Demand better news

Article: The Media’s 10 Rules of Hate

By: The Washington Spectator



For many years, unity and conformity in the news were more profitable and desirable, with only a “narrow median strip of political ideas” was available to the public. Today, the primary product being sold is division and hatred.

  1. There are only two ideas – the range of ideas being presented is binary with the intent that people will line up behind one of them. Diversity just means that both binary sides are presented.
  2. The two ideas are in permanent conflict – present the idea that politics is a fight and the goal isn’t to come to an agreement but maintain a debate to the end. Debates are not about ideas or solutions but partisan sniping and talking point recitation.
  3. Hate people not institutions – Large companies will not only sue for unfavorable news stories, they’ll pull ads. New audiences have been trained not to value detailed and fact filled investigative journalism.
  4. Everything is someone else’s fault – the public likes easy stories that can be blamed on one or the other party. In reality, most problems are systemic, bipartisan and bureaucratic and most of us own a little of most disasters
  5. Nothing is everyone’s fault – topics that are all or some of the above (bloated military budget, mass surveillance, embarassing or immoral involvement in foreign affairs, drone assassination program aren’t covered in the major news. These stories are hard to sell and market. If something isn’t for or against Trump right now you don’t get airtime.
  6. Root don’t think – we’ve modeled our political coverage after our sports coverage
  7. No switching teams – the model we live in today is one side’s media covering the other side’s corruption. Being out of touch with what the other side is thinking is no longer seen as a fault.
  8. The other side is literally Hitler – A critical part of Fox’s post 9/11 success was that liberals were actively in league with terrorists and traitors. Not just wrong but evil. Hannity and Glenn Beck were masters of this push. Once you’ve made this comparison it’s a rhetorical dead end, because comparing your opponents to Hitler means there can’t be (and shouldn’t be) any compromise or middle ground. You don’t compromise with Hitler. While some of Trump’s behavior can be correctly characterized as white supremacist and fascist, trying to characterize 60 million people who voted for him in 2016 as racist white nationalist traitor Nazis isn’t appropriate.
  9. In the fight against Hitler, everything is permitted – you don’t need to apologize or take responsibility for shameless behavior against Hitler. You’re morally obligated to do whatever it takes to stop him.
  10. Feel superior – We are winners and our opponents are losers. Americans don’t tolerate losing. The news you’re shown is demeaning disgusting, pointless, and not intended to inform but you’re too embarrassed to admit you spend hours every day poring through content specifically designed to stroke your point of view.


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