Thursday, August 24, 2017

White Gen Zs choose "none of the above" as most reliable news source

Via Steve Sailer, some cute high school girls went into Howard University, a "historically black university" wearing MAGA gear. They were verbally and (mildly) physically assaulted for the trouble.

No apologies from the Trump girls were forthcoming. Instead, they fired back. Sure, their responses were of the DR3 variety ("[They] are the people who are racist and disrespectful"), but these girls are seventeen. They're parlaying the affair into minor social media celebrity status. Good for them.

With a bit more confidence each time I say it, the generation with its back against the wall may be the one that ends up delivering us all.  

Speaking of, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation's primary poll asked high school students which of eight listed news sources was "the most reliable". Additionally they could answer with "other", "none of the above", or leave the item blank ("no answer").

"None of the above" was the most commonly selected response among white high school students:


Rachel Maddow wept.

Among all Zs, CNN came in first (23%), followed closely by "none of the above" (21%).

Pessimistically, we could look at this glass as being three-quarters empty. 

I do not. One quarter of these kids already don't trust any of the major (television) news organizations, and the neutral wording of the "none of the above" response likely causes it to be under-selected. Were the option "mainstream news sources aren't reliable" or something similarly biting, the figure would be even higher. 

The survey didn't ask about print media, but no one under forty reads newspapers anymore anyway, and people who browse outlets like BuzzFeed don't trust them.

Keep in mind, too, that this survey was conducted several months before Trump launched a meme massacre against CNN, a brutalization to which CNN responded to by publicly threatening the Gen Zer who supplied Trump's material.

14 comments:

Feryl said...

Most people born in the 80's and earlier 90's had Boomer parents, and these families can remember gathering 'round the tube, the dinner table, the bible, etc. They were trained to defer to adults and authority in general; perhaps not to worship it, but at least respect it.

Quite a few late X-ers and Millennials are really souring on things right now, and it's probably because the promises offered by the 80's and 90's have been so broken by the last couple decades. Silents and Boomers talked a good game back then, reaped the gains of those decades, but all that moralizing and focusing on the family hasn't done shit to improve our foreign policy, national security, or economic policies.

Earlier X-ers were kids in the 70's, when adults weren't minding the store and encouraged kids to find their own way. They're used to stuff sucking (the 70's stunk, don't let anyone tell you otherwise). By the late 80's, Boomers re-oriented culture to devote more resources to protecting the family and shaming hedonistic adults (higher incarceration rates, war on drugs, war on media sex and/or violence, child abuse alarm, etc.). The effect was to make kids feel more optimistic and entitiled; they now feel like they got ripped off by older generations who let everyone down.

People born in the later 90's and 2000's mostly had X-er parents. Instead of having insistently imperious adults making them experience traditional rituals and moral systems during a time of economic security, as 80's/early 90's kids did under the Boomers, later born people have had tersely mercurial X-er parents in a time of hardship.

The kids of Boomers are still holding out hope (against their better judgement) that Boomer dominated institutions will finally get their shit together; the kids of X-ers are more accustomed to adults being cynical and weary, and probably don't see much reason to feel any sort of loyalty to institutions that they can't remember ever really working.

Sid said...

FOX News got 19%, which is good news too.

Tucker Carlson is about as close to the alt-right as anyone on TV is, and he's now FOX's main guy. Sean Hannity is more of a 20th century Reaganite conservative, but he quickly went with Trump in the election. Megyn Kelly is gone. Trump publicly praised FOX and Friends in Phoenix.

FOX's coverage has been, well, fair and balanced: https://i1.wp.com/shorensteincenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Figure-6-NEW-web.png?resize=700%2C440&ssl=1

From: https://shorensteincenter.org/news-coverage-donald-trumps-first-100-days/

FOX News is far from perfect, but Trump has stated they're fair to him, which he never says of other TV news sources.

Issac said...

Alternative Title: Over half of Gen Z still consider a progressive propaganda outlet their "most reliable news source."

Random Dude on the Internet said...

> Alternative Title: Over half of Gen Z still consider a progressive propaganda outlet their "most reliable news source."

Not too many conservative sources out there that have mainstream recognition. I don't count Fox News as conservative. When you have a dangerhair Bernie Bro invited as a guest to ask a question to stop Donald Trump (the rally he evaded in Iowa in January 2016), you lost your conservative credentials. I'll give you Carlson and kind of Hannity but that's two hours out of 24.

Duke Norfolk said...

Maybe the apparent error in Strauss/Howe's thesis that it would be Millennials who would be the next greatest gen was induced by the distortion of time from the central banks' ever-increasing inflation of the money supply that has extended this boom for sooooo long. Put another way: The Millennials were made into rabbits instead of wolves (i.e. r/K) by the seemingly endless govt resources that was only made possible by modern central banking.

Glen Filthie said...

I'm with you, AE. In a few short years, those kids are going out into the real world where pretty lies and fake news dies - and actions have consequences, for you and for others. Look for that 'none of the above' sample group to double in size in the next three to five years. Maybe I am naïve but this may just force some honesty back into the media too. Right now they are reduced to trolling their own shrinking readerships and they aren't even doing that well.

Feryl said...

"Maybe the apparent error in Strauss/Howe's thesis"

I still think it's right; it's just a matter of how circumstances and leaders play out. A crisis era require effective leadership, and in it's absence no heroic generation comes of age during the dawn of a new and better society. The Civil War was a fiasco that demoralized everyone, and the Boomer-type generation that led the way at that time screwed up so bad that the younger generation's trajectory went way off course. BTW, everyone at that time had a distaste for blacks (even Lincoln), yet the desire for cheap labor was such that we couldn't ship the damn blacks back to Africa. And we've payed for this folly ever since.

The crisis era that began under Obama has the usual markings of this type of era (class conflict, regional conflict, race conflict, foreign conflict, etc.). These things happen; what's key is that elders find a way out.

One thing Strauss and Howe were off the mark about is how they ignored striving. Crisis periods that happen during high striving periods are terrible. How can we reach mutually satisfying goals when everyone is trying to one-up each other? Facial hair is a sign of elite warfare. During WW2, a low striving time, facial hair was out of fashion. In the Civil war era, it was in fashion, likewise for the present period.

High striving periods are grotesquely ostentatious, with people acting and looking like fools. When so many are competing to be the best (or the hottest, or smartest, or whatever), it's impossible to expect the kind of cohesion and camaraderie that's needed to overcome great challenges. So many Leftists and cucks right now act repulsed at the the thought of fighting on behalf of many of their fellow Americans. They wouldn't deign to do such a thing, cuz the deplorables and all that.

Corvinus said...

"I do not. One quarter of these kids already don't trust any of the major (television) news organizations, and the neutral wording of the "none of the above" response likely causes it to be under-selected. Were the option "mainstream news sources aren't reliable" or something similarly biting, the figure would almost certainly be even higher."

Studies have shown that when people's political beliefs are challenged, their brains become active in areas that govern personal identity and emotional responses to threats. Add the "Fake News" meme to the daily lives of teenagers, who we also know through brain research are in the process of developing complex cognitive skills, and the recipe is ripe for mass ignorance.

News today is driven by a desired narrative, moreso than in decades past. You have the left and the right who craft a story based on facts, with each side serving as a political evangelical to promote their interpretation. HOWEVER, there are truths found here. Unfortunately, large segments of our society has been conditioned by social media “sensations”, reality television “stars”, and ratings driven media conglomerates to reject evidence that challenges their beliefs. They do it instinctively when confronted with attitude-inconsistent information. When someone attempts to inform them of their misconceptions, rather than take it under advisement, it “backfires”, which in effect makes them less skeptical of what they believe in, since obviously the other side is rife with their own false impressions. Thus, one continues to see their own position as “true and proper”. Of course, the argument stems from what is and what is not a misconception, whether it be “race realism” or “white privilege”, which ends up being a feedback loop.

For example, consider this exchange on 60 Minutes.

Cernovich--"How do you know Hillary had pneumonia?"
Pelley--"The campaign said so."
Cernovich--”Why do you believe in the campaign?”

On one hand, it is absolutely legitimate for Cernovich to question Pelley on why he is certain about Hillary’s medical problem. Pelley is taking her word at face value. On the other hand, Cernovich is ASSUMING that he knows for sure her health issues, and that any answer to the contrary automatically leads to his desired conclusion--the media is covering something up.

Imagine if Pelley responded “Two independent doctors confirmed she has pneumonia”. Cervonich could have replied, and it is within the realm of possibility given his personality, “Well, they are in her hip pocket. She paid for their diagnosis. See, I do not have to prove that she suffers from seizures, you have to show she does not suffer from seizures”. Wayne Gale, the reporter in Natural Born Killers (1994) played by Robert Downey, Jr. demonstrates how modern journalism has evolved. The playbook implemented by Cernovich (and Keith Olbermann) pay homage to his tactics.

It is virtually impossible to argue with those people who cling on this “Fake New” or “media lies” meme. Any fact you bring as an argument, they immediately attack the SOURCE, rather than the substance. Thus, it is easy to deny there is ANY evidence at all. This phenomenon has been brewing for a long time, and it has reached a critical mass at our point in world history. Unfortunately, this leads more people to become ignorant by facilitating echo chambers and confirmation bias. Rather than yell at the top of one’s lungs “Fake News” when they read a mainstream or alternative media story, and immediately discount everything, people ought look CRITICALLY at the facts, consider any bias, read other sources on the issue, and then draw their own conclusions.

The next step is find out WHY those teenagers chose "None Of The Above" in light of this research.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161223115757.htm

Audacious Epigone said...

Feryl,

Right, those of us born in the first half of the 80s are the last cohort who have a shared experience of church, Sunday school, and biblical familiarity.

The connection between facial hair and striving is slap-on-forehead obvious (but I hadn't consciously recognized it).

Sid,

Trump really has been the sober voice of reason over the last couple of weeks--"fair to him" is pretty damned accurate based on that graphic.

Issac,

No way we'd get a result like that a generation ago. Ten percent is enough to drive culture. With one-in-four of a person's peers defaulting to an assumption that anything from the major media is likely #FakeNews, the dinosaurs are on their way to extinction.

Duke,

Do you see default on large parts of the national debt in the future?

Glen,

Agreed. The alternative media structure is so variegated and wide-ranging now that distrust of legacy sources doesn't leave a person stranded in an informational wasteland. The distrust will build on itself.

Corvinus,

The echo-chambers aren't going away. The legacy media was largely a leftist echo chamber for decades. Alternatives like Rush Limbaugh and Fox News--who seem so antiquated to me now--sprung up in the nineties and oughts, but the irreversible trend towards echo-chambers really got going when media being interactive with the rise of the internet. Deplatforming is only going to accelerate this trend. Twitter actually was an intellectually diverse space through the 2016 election, but that's changing now as the organization shuts down dissident accounts.

More straightforwardly, a reason they choose "none of the above" is because the legacy media gets a lot of huge things embarrassingly wrong. Hands up don't shoot, Hillary doesn't have any serious health issues, nothing to see here with Wikileaks--these are all things I've had Zers bring up to me that have made lasting impressions. There's a huge premium on rapidity now. To try and compete with the countless online news-y outlets, the legacy media feels compelled to break stories ASAP. That combined with a level of scrutiny of what they report that is unprecedented in human history means they get a lot of stuff wrong. They'd get a lot of it wrong even if they were making a good faith effort to get it right, which they often are not.

tsnamm said...

The problem is they were "Hispanic" teenagers. They get their "news" from Univision or Telemundo, not from the gringos...

Feryl said...

ATTWEEK (did R attend church or any kind of religious event recently?) was only asked in 1996.
Didn't control for race or gender
41% of Silents (1926-45)

35% of Boomers (1946-1965) said yes

27% of X-ers (1966-1985) said yes.

Too bad this wasn't asked in later years, it would be easier to track how religious parents are. 1996 was before a lot of X-ers had kids. Also, the 90's saw a gradual decline in religiosity, though it seems to me that it was the 2000's when a lot of Boomers drifted away (keeping in mind that Boomers were less active church goers than previous generations). Given how Boomers have weakened institutions, perhaps we'd be better off looking at beliefs rather than church attendance. After all, I'm pretty sure that in the mid 90's more than 35% of Boomer parents were reading the bible to their kids. BTW. the CHURCHMEM variable was only asked in 1988, and that pertained to being a church member.

RELPERSN R CONSIDER SELF A RELIGIOUS PERSON (asked from 1998-2016)

Whites and males only:
Silents - 63% moderately to very religious
Boomers - 53% moderate to very religious
X-ers - 41% moderate to very religious

With religious questions, looking at cohorts is more important than what all people say in a given year, since X-ers and Millennials are much less overtly religious than previous generations, so no duh people got less religious after the 80's. Older generations don't understand why, but maybe it's because younger generations got tired of seeing Silents and Boomers being preachy and hypocritical assholes. The culture wars of the 80's and 90's were primarily an arena for older generations, who were too busy tsk tsking to notice that our long-term economic and demographic security was under attack.

Audacious Epigone said...

Tsnamm,

Whites in this context are non-Hispanic. Unless I specify otherwise, that is always the case on this blog, though I should've pointed out as much.

Feryl,

Have you checked out ATTEND? I use it regularly because it's always asked about.

Feryl said...

"The connection between facial hair and striving is slap-on-forehead obvious (but I hadn't consciously recognized it)."

Camaraderie vs one-upmanship is key. Even in the mid-century, many professors had beards since academia is always ruthlessly competitive and academic elites spend a lot of time talking down to subordinates to whom they don't always respect. Where else does that kind of thing happen? Movie sets. As soon as competition began to heat up in the 70's, most directors grew beards; as a matter of fact, I don't recall ever seeing George Lucas or Brian De Palma clean-shaven. Spielberg was usually clean-shaven in the 70's and at least some of the 80's but by the 90's he started to copy his buddy George Lucas.

Counter examples? The military and police strongly prohibit full beards, and even to this day many chiefs are clean-shaven (though beginning in the 70's mustaches became more acceptable among all police). These are institutions driven by the ethos of instilling respect and camaraderie among all levels, where petty bitchiness and me-first narcissism is looked down on for hurting the collective morale of the team. Sergeants can be hard on the grunts, but it's intended to bond everyone together; it's not about supercilious elites getting off on bullying peons.

Rock groups, even in the 70's, often had at least 1-2 members who were clean-shaven, and by the 80's virtually nobody had beards anymore. Interestingly, the most masculine groups (hard rock/heavy metal) were more clean shaven. Deep Purple were clean-shaven, Black Sabbath had a couple mustaches at times but no beards, Judas Priest had a bearded bass player but were otherwise clean-shaven, Iron Maiden were clean-shaven, Metallica was mostly clean-shaven in the 80's. AC-DC were always clean-shaven. Hair metal bands were about as clean-shaven as you can get. Being in a rock group requires a lot of camaraderie, and you'd expect the higher-T bands to expect more loyalty and shared in-group sacrifice. Also, macho bands were more likely to have an attitude of us and our fans-against-the-mainstream world.

Feryl said...

I Dunno how I missed attend.