All over the world, liberals live in their own echo chamber

This recent article by Minhaz Merchant is the type of hard hitting article on the ‘liberal’ media all over the world that is really needed.  Even though many in the media in the USA have admitted that they have been clueless about what really the people at large think, they have not followed this admission through in their writings.  Here is an admission from Paul Krugman:

“What we do know is that people like me, and probably like most readers of The New York Times, truly didn’t understand the country we live in. We thought that our fellow citizens would not, in the end, vote for a candidate so manifestly unqualified for high office, so temperamentally unsound, so scary yet ludicrous.”

(Source: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/opinion/election-night-2016/the-unknown-country?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur)

This was right after the elections, as the results were coming in.  What I have read Krugman since, I am not sure if this has fully sunk into him.

This paragraph is a clear indication that the ‘liberals’ are living in an echo chamber where not only do they exclusively hear their own voices, but also prevent other voices from ‘polluting’ their atmosphere.

In September 2011, Swapan Dasgupta wrote

“I recall an NRI who had lived some 26 years in a small town in southern USA turning livid when he heard me argue that President George W. Bush had a lot of popular backing for his politics. “I have not a single person who ever voted for Bush”, he informed me. When I suggested that his social experiences were limited, he took very serious umbrage.”

(Source – http://www.swapan55.com/2011/09/modi-proves-his-critics-wrong.html)

In the same article Dasgupta narrated that the situation in Bharat is no different:

“A friend of mine with a high media profile proclaimed grandly that she hadn’t met a single person who was supportive of Modi’s new campaign. “We have to draw the line somewhere,” she said grandly. Modi’s supporters “aren’t the types you can invite into your home”.

Then we have the following in an arrogant and pompous letter to the Trump:

“We will set higher standards for ourselves than ever before. We credit you with highlighting serious and widespread distrust in the media across the political spectrum. Your campaign tapped into that, and it was a bracing wake-up call for us. We have to regain that trust. And we’ll do it through accurate, fearless reporting, by acknowledging our errors and abiding by the most stringent ethical standards we set for ourselves.”

(Source – An open letter to Trump from the US press corps-http://www.cjr.org/covering_trump/trump_white_house_press_corps.php)

Is the editor of the journal so blind to really understand the import of what she has written?  Is this not a shameless admission about their own lack of professionalism.  Did it really require a rise of Trump to come to this realisation?  It is no wonder that Obama said that Democrats are characterized as ‘coastal, latte-sipping, liberals, politically-correct, out-of-touch’.  A characterisation of the ‘liberals’ all over America.  It is a real tragedy that there is no introspection of this characterization – I could understand that if it was dismissed if it had come from Trump.

Some liberals in the mainstream media in the USA had written during the election campaign wondering if their abuse of Trump is not actually working in his favour.  This is now being echoed a little bit more, like Krugman has.  But still, as Merchant writes in the referenced article, that there is still an attempt to pretend to be clueless.

Again, as Merchant has written, there are huge parallels about the abuse by the liberal media all over the world of the abuses that has been heaped on Modi in Bharat and Trump in the USA.  (The only difference is that Modi ignores these abuses and continues to concentrate on what he has promised to do as the prime minister.)   The Economist, an English weekly from the UK, went to the extreme extent of telling the people of Bharat that they should actually be voting for Rahul Gandhi as the prime minister.  This shows the extent of the cluelessness of the English media all over the world when it comes to issues relating to Bharat.  The tragedy is that in these last thirty months there is no sign that this media has even come to the beginning of the realization and the introspection that they are expected to do.  This applies as much to the Bharatiya media as much to the Bharatiya correspondents of the foreign media.

I am of the view that a dynamic media is an essential component of a vibrant democracy.  But it is for the media to demonstrate their own dynamism.  The social media will point out to whenever the media has gone astray.  By its very nature, the language in the social media will never conform to the norms of Queen’s English – you see this in the response of the liberals on the same forum.  But concentrating on the language rather than the message is the strategy, because they know that the message is strong and that they will have to accept that their agenda has no merit.  And they will have to work really hard to be relevant.

There are many journalists and analysts in Bharat who claim that they are part of a newly created category of right-of-centre – people who have jumped on the bandwagon created by those whom they label variously as Internet Hindus, preachy, buffoonish, trolls. etc.  (Incidentally, those who are so labelled actually embraced the labels as a badge of honour, which hugely infuriates those who toss the labels as a derogatory term.)  These members of the right-of-center should understand that relentless presence of these Internet Hindus was the real reason for the coming of the present NDA government in power.  Yes, the government has promised development, but they have also promised issues that are an important part of the ideology of Hindutva.  Issues that the Internet Hindus do not at all see as incompatible with development – in fact they see development incomplete without these issues.  Also the Hindutva issues are not anti-anyone – they are just pro the Hindus.

P.S.

Probably the first article in mainstream English media, albeit from Canada, on the Internet Hindus was written by Jason Overdroff in June 2012 titled “India: Meet the ‘Internet Hindus’” and available at: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/120615/internet-hindus-hindu-nationalists-right-wing-politics

I also think it is the only honest attempt to deal with the subject in a professional manner.


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About the Author

Ashok Chowgule
Working President (External), Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bharat.