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Shocking News about the News Media, Part 2 of 2

So if you missed the previous issue of Uncommon Sense (#288) you will want to go back to that issue first and read the Elephant in the Room column before you read this column, which represent Part 2 of 2. In fact, you may want to go back and read Part 1 just to reorient yourself to the topic, as I am not going to review anything.

To continue. . . In 1998 when Bill Clinton was in danger of being impeached for a sexual dalliance with his intern, Monica Lewinski, the goal of newspapers was to get as many readers as possible. This is because newspapers at that time operated under an advertising-based model. The more readers you had for your publication, the more you could charge for advertising. Make sense?

Before the internet, a physical newspaper had only so much available space for advertisements. There was a limit to how much “real estate” a given newspaper had to work with. But with the advent of the internet, everything changed. Now, there was no such thing as “limited space” for ads in a digital world.
So while there was somewhat of a Left-wing tilt to newspapers such as the Washington Post back in 1998 when Bill Clinton was in the news, WAPO was still ready and willing to pounce all over the scandal involving his intern because they thought it was as newsworthy as, say, Watergate.

But again, with the internet, the newspaper world turned upside down, and it’s old business model of charging lots of money for a limited amount of ads evaporated, as now every newspaper raced to put content online. This resulted in online subscriptions. You can’t even read much if any content from WAPO or the New York Times now unless you pay a subscription fee. Without online subscriptions, newspapers like the Washington Post would have gone out of business in short order.

So that brings us back to the question that has been plaguing me: Why would The Washington Post go after one of their own in 1998 (Bill Clinton) and pretty much hide any of the far more damning shenanigans Joe Biden may have been involved in? And the answer came to me from CT, whom I will now reveal to you: Clay Travis, the author of a brand new book, American Playbook (which is one of the two books I purchased at Barnes & Noble recently – see the From Ara’s Journal column below for more on that).

Clay Travis pointed out that sports message boards, which he subscribes to and follows very closely, never ever write stories that suggest unethical behavior on the part of coaches or athletes or teams (think in terms of payoffs, gifting expensive cars to amateur athletes, recruiting violations, etc). The reason such sports message boards never shared such salacious stories is because their subscribers only want to hear about good news for “their team” – not bad news. Clay Travis posits that if these sports message boards ever did write honest stories about scandals, they would lose their members instantly and their business would collapse.

The same is true with The Washington Post which operates under the same kind of subscription model as do the sports message boards. If the Washington Post were to publish stories under their current subscription-based business model about Joe Biden being a con artist, or Joe Biden taking bribes from foreign governments, or Joe Biden selling his influence for millions of dollars and basically selling out the United States, the Washington Post would lose much of their readership because much of their readership hates Donald Trump so deeply, they would see such stories as harmful to Biden and, by extension, favorable to Trump, and they would cancel their subscriptions. As Clay Travis says, “People signed up to pay the Post to tell them that Trump was Hitler. That’s why they emblazoned “Democracy Dies In Darkness” at the top of the newspaper. But without the great Satan, Trump, the Post doesn’t have a fan base.”

The Washington Post, the New York Times, and every other Left-leaning newspaper in America that is using the subscription model has become, essentially, a sports fan message board site, and their team is the Democrat Party. People who subscribe to such sites don’t want to be told that their team is corrupt or evil or failing. They want to be told that their team is great, is right, is true, is virtuous, and is winning, and they want to be told that the other team (Republican Party, Donald Trump) is evil.

Thus, in 1998, the business model of the Washington Post demanded that it cover Bill Clinton’s sordid escapades someone, if not mostly, impartially. But in 2023, the business model of the Washington Post demands that it downplay any corruption coming out of the Biden White House and spend their time attacking Donald Trump, no matter how agenda-driven it is. Thus, it’s no longer about journalism. It’s about propaganda.

In other words, we the people have decided that we are not interested in the truth. We are, instead, interested in being affirmed. We want to be told that we are right with our politics and that the other guy is wrong. And that is why it is comical when the Washington Post uses “Fact Checkers” who, somehow, always manage to conclude that Leftist narratives are correct and Conservative narratives are wrong 100% of the time. It’s a foregone conclusion.

And if you are wondering about Conservative News Subscription platforms, there really aren’t any of note, with the possible exception of the Wall Street Journal, which is focused more on business than it is on politics. Fox News isn’t in the game at all, as they are a cable platform, and that’s different. I don’t even know that they have a subscription-based service, as I seem to get all of my Fox News stories for free. But think of the Washington Post and the New York Times the way you would think of a referee in a football game that has been paid off in advance to ensure one team wins and the other team loses. That’s what they’ve both become. Structure really does influence behavior.

Now you know the answer to the question of why the newspapers that are part of the mainstream media are so corrupt and so one-sided.

Ara Norwood is a multi-faceted and results-oriented professional. Spanning a multiplicity of disciplines including leadership, management, innovation, strategy, service, sales, business ethics, and entrepreneurship. Ara is also a historian, having special expertise on the era of the founding of our republic.
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