Totally umbrageous

Perpetual outrage? It’s a frickin’ industry, says Amanda Kerri:

We have turned righteous indignation into a marketable skill, and a way to make money. Fox News is a company that thrives off of anger, rage, misinformation, and disgusting behavior. I honestly cannot remember any time in my life, people who called themselves journalists working for a news organization, thinking it’s okay to call the First Lady fat. The only reason Rush Limbaugh even exists is because he figured out how to make money off of being offensive and angry. Don’t think liberals are any more enlightened. People have launched entire public media careers based off of spewing half understood academic terms they got from an Anthropology 101 class, to make money on youtube, blogs, speaking tours, etc., being outraged at every last slight. They look for things to be outraged about. If you aren’t the right kind of activist you’re worse than any member of the hetero-cisgendered-white-right handed-pull over instead of button up-dog loving but cat disliking-colonialist-patriarchy that might or might not be oppressing you. You have committed the sin of being of a different approach or opinion on the matter. And the horrible thing about these people, is that they are just so goddamned loud! They drown out those that have nuanced, educated, balanced opinions that are more interested in building bridges between camps instead of trying to figure out ways to burn down those camps. Those people get driven out of movement and shouted down because they’re more interested in talking instead of shouting (for a $5000 speakers fee mind you).

This is what we’ve become.

The key to that is in the middle: “They look for things to be outraged about.” Life’s rich pageant offers them no obvious balm for their twisted souls, so they look for incidents to reinforce their pet prejudices, and they think that’s enough — especially if somehow they can get paid for it. I have reduced my news consumption to one newspaper (local), one magazine (The Week, which reads all the other magazines so I don’t have to), and blogdom, the latter assisted by Twitter. (There are things I read which don’t specialize in news, but occasionally actually have stories worth reading: for example, Vanity Fair, whose fawning interest in rich people often produces really good financial-industry coverage.) I’m not saying I’m any more nuanced or educated or balanced than the next guy, but I don’t enter echo chambers willingly if I can possibly help it.


  1. Amanda Kerri »

    16 September 2014 · 2:48 pm

    Thanks for linking me.

  2. McGehee »

    16 September 2014 · 3:53 pm

    So, she’s outraged that, what, people are making money off of outrage?

    Sorry, but the fact she starts by calling out Fox News and Rush Limbaugh kind of gives away the game. Clearly, what upsets her about leftist outrage merchants is that she’s finding it harder to distinguish them from the people she already despised.

    Setting your political self-definition based on a perceived emotional divide isn’t intelligent. It’s not even sentient.

    I’m sure she’ll be outraged.

  3. Roger Green »

    17 September 2014 · 4:29 am

    As someone who gets a LOT of political e-mail from the left and right – someone will be outraged I used a hyphen in email – I must admit that the “this is outrgageous” is pretty much even. Most of the left’s outrage is about the right (Limbaugh, Coulter) and whatever they said most recently. As I have made clear, I think, I don’t CARE what they think; They’ve become unreliable reporters, so I’m NOT sending money so we can get Limbaugh off the air. There ARE things I get outraged about, but I surely don’t get any money out of it.

  4. Roger Green »

    17 September 2014 · 4:49 am

    Oh, and The Wife and I are reading The Week. It synthesizes everyone else’s umbrage into bite-sized chunks.

  5. Political Polarization in the American Public | Ramblin' with Roger »

    18 September 2014 · 6:47 am

    […] Thus we often have fewer opportunities to engage with someone not sharing our philosophy, unless you call rancorous online bile rantings “engaging.” In other words, we are totally umbrageous. […]

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