Death to the Old Media; Long Live Andrew Breitbart!

The late Andrew Breitbart, founder of Breitbart News. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

The late Andrew Breitbart, founder of Breitbart News. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

It's official. The mainstream media is dead. Donald J. Trump put the final nail in the coffin last week when he hired Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon to manage the final stages of his insanely improbable presidential campaign.

He might just get elected yet.

No doubt the late Andrew Breitbart, who founded his controversial conservative news website in 2005, and once told the Associated Press he was committed to “the destruction of the old media guard,” would be pleased.

I don't know much about Bannon, other than he's a former United States Navy officer with a Harvard MBA who took over the reigns at Breitbart News after Breitbart's untimely death in 2012. I can say his appointment as Trump campaign CEO has predictably driven the establishment media pundits into a frenzy, which tells me they've probably been reading Breitbart News.

With just more than two months to go until the election, the final battle line has been drawn. It's the entire mainstream media including the New York Times, Washington Post, all the broadcast and cable TV news networks as well as Arianna Huffington versus Breitbart News, Drudge Report and Sean Hannity in a buck-naked, bare-knuckle brawl over the soul of America.

Breitbart News is a monster of a website and online community. I'm hesitant to attribute too much influence to it, since things sometimes look larger on the Internet than they are in real life, but Bannon's addition to the Trump team is an indication Breitbart News is doing something right, namely destroying sacrosanct mainstream media narratives while simultaneously creating new narratives for its rapidly growing audience.

It was the dissemination of a false narrative that first brought Andrew Breitbart to widespread national attention in 2009, after he posted videos of an undercover sting operation conducted by conservative activists on the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Virtually no ACORN worker fell for the sting, but editing of the tapes made it appear as if some had. No criminal charges were ever filed, but ACORN, after providing services to poor, mostly black communities for more than 40 years, lost both its private funding and government support. It was forced into bankruptcy and out of business in 2010.

Breitbart next caught the public eye in 2011, after New York City Congressman Anthony Weiner began texting photos of his penis to random women across the country, a narrative that despite Weiner's denials turned out to be all-too-true.

Last year, Breitbart News returned to the undercover video sting operation, prominently featuring the pro-life activist group Center for Medical Progress' attempt to purchase baby parts from Planned Parenthood clinics. Planned Parenthood survived, but not with its reputation unscathed, despite the fact it had done nothing illegal.

I began reading Breitbart News regularly in 2014, after Bannon added a writing staff and began updating the site with fresh content more frequently. At the time, the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown—and the mainstream media's biased coverage of both events—were hot topics. The number of comments on each post was astonishing, sometimes running into the thousands. Many of the comments were unabashedly racist, a luxury afforded by anonymous posting. It was unsettling yet fascinating at the same time. Don't they realize the National Security Agency is monitoring their every key-stroke?

Breitbart News is by no means the only news source publishing such content. There are hundreds of websites catering to what's loosely being called the alt-right movement, and I've explored many of them. It could at this point in time be called the All-White movement, since most of its putative members are white males who reject theoretical notions such as white male privilege and systemic white racism asserted by groups such as Black Lives Matters and promulgated almost universally by mainstream media.

I can't emphasize enough how much the alt-right feels betrayed by mainstream media and by extension the entire political establishment it cozies up to, Democrat and Republican. Race is hardly their singular issue. The Alt-Right includes Christians concerned with eroding religious liberty and the decline of sexual morality, conservative millennial college graduates frustrated by political correctness on campus and in the workplace, unemployed blue- and white-collar workers decimated by free trade and open border policies, and families frightened by the rise of Islamic terrorism directly caused by the pointless wars the United States and its allies have waged in the Middle East for decades.

The alt-right also includes so-called immigration patriots concerned about the decline of America's white population, race realists obsessed with discussing the differences between IQ and physical abilities among various ethnicities and more than a few self-proclaimed Nazis calling attention to what they see as undo Jewish influence in mainstream media, the financial sector and foreign affairs.

Although the more extreme alt-right websites are protected by the 1st Amendment as long as they don't espouse violence, they are subject to constant attacks from activist hackers and watchdog groups such as the Anti-Defamation League. They are often denied service from Internet service providers as well as access to online payment services such as PayPal, making it difficult to raise money. Yet some extreme websites are managing to not only survive, but thrive.

My point here isn't to name names, hurl epithets and point you to this or that egregious website. There's plenty of people on that case already. I'm attempting to describe the online media environment in existence when Donald Trump burst on the political scene last year, blurting out his first uncouth remarks regarding illegal immigrants from Mexico.

It's fair to say that traffic going to Breitbart News exploded with Trump's candidacy, even though the website appeared to favor Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at first. That's because mainstream media immediately made the unanimous decision to brand Trump as a racist demagogue devoid of any legitimate political ideas, even as the issues he raised obviously resonated with millions of primary voters.

The mainstream media might have stopped Trump from winning the Republican nomination, if it still controlled the public narrative. The fact that Trump won the nomination proves, at least to my mind, that it's lost control.

This was made painfully clear when former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, a childhood hero of mine, recently took to Facebook and called upon all media gatekeepers to universally condemn Trump's sarcastic remarks regarding Hillary Clinton, 2nd Amendment supporters and future Supreme Court justice selections.

It's not like the establishment media needed extra encouragement. The narrative had been agreed upon in advance: Trump literally threatened to assassinate Hillary Clinton. Laws had been broken. CNN even conjured up a phony visit to Trump by the Secret Service. I've been following media a long time, and I've never witnessed such one-sided piling on.

Nevertheless, despite the relentless onslaught, as I write this Trump is recovering in most major polls and appears to be pulling neck-and-neck with Hillary Clinton. I attribute this almost entirely to websites like Breitbart News, since Trump is receiving virtually no support from mainstream media, including FOX News (with the exception of fervent Trump booster Sean Hannity).

Mainstream media appears to be unaware that every time it falsely accuses Trump of inciting violence for making yet another off-the-cuff remark at a rally, websites like Breitbart are responding by posting videos of liberal protestors beating the crap out of Trump supporters. This is happening with increasing frequency and mainstream media is totally ignoring it.

Even in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Orlando, Brussels and beyond, the mainstream media remains oblivious to the threat posed by importing refugees into the United States from Middle Eastern countries we've bombed into the stone age. Is it that hard to imagine one or two Muslim extremists might want revenge?

Utterly committed to the free-trade, open-borders globalist agenda, the mainstream media was completely taken off guard when voters in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union earlier this year. It's like they believe they're still the only game in town, that the Internet doesn't exist outside of the United States.

In journalism, you can only get it wrong so many times in a row before people begin noticing and tune out. That's why CNN, the most openly anti-Trump cable news network, has dropped to last place in the ratings since the conventions. The world wide web, smart phones with digital video cameras have turned ordinary citizens into citizen journalists, and every time they catch a news organization fudging a story, the mainstream media dies a little more.

It's been said by many observers that the Internet killed journalism, and there's a lot of truth to that. It's a long story, but the short of it is the newspaper industry has never recovered the tens of billions of dollars in display and classified advertising revenue lost after the emergence of online entities such as Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist during the 1990s tech boom.

Online advertising revenue hasn't panned out in what's still being called a “disruption” after 15 years. Hundreds of papers have folded, and the survivors, from the New York Times to the Redding Record Searchlight, have cut salaries and staff to the bone. Investigative journalism has been all but abandoned—too expensive!—and once taken-for-granted standards such as fact-checking, copy-editing and presenting more than one side of the story have fallen by the wayside.

Most of the remaining newspapers, television networks and radio stations in the United States are today held by a handful of corporations more concerned with meeting bottom lines than deadlines. While there are still many journalists fighting the good fight, the overall result of all the consolidation is a homogenized, Pollyannaish mainstream media incapable of addressing the very real and frightening issues confronting Americans today.

“He who controls the past controls the future,” George Orwell wrote in 1984. “He who controls the present controls the past.” Mainstream media has lost control of the present and now the past, present and the future are all up for grabs.

For the past year, Breitbart News has attempted to corral the alt-right, cutting the more divisive elements from the herd. It is also expanding its reach beyond disaffected straight white males.

Openly gay Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulus has drawn large crowds and sparked vociferous demonstrations on college campuses across the country with his “Dangerous Faggot” tour, a one-man campaign against politically correctness and safe spaces. To attract women to the fold, Brietbart has been hammering on former president Bill Clinton's legendary peccadilloes and Hillary Clinton's alleged efforts to cover them up.

In July, Breitbart News recorded its most online visits ever. It's being shared more often on Facebook and other social media platforms, where a majority of Americans now get their news. It's become a force to be reckoned with. Whatever Bannon did, it's working, and now he's working for Donald Trump.

Last week, before hiring the Breitbart News executive, Trump began his long-anticipated pivot toward the center, calling on African Americans and Latinos to join his movement and expressing regret about the coarse language he's used during the heat of the campaign. Initial polling indicates some minorities may be heeding Trump's call. The bombastic billionaire is still in the race.

That won't stop the mainstream media—the major daily newspapers, the broadcast and cable TV networks, the political magazines sponsored by think tanks left and right—from continuing to demean Trump and his supporters.

The institution Americans once depended upon to develop informed public opinions has abandoned roughly half of the electorate, and that won't be forgotten. Whoever wins the election, the mainstream media is toast.

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

76 Responses

  1. Randall R. Smith says:

    It’s hard to know who cast the first stone.  Was the capture of our Iran Embassy our fault?  The bombing in Lebanon, the USS Cole, 9/11, whatever.  There are people who do not like us.  We were perhaps slow to recognize what has become a very bipolar Middle East which has been that way for over a thousand years.  Now the poison is everywhere and what to do about a factious mess.  Europe is coming apart and we may follow as leadership can only seek a consensus, not force one.  And everyone now understands you can’t get Congress to agree on the date.  So, we muddle on: frightened, angry, disappointed.  However, this situation is not our nation’s first rodeo in crisis management.  The Revolution, Civil War, WWI and II, the Great Depression all tested us.  If our watch fails it will be as Lincoln predicted, not from foreign powers, but from weakness within ourselves.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      In fact, the capture of our embassy in Iran in the late 1970s was directly related to the US-sponsored coup that installed the Shah of Iran in the early 1950s.

      I worry that our “leaders” will use our fear, anger and disappointment and entangle us even further, in the Middle East, Russia, China.

      It is time for all of us to stand strong.

  2. Hollyn Chase says:

    All. Too. Appallingly. True.

    I’m going to think about this for a while. Maybe there is a post-apocalyptic (metaphorically speaking) solution?



    • Breakfast Guy says:

      Perhaps ignoring publicity from faux news and Breibart  would be good a start.

      • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

        Breitbart is a different animal than FOX News. Sometimes they have the usual drivel, but more often than not, they’ve got the goods. The mainstream media has made it pretty easy by not reporting the news.

  3. cheyenne says:

    I read the Washington Post, only because I can post on it and I get a inkling of the feeling of eastern posters.  Most of those posters are liberal and they think anyone living in white rural America, Shasta County and the whole state of Wyoming, etc, are Bundy clones.  Most feel that HRC can do know wrong and already has the presidency.  For prove that everything is not rosy with HRC is that in Wyoming there is a big push with petition gathers to put Jill Stein on the presidential ballot here.  It won’t make a difference but who is pushing the petition are Democrats who feel HRC stole the Democratic nomination from Sanders.  Wyoming Republicans chose Cruz over Trump but now back the Republican nominee Trump.  Will the Sanders Democrats back HRC?

    I believe the Fort Worth columnist said it best, “Trump is the only Republican candidate Clinton could beat, but Clinton is the only Democrat candidate Trump could beat”.  It will come down to how many of the anonymous posters, on both sides, actually get out and vote or stay home so they can continue posting what went wrong.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      The reason many of the posters in the Washington Post sound overwhelmingly pro-Clinton is because they scrub posts that are anti-Clinton. One thing I’ve noticed about the more traveled alt-right sights is aside from not allowing any promotion of violence, there’s no censorship. Even lefties go on there and flip shit. They usually get trolled off, but they’re not outright banned. Comment moderation is huge.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I normally put the half-life of anything I post on at about 90 seconds.  Fox’s echo-chamber enforcers seem to be just fine with swipes at Trump, though.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          I like Shep Smith’s show on Fox. He has a good sense of humor, he’s not overly partisan. I can listen to Hannity on the radio, but I can’t watch him on FOX. I”m not sure why.

      • cheyenne says:

        I have noticed that about WaPo.  My conservative comments about HRC or liberal policies are scrubbed sometimes, but the liberals seem to have open season on calling me and rural white America any names they want.  But then if I was after likes instead of replies I’d post on the Prescott Courier.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          Yes, there’s a huge double-standard, and people have noticed. I don’t know who’s gonna win the race, but the I think the old media is done talking down to the masses.

  4. Christian says:

    When Trump opens his mouth our Id’s jump out. Bombastic cult of personalities, national disasters, car wrecks, it bleeds and leads mantra are becoming the mainstream of mainstream media. Investigative reporting in our ADHD society is dying, has been now for a couple of decades. Trump, who has said many negative things about the media and reporters, has gotten billions in free press, because when he physically mocks a reporter with disabilities in front of millions, calls a woman a “fat pig,” “dog” or worse, and says this about female reporters, “it doesn’t matter what you write as long as you have a young beautiful piece of ass,” there are people out there okay with it (some more than okay), and the press eats it up like Homer in the donut shop.

    The Alt-Right media, who calls Bill Kristol “a runaway jew,” Trumpets that Obama is a Black born in Africa Muslim (next to a byline about Jewish bankers controlling the world), is a car wreck we can’t take our eyes off of and Trump knows it, so it makes sense Trump would put Breitbart in control of controlling the message. There is an alliance between the Alt-Right angry white D. Duke public and Trump that has always been there and Trump will need it as he is killing any chance of the minority and the female vote every other time he opens his mouth….. and no, sorry, he won’t get the Sander’s vote.

    Will the new team tame the Donald? The Alt-Right hopes not and maybe we don’t either. You can blame the American public that sadly calls Kardishion and Jenner important headline news before you blame Trump or the press. Kicking Trump and the press is a way of kicking ourselves.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Well, to be fair, it was David Horowitz, who is Jewish, who called Kristol that. It’s kind of OK to call one another out as long as you’re in the same tribe. Which brings up the point that there are plenty of Jews in the alt-right.  I’d say one of the most influential is talk show host Michael Savage, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, who rails at his tribesmen in Hollywood on the radio every night. 

  5. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    The mainstream media are Big Business, and what they really love more than anything else is a huge cacophonous spectacle.  Count me among those who think that Trump largely owes his nomination to the endless attention heaped upon his primary campaign by the spellbound MSM.

    The headlines each day might as well read:  “OMG!!!  HERE’S WHAT TRUMP SAID TODAY!!!”  

    Trump’s daily outpouring of outrageous statements sells.  And if the current MSM needs to pretend to take seriously Trump’s sarcastic idiocies in order to make them even more outrageous and attention-grabbing, that’s what they’ll do.  The Trump campaign is trapped between the knowledge of what got them here—Trump’s attention-grabbing unbridled nuttiness—and knowing that his attention-grabbing unbridled nuttiness is repulsive to the majority of Americans.

    There was a time when the MSM would have agreed that Trump’s “2nd amendment people” statement was reckless sarcasm, akin to Reagan’s “Today I signed legislation outlawing the Soviet Union forever.  The bombing starts in 5 minutes.”   Nobody thought for a second that Reagan’s statement was literal; only that it was reckless.  What if there was a 1 in 100,000 chance that someone with the keys to the nuclear arsenal in the USSR had taken him seriously?  Was it worth such a risk?  Same with Trump:  What if 1 of every 100,000 Trump knuckleheads took him seriously?   The “leader of the free world” needs to understand the stakes before commencing with the flapping of lips.  But instead, the MSM pretends to take Trump seriously, because that turns the merely reckless into Whoa!!! Lookee here at what Trump said now!!! Outrageous!!!.

    I stopped thinking of the MSM as left-leaning and started thinking of them as sensation-chasing with the MSM’s coverage of the largely manufactured Clinton scandals, but that perspective was really cemented with the invasion of Iraq.  The MSM were cheerleaders, pure and simple.  News anchors and field reporters alike sounded like the crowd at a McConnell Foundation-funded 4th of July fireworks display.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I totally agree that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” helped get Trump where he is. I think the mainstream media underestimated how bad the economy is and how much issues such as race, illegal immigration and trade would resonate with the electorate. Trump isn’t the only person with a language problem. What if there was a 1 in 100,000 chance someone would hear BLM members chanting “Pigs in a blanket, fry em like bacon,” on TV and go out and shoot some cops? Whose rhetoric is more dangerous? Whose rhetoric gets criticized by the MSM or our illustrious leaders? Why is it shaped one way and not the other?

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I think the MSM failed miserably to map out to disenfranchised voters how similar Trump and Sanders are on a host of issues that boil down to a single core issue—the middle class has been getting hosed for 35 years.  Instead, it focused on Trump’s blatant ethnocentric ultra-nationalism, authoritarianism, and showy political incorrectness.

        The MSM also failed to map out a clear difference between Sanders and Trump: Sanders had a plan for the middle class (however unfeasible) to turn the U.S. into a European-style socialist democracy.  To the extent that Trump has a plan, it’s pretty much the same plan as every Republican plan for the past 35 years: cut taxes for the rich, and let the prosperity trickle down.  That, and protectionism (which, unlike the liberal democratic socialism of Western and Northern Europe, has never proved much good at improving the lives of people and the state of the world.)

        As far as the small minority of buffoons in the BLM movement who chant those repulsive things about cops: None of those protesters are an election away from being POTUS.   That would both account for and justify the attention differential, in my opinion.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          Yes, Sanders got hosed by the media (and the DNC and BLM) worse than Trump. The media simply said “socialist” and never bothered talking about Sander’s economic plan (some elements similar to Trump) or the economy at all. Everything’s doing great! Sanders voting record on immigration reform is good … not a racist demagogue but not for amnesty either. Enforce the laws, for illegals and those who employ them. What’s so hard about that? But then BLM took his stage, and Bernie stopped speaking for everybody, and turned to identity politics. I said at the time he’d lose because of that and he did.

  6. Rod says:

    Yeah, no doubt about it, mainstream media is losing relevancy.  That’s good!

    I first noticed when reporters attempted to become opinionists.  The need to regularly create news items went far beyond journalism,  we received attitude coupled with the perceived cures.  Now we seem to have performers in the roles of broadcast reporters.  And several performances are bad, bad, bad.  Bad solely because as opinionists they flop time after time.  We’re constantly hit with mistakes and establishment propaganda.

    The fact that we do have individual connections with fringe media, via internet, undermines the validity of mainstream journalism.  We can fact check at the speed of light too,  there’s no longer a question of truth or realism, everybody gets a fair shot at forming one’s private opinion.

    “Just the facts ma’am.”


    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      One idea I didn’t get at in this piece is journalists nowadays feel compelled to craft narratives instead of just report facts, and discovering a new societal problem and its potential cure is the perfect framework for a ready-made narrative. The narrative might be true or totally false. We like good stories, and they sink in. That’s why the internet is such a powerful tool: We have the ability to check every narrative. But do we have the time?



  7. gmonteri says:

    Good article, R.V.  Perceptive, but ultimately depressing.  The Alt-Right Tea Party Know-Nothings vs. the hopeless hubris of the mainstream in a death spiral.  The Talk Show Host vs. the new Nixon.

  8. Christian says:

    Yes, but there is truth in taking people seriously, after all, many right here in America didn’t take Hitler seriously until it was too late and some even tried to justify fascism with a say what you will about Mussolini but the dam trains run on time, after all both were founded on extreme populist fear based nationalism, put in power by corporatists and we (Americans) made a ton selling to them before we made a ton of arming up our military, from WWII to Iraq. Vietnam and Afghanistan. Wheat from the shaft, sure, but we need to be serious.

    Not saying Trump is Hitler even though the American Neo Nazzis have puplicly stated they support him and not really saying Stormfront is mainstream Alt-Right. I am saying fear based politics is powerful as in Mccarthyism and don’t forget “Daisy,” 1964. Sadly, we leave it the MS, to inform us as our education system is being cut (mostly by the political right) to a point we are no longer taught to do empirical based research and think critically, both needed to keep democracy alive and well. Not saying 4 year or higher education is the only factor in political alignment but…….

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I’m glad you’re not saying Trump is Hitler, because that would violate Godwin’s Law. There are however interesting economic parallels between the US 2000-2016 and Germany 1918-1933. Hitler pulled Germany out of existing global economic order, including Versaille, and rebuilt Germany. It’s going to take a similar kind of economic stunt to rebuild America–except the global economic order is far more vast and complex than it was 100 years ago.

      • EasternCounty says:

        Trump, of course, isn’t Hitler, but from the newsreels that have been shown about WWII, I gotta say that his posturing at the podium reminds be of Mussolini’s strutting and facial expressions during his speeches.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I believe saying that Trump is Hitler would validate Godwin’s Law rather than violate it.  And I agree with Eastern: Trump’s style is far more Mussolini than Hitler.

        John Lithgow’s Lord Whorfin’s Speech (possessing the body of genius inventor Dr. Emilio Lizardo) in the flick “The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonsai Across the 8th Dimension” is clearly informed by Mussolini “Il Duce” routine, in case you’re unfamiliar with the strutting, posturing, self-aggrandizing style.

  9. And, of course, I’m delighted to observe that it’s new media, like A News, that gives voice to writers like R.V., and people like you, who read and respond.

  10. The media (all of the msm) gave us Donald Trump.   First by making his “Your Fired” a big hit. Then when he started his run for president CNN for example displayed Trump each and every day ,their rating jumped , and all the mice followed the cheese.  The media built Trump and that now they are questioning what they have done.

    The alt-right media may be the latest greatest thing but so was the alt-left media but in use their importance faded to be replaced by other sources.

    The drawing of lines on any issue seldom bring out the facts, one side favors one way and of course the other side is going to be vehement against the other.  For example let’s take the Global Warming issue, the right in general calls it hoax while the left predicts the end of man.  While the fact remains something is happening out there and engaging in in fighting and nothing is done.

    The end game is you are on your own to determine what is true and what is not.  Good luck , I wish you luck.



    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I think the important thing about Breitbart is that with very little relative investment, they’ve taken the battle to the establishment. They’ve shown it can be done.

  11. Virginia says:

    Personally, I don’t want the main stream media push one candidate over another.  When I was growing up, that was for the editorial page.

    Now the “journalists” are only pundits of their favorite candidate.  Give me the old days!

    • roggiemac says:

      so true and right

    • EasternCounty says:

      And give me the likes of Huntley/Brinkley and Walter Cronkite rather than the talking heads of today.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Yeah, how is it that in the old days on the 30-minute nightly national news, they managed to cram 6-7 stories in every show with none of this bloviating whatsoever? And now that we have news 24/7, that kind of news has gone away.

  12. roggiemac says:

    you are a glimmer of hope that true journalism might survive.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Oh, I think true journalism will survive and make a huge comeback. With the internet and all the digital tools we have now, it’s very easy to dig up dirt, write stories, and get it out there on the web. I worry that it may be too easy. Governments around the world already censor their internet activity, and it may be only a matter of time before our government cracks down, 1st amendment be damned.

  13. cheyenne says:

    An interview with Toby Keith was in the WTE Sunday.  One of his statements really stood out.  “In a country of over 300 million I can’t believe we are stuck with these two for presidential candidates”.  What also was interesting was half of his fortune comes from his stack in Taylor Swift’s label.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Who did Toby support, Cruz or Sanders? Also, Taylor Swift has become an unwitting icon of the alt-right. They use her in their memes all the time as the epitome of the beautiful white woman. Her people have tried to crack down on the practice.

      • cheyenne says:

        Actually in the interview Keith stated he was a Democrat first than resigned and became an independent so he didn’t vote for either.  He said, despite popular opinion, he isn’t a Republican.  As for his stock in Taylor Swift it was more a matter of luck, he helped her get started and reaped the rewards, he could have just as easily lost money on her.

  14. bob999 says:

    As someone from the UK, I can say a lot of this can be said about my country’s journalism as well.
    I read Breitbart UK because it willing to tell me thing’s that my media won’t touch with a ten-foot barge pole
    And after a time you do treat them with the same contempt that they treat you . The main thing here is there is a lot people out in the world who are fed up and tired with their country’s powers that be and are looking for a change. The Alt right are just in the right place at the right time.

  15. Breakfast Guy says:

    In all reality, every day is looking more like The Cheeto Grifter will be officially non-electable when his tax returns are revealed.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      The alt.right says the same thing about the next raft of Hillary’s emails, as well as other things that Julian Assange allegedly has up his sleeve that he’s saving for October (late October being a good time to unleash a s***storm if the objective is to leave the intended target candidate with no time to respond effectively).

  16. Lewis Caraganis says:

    Don’t know if you have a readers comment section; I couldn’t find it. In case you do, and print comments, here’s mine:
    I appreciate the quality of the writing in this piece and agree with almost all of the historical analysis concerning the evolution of media use. I disagree that the mainstream media, the MSM, has abandoned half the readership. We all choose what to believe, and most of us follow the sources which reinforce our worldview. Personally, I see the Breitbart readership as having abandoned the Tweedle Dee/Tweedle Dum  two party political system and the apologists for it which make up the majority of the MSM. I think that’s justified. But it seems indisputable that the majority of that readership has also embraced a racist, fascist  socially regressive agenda fueled with blaming, name-calling and threatening rhetoric, not to mention outright gross fabrication. Trump is merely the physical manifestation of that. I don’t see that a generally liberal MSM created this subculture, although if it had been able to challenge the military/industrial/Congressional/multinational complex sufficiently to affect policy, maybe it, the MSM, would enjoy a more influential status. I think there is always a dangerous number of mob-ready citizens waiting to be thrown a piece of red meat. And there are laws against incitement for that reason. Absent enforcement of any, or any self-censoring by the MSM of the performance artist that is Trump, the mob has been assembled and its enemies have been identified. This does not bode well for any of us.

    Thank you,

    • Welcome to A News, Lewis. I’m glad you figured out how to leave a comment. And thank you for using your real name. We appreciate that.


    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      The issue that caught me off guard as far as the right is concerned is trade. I’ve been against our trade policies forever, and have had to put up with rank-and-file Dems and Reps defending them as our manufacturing base was gutted the past 30 years. Trump flipped the trade script, opening up space for new people to come in. Breitbart News, which had been pretty standard right-wing fair until that point, got on the train, and Bannon took it up a notch by adding more original content. I agree that there are plenty of mob-ready citizens out there, and the ones on the left are the most violent! It’s been incredible and may get worse.

  17. Chad Magnuson says:

    MSM did not create the racist and bigoted comments that truly belong to trump.  They simply reported trumps outrageous and headline attention words.  Brietbart news is far worse and far more damaging to “reporting” facts me news than any Fox News could imagine.  It focus is bigotry, racism, and lies.  It does not deserve any recognition for journalism.  With Brietbart now managing trumps already failing efforts e can expect something more outrageous to come from his campaign.  Brietbart will be the final coffin in trumps campaign.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Here’s the thing to watch out for: The Breitbart you’re describing is the Breitbart before Bannon took over. Bannon has consolidated the audience, brought in more people than just the right wing lunatics, and it’s working. If he can do the same for Trump, it’s going to be an interesting election.

  18. Walter Libby says:

    It’s not simply that the main stream media is dead, it’s the lack of objective reporting that has led to its demise. So, what are they missing? Just this: the death of ideology.  Marx sees capitalism collapsing–which seems to be the current dynamic. Capitalists see the global economy self-correcting–which it’s not. And Keynesians see themselves as an arbitrator between the two; bringing supply and demand into equilibrium–which it isn’t. All told, what trickles down from these ideologies is the dumbing up of the people–they are not challenged to think–only to embrace their dogma of choice. Witness to this–in hard times–is the rise of nationalism: when the economy gets ugly, politics get ugly–which is happening now. All because, in their own way, they have put their faith and our fate in the hands of the marketplace god. The alternative? Objective thinking–putting our faith, as rational animals, in ourselves–which in itself requires a Plan B.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I totally agree. I don’t care which candidate they’re reporting on, if it’s not objective, I stop watching. I’ll watch MSNBC for a couple of months, then all of sudden, I’ll just be sick of it and never watch it again. I’ve never really watched FOX for the same reason. But I do have the internet, and I can chase down the truth, or at least get closer to it.

      In addition to secular ideologies let’s not forget religion. Objective thinking as rational animals has gotten us far, but a little humility might do us all some good. And faith-based communities are alive and well across the globe.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Ah, Plan B.

      The Sentinelese people are indigenous to the remote Andaman Islands of the Indian Ocean.  They’ve been isolated for up to 60,000 years on North Sentinel Island, roughly 1/4 the size of California’s Santa Catalina Island.   Anyone who tries to approach their island by boat or helicopter is met with a hail of arrows—a couple of passed-out drunk Filipino fishermen who drifted onto the reef in 2006 were promptly killed and buried on the beach.  You can still see their shipwreck here.  Attempts to retrieve the bodies were met with hails of arrows, too.

      Those Sentinelese people know what’s up.

      • cheyenne says:

        At least they buried them, they didn’t eat them.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          In an attempt to befriend the Sentinelese, one expedition tethered a live pig next to a doll on the beach as presents.  The Sentinelese emerged from the forest, drove off the intruders with the usual hail of arrows (nailing one guy in the thigh) killed the pig, and buried it along with the doll on the spot.

          Those people don’t want anything except to be left alone, thank you.  They know what’s up.

      • K. Beck says:

        and here is what happens to you if you don’t!

  19. Walter Libby says:

    Check out Plan B @ theendpoint

  20. Cherie DuPertuis says:

    Actually, mainstream media seem to be doing a pretty good job of putting themselves out of business over the past couple of decades.

    Also, copy editing remains critical, whoever does it. E.g. “verses” when it should be “versus”. Homophones are not interchangeable, whatever the media outlet and even writers for major news outlets seem to have trouble in this area.

    • Dear Cherie,

      I take responsibility for missing the versus/verses error. How sharp-eyed of you to notice, and how thoughtful of you to point it out.

      All fixed.

      Thanks for reading.







    • Beverly Stafford says:

      Writers and speakers interchanging further and farther is a peeve of mine.  Cell phone users who write with the “accepted” abbreviations and phonetics and the total lack of punctuation, will be the ruin of the grammar, spelling, and usage that were once taught in school.

      OK, Noni Doni, you’ve shamed me into it.  I’ll start using my real name.

      • Oh, Beverly, I never meant for you to feel shame, but I must say, I felt so happy to see your name. Welcome, Beverly Stafford. So nice to have your name join others who use their real names on A News Thank you!

  21. Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    Thank you for this thought provoking and informational article, R.V.

    I first visited an informational site put together by educated people outside of the main media when two of my students, handsome blond twins, explained to me why they were part of the American Nazi party.  The astonishing part of my research into the sites they gave me was that misinformation was presented in a logical and civilized manner.  There was no profanity or name calling.  The spelling, editing and presentation were professional.  The content was erroneous.  I wondered how in the world a young person could differentiate between the truth and lies from any source of information.  Lies can be served up to look like the truth.

    I don’t worry too much about what is now being called “main stream Media” except to note any lapses in journalistic integrity.   I watch and listen to BBC and Telemundo which always remind me that there is a big world out there that isn’t concerned about a lot of what is covered by the media in the U.S.

    If a candidate said it, and I heard it, commentary and news coverage won’t change how I process the information.

    I blame the demise of  excellent news sources and journalistic excellence on the bottom-line mentality that values revenue for few over benefit to a community and society.


    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      One reason many of the alt-right sites are careful with their language is because they’re under intense scrutiny, from both government and private watchdog entities. I believe that the MSM’s anti-white rhetoric over the past few years is driving many white youth into the alt-right. From what I can see, only a small portion of what’s being called the alt-right are actually Nazis, white nationalist or white separatist is a more accurate description. But the Nazi imagery still has tremendous appeal to some youth.

  22. cheyenne says:

    Large media companies are buying all the news outlets, print and TV.  The smaller markets, like Cheyenne, are left out in the cold as those big companies focus on the larger audience, the big cities.  Our local newspaper has a new editor along with new staff.  Our local TV station has replaced all the former adults with what looks like high school kids.  Cheyenne is now the training grounds for media personnel who will move on when their training is done.  It is no wonder that those in small markets turn to the internet for more news coverage.

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      Ask Doni what happens when the local bird cage liner brings in new, younger blood.  But thanks to that seemingly unfortunate move, we now have A News Cafe, a place where writers give us thoughtful articles and, for the most part, viewers write equally thoughtful comments.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Does your daily newspaper have classified ads?

      • cheyenne says:

        Like most people here I don’t read or use our local papers classified.  For what is for sale here or other community info most go to either Traders, a free weekly paper that is full of classified ads at much cheaper rates.  Northern Colorado has The Nickel which does the same thing.  And a lot of people use Craigslist and Facebook to sell or buy items.  We are having a sale in our antique mall this Saturday and I have it posted on Craigslist which will reach more people than the newspaper would.  For a lot of us in rural areas the big city papers don’t deliver anymore to us and for our local paper I would have to drive a mile to the pickup spot, just like mail delivery, which is downright inconvenient in a blizzard.  But, even with our limited choice, one provider, the internet is closer.

  23. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    I get what R.V. is saying about often “having the goods” when it breaks some stories.  Still, I can’t take it and a lot of other “new media” news outlets seriously when it comes to journalistic integrity. is too radically biased when it comes to intent and methods, which focus almost solely on taking down left-leaning politicians.  There are numerous left-leaning sites that I can’t take seriously for similar reasons.  The internet’s political echo chambers are a fact of life now, but I won’t pretend that their primary purpose is to provide any semblance of reasonably unbiased, rational, evidence-based truth.  They all require sifting through too much rubbish to get at anything empirical.

    I dumped local TV news decades ago when it started to strike me as unbearably dumb.  In more recent years I’ve stopped watching network and cable news, except on rare occasions when I’m more or less a captive audience (hotel breakfast areas), or when I just want to get brief updates on the zeitgeist being peddled by cable news networks, especially during major news events.

    I recommend a subscription to The Economist—a sober, unbiased, slightly right-of-center* British news magazine that addresses American politics from the perspective of a friendly and often bemused (sometimes horrified) outsider.

    *Slightly right-of-center equals flamingly liberal to the majority of conservative Republicans.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Slightly-right-of-center = neoliberalcon

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        If the definition of “neoliberalcon” is: (1) enthusiasm for hawkish American foreign policy married to (2) an uncritical belief that globalism is the best of all economic systems, the term describes about 90% of the U.S. Senate, at least 75% of the House, and our last five PsOTUS.

        Like the guy who claims to have coined the word said:  A one-party state with two franchises.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          I coined the term “neoliberalcon” a year or two ago, but Urban Dictionary rejected it! I see a few writers out there using it after I suggest it to them. It’s the establishment. They really, really seem to want a war in Syria. Or Ukraine. Wow.

          • K. Beck says:

            The Center is no longer the Center. The Center has shifted so far to the right it is now on the Right. If they can keep reducing taxes and spend all the tax income on the military , which is what they are doing, then there is no money for anything else. This has been a long held Republican Right strategy, it is called, “Starve The Beast.” The “Beast” being the government. “Like the guy who claims to have coined the word said:  A one-party state with two franchises.” The most accurate one line description I have seen. This from a publication that certainly cannot be viewed as liberal:

            It was Reagan who left this country with massive debt.

  24. It appears that the CEO of the trump campaign Brannon, also the leader of the hate site,  has committed voter registration fraud by claiming his residence is in Dade county Florida.  reports today say his address, used for his voter registration is a home where he does not live and that is scheduled to be demolished.  How ironic that just a couple of days ago the Alt right wing attacks against  so called liberal support of voter fraud were foaming from the mouth of trump and the extreme rwnj.  Certainly breitbart  has captured what is remaining of a decimated republican party and attempting to make something legitimate from this hate mongering style.  Hopefully it will expose the extreme, hate filled goals of breitbart followers.  While the  MSM is guilty of many things, including “breaking news” that is totally insignificant, i.e., “Pay for Access” from the AP  a few days ago,  breibart is a disgustingly white supremacy mouth piece.

    • K. Beck says:

      From the “flamingly liberal” NYT:

      These days people want to believe what they want to believe, the truth be damned. If someone says something that I believe it must be true even if it is totally untrue. There is no use trying to tell them what is the known truth…don’t know how we got to this muddy, murky hole in the ground, but here we all are wallowing in it.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      If Bannon can be given credit for anything, it’s editing out gratuitous racism yet still maintaining interest with the various different groups representing white interests, including people who call themselves “white supremacists.” It’s a wide range of people, most of whom are not Nazis. But there are still Nazis.

      • cheyenne says:

        In the Washington Post is an article on “Preppers” living in the rural northwest.  They have stocked food, ammo, and many live off the grid.  They are not Nazis but are white.  They own their own property and many of their neighbors did not even know they lived there.

        The eastern liberals who live in gated communities or locked high rises with 24 hour security have the gall to call these Preppers paranoid.  WaPo did not help matters by headlining the article “Living in Fear”.  And judging by the article there might be a couple dozen of these Preppers.  WaPo really had to hunt hard for them.  Maybe they should do an article on big city people who live surrounded by security guards and alarms and paste tin foil to their windows to keep out the snooping government.

  25. B Webster says:

    Thank you for this article, RV. I read through this, as I do many articles, with my “guard” up, anticipating sooner or later your political lens. To my surprise, I still am not able to clearly tell which side you are advocating—Which is exactly what quality, objective journalism should be! Unless it is clearly an opinion article, the reader should not feel the personal bias of the journalist themselves. Your experience as a good writer shows through here by how well you stay on topic and neutral. Many people will argue back and forth about a topic in an article that was clearly instigated by that little author name in the top corner and their “informed” biased lens. In contrast, your writing here clearly and brilliantly presents both sides throughout.

    One more kudos to you for simply staying on topic. It’s sad how many titles of articles are meant to be “click bait” or grab attention but don’t always stay on point. Low and behold, yours is exactly what you wrote about. Your writing is thoughtful, intelligent, humble and objective. We need more quality journalists like you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *