The Corner

U.S.

How Clickbaiting and Ratings Mongering Cuts against Liberal Media Bias

One of the admittedly minor complaints about liberal media bias has long been how the MSM elevates extremely marginal Republican or right-wing politicians in order to tar conservatism and the GOP as a whole. Whether it’s the now forgotten W. Cleon Skousen, David Duke — briefly an actual Republican politician — or more recently, figures like Dana Rohrabacher, the ploy was as annoying as it was effective.

Controversy has always sold newspapers and driven ratings, but in the era of media balkanization and specialization, the need to fuel the outrage machine has never been stronger. And as a result, it can run against the grain of the imperatives of ideological or partisan bias.

Newly elected Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib are getting an enormous amount of media coverage. For some, this might seem like proof of liberal media bias itself. And to some extent it might be, particularly in the case of AOC. But even there, having the Democratic party defined by a socialism-promoting ingenue who literally wants to abolish the existing energy infrastructure in the United States in a decade, is not necessarily in the national party’s electoral interests. The Democrats took back the House by winning over Republican or Republican-friendly districts, not AOC’s comfortably Democratic district.

Meanwhile, the spectacle of two anti-Israel fanatics talking themselves into knots trying to defend themselves against charges of anti-Semitism or terrorist sympathies can’t be the messaging Nancy Pelosi craves in her first month as speaker. But it’s great for ratings, graded on the curve of what counts for good ratings in cable news. The journalists interviewing these women may not be as tough as many of us would like, but the result for the average voter may be the same.

Most Popular

World

‘Professor Lockdown’ Modeler Resigns in Disgrace

Neil Ferguson is the British academic who created the infamous Imperial College model that warned Boris Johnson that, without an immediate lockdown, the coronavirus would cause 500,000 deaths and swamp the National Health Service. Johnson’s government promptly abandoned its Sweden-like “social ... Read More
World

‘Professor Lockdown’ Modeler Resigns in Disgrace

Neil Ferguson is the British academic who created the infamous Imperial College model that warned Boris Johnson that, without an immediate lockdown, the coronavirus would cause 500,000 deaths and swamp the National Health Service. Johnson’s government promptly abandoned its Sweden-like “social ... Read More
Immigration

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Last month's Presidential Proclamation temporarily suspending a tiny sliver of permanent immigration in response to Great Depression 2.0 also called for a review of the alphabet soup of foreign-worker programs. The relevant cabinet departments were instructed to offer recommendations "to stimulate the United ... Read More
Immigration

The Party’s Over — No More Guest(worker)s

Last month's Presidential Proclamation temporarily suspending a tiny sliver of permanent immigration in response to Great Depression 2.0 also called for a review of the alphabet soup of foreign-worker programs. The relevant cabinet departments were instructed to offer recommendations "to stimulate the United ... Read More
World

Hong Kong, All Alone

China is currently transgressing the terms of its 1997 treaty over Hong Kong, which promised a “one country, two systems” settlement that preserved Hong Kong’s somewhat autonomous democratic institutions. These institutions guarantee rights to Hong Kongers and guard its common-law inheritance. China’s ... Read More
World

Hong Kong, All Alone

China is currently transgressing the terms of its 1997 treaty over Hong Kong, which promised a “one country, two systems” settlement that preserved Hong Kong’s somewhat autonomous democratic institutions. These institutions guarantee rights to Hong Kongers and guard its common-law inheritance. China’s ... Read More
Elections

Against Jo Rae Perkins

On Tuesday, Jo Rae Perkins won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Oregon. The Oregon GOP says it will back her candidacy notwithstanding her associations with the “QAnon” movement. That’s a mistake. Perkins is an unreconstructed exponent of a batty and corrosive conspiracy theory running a ... Read More
Elections

Against Jo Rae Perkins

On Tuesday, Jo Rae Perkins won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Oregon. The Oregon GOP says it will back her candidacy notwithstanding her associations with the “QAnon” movement. That’s a mistake. Perkins is an unreconstructed exponent of a batty and corrosive conspiracy theory running a ... Read More
U.S.

Unsustainable America

Americans are having fewer babies than ever, or at least than since the government began tracking the general fertility rate in 1909. The total fertility rate ticked down to 1.7 in 2019, meaning that the average number of babies an American woman would have over her lifetime is well below replacement ... Read More
U.S.

Unsustainable America

Americans are having fewer babies than ever, or at least than since the government began tracking the general fertility rate in 1909. The total fertility rate ticked down to 1.7 in 2019, meaning that the average number of babies an American woman would have over her lifetime is well below replacement ... Read More

The Makings of Modern Madness

The paradigm of mind–brain dualism, like the story of syphilis, is by no means virgin territory. However, Allan Ropper and Brian Burrell’s How The Brain Lost Its Mind: Sex, Hysteria, and the Riddle of Mental Illness puts both the legacy of dualism and the story of syphilis under the microscope, and offers a ... Read More

The Makings of Modern Madness

The paradigm of mind–brain dualism, like the story of syphilis, is by no means virgin territory. However, Allan Ropper and Brian Burrell’s How The Brain Lost Its Mind: Sex, Hysteria, and the Riddle of Mental Illness puts both the legacy of dualism and the story of syphilis under the microscope, and offers a ... Read More