Dying Legacy Media is all Snitches & Hit-Jobs

The legacy media is fast degenerating into a dying morass of hacks who mistake activism for journalism, and vicious social media snitches. Enter Buzzfeed’s Joe Bernstein.

When Bernstein interviewed comedian Sam Hyde, his first question accused Hyde of being “alt-right”. Hyde’s responded with bewilderment (“Is that some kind of indie bookstore?”) and asserted that “I don’t get political, I do comedy: I keep it funny, I don’t do politics”, and proceeded to mock Bernstein mercilessly. Not content to take it on the chin as a professional journalist would, Bernstein (who once tweeted: “KILL a straight white man on your way to work tomorrow”) proceeded to smear Hyde as “the alt-right[’s]…very own tv show” and claiming that he was linked to neo-Nazis. Hyde’s show, World Peace, was ultimately dropped by tv network Adult Swim.

Hyde wasn’t Bernstein’s only victim: he has slandered Pewdiepie, and targeted another YouTuber, a 14 year old girl. “Do you feel accomplished, Joe?” asked one Twitter user. “You snitched on a teenaged girl to a huge tech company. Do you think this constitutes legitimate journalism?”

In fact, it seems that Bernstein has a bit of a problem with the sort of new journalism which is showing up legacy media hacks like him as partisan frauds.

Recently, [Bernstein] set his sights on Andy Ngo—a prominent journalist who frequently gets in harm’s way as he documents the activities of Antifa. Ngo…[is] part of the new alt media that with backpack and bus pass goes after a story with nothing but cell phones, GoPros, and apps.

I have tremendous admiration for people like Ngo, “Timcast” Pool, and even James O’Keefe, who, despite letting his predilection for silly stunts undermine his work, still manages to ferret out astonishing scoops. With almost shoestring budgets, almost all paid for by their viewers, the alt media are outshining the dying, bloated dinosaurs of the legacy media at every turn. Instead of learning from them, the legacy media respond with cheap hit-jobs.

Bernstein travelled to Portland and managed to document the moments leading up to and after Antifa’s violent June 29th assault on Ngo. While conceding that the attack was unprovoked, and that Ngo was a helpless victim, he is hesitant to give Ngo the credit he deserves for his excellent journalism…

Bernstein suggests that Ngo lacks integrity where Antifa is concerned. Then real violence happened and Bernstein found out the facts didn’t support his supposition…[and] he pivots to a position of typical Buzzfeed-style victim-blaming…[and] writes almost apologetically about Ngo’s Antifa attackers, referring to them as a “leaderless activist group … that has been skillfully transmogrified by the conservative media into one of the gravest threats facing Americans in 2019…” It’s almost as if an Antifa member didn’t firebomb a federal immigration facility just last week.

The Trump election broke the legacy media. For decades, they hid their overwhelming bias behind a fig-leaf of fake “objectivity”. After November 2016, they gave up even pretending – and they seethe with jealousy at the new kids who are showing them how it’s done.

Freelance journalists go out there and do the work the mainstream media won’t do, and then are shamed for it. New media writers have to earn readers’ trust that the mainstream media has so casually tossed away.

Bernstein seems particularly incensed that Ngo is exposing one of the biggest scandals in American society: the constant stream of fake “hate crimes” that activists are exploiting to divide Americans.

Bernstein writes, “Since then, Ngo has maintained a running list on Twitter of alleged hate crimes that have turned out to be fabrications, exaggerations, or committed by minority groups against other minority groups. The entries in the list, which now run to well more than a hundred, have been retweeted hundreds of thousands of times.”

So, what’s Bernstein’s problem? That Ngo is doing a better job than legacy media hacks like him? Or that he is exposing lies that Bernstein desperately wants to believe?

In the end, Bernstein’s obsessive pursuit of Goldstein figures says more about him than it does about his targets. In the case of Andy Ngo, it shows that the dying legacy media are lashing out at the alt-media who are leaving them in the dust.

It’s a symptom of the fact that the established outlets are rapidly dying. They don’t know what to do about it, or how to compete with the lean, hungry new outlets, so they attack.