by WorldTribune Staff, May 20, 2019
With billions of people online worldwide, it is easy to attract an audience in the millions “for almost anything,” a columnist noted.
“While the Internet has the power to bring people together, it also has the power to divide us up into tribes and subcultures,” Robert Stacy McCain wrote for The American Spectator on May 15.
“The 21st-century media environment creates echo chambers that give rise to a cult mentality,” McCain noted, and “the emergence of online social media in the 21st century has made this kind of cult thinking easier.”
McCain cited CNN and its blanket coverage of alleged Trump-Russia “collusion” and the recent controversy over YouTube star James Charles.
“What does a gay teenage beauty guru have to do with ‘Russian collusion’? More than you might think,” McCain wrote.
“In a world where all the information in the world seems to be just a click away, many people are drawn to obscure niches where their preferences are indulged and their biases are never challenged. We live in an age when an androgynous 19-year-old can become a multimillionaire by uploading video makeup tutorials to the Internet, building an audience larger than all three major cable-news networks combined. And within that celebrity bubble, James Charles was as sheltered from reality as any CNN viewer dismayed to learn that the Mueller investigation found no evidence that President Trump is a Kremlin puppet,” McCain wrote.
Who is James Charles?
While many hard-working Americans raising families might not know, they only need ask their teenage daughters, who, McCain noted would “almost certainly be able to tell you that James Charles Dickinson (to use his full name) is the most popular makeup artist in the world.”
But Charles’s reputation and YouTube audience took a major hit recently with another YouTube beauty star’s claim that Charles is a serial harasser who has a habit of pressuring straight men to have sex with him.
Charles had on YouTube an audience 20 times larger than the 805,000 viewers who watched CNN during prime time the week of May 5-11, McCain noted.
“This is why his scandal is relevant to the “Russian collusion” narrative that CNN flogged so relentlessly during the two years of the Mueller investigation,” McCain wrote. “Despite having the smallest audience of the three cable-news networks, the producers and on-air personalities at CNN think of themselves as being extremely important — more important than James Charles, who was vastly more popular than CNN anchors like Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon.”
McCain continued: “Within the CNN bubble, everyone shares their anti-Trump worldview, believing the President of the United States to be a dangerous extremist, a secret puppet of Vladimir Putin, with whom he conspired to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. This counter-factual belief is, to the CNN cultists, like Charles Manson’s hippie followers thinking they were getting coded messages from Beatles albums. Instead of going out to stab people in a deranged ‘Helter Skelter’ fantasy, however, CNN is encouraging Democrats to impeach the president.”
What about the “Russian collusion” echo chamber at CNN and other liberal media organizations?
“For two years now, viewers of Fox News have known about how the so-called Steele dossier was used by Obama administration officials to gain authority to spy on the Trump campaign,” McCain wrote. “But the details of this apparent conspiracy against the Republican president are practically unknown to the audience at CNN and MSNBC, who have been endlessly catechized with the anti-Trump cult dogma about ‘collusion.’ ”
Democrats in Congress, and in the field of 20 or so candidates vying for next year’s Democratic presidential nomination, McCain noted, “cannot admit the truth about all this, because their party’s base is fanatically committed to believing Trump must be guilty of some kind of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’ However, to the rest of America, including the 62.9 million who voted for Trump, the collusion-obsessed Democrats look as crazy as James Charles boasting on video about the ‘challenge’ of seducing heterosexual men.”
At CNN, “they’re hunkered down inside their cult bunker, telling each other how important and relevant they are,” McCain wrote. “Even after his meltdown, however, James Charles still has a YouTube audience (13.4 million subscribers) many times larger than CNN’s viewership, as their echo-chamber grows smaller every day. Perhaps the president, who knows a thing or two about surviving scandals, could offer James Charles some advice on recovering from his mistakes. For the cult crazies at CNN, however, there appears to be no hope at all.”