Demise of the blogosphere and media bubbles
So when I started blogging in 2008, a thing that would happen would be that a conservative writer would publish something on a conservative website, and then liberals at liberal publications would read those conservative websites, write up their own liberal responses and publish them on their liberal websites, and conservatives would write responses to responses, and so a decent number of people got to be employed.
And what I can’t scientifically say but which seems screamingly obvious to me is that this is almost unthinkable today. It just doesn’t happen. Liberals don’t even bother to read conservative publications, and they certainly don’t respond to them. I can’t say what conservatives do because, unlike in 2008, I barely read conservative publications anymore. It was a thing I felt honor-bound to do and now I just… don’t do it.
I remember those days, and it was nice!
But, like deBoer, I've also stopped reading conservative blogs and websites that have turned into Trump mouthpieces. Neither do I read Jacobin or New Republic. I make an effort to read left- and right-leaning outlets, from Talking Points Memo and Vox to The Bulwark and The Dispatch, but they have to fall within what I consider to be parameters of reasonableness.
Of course, it's unhealthy in a democracy when people live in completely different information universes. Worse when you live in a two-party system and the dominant information universes overlap with those two parties.
For an example, consider these headlines of conservative Facebook groups recently highlighted by Judd Legum:
- "Dems CAUGHT — 100,000 Illegal Ballots Found"
- "Video Shows 'Huge Pile' Of Mail Just Being Dumped Out"
- "Judge Sides With Trump — 50,000 Ballots TOSSED in Swing State"
They're complete fabrications. But if you only get your news from conservative groups on Facebook, and maybe Fox News and right-wing talk radio, you may believe these things.
The left-wing media bubble seldom lies outright, but if you only read Jacobin and Twitter, and watch Rachel Maddow, you still get a distorted view of the US.
Same if you're British and only read The Guardian or only read The Daily Telegraph.
Or here in Spain, you have people who only read El Mundo or ABC, two right-wing newspapers. They will have an extremely negative view of the current, left-wing government as well as the Catalan independence movement.