March 23, 2004

Letter to the Paper XI

Over at Iberian Notes it's a classic conservative pity party from the '70s in the US. The topic at hand is the hostile media culture for conservatives. US conservatives have largely solved the problem of how to get around a hostile media culture and there's no reason Spanish conservatives have to suffer the same learning curve. My comments below:

It was always impossible for Republicans to overcome the biased US media to present a conservative message. But they managed it anyway and I suspect that the same is true in Spain.

The key is confidence in your own opinions. The anti-american media largely shapes things by its omission of events. They do not report various truths because they would paint the US in a favorable light. Thus people who have no access to the information are simply ignorant on certain subjects and the ignorant do not wish to talk about their ignorance.

The cure is to bring up subjects that require a knowledge of things not reported in the anti-american press, not in a tendentious way, but simply to discuss things. You can talk about the rate of improvement of the electrical grid in Iraq and ask somebody their opinion on whether this newly increased domestic energy system is going to make a dent in Iraqi oil exports raising the price of gasoline in Spain.

Since the anti-american press will not be eager to report neither that oil exports from Iraq are healthy and going up nor that energy demand is up because of a rapidly improving economy after decades of infrastructure neglect, the person fed only a strict diet of anti-american media will have to plead ignorance. Repeat the process on different subjects until they ask where are you reading such things.

The key is not to get them to buy into a different spin. Rightly, they will want to form their own opinions. The key is to get them hungry for a more complete set of facts about the world.

Once people gain the sense that they are being kept in the dark and only know half the picture, you've just added to the market a person hungry for a different style of news. From there, capitalism will take over and new outlets will be created to sate the new demand and old media will run around, exactly as they do in the US, and wonder why they are losing customers in such a steady stream.

Posted by TMLutas at March 23, 2004 12:47 PM