Our media habits are driving this country to the edge of suicide. Despite the evidence, too many Republican voters doubt the election results. But nobody should be surprised. That’s exactly what the outrage-industrial complex has been selling around the clock for nine weeks since Election Day.
The same algorithms that know our favorite bands and when we need a shampoo refill are now curating our news feeds. The media ratchets up the rhetoric to increase clicks, eyeballs and revenue. News consumers reward outlets for “hot takes” and for reinforcing their pre-existing opinions. It’s a civics wasteland.
How has little-known One America News Network suddenly become a competitor to Fox News? Where Fox News journalists have declined to elevate nonsense about election fraud from lawyer and fabulist Sidney Powell, OANN has rushed in. The upstart network and the president have accused not only traditional media but also Fox of malpractice and betrayal. (Fox and The Wall Street Journal share common ownership.)
This problem isn’t limited to the right. Look at outlets catering to progressive “wokes.”