Polly Toynbee has spent decades telling us that the only reason that archaic, conservative or even free market views persist in the population is because the biased media force it down our throats. This not, in fact, being how markets work. There has to be at least the beginnings of a desire for the thing before it can be sold to people. Or, when we consider the media, folks at least have to have that slight parp of a desire to watch/read/listen to the guff before they will do so.
This being one of those nice scientific findings about free market media. The varied institutions and providers attempt to define some segment of the population that has some set of views. Then they go chase that population by according with those views.
They are chasing those views, not forming them. At which point, Nesrine Malik:
But finishing a thought is not really the point of GB News. The project is building on the political energy that is already out there, rather than generating it. GB News has gathered up the material of grievance that has been floating around for years. That material, from Brexit-based resentment against the EU to anti-“wokeness” and all the positions associated with it – hostility to immigration, racial equality movements, “cancel culture” and lockdowns – is an inexhaustible source of cheap content.
That is, there’s a market there which someone is servicing, not ideologues – although they may be that too – creating a market.
Just as with Fox News over in the US. Murdoch noted tens of millions not being chased – pandered to if you prefer – and went chasing them, most profitably.
Of course, this does then raise the issue of what in hell have we done to have the sort of people who read The Guardian sharing our country but that’s a different problem. They’re doing just the same thing, chasing a set of beliefs rather than forming them ab initio.