Given that the audience that still relies primarily on TV for their news is approaching death and given that the phenomenon of people giving up on TV entirely to get all their media online... does anyone but the most deluded TV network execs and newspaper editors doubt that the era of the dinosaur media is over?
In an Emperor-has-no-clothes moment, Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen made headlines earlier this month for pointing out the blindingly obvious: "Twenty years ago, CNN was a must-have channel, but it's not a top 10 network anymore.”
Everyone knows this to be true, even those growing numbers of us who have disconnected from the boob tube entirely and now get all our information from the internet. CNN's laughable, ridiculous, self-parodying coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 earlier this year (Swallowed by a black hole!? We'll explain it all with this toy plane!) highlights the absurdity of a 24/7 news network in the age of 24/7 internet. Rather than listening to uninformed talking heads guessing about the latest story for hour after hour, why not just search out the latest information for yourself from any news source anywhere in the world?
This is the microcosmic example of a macrocosmic phenomenon that's been playing out for the past decade: people are tuning out of the mainstream dinosaur alphabet soup networks and canceling their subscriptions to the establishment mouthpiece newspapers in record numbers. The dinosaur media is going extinct.
Don't believe me? 2008 headline: “Internet Overtakes Newspapers As News Outlet.” 2011: “Internet Gains on Television as Public’s Main News Source.” Also 2011: “Internet Surpasses Television as Main News Source for Young Adults.” 2012: “Internet Gains Most as Campaign News Source.” 2013: “Digital Set to Surpass TV in Time Spent with US Media.” 2014: “US internet ad spending surpasses broadcast TV.” Also 2014: “Gallup: Public Confidence in TV News at All-Time Low.”
Given that the audience that still relies primarily on TV for their news is approaching death (average age of Bill O'Reilly viewers: 72.1) and given that the phenomenon of people giving up on TV entirely to get all their media online is becoming so common it now has its own name (“cord cutting”) does anyone but the most deluded TV network execs and newspaper editors doubt that the era of the dinosaur media is over?
As with all such paradigm shifts, it's difficult to appreciate just how important this change is while we're in the middle of it. The historians of a future era will look at this time period as an inflection point of world history and will no doubt note the transformative role the internet has had on our society. But for us to grasp the significance of this moment, all we have to do is compare our current media landscape to what existed a century ago, before television penetrated into most people's living rooms. In that era all it took to whip the public into a frenzy or even justify a war was a convincingly drawn picture in a newspaper or magazine (Remember the Maine!). 70 years ago a well constructed radio drama was enough to convince many that an actual Martian invasion was taking place. 20 years ago a speech at the UN about Iraqis throwing babies out of incubators was enough to justify Operation Desert Storm. Today it only takes a minute of searching online to discover that the Maine was almost certainly brought down by an explosion caused by a coal bunker fire, that Orson Welles' infamous “War of the Worlds” broadcast was the subject of a psychological study by Rockefeller-connected researchers, and that the “babies from incubators” story was pure propaganda peddled by the Kuwaiti ambassador's own daughter. In any previous era in history, the average citizen was almost totally powerless when it came to collecting information about the outside world, passive spectators of the establishment's mockingbird media. Now information is nearly instantaneously available to almost anyone almost anywhere on the planet. Oh what a difference a decade makes.
This is not to say, of course, that the internet is infallible. This is not to say that people don't get fooled by bad information in the internet age. Just look at the false flag event of 9/11 and everything that resulted from that. But it is becoming harder and harder for the oligarchs to control our perception of reality simply by lying to us with a straight face, and this is precisely why people are turning off their idiot boxes in record numbers.
And so if I may break the fourth wall of this editorial, I'd like to extend my personal thanks to everyone who is subscribed to this publication. You are the vanguard of the new media revolution, those with enough foresight to realize the value of alternative news from an alternative viewpoint. Your support of this outlet makes it possible to confront the oligarchs at their game of information control, and now even Hillary Clinton herself has to admit that they are losing the information war. Which means we are winning.
Goodbye, dinosaur media. May you rest in pieces.