On this episode, we return to the film Nightcrawler; looking at how social tensions are fostered by false or misleading media narratives, and how alternative media networks are now playing the mainstream outrage game to their own ends.
In the film, the fictional KWLA-6 news station actively targets white, upper-middle class audiences by selectively running stories about affluent demographics being threatened by urban criminals, so that the station can promote an ongoing narrative of fear and victimhood. We look at how the Alt-Media and the Alt-Right are now exploiting these methods, by dispensing with integrity and championing sensationalist 'panic porn' about threats to the western middle class.
We discuss the use of statistics in pushing agendas, where numbers and percentages can be worked to suggest any conclusion or point of view. The fictional character of Lou reveals that urban crime rates are actually going down, and that he must work hard to find crimes that support the opposite conclusion; tampering with facts to increase the moral impact of the story. We touch on a number of issues relating to media integrity, including the manipulation of facts into fictional stories, and how fearful narratives engender widespread allegiance to fearful politics.
We also touch on the recent controversy over ‘Fake News’, where Silicon Valley firms like Google and Facebook have floated the idea of purging alternative websites from their platforms, after it was asserted that propagandists in the Alt-Right helped sway the election for Donald Trump. We note the hypocrisy of both mainstream and alternative sources in crying foul over this fiasco, as both sides will routinely fabricate propaganda and push their own narratives in the media meme-war.
We finish up by looking at the way in which the social tensions are being further inflamed by the loudest and most controversial voices on both the left and the right, thus setting the tone for everyone else. The rise of reactionary Youtube personalities has been enabled and facilitated by opportunists in both the mainstream and alternative spheres, where controversy and conflict are being elevated above truth and ethics.
Has publicity become an end unto itself for the Alt-Media? Have the alternative news sources degenerated into the mainstream, where cynical journalists seek out populist drama at any cost, and characters like Lou scour the streets for opportunity?
Topics discussed include: Nightcrawler, Local News, Narratives, Perceptions, Statistics, Manipulation, 2016 Election, Trump, Crime, Immigration, Racism, Violence, Fear, Propaganda, Alt-Media, Alt-Right, Stories, Downtrodden Minorities, Poverty, Middle Class, Drugs, Victimhood, Strength, Security, Fascism, Alex Jones, Infowars, Paranoia, Integrity, Populism, Key Words, Conspiracy, Sensationalism, Neo-Nazi, Cass Sunstein, Headlines, Addiction, Psychology, Business, Left vs Right, Identity Politics, Terrorism, Richard Spencer, NPI, Red Ice, Hillary Clinton, SJW's, Insanity, Prisons, Racial Segregation, TV, Excitement, Gangs, MS-13, Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, Drudge Report, Fake News, Google, Facebook, Lifestyles, Brands, Pop Culture, Youtube, Journalists, Cynicism, Opportunism, Degeneration, Hypocrisy, Julian Assange, Wikileaks, Psychopathic Media, Changing Terminology, Truth Movement, Globalism, Star Wars, Imperial March, Satire, Police Brutality, Martial Law, Law & Order, Newt Gingrich, Peter Thiel, Mitt Romney, Age of Transitions, Cheerleading, Role-play, Opposition, Politics, In-Group/Out-Group Dynamics, Disengaging from Media.