 2004 presidential election. There was a big kerfuffle over a letter about George W Bush’s military service which was pretty quickly picked apart as a fake, made on a computer, to look as if it was typed at some point in the 70’s.

    Dan Rather was a news anchor for CBS at the time and even after it was exposed as a fake, continued to stand by the story. He basically skewered himself and his career, all credibility basically went out the window.

    Perhaps it isn’t a death so much as the (mainstream) news just became irrelevant. They weren’t reporting the news or providing valuable information any longer, just rumor and lies. And it’s rumors and lies that they use in the hopes of steering public opinion and popular support for agendas, political campaigns and legislation. And that to me is intolerable.

    I suppose it is like anything in life when you discover the truth of it; you can’t go back to unseeing, putting it back in a bottle trusting in it again.

  4. Doonhamer says:

    On the rare occasions that I accidentally watch/listen to BBC news, I ask myself two things.
    Why are they telling me this.
    What are they not telling me.
    All their documentary programmes, which many years ago were good and informative, have become trivialised, laden with the accepted propaganda presented by right-on numpties who have learned how to read an autocue, learn and spout ten seconds of text while walking, straight out of the Blue Peter p.c. school of talking down to kiddy-winks. And it is all masked by extraneous noise – you could not call it “incidental music” . I remember The Ascent of Man, (no protests about the noun then), Civilisation, and their ilk. Now all that is left is The Sky At Night. And even that was nearly enmeshed by the reformers when Patrick Moore died. Weird noises, asteroids that made whooshy noises in a vacuum, super novae that went boom, heard simultaneously as the flash was seen from light years away.
    Channel 5 does it better now.
    And of rant.

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