Why are Trump and others trying to discredit the mainstream media or “lamestream” media as Rush Limbaugh calls it?
The far right has had success in control of a significant part of the media. Talk Radio is owned by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Levine and so forth. There is no real left wing threat on Talk Radio. In internet news they have a prominent presence such as Breitbart and the Grudge Report among others. Which leaves the broadcast news and print media. Here the right is not far behind. Fox News is the number one television network news outlet. Now this is not to say that the three other network news are liberal. They just do not act as megaphones for the far right. The press, such as New York Times, Washington Post, and the Huffington Post on the internet, are the mainstays of liberalism but they can promote the conservative line if it makes its case.
Now think with me for a moment about the far right. This is the truth of the far right when they challenge abortion rights hear instead that they want do away with sex education and birth control. When they say they want to get rid of illegal immigrants hear instead that they want to get rid of all immigration at least for the next decade. When they say they want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they really want to get rid of all government health care assistance Medicare included. So when they attack the liberal press you can assume they want to get rid of all oppositional news media outlets. In other words promote their views or end your press. Now of course Republicans being the historical party of tokenism they would allow some smaller alternative medias but only in numbers they can control.
As they attack the mainstream press, the likes of LImbaugh are practically drooling to capture the audiences of the left. Recently, he said on his show, I am finally being listened to by the White House, about damn time. The far right are readying their media to take over in the gap left behind by what they hope will be a decimated mainstream media. Curiously Trump has shown interest in having his own media empire. So when he describes the media as the enemy of the people, he is opening the door to his or some other right wing media to walk through it. The far right has swallowed up all of the viewership to be found on the right. For the current organizations to grow they would need to squeeze out other conservative media outlets unless room is created by the demise of mainstream media. This is why slowly Fox News recently has been attacking Trump and his cohorts a little harder. If the mainstream media is diminished, the right wing media can find a much larger media audience share and thus more money. So it is not only a lack of the appreciation of the First Amendment that drives the current onslaught but also old fashioned greed.
Fox News has become under siege recently. They have shown, especially with the ouster of Roger Ailes, a penchant to not hold the party line all the time. So some on the far right are wooing and others are poo-pooing the besieged consumers of the non-alternative right media. Fox will find their way and may or may not find their favor with the right wing. If they stray too far they will be proclaimed as the lamestream media full of bias by the right wing. This will in turn leave a door wide open for an alternative right wing media to come to the forefront.
Of course with the resurgent of the left’s population taking to the streets and their increasing involvement in leftist activist causes, the more moderate media may have to lean left. This of course would be my preference. Mark my word if the left becomes more engaged and numerous the far right media, which is motivated by money, will also make a more leftist pitch to this audience. Nothing like a Megan Kelley joining the MSNBC crowd. Maybe it’s time for Limbaugh and Beck to lighten up a little and join the lamestream media. If they did they wouldn’t have to intersperse their shows with Paul Harvey-like infomercials.