Outrage Culture: How Technology, News & Media Blinded Us

Frank Miller's "Just One More" Anti-Censorship Ad, 1997

September 21, 2021

It seems like the world has gone mad. More specifically, it seems like Western nations have gone mad. 

I started noticing severe, deep-seeded issues in society back in 2004 when I was ending my public education at high school. Shortly afterwards, social media began slowly popping up. Napster, Myspace, then the colossal Facebook. 

It was fairly harmless at first. Early 20 somethings and teens mingling in this weird new world. You could post anything from thoughts, ideas, essays, pictures and, though rare for the time, videos.

Over the next five years social media exploded with exponential growth. Terms like “viral” began solidifying because of how quickly a piece of content spread. The social media platforms themselves grew with viral fervor.

Around 2010, I began noticing a strange phenomenon where people were posting “infographics”—a short amount of text over a photo to have an emotional and psychological impact. It was quickly used as a form of propaganda, oftentimes dangerously and wildly inaccurate.

These infographics resembled memes: Simple, straight to the point and incredibly powerful at spreading information, whether real or manipulated. News outlets, media organizations and businesses pounced on this new technology quickly and soon became the powerhouses of radical leftist ideology and extremist content, becoming activists for the issues they reported. 

News outlets quickly discovered how to manipulate the algorithms by posting shock content or rage-bait—content that would make you angry, most notably police brutality videos. This selectively curated content was so influential that, it’s arguable, they were responsible for the countless anti-police and pro-racial justice riots since 2014 and onward.

Imagine that power. A new technology, where instead of only reaching a few thousand people locally, you could spread your ideas all over the globe. But as the cliché goes, with great power comes great responsibility; and this power was abused to such a degree that it made the average American deeply distrustful and resentful of police officers and the institutions surrounding them.

This newfound technological power magnified the absolute worst and horrific crimes from police and totally ignored the full picture, which would show you that it’s only a tiny percentage of bad police officers committing these crimes. Most officers follow the law and do so with integrity and treat the public with dignity. Basically, these extremist activists manipulated a large majority of the population into believing the police were hunting down black people to abuse them everywhere in the country.

They’d use selectively edited videos, purposely cutting out context, only showing the officer’s abuse or, if the incident was so bad, they’d show it in full. Almost always, these far left activists would add a creepy or unsettling sound track to manipulate the viewers perception and heighten the emotional response, the rage. They would add text or narration that were oftentimes incorrect or grossly exaggerated.

It was a brilliant use of propaganda. The appeal to emotion and your humanity made you outraged. And maybe we should have been, maybe not. The point is that the responses, the riots, weren’t organic or natural. In other words, there were no natural incentives which inspired them. Their conditions were created.

News media plays a particular role in this distribution of propaganda. When journalists and media outlets obsess over a certain topic, while excessively spreading fear about the subject, that might be called “media terrorism.” The result is locals feeling uneasy and concerned for their safety when, in reality, the reason for their fear is the media’s selective reporting. After all, according to CNN, “fear sells.” 

A more recent example would be the fear mongering over Covid-19. Every week there’s a new threat, a new data point than the last. Every week we need to worry and be afraid of a new variant or a new authoritarian measure from governments. 

First, health officials such as Dr. Fauci suggested we not wear masks, to just wash our hands. Then it changed to “wear a mask, socially distance, and wash your hands and surfaces.” Next, the focus was entirely on masks and soon followed nationwide mandates. These same health officials told us to close our schools and businesses, yet allowed only the massive corporations like Walmart and Amazon to stay open. This funneled billions of dollars from the general economy into the largest businesses on the planet, consolidating wealth in a way never seen before in modern history. As a result of the lockdowns, 200,000 businesses were permanently closed. 

While one narrative is that the vaccinations have reversed the course of the virus, the other narrative is that the vaccine is not enough, nor will it ever be, so we must stay masked, distanced, and be ready for a third shot. Nevertheless, despite studies making the case for either vaccination or natural immunity, the Biden Administration has recently imposed a national vaccine mandate taking the choice away from millions.   

Telling the truth, in any capacity, free of political motive, would take away the government’s power and their authority. Letting individuals make the appropriate decisions regarding their own medical needs, is out of the question, even when the science is on their side.  

That’s the primary motivator here—Power. Media, medical/scientific, government and business institutions want more power. Money is just a tool of power, a means. Whoever controls the money controls most of everything else. But what occurs during witch-hunts is a religious-like authority that supersedes the normal power dynamic. This is what we are seeing today.

The left has, so far, been extremely successful in subverting and weaseling their way into the hearts and minds of Americans. So successful that they control every major institution spanning culture, science, politics, education, religion and much more. Universities are bastions for left-wing thought and have facilitated hostile campus environments where any hint of conservative thought is seen as a cultural taboo. Outrage culture has exploited the passions of our students, providing them with a bloated sense of self-importance. Blind outrage and victimhood are now seen as virtuous.

They play word games and split hairs on definitions of terms, even outright changing and creating new ones.

Our once robust and strong political and civil discourse has been destroyed and dominated by a singular authoritarian mindset. “You’re either with us, or you’re against us.” 

Reality is always much more complicated than that.

I’m old enough to remember when we could have good faith debates and conversations about almost anything and, even when we disagreed, still be friends. In fact, a big discussion would bring us all closer together because we understood each other better.

Those days are gone. Any deviation from the establishment narrative and you are immediately flooded with verbal and sometimes violent attacks. Typically, even almost entirely, they come from leftists and democrats.

This is the result of social media, of Algorithmic psychosis, and echo chambers fed by the algorithms that radicalize and divide us all. It’s gotten so bad that left and right no longer have meaning anymore. It’s purely tribalism. From the leftist standpoint, anyone who doesn’t believe their ideology is “far right.” The same doesn’t happen when you speak to other political ideologies. Centrists, moderates and conservatives get a more well rounded news diet and are able to make more rational and logical conclusions. 

This is our next problem. Progressives and Democrats tend to only watch and read leftwing news. That leftist ideologies predominate in academia, social media, and virtually every other institution, they are unable to contend with conservative and centrist ideals, lest they’re met with cognitive dissonance; whereas, as a result, other political ideologies encounter the leftist narratives more frequently. 

Even when presented with real world data—honest factual data—they’re unable to see it and accept it as such. They reject it outright as an anomaly or anecdotal. Conservatives and others aren’t immune to this, but they tend to be more in line with factual information.

One of the most easy and most powerful pieces of evidence for this has been commonly called “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” No matter what former President Trump said or did, it was never enough, never good enough and always hyper emotionally wrong. Everything was offensive and  increasingly dangerous or problematic.

Never before in the history of America was a president so aggressively opposed by one political faction yet remained the most popular president, eventually doing better in the general election with the very groups that are considered safe for Democrats. Media and leftists incessantly attacked and smeared to the most absurd degrees. One famous example was when Trump got two scoops of ice cream at a function and the guests got one. A headline from CNN read “Trump gets 2 scoops of ice cream, everyone else gets 1…” The political right in general has been the target of many of these absurd attacks, such as when MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry interviewed Alfonso Aguilar, Executive Director of the American Principles Project for Latino Partnership, about Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) work-ethic and his fitness to be Speaker of the House of Representatives. When Aguilar stated that, “If there’s somebody who’s a hard worker who goes to Washington, it’s Paul Ryan,” Perry then scolded Aguilar, stating that the term “hard worker” was somehow undermining the plight of African American slaves.

When examples like these are acknowledged, we begin to see the true extent of the mental contortions that the leftist establishment will go through in order to justify their outrage-driven worldview.   

Journalists, political commentators and politicians obviously sensationalized these stories. The list goes on and on. Donald Trump couldn’t do anything without it being twisted into some sign of his alleged evils.

When Donald Trump entered politics, he had a myriad of character flaws. He lacked humility, was incredibly narcissistic, and was certainly no intellectual. He was brash, aggressive and a braggart. But despite all those things, he wasn’t evil. He was real. He was honest. His unconventional style of politicking awakened Americans to the fact that they had been lied to countless times by monotone politicians—it was time for a change. In the end, though, Trump’s personality, which had proven him an effective candidate, ironically proved him incompatible with the presidency itself. Trump’s communicative failures, despite some of his best policy achievements, were the cause of his political downfall in the end.

Now with Biden enjoying eight months in the White House, we can see the stark differences in how the media and political pundits treat him. President Biden not only is almost never called out, he’s defended and protected by the media, save for the indefensible handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal which caused shock and anger around the world. 

With Biden at the helm, a man many of us suspect is in severe cognitive decline, has enjoyed countless accolades from the press. The “return to normalcy” narrative is pushed over and over despite his administration spiraling out of control. The Afghanistan debacle saw the mainstream media’s deafening silence towards the American citizens still stranded in Afghanistan, which is by far the worst humiliation the United States has endured on the world stage since Saigon. 

But if we’re going to be honest, we can’t pretend that the far left is the real enemy, they’re just the useful idiots to the establishment, the wealthy powerful elites. The far left thinks they have won, that they seized everything they wanted very quickly when, in reality, they got played. It’s a game of 4D chess. These establishment elites have been pushing their sick and twisted agendas for generations but never before had they had an opportunity to make it stick.

The left has made countless excuses for organizations like Black Lives Matter and Antifa who have encouraged and facilitated the looting and destruction of buildings, businesses, and turned a blind eye to the assault and murder of innocent people. The riots that ensued during the summer of 2020 will most likely go down as some of the worst riots in American history. $2 billion in insurance claims and an estimated $4 billion in damages total. 19 people were murdered and another 6-10 died in connection to the riots. All of this happened during a highly politicized pandemic.

The cognitive dissonance and outright lies from the media told us that the “mostly peaceful” protests helped us during the pandemic and didn’t actually spread the virus, yet conservative protests, rallies and other events were declared “super spreader events.” Leftist medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen went on CNN to declare that BLM protests were not likely to cause COVID like Trump rallies. 

The sane and rational part of America that was still left noticed this and have since never let go. Rightfully so.

Why would we continue to blindly believe and follow what our leaders and experts told us when they would change their story literally every week? They said “trust the science, science changes with new data” and “the science is already in, listen to what we tell you,” both at the same time, embracing the contradiction. 

Overall, social media has become the vector for the madness, and the outrage fostered within its screens is spreading rapidly. The coronavirus can be dangerous, but the infection of outrage culture, perpetuated by our media, is spreading at a much faster rate, and threatens to do far more damage than we could ever recover from. It’s time to reverse course and bring our nation back to sanity.

With authoritarian measures sweeping across the globe, with governments instituting dystopian lockdown orders under the guise of “public health,”  our last chance to stand up and push back is quickly slipping from our grasp.

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