Alternative Media And Selling Out
Last August I made a note of the fact that The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur had retweeted a fan who said that he gets his news from Uygur and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, because “they report the REAL NEWS.” I said at the time that this was Cenk’s way of officially formalizing TYT’s position as MSNBC’s ugly little sister.
Once a relatively reliable outlet for anti-establishment progressive values, TYT has been growing more pro-establishment by the day, joining Rachel Maddow in the relentless promotion of the Russiagate psyop, with Uygur even going so far as to predict ten months ago that the scandal could have President Trump out of office within six months. Since that time no evidence of collusion has been produced and Trump has devolved into a more aggressive anti-Russia hawk than his predecessor, effectively invalidating the entire premise of the scandal.
And now they’ve recruited Dan fucking Rather.
An early cheerleader for the Iraq invasion and the so-called “war on terror”, Rather for decades played a lead role in pacing the American people into accepting the neoliberal neoconservative Orwellian dystopia that America finds itself in today. Much like Uygur he is not the very most toxic media figure in history, but the trust people placed in him allowed for the normalization of the establishment politics which are imperiling our ecosystem, slaughtering innocent human beings all around the world, and grinding Americans into the dirt with crushing economic injustice. These things are consented to by the public instead of violently rejected as they should be due to the daily friendly-faced manipulations of Rather and people like him upon generations of trusting civilians.
And now here he is, an old school mass media propagandist shoring up TYT’s role as MSNBC’s ugly little sister after having been nudged back into semi-relevance by advancing the lie that Trump is remarkably different from his predecessors.
The world does not need another MSNBC. The world needs big, powerful voices screaming at the establishment which is inflicting unforgivable evils upon our species, voices which carry, voices with reach, voices which can actually make a difference. The world needs unapologetically honest voices bringing people the truth, not lulling them to sleep with egoically pleasing lies.
We already have one lying McCarthyite fauxgressive corporate media outlet in MSNBC. We don’t need two.
I totally get it though. Mainstream sells.
Do you know what my most-viewed Medium piece is so far? It’s not one of my outrageously controversial pieces like when I wished John McCain would die and they talked about me on The View, nor when I suggested that the anti-establishment left and anti-establishment right should get more comfortable with collaborating on specific areas where their interests converge and it monopolized CounterPunch editorials for weeks. Those are nowhere near the top.
No, my most popular article so far is one nobody ever talks about in the anti-establishment circles I move in and one I never expected many people to read, an essay I wrote back in November called “Allowing #MeToo To Go Viral Is The Biggest Mistake The Establishment Ever Made”. It has well over half a million views on Medium alone, and was republished by numerous other outlets and got God knows how many other views from there. Because it advanced a narrative that mainstream Democrats could take interest in.
All of my most popular articles have been like that. They’re not my most controversial pieces, nor my most painstakingly sourced and researched, nor the ones I’m most proud of— they’re the ones which happen to play into either one side or the other of mainstream American narratives. The more mainstream you go, the more people you can appeal to, the more shares and support you get.
So even in my young alternative media career I’ve been handed many clear-cut and undeniable cues that if I want to make it big and start pulling in the big bucks, I’ve got to ride the wave of mainstream politics. So when I see other alt-media figures going full pro-Trump or full pro-Democratic party, I get it. I don’t respect it, but I get it.
In an early contender for best political Youtube video of the year, Redacted Tonight’s Lee Camp recently shot a beautiful off-the-cuff rant from his home about the relentless attempts of the US power establishment to sabotage him and other alternative media outlets. He talks about how his show is only on the now highly stigmatized RT because it’s literally the only place anti-establishment voices can go to get on television now; every other platform has been cut off, and even with his RT access there are numerous obstacles thrown in the path between Americans and Camp’s online material. He’s been attacked and smeared by multiple mainstream media outlets, he’s been deplatformed from anywhere his voice could gain a large following, he’s been given every incentive imaginable to just tone it down and try advancing a more mainstream-friendly position.
But he doesn’t. And I respect that. And we should all do likewise. The more of us do this, the bigger each of our voices becomes.
Keep being unmitigated, because the more you mitigate your speech to become more digestible to an establishment-hypnotized audience, the more you’re helping that same toxic establishment, until before you know it you’re like Cenk Uygur, barely distinguishable from Rachel Maddow and shamelessly advancing the CIA/CNN narratives you initially set out to fight. Be uncompromising, be loud, and as Camp says at the end of his epic video, keep fighting.
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