This Is Why They Are So Ineffective

For hundreds of years, people have listened to the message. Struggling for relevance, they’ve moved from simple printing and speaking to radio, television, and now online. They’ve morphed from seriousness to entertainment at times. They’ve captured the young, documented acts of incredible grace and sacrifice, then lost whole generations to cynical rebellion.

They have their own language that most outsiders don’t understand. Their ethical rules and traditions are foreign to the untrained. People just don’t get it, so they don’t trust the message. The forthright and righteous among them are lumped in with the charlatans who just want money.

They are frequently at odds with what Americans really care about. They are tone-deaf to large swaths of Americans who have to march in large groups to be heard. And when those marches happen, they’re minimized and ridiculed for their opinions and cares.

They are an insular group with its own admission requirements. They stick together when attacked and get defensive to outsiders at the slightest implication that they’re insular. But internally, they’re all over the map, fighting on small things, calling each other out, moving around in consumerist cat-fights. It’s really a revolving door of factions and sects.

They continue to struggle to maintain even a patina of gravity when the world has moved past them and their pet issues. Yet they keep preaching, day-in, and day-out. They do this despite polls and evidence that people have long ceased to care, and even respond with cynicism, mockery and mistrust.

I am, of course, talking about the American press. (You thought it was the church?)

They are liberal as all hell, and in most groups of Americans gathered around the dinner table or at the bar to watch a game, they’re treated as clowns or liars.

When the press gets upset because someone has the temerity to ask if they know anyone in their office who is pro-life or who owns a pick-up truck, they are exposing themselves as insular, irrelevant, and thin-skinned.

In fact, a giant supermajority (like 80 to 90 percent) of the main stream media don’t know any active, church-going, Bible-believing Christians. They don’t know people who personally believe in the sanctity of life above all things. They don’t know people who raise large families and women who prefer to raise children at home versus pursue a career. They’ve heard of these people, and might be related to some, but they don’t understand them.

They don’t take the time to listen because they’re too busy preaching their message to an echo chamber.

Stephen Bannon broke his silence since election day Thursday to say this to the New York Times.

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,” Mr. Bannon said in an interview on Wednesday.

“I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

Bannon is right. The media will interpret this as proof that they are defending democracy and Bannon (and by extension, President Trump) is a fascist dictator putting together a junta. And in fact, they did just that.

You’re the opposition party,” [Bannon] said. “Not the Democratic Party. You’re the opposition party. The media’s the opposition party.”

Journalists reacted with alarm and defiance to Mr. Bannon’s comments. “What country are we living in?” Christiane Amanpour, the CNN correspondent, wrote on Twitter.

“We are not the opposition,’’ Stephen Engelberg, editor in chief of the nonprofit news organization ProPublica, wrote in an email. “We are part of an essential function in any democracy.” He added that ProPublica had no intention of “shutting up in response to this or any other president’s demand.”

“We are here to tell the truth and we intend to continue doing so, regardless of how badly some might want us to parrot ‘alternative facts,’” Mr. Engelberg said.

This is why they are so ineffective.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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