Americans, we love our news. We love consuming media. From TV to radio, to podcasting, to social media, we consume media like a chubby fat kid at a Golden Corral Buffet shoving hotdogs into the middle of an old-fashioned American apple pie.
We call this “have it your way” media. You are probably watching this show while cruising social media right now. Hotdogs meet apple pie. I am always trying to get to the bottom of our new modern news and journalism culture. My wife told me she has zero trust in the media and that she was forced to go into the underground world of podcasting to get information that was accurate. And this experience is not just limited to my wife. Our network gets millions of podcast downloads because of this same distrust in mainstream media, which is why I am sure many of you tune into CrossPolitic. Mainstream media has opened the door big time for us. Thank you for the assist, mainstream media.
Our constitution enshrined freedom of speech and freedom of the press into law, which is unprecedented for a nation to do, and of course, I’m glad for this, but with great freedom comes great responsibility.
We have to be a thinking, discerning people as we consume content. We have to ask who is feeding us. Who is cooking the food at the Golden Corral? I bet if you ask most journalists, they will claim to be some sort of centrist politically and that they strive to be objective journalists. Yada yada yada.
According to the Federalist:
A “1982 survey from the State University of California at Los Angeles which polled 1,000 journalists across 50 daily newspapers found that only 25 percent of those interviewed voted for then-President Ronald Reagan.”1
More than a decade later, a 1995 joint study from the University of Colorado’s Media Studies Center and Cornell University’s Roper Center surveyed “Washington-based bureau chiefs and congressional correspondents” and found that 89 percent voted for Bill Clinton in 1992. “Only 7 percent reported voting for George H.W. Bush, and 2 percent for Ross Perot. Half identified as Democrats, and only 4 percent Republican.”
Back in the 70s, “Republicans made up 25.7% of all journalists. Democrats were 35.5%, and independents were 32.5%. Some 6.3% of responses were ‘other.’By 2014, the year of the last survey, the share of journalists identifying as Republican had shrunk to 7.1%, an 18.6 percentage point drop… Democrats today outnumber Republicans today by four to one.”2
The Center for Public Integrity identified 430 individuals working in journalism who made political donations between January 2015 and August 2016. 96 percent of those journalists contributed to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and only 4 percent donated to Trump’s campaign.3
I have only been talking about liberal vs. conservative…What about Christian journalists? That is a hard nut to crack but a 2007 Pew study found that “8 percent of journalists at national publications and 14 percent of those at local publications reported attending worship services weekly”. Those numbers are just breaking down orthodox Christianity, let alone the difference in religious affiliation.
The condition of the cooks in the kitchen is not good. We are being served by cooks who don’t know the difference between right and wrong, what is true and good, and in addition to that, most of them think you are racist, sexist, and homophob. They want you fired, canceled, and run out of town.
But I think Christians have not understood the strategic value of media and how it could be used for driving narratives, creating culture, and disciplining the nations. Universal, Amazon, Netflix, and Disney will invest billions of dollars into entertainment in this year alone. CNN recently invested $300M into the failed launch of CNN+, with $700M more in the pipeline ready to be spent on that project, and then you have Spotify’s contract with Joe Rogan estimated at around $100M… Where are the Christians at in all this? The best we can do is fund a $3M Kirk Cameron movie, and even then all of those profits go to Sony.
The media presents Christians with a huge opportunity and we are dropping the ball. You drop one podcast and the whole world can listen to it. An incredible networking tool. This is the vision of the Fight Laugh Feast Network, and the goal is to create Christ-centered content for the whole family, from cooking shows to hunting shows, to sports coverage, and our continued growth in news and media with shows like CrossPolitic. We have staked our territory in the US, and we are in the process of building out our podcast network in Canada, and hopefully soon in the UK and beyond. More Christians need to be engaged at all levels in media, we should not abandon this industry but lean into it, take it over, and use it for God’s glory.