Ed Driscoll

'#GamerGate, Film Criticism, Sports Reporting, and the Silent Majority'

As we’ve mentioned before, while the byzantine tangents of the “GamerGate” controversy make the story difficult to follow for those of us who aren’t videogame aficionados, the basic thrust of the story is remarkably similar to how the far left MSM reports on sports, politics, and the entertainment industry. Those are the dots that Sonny Bunch  connects in his latest article at the Washington Free Beacon:

Critical groupthink is sometimes an issue, certainly, though more so for documentaries than narrative features.*** And I think it’s fair to say that film writers will often band together in an effort to help smaller fare find an audience. I’m not convinced that writers giving oxygen to a film they enjoy that can’t afford a $30 million advertising campaign is necessarily a horrible thing, but some level of coordination—via listservs, via Twitter, via blog posts—is undeniable. More troubling, at least to me, is the undeniable contempt these writers often have for mainstream audiences.

That contempt—or, perhaps, that perception of contempt—is the connecting thread through all these various contretemps. Gaming journos have contempt for gamers who have no interest in boring quasi-games like Depression Quest. Film writers have contempt for the audiences who make Michael Bay a star. TV writers have contempt for the folks who watch NCIS and CSI and The Big Bang Theory. Sports writers have contempt for those dullards who can’t possibly understand why “Redskins” is the most horribly insulting name evah. They want to make their readers better people, to shape their worldview—and they just can’t understand why their readers are so damn obstinate.

And it’s not at all a new phenomenon. Only the technology has changed — the sophistication of today’s videogames, a media universe that allows for narrowcasted cult TV shows such as Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire or The Leftovers (Sonny links to hilariously PC reviews of the latter two shows in his article), and a platform that allows similarly narrowcasted films and documentaries to reach an audience such as Netflix. But a media that loathes its readers is old as Mencken. Sometimes, as this Washington Post employee did on C-Span two decades ago, they even drop the mask and freely admit “Yeah, I’m With the Media. Screw You:”

Related: As Glenn Reynolds notes, “The people who seek to ‘nudge’ us are also, statistically, far more likely to be greedy, power-hungry, dishonest sociopaths.”