None dare call it conspiracy, and yet…
The year 2021 that ends this week wasn’t the return to normalcy that President Biden promised, but it was invaluable in one respect. This was the year when the conformity that characterizes American politics and media was exposed for its mistakes as never before.
By conformity we mean the progressive political and media consensus that forms quickly around an issue and then reinforces itself no matter the competing arguments or new information. This isn’t a conspiracy in any formal sense; there are no organized calls or Zoom meetings.
This is about a shared set of political values and preferences that leads people to reach the same conclusions about an event. The reporters and commentators of the major progressive media—the Washington Post, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Atlantic, and more—all then reinforce what they now like to call the “narrative” of a story.
Politicians and the press feed the narrative with leaks and the stories they pursue—or, as important, what they don’t pursue. Disagreement is rare to nonexistent because the cost can be ostracism or lost careers.
The editorial substantiates its assertions by cataloging a few of the big “narratives” that turned out, in 2021, to be swamp gas.
I’ve been told that fascism is coming to America, care of right-wing extremists. But I agree with WSJ: Progressive conformity looks a lot like fascism to me. It is good to see it breaking down.