Why Liberal Media Elites Don't Care About Bad Ratings
Big Journalism's Larry O'Connor had an excellent article the other day on MSNBC's dismal ratings for the month of May. You can read that here.
It's no secret that the more Leftward the MSM gets, the more they suffer declining ratings and readership. If these media conglomerates were run like a true business, a course correction would have occurred long ago.
The fact these media companies continue to stubbornly sail on towards bankruptcy has been noted by many.
Let me discuss why I think the people running these media empires refuse to change course despite all the real world evidence telling them they are headed for ratings & fiscal disaster.
The Problem Of Trying To Sell An Elite Viewpoint
To put it simply, there just aren't enough elitists or people who are sympathetic to an elitist point of view. Progressives are actually keenly aware that only a small segment of the society holds to their views. While they pontificate a lot about how popular and mainstream their ideas are, when they are honest they know this isn't really the case. Some will discuss their having to disguise their radical ideas a bit to make them seem more mainstream and thusly widen their appeal.
The feeling of power a Progressive feels comes from KNOWING they are vastly outnumbered but yet they can still use their influence in journalism, academia & entertainment media to shape and guide the country to where they 'know' it should go.
That's the whole thrill of BEING one of the few, the proud, the Progressive Elite - that there's only a few of you smart enough to 'get' the Utopian vision and then patiently guide all the clueless rubes out there towards it. One of the most humiliating things that can happen to an elitist Progressive is being mistaken for an 'ordinary American' with 'ordinary American views'. They are special and they demand to be viewed specially.
The difference with MSNBC is that it made a decision to make its Progressive ideology evident and transparent. CNN, and the Big Three always had the same goals, but hypocritically would claim to be 'objective' and 'neutral' in their coverage of news stories. MSNBC decided to drop the hypocritical act and be 100% honest about being an advocate network. It was hoped this refreshing honesty about advocacy would be rewarded with an expanded viewership.
Such hopes now appear to be irretrievably dashed.
Why Didn't MSNBC's Gambit Work?
MSNBC's low ratings demonstrate that openly trying to sell Progressivism doesn't work. There are too few people that view themselves as having that airy elite above-it-all persona and so most viewers change the channel quickly.
The vision of the country 'as it must become' grips Progressives solidly. They have a vision of Utopia and this present country most definitely isn't it. Almost everything they see is 'wrong' and needs 'fixing'. They often end up proposing as a solution not just change but RADICAL change.
Far Left Progressivism/Liberalism is a political belief system for REVOLUTIONARIES.
The difficulty that arises is that most Americans DON'T want a revolution that overturns most of what makes America, America.
This is the Progressive's big problem when it comes to selling their view of the United States, and their solutions to the country's problems.
Most Americans see problems in the country that need fixing, but they don't want the wholesale, radical and foundational upheaval of a revolution to accomplish it. But media elitists are incapable of providing any other kind of solutions.
These media people act like elitists. Their opinions are elitist. Their proscriptions for dealing with the countries problems are therefore elitist.
And as a result most Americans reject their opinions when they are honestly presented with them.
The Eternal Paradox Of Progressivism:
You prove you are of the Progressive Media Elite by holding these unpopular views that the unwashed masses don't embrace. You are way outside the stupid mainstream...and darn proud of it, too!
Paradoxically, you then spend your entire media career attempting to 'educate' and 'inform' so as to get the selfsame unwashed masses to embrace your unpopular opinions. This explains why most Progressive elitists often come across as shrill and unhappy people.
Now Chris Matthews can know why he's so unhappy all the time. You're welcome.
And it also explains why Media Elites will watch their ratings & readership plummet and not do a thing to change their approach.
For MSNBC & other Progressive media to respond to market forces would be for them to cease being the elite opinion makers & policy shapers they view themselves to be. The big corporations that own ABC, NBC, CBS & CNN as well as MSNBC are in the hands of people like Jeffrey Immelt, who love viewing themselves as shapers of public perception so much they're willing to literally bleed billions of dollars in potential profits.
They value their role as the elite class 'educating' and 'guiding' the country more than they do their bottom line.
That's why no matter how low MSNBC's ratings go, or how bad the NYT's circulation gets, the people in charge will keep right on doing what they've been doing. They fully believe their Liberal message is more important than the money. This won't change until the ownership does.
You will note these same Progressive news outlets will mock Fox News & Conservative media for 'pandering' to 'Middle America' by 'giving the public the 'lowbrow stuff it wants'. They explain away the much better ratings of the New Media by claiming there's no attempt to 'educate' or 'improve' the public but instead to just pander to them in their 'current low state of mind'.
Most people can tell when they are getting neutral news & when they are getting propagandized. They know when a journalist is showing them both sides of an issue of public interest & when an elite snob is preaching down at them.
"I'm so much smarter than all of you that sometimes it hurts!"
And that's why most people don't watch MSNBC. The American people will ALWAYS be smarter than Progressives think they are.