In no uncertain terms, we will long suffer the consequences of 2016. The decisions made on a global and national scale will surely affect us in the months and years to come. What we’ve realized this year is that the system is broken. That system, is our system of generating progress and maintaining it. Whatever system is supposed to exist that’s tasked with ensuring that society and culture moves forward, failed in 2016.
People blame government as if the American political system has ever been without flaws. Many of the breaks in that system were there from the beginning. This same political system started on slavery, has always just been a work in progress to become “more perfect”. It’s not that we, suddenly, must be reminded to monitor the corruption of government. We always knew that, didn’t we? How the system failed this year, is that it allowed frauds with no qualifications to become the face of us, as connected groups of people. It also revealed key weaknesses in the basic structure of our means of mass communication. The 4th estate of government was the biggest failure of 2016. It failed on almost every level from politics to entertainment culture, except in specialized pockets.
The 4th estate is the media. “The fourth estate is a term that positions the press (newspapers) as a fourth branch of government and one that is important to a functioning democracy (about.com).” The press, which now includes all forms of media down to the internet, is supposed to be the “watchdog” for the people. It’s supposed to protect the interests of the people above those of the players, politicians, or subjects of the game. It’s also supposed to protect the people’s interests above its own. In the past, the media served more as a guide, referee, and teacher when it was at its best. But negatively, it can also serve its own interests or the interests of people in power thereby rendering it useless.
From politics to hip-hop music, the media has been broken for a long time, and 2016 was the final breaking point. Because of the desire for ‘clicks’, ‘likes’, ‘shares’, ‘hits’ and internet significance, the media abandoned quality and became triggered by whatever seemed a ‘hot topic’ that minute. By giving significance to the actions of buffoons while pasting smears and nitpicks on qualified representatives from the ‘old school’, the media revealed a weakness. Part of the basis of their failure was the naivete of the so-called presenters. Without the knowledge and respect for their craft and a true understanding of the culture or society we live in, they focused instead on insignificant, unworthy individuals because it was interesting. 2016 is what happens when people choose style over substance.
Specifically, all of the news sources failed. All of the ones on cable, the internet, newspapers, blogs, podcasts etc. The result is that the most corrupt, unqualified, unvetted candidate was allowed to win only because he was given so much help by the media. The media flooded the masses with propaganda and misinformation to the point that they voted against their own best interests. The internet, new media and meme driven social media platforms were especially critical in spreading just enough propaganda to sway the votes of 1% of the voters. Some quote the number as 78,000 votes in three key states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin which would have changed the outcome entirely. That 1% of voters who made protest votes, or the similar number of people who decided to stay home, made all the difference. If the internet misinformation affected just that many people alone, it was too much.
The media is also responsible for the vacuum of talent in rap music entertainment. Bloggers and YouTubers and news aggregators have elevated the least worthy class of so-called artists to ever ghettoize the cover of the XXL Freshman edition. The idea that so-called mumble rap is considered part of the hip-hop genre is the fault and failure of those same commentators who allow it in the conversation.
Even the so-called Konscious Kommunity was repeatedly plagued by scandals from its most prominent leaders, none of whom correctly assessed the political climate of modern African-Americans they claimed to represent. If anything, they spoke out against voting altogether, unlike the 90% of African Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton from the primaries thru the general election. They failed to see the strategic positioning AA would have gained if the Democrats won, yet claim to still have an answer outside of political power. They, like the rest of the media, revealed that they don’t have the answers on how to make things better. Things have only gotten worse under the guidance of the modern media sources. From CNN, to MSNBC, to The Young Turks, to Thom Hartmann, to NPR, to Complex Magazine, to Rolling Stone, to Vlad TV, to DJ Akademiks, to Umar Johnson and Brother Polight, all posted failing grades by the end of 2016. They all failed to maintain progress and provide real solutions or guidance to their audiences. In the end, their audience made up that 1% of voters or millions of fans suckered into following questionably talented degenerates like Donald Trump or Desiigner. The media’s tactic of keeping people dumbed down and distracted has finally come full circle and 2016 is the proof.