What is more ironic that yelling at the Federalist and Daily Wire for their mass cultural influence from the New York Times op-ed page? Imagine being so far into the left wing bubble that you think the left is a cultural minority– and that conservatives hold the majority. That is what Jane Coaston thinks.
Before I go on, let me draw a critical distinction between popular culture and elite culture. Popular culture is what average American likes, thinks, and watches. Elite culture is the consensus of those that are not average on these subjects like, think and watch. Think of it this way, what American’s watch in the movie theater in mass is popular culture but what is in the movie itself is elite culture. Scandal is part of the popular culture but the leftist views that have been pushed in it are not, per se, part of the popular culture but they are part of the elite culture.
To pretend elite culture is anything but left wing is foolish. Name one A-lift celebrity that is openly conservative and I will show you every other A-list celebrity. At best you can find some B list celebrities like Tim Allen and Adam Baldwin but even then they are few by far in between. The flow of self-righteous celebrity commercials pushing leftist causes is never ending but not one self-righteous celebrity commercial pushing a right-wing cause has ever been made.
The case for popular culture is less clear-cut, but it is a wash at best. Fifty-seven percent of the country supports abortion in all or most cases. Sixty-two percent of the country supports gay marriage. Only half of Americans consider their religion very important and almost a fifth have no religion. Eighty percent of Americans think words can be a form of violence and a third of Americans think violence can be justified to shut down offensive speech. But conservatives clearly have a silent majority. As the left likes to point out so often, they won the popular vote.
In another exhibition of irony, Coaston complains about how conservatives pander to their conservative audiences as she panders to her liberal audience. In fairness, she does, in part, identify a serious problem on the right. The conservative movement has developed its own echo chamber. Places like the Daily Wire and Federalist appeal to conservative audiences but this is not what she argues. Coaston thinks the conservative echo-chamber is not because conservatives appeal to other conservative’s but because certain conservatives lie about being conservative’s in-order to attract an audience.
It is here we find the great irony of this article and we find out what Coaston really wants. According to Coaston, conservatives are a self-righteous breed who reject facts to confirm their bias. On the other hand, liberals are not only correct in their views but anyone who disagrees with them denies facts. She does not believe conservative pundits say what they say, at least on certain issues, because they believe what they say but because they are “spoon-feeding screeds to their right-wing readers”. What Coaston wants is for right-wing media to stop being right-wing media and push narratives she agrees with– because that is real bravery.
Conservative media has plenty of problems. Intellectual dishonesty is one of them. Abandoning their remaining principles is not the solution. Bravery is not surrendering your beliefs but defending them honestly against everyone who disagrees. Right-wingers at the Daily Wire, Federalist will not abandon their beliefs but at least Coaston got to complain about conservative media groupthink to her anti-conservative media and leftist readers.