Matt Lees on Twitter: “Over the past few days I’ve spoken to quite a few Breitbart readers, and this is what really jumped out at me.”
After talking to a number of Breitbart readers it’s become increasingly clear why so many young men read it – it’s the only outlet frequently, loudly, and angrily telling their readers a truth that they already know too well: The promises of neoliberalism have been lies, and the system we have is fundamentally broken.
Frankly at this point, I think we everyone knows it – it’s been the elephant in the room for a very long time. But by actively, angrily shouting about it and informing their readers that no-one else cares they’ve managed to position themselves as arbiters of unspoken truths – a position of power that quickly becomes dangerous in light of the fact that much of their content is designed to normalise many fascist ideals.
Best case scenario – those who follow Breitbart for their anti-neoliberalist content will simply ignore the racist and misogynistic stuff on the side (whilst quietly absorbing some of it without knowing, obviously). Worst case scenario – their readers treat the hateful propaganda being shared as yet another set of truths that have been hidden from them.
The best analogy here is the terrible wisdom of schools telling pupils that drugs are simply “bad”. At some point this issue is shown to be more complex, and the previous half-truth is then seen as a lie, which can then trigger a domino effect of mistrust, a brief leap into the arms of counter-culture.
In this case, the same outlet that generously reveals a great lie is immediately ready to spend its earned trust on planting a number of insidious new ones. I have talked to a number of young men who make claims that are overtly terrible, but only because they have been led to believe that the media they’ve absorbed has spoken to them with cold facts, rather than emotional ideology.
The only effectively peaceful enemy of fascism is facts, and currently it seems clear that the world is not delivering. Many who decide to follow Breitbart for their news are not racists, misogynists, or dangerous people – but given time, they will undoubtedly be groomed into those roles without knowing it.
Preventative solutions are remarkably difficult – the only option seems to be to collectively push for a mainstream media that is unafraid to frequently, loudly speak the same truth. If we don’t, then more and more angry and impressionable people will gravitate towards Breitbart: a machine specifically designed to make fascists.
Additionally, from the Telegraph: “Steve Bannon: Who is Donald Trump’s chief strategist and why is he so feared?”