A Corrupt Bargain

Rachel Maddow speaks at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on October 16, 2017 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)

Conservative media has flourished in the belief that the audience is always right, especially when the audience is obviously wrong.

That conviction has made a lot of people in the industry rich. As well as a few outside of it.

But the same is true of all partisan media, if perhaps not as true as it is of the crass propaganda preferred by the Republican base. If you cater to a left-wing clientele, you know that your audience’s desire for the end of Donald Trump’s political career is ravenous and insatiable. Which gives you, the ambitious broadcaster, a strong incentive to feed it.

Even if what you’re feeding it is garbage.

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