Thursday, July 06, 2017


Maine's angry-drunk-at-the-end-of-the-bar governor reminds us again that he hates the press:
Gov. Paul LePage lashed out at the media for reporting he planned to leave the state during a budget impasse, and he suggested he sometimes concocts stories to mislead reporters.

The Republican governor also characterized the state media as “vile,” ″inaccurate” and “useless.”

“I just love to sit in my office and make up ways so they’ll write these stupid stories because they are just so stupid, it’s awful,” he told WGAN-AM on Thursday....
But he seems to believe his great foe will wither away and die someday soon:
In the radio interview, LePage reiterated his disdain for the media, in particular newspapers, saying “the sooner the print press goes away, the better society will be.”
Consider that phrase: the sooner the print press goes away. LePage clearly believes this will happen -- it's only a matter of time.

Obviously there's a lot of economic pressure on the print press now. But I think the idea LePage is trying to communicate is one that's been common on the right for more than a decade, which is that the "legacy media" will cease to exist any day now. In the '00s, it was going to be destroyed by "new media" -- right-wing blogs, the Drudge Report, Free Republic, Pajamas Media, and, of course, talk radio and Fox News. Now blogs are out of the mix, but social media and Reddit and Breitbart are supposed to take the old media down, in conjunction with (still) Fox, or possibly a future TV channel that's purer than Fox.

You'd think conservatives would be rooting for a totalitarian shutdown of the mainstream media, but they seem to believe MSM outlets will collapse on their own, or withdraw from the fray in response to mass public outrage. They savor incidents of outrage -- they still get a warm feeling whenever they think about how they took Dan Rather down -- but they don't seem to think a crackdown should be necessary. They ignore the MSM, so they assume all right-thinking people will do the same soon. They can't imagine why that hasn't already happened -- the awfulness, to them, is just so self-evident. (Surely it must be George Soros propping the entire MSM up -- there can't possibly be any money in providing such a noxious product.)

For all his heavy-handed treatment of the press -- yes, I know about his threat to block the Time Warner/AT&T merger if CNN doesn't become more docile -- Trump hasn't been a genuine totalitarian and closed any news outlets down. I think he really believes that typing #FAKENEWS every day on Twitter and dealing out other rebuffs and abuses will drive CNN and possibly NBC into bankruptcy or irrelevance. In his right-wing bubble, the demise of the old media is as inevitable as the demise of capitalism is to orthodox Marxists. It will happen. What's remarkable to the right is that it hasn't happened already. Doesn't everyone think the way they do?

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