21 November 2012

Conservative New Media

A pair of articles at Breitbart News looks at the Buzzfeed criticism of 'conservative media' losing the election of 2012: one by Joel B. Pollack and the other by Alexander Marlow.

This is fascinating because the purpose of the Conservative New Media outlets isn't about elections or parties, as such, but about a conservative viewpoint and analysis of events (news and non-news events).  As such these New Media outlets must look to offer viewpoints based upon a conservative understanding of society, culture, economics, freedom and liberty: these are not things amenable to a 'party line' in conservative parlance because they are based on the activities of individuals and what the freedom of the individual actually is.  Parties, elections and the rest of the apparatus of the State is an understood as an organ of society and it is not the brain, eyes, ears nor any of these higher senses or reasoning facilities but the process part of the body meant to contain harm from the body and ensure the body has regularity in its processes.  Instead of the head end of the body, government is at the other end and serves a valuable function but does not deal in a societal 'good' (that is guiding society) but does good only when it acts in accordance with the body, itself.

What conservative media does is to examine how all the rest of the body operates and see what the function and use of government is with respect to that society.  As peoples are different they have different Nations, different sensibilities and different cultures and, therefore, different governments.  Likewise in a federal system of governments within a Nation, conservatism addresses all the levels of government beyond that of the Nation's State or National government.  To that end conservative media isn't about personalities, hair color or a winning smile as those are things that can be done by individuals and are not reflective of their ideas and viewpoints; they are ephemeral parts of being a politician, not a part of policy making nor how policy is crafted into governing legislation or execution of same.  It is very hard to catch a photographer, say, trying to put a halo around the head of a politician: a politician is a human being, not some anointed instrument of the Divine.

From this circumstance the Conservative New Media approaches news (as such) from the vector of 'what are the facts?' and then 'what do they mean?', with an examination of spin to see how far the spin is from the facts and the direct implication of same as seen by those doing the presentation of the facts.  This is in contrast to the Old Media that attempts to present a story, first, which has facts attached to it, and then uses the story to generate a narrative and postulate what will happen next based on a given storyline.  Thus the criticism of sites like Buzzfeed, Politico and Huffington Post is that they are light on facts and high on story and storylines, even when there is little evidence that the facts fit on a storyline that is given.  Conservatives accept more facts as they come in and can re-analyze them in light of prior facts and then draw conclusions from the array of facts, even ones that may be contradictory with each other: facts are facts and must hit into a coherent framework.  Older Media and those sites stuck in narrative making lurch from storyline to storyline trying to find a storyline to fit a given viewpoint, and may not report on, dismiss, discount or wholly forget to look at new factual information that contradicts the storyline.

An example of the latter is the entire 'The Iraq War was about WMDs!' save that the Congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force had a number of distinct reasons for restarting the conflict, of which only a few dealt with Saddam Hussein's lack of compliance with the cease-fire agreements after Desert Storm.  By trying to create a storyline or narrative, facts are discounted, dismissed or even laughed at, yet the facts of the Authorization are the facts, and no matter how much any individual tries to say the war was 'sold' on WMDs, Congress obviously was sold on a much broader array of materials.  Even with that, when the next piece is 'And we didn't find ANY WMDs!' and then pointing out that the Poles did, indeed, find WMDs and that storehouses of precursor chemicals and facilities to process them, both violations of the cease fire agreement, those are also discounted, ignored, downplayed or laughed at.  They may have set the bar unreasonably high at tens of thousands of shells with active factories, yet the cease fire demanded NO facilities for processing and, indeed, no PLANS to process them, which was an entire dismantling and reduction of ALL WMD capacity.  Yet the Old Media and its apparatchiks push a storyline, even when there are facts to show it to be wholly and completely false in detail and whole cloth.

By trying to attach itself to a particular viewpoint that serves a political end, the Old Media and those following its narrative style online, practice a form of corrupt journalism that serves ends they do not openly state.  When supporting storylines of a candidate looking to 'heal racial divisions' when that candidate openly courts racial groups to try and put animosity between groups based on race, that is deceitful not just to the reader but to the individual writing the material.  It demonstrates a lack of honesty, a lack of capacity to actually read material, and a lack of morals and ethics to do such reporting which states one thing while reporting another.  Yet when in the case of the Breitbart reporters looking to properly put information about a candidate before voters, information that is factual and not based on race or class, but just what a candidate has said and done, this is said to be racist or a 'smear'.  One cannot 'smear' anyone with their own words in proper context of where they were and who they were talking to: that is factual reporting of information that allows analysis of it.  The facts, themselves, should be neutral.  The analysis of them is done knowing the bias imparted by the author in an open and honest manner, not by trying to gloss over words by trying to portray a narrative or storyline.

It is the unwillingness of Old Media reporters and their storyline adhering counterparts online to actually present the facts without preface save for setting who, what, where, when and how that is disturbing.  How can the public properly assess a candidate without a good and thorough grounding in the background of the individual involved?  What they have done or not done, what they have backed or not backed, and the candidate's viewpoints in their own words to different audiences allows for an overview of the individual and their character to be done.  By pushing a predetermined narrative or storyline about a candidate, the Old Media and their online doppelgangers do a grave disservice to their media consumers and leave citizens unequipped with the necessary background to make decisions on how the process function of the body to protect it from harm can be best served.

One other thing about the Conservative New Media is that it is not monolithic nor trying to create a monolithic party nor State.  Our charge that we agree to as citizens is to form a more perfect Union, which means allowing for our differences and ensuring that they do not become a cause for friction or social disturbance.  There is no attempt to try and push a large scale agenda down on conservatives as a whole, but to respect differences and work where there is general agreement and to not interfere save by participation in an honest way when there is disagreement.  This is not done to drive legislation or to force activities upon people: it is done to see if there is any reason to have any legislation AT ALL in certain areas as the principles require respect for each other in our differences, not a forced similarity upon all people.  From that there are social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, military conservatives, cultural conservatives, religious conservatives, and human rights conservatives which includes the positive human right to keep and bear arms to protect our property. 

As all of these venues are in play for any given event or happening, this requires that reporting be with an understood set of references and that there be respect in disagreement of analysis, not a cause to vilify or castigate, but to discuss and understand amongst people.  In this the Conservative New Media is at a stark contrast to the Old Media and their cohort members online: one seeks to unify by common agreement upon what needs to be done, the other seeks to enforce a monolithic agreement upon individuals and mold society to its own ends.  Frank and open discussion amongst conservatives is one that does not boil down to name calling, but often finds citation of first principles so that one must become familiar with Kirk, Smith, de Vattel, Grotius, Pufendorf, Seneca, Plato and a host of others just to be able to understand what the basis for a difference in viewpoint is.  To find commonality amongst such original arguments on man and society is seen as a duty of each individual.  The Old Media wants individuals to just be a collection of items, a checklist of race, color, religion, etc. so that group can be set upon group, class upon class, in an attempt to create a uniform society and control it via media output used to purely political ends.

Conservative New Media puts the process and an understanding of it as a priority as a good process will generally yield good ends.

Old Media and their counter-parts online put the ends as a priority and then use any means to get to it.

And that is why Buzzfeed, Politico, et. al. do not comprehend the Conservative New Media: the means are an end in and of themselves and that fits to no storyline and does not fit into pushing an agenda forward, thus they cannot understand how anyone can think like this.  For all the alleged intelligence of those with such an ends-oriented system, they truly aren't all that smart or capable of accepting true differences in the way people are in this life... diversity only in external things, never in the soul and the mind.

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