The right's not-so-secret weapon: lots of money for partisan media projects
Donors on the right prop up hyperpartisan media outlets; donors on the left give to general cause advocacy groups. It's a losing strategy.
Hello, all, and happy Thanksgiving week.
I’m hoping to churn out a few posts this week and then take Thursday and Friday off. Today’s piece will be a subscriber exclusive that began as a Twitter rant.
Parker Molloy’s The Present Age is a reader-supported publication about media, politics, and culture. To support my work, please consider becoming a subscriber.
A couple of weeks back, David Atkins posted a tweet that got me thinking…
“The Right stood up at least 3 different Twitter clones to push hate and lies. The entire liberal-left couldn’t stand one even ONE Twitter clone despite long advance notice of the Musk takeover. THAT right there is the entire problem. The whole difference between the two sides,” he wrote.
Below is a bit of an expanded version of something I had originally posted on Twitter back then in response to his point. Enjoy:
This is it, exactly. The right has, essentially, unlimited funding for information-related projects, and there’s just nothing at all like it on the left. And as long as that's the case, it's going to be a gigantic problem for the world.
The right likes to claim that there's "liberal bias" everywhere. CNN? "Liberal" The New York Times? "Liberal" The Washington Post? "Liberal" USA Today? "Liberal." Now, of course, none of those are actually "liberal" outlets. They're mainstream outlets, and they publish a range of right to center-left things.
Now, you may wonder "Hey, why is there a need for something that is specifically geared to the left?" And the answer to that is that the right uses its extremely well-funded media infrastructure to set narratives that mainstream outlets follow. To not have something resembling a “left” media infrastructure is to forever allow the right to dictate what topics get covered and with what angle.
For instance, during the 2016 election, the two most covered “substantive issues” in mainstream media were immigration and Muslims/Islam. Why was that? Because that’s what the right-wing media ecosystem covered, which pushed mainstream outlets to do the same for fear of being called “biased” if they didn’t cover whatever it was that the Breitbarts of the world told them they should be obsessing over.
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