More on Media

by W.F. Price on August 12, 2010

After my little reflection on the declining state of contemporary American media, a friend sent me a link to a Weekly Standard article in which Joseph Epstein comes to pretty much the same conclusion about the NY Times.

Epstein uses a fair amount of what some would surely call sexist language and compares the paper to an aging whore:

The New York Times used to be called the Gray Lady of American newspapers. The sobriquet implied a certain stateliness, a sense of responsibility, the possession of high virtue. But the Gray Lady is far from the grande dame she once was. For years now she has been going heavy on the rouge, lipstick, and eyeliner, using a push-up bra, and gadding about in stiletto heels. She’s become a bit—perhaps more than a bit—of a slut, whoring after youth through pretending to be with-it. I’ve had it with the old broad; after nearly 50 years together, I’ve determined to cut her loose.

It’s a witty piece and worth reading. Epstein is not all that impressed by Maureen Dowd, and calls Anna Quindlen “termagantial” (hennish).

Every so often I check to remind myself that Maureen Dowd isn’t amusing, though she is an improvement, I suppose, over the termagantial Anna Quindlen, whom I used to read with the trepidation of a drunken husband mounting the stairs knowing his wife awaits with a rolling pin. I’d sooner read the fine print in my insurance policies than the paper’s perfectly predictable editorials. Laughter, an elegant phrase, a surprising sentiment—the New York Times op-ed and editorial pages are the last place to look for any of these things.

Getting to the heart of the matter, Epstein links the descent of mainstream media with the descent of America itself, and I couldn’t agree more:

I could go on about the artificial rage of Frank Rich—the liberals’ Glenn Beck—or the forced gaiety of “Sunday Styles,” but the main feeling I have as I rise from having wasted an hour or so with the Sunday New York Times is of what wretched shape the country is in if it is engaged in such boringly trivial pursuits, elevating to eminence such dim cultural and political figures, writing so muddledly about ostensibly significant subjects.

America truly is becoming a mediocre place. In my relatively short lifetime, I’ve seen first-hand the descent of our national dialog into frivolity, triviality and irrelevance. I suppose that’s what happens when you remove certain masculine concepts such as dignity, honor and restraint and replace them with snarky gossip and a soap opera sensibility.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

dragnet August 12, 2010 at 12:52

Disagree on Frank Rich, whom I like.

The rest can burn in hell though.

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Avenger August 12, 2010 at 13:20

Welmer: you may have to start using footnotes for some of the younger readers because they are unfamiliar with certain things.

*rolling pin

To you younger readers: this was a device that housewives used in the past to roll out dough for baking. It was also their favourite weapon for attacking husbands. It was about 3x the diameter of a cop’s baton with handles on both ends and was a lethal weapon in the hands of an hysterical female. In modern times, the rolling pin has been replaced with the .44 magnum which is used on men while they sleep.

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Uncle Elmer August 12, 2010 at 13:59

It took this clown 50 years to realize that the Sunday paper, anywhere, is a waste of time? Sounds like he’s gonna miss Parade magazine and all the lingerie ads.

And comparing Frank Rich to Glenn Beck? At least his rants are coherent.

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DEI August 12, 2010 at 14:02

Welmer: you may have to start using footnotes for some of the younger readers because they are unfamiliar with certain things.

I’m not sure exactly how young you’d have to be to be regarded as ‘younger’, but I guess at 22 I’d be regarded as being a younger reader. I know what rolling pin is, and I don’t think you’d find many people my age who don’t.

As for the subject matter of the article, I totally agree that the decline in media can be linked to the decline in society, however, neither are the cause of one or the other, merely symptoms of the statist institutions that we all suffer under.

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TFH August 12, 2010 at 14:28

No other country particularly has a ‘good’ media, though. British TV is often even more sordid than America’s.

So the decline of American media is not mirrored by a major improvement in the media of any other major country.

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sestamibi August 12, 2010 at 14:57

Joseph, not Michael Epstein.

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Welmer August 12, 2010 at 15:01

Joseph, not Michael Epstein.

Thanks, been a bit off today.

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Rebel August 12, 2010 at 15:19

I’m not a reader of the New York Times, but Gerald Celente calls that newspaper “toilet paper”.

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misterb August 12, 2010 at 15:35

It’s not just US, the media stinks in the UK and Canada. hardly any news worthy, one of my friends in the states once told me. She got rid of cable TV, too much smut and junk.

Pretty soon we’ll have channel that would be called the Gossip channel. Where women would be hackling like a flock of geese.

then again, that’s what happens, when women tweaks with media. It stinks as high heaven. Lifetime channel is girly from the start, and look what happened to sci-fi channel.

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misterb August 12, 2010 at 15:40

@ Avenger

A hunting rifle is a deadliest weapon that an Aboriginal woman wields. When a aboriginal trapper crosses his woman or comes home empty. he better watch out, or he would get clobbered with a log, or with a blunt object.

With a gun as a modern addition, she would shoot him in point blank range.

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Keyster August 12, 2010 at 15:49

The internet IS the “new media”.
We’re participating in it right now. Getting stories of interest and then discussing or debating them, as they relate to men and society. Print media is dead and network TV is soon to follow. We will no longer have to succumb to what’s presented for the lowest common denominator among us to absorb or be entertained by. It will be specialized and segmented into smaller groups of intellectuals that can openly discuss ideas with people from around the world. Or start your own Beanie Baby channel on YouTube if there’s an audience for it.

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piercedhead August 12, 2010 at 17:31

Since most of our view of the world beyond the personal is supplied to us by the media, it shouldn’t surprise us that when it gets sick, the world it reports on begins to appear sick as well. Something I have to remind myself from time to time is that when I close all media out and deal with my immediate world – friends, family, neighbors, businesses, weather, hobbies etc, not a lot has really changed.

There’s no doubting the mainstream media is in rapid decline. Everyone reading here is part of the reason – while you’re reading this, you’re not reading the morning paper or watching television, and you only have 24 hours in a day. Am I wrong in guessing that you’re getting more of your news and opinion from boutique suppliers like Welmer this year than last? And will get even more next year? So who does that leave for the NYT and company to cater for? Roughly: the technology resistant, the passive and the creatures of habit. As more of us abandon ship, this shrinking nucleus is all big media companies have left to fight over, and the demands of this clientele are not sophisticated. Of course media content is degenerating. They have fewer discerning consumers, and they are burdened with the enormous overhead costs of running a corporation. But looking at the world through mainstream-media eyes is like trying to see something well through a filthy window. Throw the window open and I still get the same view as I’ve always had (and when did people ever let up about how hard life is?).

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Factory August 13, 2010 at 10:15

I’ve been kind of musing on the media too lately. I used to be a huge news junkie. In fact, my wife at the time used to get pissed at me because the TV was always on the 24 hour CBC or CTV news channels. Then, I noticed I wasn’t watching the news as much. Then, I realized I hadn’t had the news on in over a year…

A couple nights ago, my news-junkie roommate had the CBC on, and I was struck by a couple of things…

The choice of stories was ridiculous. How in the hell did celebrity gossip become a ‘news item’? Isn’t that crap supposed to be on E! and Entertainment tonight? Is NewsNet the proper place to be talking about Brad and Angelina? Do we REALLY have to care what so-and-so was wearing at the awards ceremony? What happened to minor things like…oh, I don’t know….Politics, World events, Upcoming Issues and Challenges, etc…

Could you really see someone like Walter Cronkite relaying the news about the latest celebrity adoption?

The other thing I’ve noticed? Where are all the men? Unless the guy has been working there forever, it’s ALL women. The reporters, the anchors, the producers, the editors… In fact, it’s almost impossible to find a white male anywhere in the journalistic pantheon.

Obviously, the news organizations have, like everyone else, decided that the ‘female demographic’ is the only one that counts. And like Politicians everywhere, the very first time a genuine, male-friendly and serious media outlet sprouts up, they will find massive demographic shift.

What gets me, is that none of these idiots are saying “Gee, everyone else is chasing after women….we should try serving those that are left out. There’s lots of ‘em, after all.”

Just like the first politician to stand up unapologetically for men will get a landslide of votes, the first network to take men seriously as a demographic will likely shoot to the top of the ratings charts.

not that it’s gonna happen anytime soon, at least in the traditional sense…

The truly ironic thing?

The channel that can be counted on to have the most shows I enjoy as a guy is named “Showcase Diva”. I’m not so sure that’s an endorsement of Showcase as it is an indictment of the rest of the media…

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piercedhead August 13, 2010 at 16:57

A couple nights ago, my news-junkie roommate had the CBC on, and I was struck by a couple of things…

I’ve noticed the same two things – the junk celebrity stories and the absence of men, even in motor racing reportage. Another thing that really surprised me was after I worked abroad for a couple of years and didn’t see any TV at all. When I got back home and into a more settled life, I finally bought a TV again and I was stunned by something I hadn’t noticed before – the unnaturalness of news presenters. I couldn’t hear what they were saying because the weirdness of the head twitching, the fake seriousness/pleasantry and the coached accents from hell stole my attention. I would have found it easier concentrating on the conversation of someone with 8 eyes and a 7-inch nose. The other revelation was how others watched as if it were all normal. Within a week, I no longer noticed it either.

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Anonymous August 14, 2010 at 18:54

I’m not entirely sure this is a direct result of feminism but rather corporatization.

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nilk August 15, 2010 at 03:16

Epstein is not all that impressed by Maureen Dowd, and calls Anna Quindlen “termagantial” (hennish).

Welmer, I’m going to call you on your description of “termagantial”. there is nothing hennish about that at all.

From my OED (1979 ed):
termagant:n & a.
1.n.(Hist.;T~) Imaginary deity of violent and turbulent character, often appearing in morality plays.
2. Brawling, overbearing woman, shrew.
3a Violent, turbulent, shrewish.
[ME tervagentf. OF Tervaganf It. Trivigante

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Welmer August 15, 2010 at 03:35

Welmer, I’m going to call you on your description of “termagantial”. there is nothing hennish about that at all.

I’m aware of what the “termagant” is (a sort of forerunner of Mahound), but I was trying to give people the impression of a woman who would henpeck her husband. It seems to me that “shrewish” doesn’t have quite the same meaning to Americans (it comes off more like “peevish”).

I suppose the correct term would be “ball-buster.”

But thanks for the etymology lesson — I’m always interested in that stuff.

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Robert August 15, 2010 at 06:49

“Violent women are funny”
Submitted by fibtastic on Thu, 2010-08-12 16:24.
Watch this. This woman freaks out because she can’t get McNuggets. And these people are news people?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nEsshq4HhA

http://news.mensactivism.org/node/15524

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TDOM August 15, 2010 at 15:39

Love the title of this article, but I might have spelled it a bit differently – Moron Media

TDOM

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NWOslave August 15, 2010 at 16:26

True enough that TV, newspapers, mainstream media are being eclipsed by the internet. However the internet can and is being feminised just as quickly. You may have a choice now as to where you get your pertinent information but you have to know where to look.

Surely you can’t believe Big Daddy Guv is going to just give up. If a site happens to rile too many feathers the internet police will just shut it down claiming it’s a terrorist or pedophile site.

Big Daddy Guv has the power and he plans to win.

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