In the confusion of current events, at least one observation may be made: Where you get your news from largely decides how you see things.
According to the mainstream media, Joe Biden won the election fair and square, and will be inaugurated as the next President of the USA,
According to large swathes of the online media, Joe Biden stole the election fair and square, and the result must be contested. For example:
If courts uphold election laws, the vote fraud in the swing states will be overturned, and Trump will be declared the winner. There is no doubt about the vote fraud. The question is whether Trump in the face of media hostility, Antifa/BLM violence, and weak-kneed Republicans will have the support to see the fight to the end.
There are at least two realities (and perhaps quite a few more). Which one will prevail?
I don’t pay attention to the mainstream media. I don’t watch TV or listen to the radio, I don’t read newspapers. I get my information almost exclusively from the internet.
In my view, the mainstream media are propaganda media marching in lockstep together to promote one reality to their consumers. And the online media present multiple rival alternative realities.
I used to watch TV and read newspapers, but that ended on 1 July 2007, as I watched in disbelief the news reports about the UK smoking ban that had come into effect that day. According to the mainstream media that day, it was a non-event: it had been universally accepted by everyone, and by 6 pm it was already past history. A colossal piece of top-down social engineering had been successfully implemented. Nobody was questioning it.
It’s the same today. The mainstream media are reporting that Trump has been ousted, replaced by Joe Biden, and it’s already past history. The big news today is that there’s a coronavirus vaccine being unveiled by Pfizer or somebody, and that’s what everybody’s talking about.
But the difference today is that lots of people are questioning this new reality. And the questions are almost all being asked in the online media.
What’s the difference between 2007 and 2020? One answer is that the mainstream media has a smaller and dwindling audience today than they had 13 years ago, and the internet is much faster and more ubiquitous than it was back then. As the mainstream media’s power has been dwindling, the online media’s power has been growing. Has it now become more powerful than the mainstream media in shaping reality?
I suspect we may find out over the next few weeks. If the mainstream media can still shape reality, Joe Biden will become President in January. If the online media are more powerful, then it’s quite likely that Donald Trump will be re-elected instead.
But either way, it’s likely to be the last gasp of the mainstream media. Millions of Americans are just going to stop watching them, just like I stopped in 2007. Already the (mainstream) opinion polls have been completely discredited: they predicted a Democratic wave, and they got it wrong, just like they did 4 years ago. Fox News ratings collapsed after it called Arizona for Biden last week. Why? Because its viewers were getting most of their news from online sources, and comparing the two, and when they no longer agreed they believed the online media reports rather than Fox News.
Why is online media more credible than mainstream media? One simple explanation is that mainstream media are almost entirely scripted and edited: newsreaders read from a script, and so do the actors in comedies and fictions and documentaries. But online media are almost entirely unscripted and unedited: people say what they think. Whether it’s Joe Rogan or Michael Savage or Jordan Peterson, you’re hearing them say what they think. In the mainstream media you’re just hearing people reading lines. One is authentic and real, and the other is inauthentic and false. And that’s one very good reason why people trust the new voices that have been emerging online.
There’s another reason why the online media are more credible: smoking is permitted. In the mainstream media smoking is strictly verboten, except in period dramas. The mainstream media is a smokefree zone. But Joe Rogan will smoke cigars (and much else besides) , and so also will his guests. Tobacco is making a comeback in the online media, although cigarettes seem to still be a no-no. The same is true of alcohol, which is also verboten in the mainstream media: Joe Rogan features plenty of wine and beer being plied among guests. And he cusses liberally as well, which is also verboten in the MSM, of course. In addition, the online media usually don’t have elaborate studios with huge desks: they’re very often set in someone’s front room, with their own pictures and books and curtains and carpets, which also tell a story.
Donald Trump is another master of the new media. He tweets all the time. And he speaks very bluntly (too bluntly for many people). He’s someone who also says what he thinks. When has Joe Biden ever done that? Donald Trump versus Joe Biden is unscripted online media versus scripted mainstream media.
I don’t know who’ll win in Trump v. Biden, but Trump has a lot of advantages.