October 18, 2022

The Rise of Conservative Media?

Four wealthy men are sick of Big Tech and Big Media censorship, and they’re putting their money where their mouths are.

For decades now, conservatives have gnashed their teeth about the awful bias of the mainstream media. That frustration has only heightened with the rise of Big Tech and social media.

Still, help may be on the way.

For the longest time, it was Fox News against ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. But now, as left-leaning Axios reports, “New investments in ‘free speech’ social media platforms, podcasts, and video channels are upending the media landscape and giving voices to conservatives who feel rejected by traditional networks and outlets.”

The Axios article, headlined “Rich conservatives fund new media universe,” then goes on to list these rich conservatives: Kanye West, Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, and Donald Trump.

Come again? Among that foursome, not a one can be considered staunchly conservative in the traditional sense. Kanye West? Really? Just because he’s rejected Hollywood leftism and the death cult of abortion on demand doesn’t mean he’s conservative. A recent and much-publicized Twitter outburst of anti-Semitism got him kicked off of Twitter and Instagram, but when you’re as rich as Ye, as he’s now called, you can simply buy your own social media platform, as he’s planning to do with Parler.

“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” West said. To which we’d say: Free expression? Absolutely. But if Jew hatred is in his heart, we’d just as soon he stay on the Left where that sentiment belongs.

Elon Musk, whose on-again, off-again dalliance with Twitter is back on again, is what we might call socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

Peter Thiel considers himself a conservative libertarian, and this seems about right for a fiscally conservative proponent of same-sex “marriage” and the first openly gay speaker at a Republican National Convention.

As for Donald Trump, he espouses a range of conservative values with others that aren’t so conservative and is thus more accurately described as a populist.

What’s telling, then, is that the Left increasingly views with suspicion those who don’t hew closely to its wokeism and its men-can-have-babies radicalism, and, just as Axios does here, it often brands these apostates with the aforementioned C-word.

What’s also telling is that Axios feels compelled to sneeringly put the term “free speech” in scare quotes. It’s as if these journalists, these beneficiaries of another plank of the First Amendment, don’t believe that free speech is, well, free speech, or that it isn’t the real reason for the rise of these new media alternatives. That’s because those on the Left used to champion free speech before they began suppressing it. We might say they were for free speech before they were against it.

Thiel, we think, is the most interesting of an interesting foursome. A strong supporter of Trump who was also Facebook’s first outside investor, its longest-serving board member, and a close adviser to slippery CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Thiel finally grew tired of the social media giant’s suppression of online speech and left its board earlier this year. But if his recent investments were any indication, his divorce from traditional Big Tech was long overdue. As The Washington Post reports:

Since March of 2021, Thiel has pumped more than $20 million into 16 political campaigns, including the Ohio Senate race where close associate J.D. Vance … won the Republican nomination, in part by attacking Big Tech and social media censorship. Thiel also has given at least $13.5 million to acolyte Blake Masters, a Republican candidate for Senate in Arizona who serves as president of Thiel’s personal foundation and has positioned himself as an adversary of Big Tech.

New reporting shows Thiel has set his sights on transforming American culture — and funding its culture wars — through what his associates refer to as “anti-woke” business ventures. These include a right-wing film festival, a conservative dating app founded by a former Trump administration ally and a firm, Strive Asset Management, that will “pressure CEOs to steer clear of environmental, social and political” causes, said Vivek Ramaswamy, the firm’s co-founder.

Where is all this headed? It’s hard to say, but we in our humble shop have long wondered whether a parallel economy would ultimately be necessary for conservatives to rip off the duct tape of leftist censorship once and for all. Thiel apparently feels the same way.

“Peter deeply believes that there is huge opportunity in creating a parallel economy,” said Ramaswamy. “Serving Americans who are disaffected from corporate America today would be the backbone of the next generation of major companies — and almost nobody is going after that opportunity in a serious way.”

Until now, that is.

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