Legacy Media Dying in Darkness

Leesa K. Donner | December 13, 2022 | 11:55am EST
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(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The post-Trump era has not been fruitful for its leftist fan base. Legacy media outlets have been bleeding profusely for a long time, but the shrinkage picked up pace once Joe Biden took the oath of office. The Wall Street Journal recently reported The Washington Post lost a half million subscribers since 2021 and is not expected to turn a profit this year.

The once-proud Washington daily began using the curious slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness” during Donald Trump’s presidency. Now the phrase seems to be a metaphor for the newspaper’s own demise. “People familiar with the company’s financials,” wrote The Journal, say, “The Post is on pace to generate around $600 million in revenue in 2022 and has over 2.5 million subscribers, down from three million in January 2021.”

Bleeding subscribers has been the norm rather than the exception for old-guard newspapers like The Post and The New York Times as younger readers gravitate to the internet for their news. Even though most papers host digital sites, statistical evidence exposes their weakness in online publishing.

Zerohedge posted a Similar Web analysis demonstrating how much alternative media have cut into the formerly untouchable audiences of the grand old news outlets. There has always been a not-too-friendly competitive tension between The Times and The Post, but the numbers reveal the Gray Lady as a clear winner regarding digital page views.

The New York Times places first among page hits, but Democracy’s Darkness lies in seventh place behind Fox News and Drudge. Still, The Times is so threatened by the rise of conservative media outlets that it recently added a news desk to monitor the “right-wing media beat.”


Legacy Media Skid Caused by Leftist Viewpoint?

Format isn’t the only thing causing a massive skid in subscribers. There is also the issue of viewpoint, and the legacy media have often been likened to an unpaid arm of the Democratic Party. As Liberty Nation’s Joe Schaeffer recently pointed out, in some cases, these papers are taking big money from people like George Soros:

“The Texas Tribune is presented as an online newspaper covering politics in The Lone Star State. It is frequently cited as a reliable news source by major dominant media organizations. In fact, The Tribune is heavily funded by partisan ‘philanthropies’ and corporate sponsors to such an extent that any claim to objectivity is laughable.”

It’s hardly just left-wing newspapers that are bleeding red. CNN has been dropping its most extreme progressive anchors into the abyss with a fair amount of frequency. Its new owners, WarnerMedia, set alarm bells off once they signaled a plan to cover the news in a more balanced manner. This is likely because they are tired of having their derriere handed to them every time the cable news ratings come out, when Fox wipes the floor with them.

The bad news for newspapers like Democracy’s Darkness is that this is not new news. It is, in fact, an ongoing trend. In December of 2021, for instance, The WSJ reported, “Top Washington Post officials gathered last week and discussed how to respond to a major problem the news outlet is facing: a sharp decline in online readership.” What struck Executive Editor Sally Buzbee was the precipitous drop from 2019 to 2021, showing “just three of the top 10 [articles] were related to politics.” The inescapable  conclusion is that readers are not down with The Post’s leftist bent.

A central issue for outlets like The Post and The Times is that they are not upfront about their point of view. Alternative sites like Liberty Nation are honest – they tell the reader they are conservative news outlets. The legacy papers somehow thought they could maintain a reputation of balance while offering the news from a progressive viewpoint. It doesn’t seem like that is working too well for them.

Although the provenance of this quote is in doubt, its message applies here: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” It appears the only thing dying in darkness these days is leftist purveyors of the news.


Courtesy of Liberty Nation.

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