Does the New Conservative Media Need New Approaches?

@filmladd linked this piece, at “Goldfish and Clowns.”

Setting aside Cephas Hour [the author’s mostly-Christian-music podcast — ed.] so as to take this from the personal into the general, there are conservatives doing their best to address the public through different channels — music, film, etc. These efforts ought to be rewarded, or at the least supported. Yet, what is taking place is that when one or more of these artists does work that is overtly political and conservative, the praise flows like a river. Should they step out of that into doing something of an outreach nature, the crickets come to call. Without a Buddy Holly in sight.

Stretch out. Reach out. Embrace the more challenging way. Divest yourself of the comfort zone, or to put it in a more crude yet not inaccurate way the circle jerk. Actively support conservative arts not just when they’re toeing the line, but when they blur the division line between themselves, their beliefs, and the people outside your conversation zone.

This gets very much at the point Liberty Chick made earlier, which is a drum I’ve been banging myself for a while now.

One of the problems with the right’s attempts at media is that it is always — or almost always — expliclity political, and ergo argumentative (argumentative in the “good” meaning, but also often in the bad one).

We’re always trying to persuade in conservative media. Thus, conversion can only happen when people tune into us when they’re in the mood to be persuaded that everything they used to think is wrong, and these other people have been right all along.

You know how all often people tune in to discover how wrong they’ve been about everything? Rounding off to the nearest integer, zero. Zero percent of the people tune in zero percent of the time to be told how very wrong they are about everything.

The left doesn’t do it like this. The left infiltrates non-political media and stuffs them full of political assumptions.

We say on the right we have better arguments. We do. Guess what? It doesn’t matter. Because an assumption — something you’ve grown to believe without even realize you’ve been programmed, by dint of repetition, to believe — will beat an argument every time.

Politics, for most, is less about argument and logic and rational underpinnings and grandly conceived ideologythan it is a simple human choice: Do I feel more affinity with thisgroup over here, or that one over there? And once you’ve chosen a tribeyou’re more comfortable with, you begin adopting their attitudes andmores.

Did you have a group you hung out with in eighth grade? Did you sortof dress like others in the group? Listen to the same music?

Same thing. People are complicated in many ways but in some of the most important they’re brutally simple.

Right media (as a general matter) looks like it’s following left’s media model.  FoxNews, and such.  But we’re really not. The left has infiltrated and taken over media whose primary purpose is (ostensibly) non-political — entertainment or delivery of what we once called “news.” Now that it has people tuned in for non-political content, it delivers its political messaging.

All the right’s media is expressly political in nature — indeed, the very moment you’re talking about a “right media” you are immediately talking about politics.

I don’t think that’s how people live their lives. I don’t think it’s how conservatives live their own lives, in fact — conservatives are proud of saying, “There are things of greater value in my life than whatever the idiots in DC are up to this week.”

And that the liberals are the ones living government-centered lives.Which is true… but then you look at our media, and it’s just politics 24/7.

In private conversations, I suggested to friends that Breitbart start some non-political pages, which I called “Big [REDACTED]” and “Big [REDACTED].” (I have omitted the names because I don’t give good ideas for free, yo.)

I was happy to hear they’d started Big Sports. That’s a good step in the right direction.  We need more of that.  Right-leaning people doing what they do in their normal lives: talking about interesting subjects other than politics.  The whole right media needs to diversify like this.

Andrew Breitbart was fond of saying “politics is downstream of culture.” I think that’s right. I’d add a small sub-point to it: Politics and culture are both downstream of humanity.

I think how the left wins the media wars is that they have… uh… “likable” personalities who garner credibility independently of any political efforts and then use that store of personal capital to transmit leftist political messaging. Before anyone is willing to listen to what you have to say politically, they first need a reason to listen to you at all.

LOLcats and Funny Animals may be silly but they do offer some small value to the non-political reader, a brief smile, even a laugh. Having thus received some non-political value, the reader may now be inclined to accept some political claims he might otherwise have been annoyed by.

I think the basic problem is simple: Conservatives are not really terribly interested in media, as a group, nor in entertainment. We are interested, as a group, in the possible political benefits of a popular media, but not so much in the popular media itself. Again– as a group. Obviously many conservatives are keenly interested in such things, but it’s not where we are as a group. There’s no knock to conservatives in that — liberals are very interested in going into law, for example; it’s just that some psychologies are attracted to different fields — but it does compromise our effectiveness in having the society we’d prefer.