I’m reading about “Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy” (Encounter, 10.26), a just-published book by Newsweek opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon.

It got my attention because roughly the same thing has been happening in the film industry for the last five or six years. I summarized the situation twice this year — on 9.9.21, and on 3.22.21.

Amazon synopsis: “Something is wrong with American journalism. Long before ‘fake news’ became the calling card of the right, Americans had lost faith in their news media. But lately, the feeling that something is off has become impossible to ignore.

“That’s because the majority of our mainstream news is no longer just liberal; it’s woke. Today’s newsrooms are propagating radical ideas that were fringe as recently as a decade ago, including ‘antiracism,’ intersectionality, open borders and critical race theory. How did this come to be?

“The moral panic around race, encouraged by today’s elite newsrooms, does little more than consolidate the power of liberal elites and protect their economic interests. And in abandoning the working class by creating a culture war around identity, our national media is undermining American democracy. ‘Bad News’ explains how this happened, why it happened, and the dangers posed by this development if it continues unchecked.”

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From HE’s “Increasingly Niche Tastes

In a recent “What I’m Hearing” column about the Motion Picture Academy’s plan to somehow arrest and even turn around the ratings plunge that has been increasing over the last five or six years, Matthew Belloni wrote that the ‘increasingly niche tastes of Academy members‘ are a principal reason why most people haven’t seen the films up for awards.

“Since ’16 or thereabouts, the film industry has increasingly come under the grip of aggressive progressives, otherwise known as wokesters, POCs, #MeToo-ers, LGBTQs, guilty liberals, kowtowing corporations. It was this influence that made last spring’s Steven Soderbergh Oscar telecast seem like such a suffocating experience.

“We all understand that the Soderbergh Oscars killed whatever was left of the old mystique. They made it clear that the Oscars had been transformed into a West Coast Tony awards thing — awards that reflected the mentality of an elite membership that had its own progressive game going on, and to hell with skillfully finessed movies for the politically neutral meatheads — i.e., films that reach out to people and reflect common undercurrents.

Sidenote: It’s heartening to note at least one common-touch film is Reinaldo Marcus Green‘s King Richard, due from Warner Bros./HBO Max on 11.19.

“The bottom line is that Hollywood became captive to the ‘increasingly niche taste’ crowd, a community that lives in its own progressive realm and is engaged in a campaign of social change, and this is why most of those who used to regard the Oscars as an annual event that mattered to some extent…this is why the vast majority of average Americans, who have lots of stuff to watch and who don’t necessarily share the values of the aggressive progessives, have basically said “fuck those people…they live on their own planet, and for the most part are focused on their own values and goals, which we don’t feel a burning need to align with, no offense.”