We need to have us a discussion about barriers to entry.
The B-school concept is simple enough: One of the reasons that there are not 500 automakers in the USA is because of barriers to entry. Said barriers are the start-up obstacles that any new competitor must overcome in a world of crony-capitalism. Old-guard players will oftentimes erect barriers specifically to prevent competition.
Take the auto industry (please!). Here it’s not just a matter of having a great design, or the CAPEX to buy the expensive robotics to make a factory that can be price-competitive on the labor front. No, there are other barriers, too. Things like it helps to have a dealer network and then the D.O.T. crash tests…it all takes money. I have no small admiration for outfits like Tesla for getting past most of the hurdles but remember, they had to fight dealer laws in several states which very (anti-competitively) prevented them from going “consumer-direct” – such is the nature of cronyism.
Which helps understand the Trump story such as it continues to evolve?
Well, two items of history will explain it all, once you understand barriers to entry.
Back when I was News Directoring in Seattle, there were really only a few outlets for “news” at the time. You had the three network affiliates, the PBS station, and two radio newsers at the time (KIRO and briefly KTW). There was close tie-ins between the TVs and the AM high news content stations (KIRO, KOMO, KING) because of the efficiency of sharing some news resources.
The historical note? In the 1972 Nixon-McGovern contest, a lot of us “locals” would “ride the press bus” and we’d learn from great journos like David Garcia who I remember chatting with at some length as one of the candidates stopped in Seattle. Garcia was doing national radio reporting. Awesome fellow.
Thing is, when all was said and done, the “news game” back then was essentially a three-network deal, or three and a half if you tossed in PBS.
Bottom line: When new Presidents came into office in the “old days” there was usually about a 100-day “holiday” while the national media sort of laid-off criticism while the new President figured out what to do.
Besides, there was plenty of other news going on in ’72. The Vietnam War was still hot, there was the Spiro Agnew scandal, and drugs were just beginning to really “light up” so to speak.
Went you looked at supply of news and capacity of the news channels it wasn’t a bad mixture.
One other little footnote: Broadcasters were tightly regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. Each radio and television outlet had to demonstrate through programming that it had continued to service “The public need, interests, and concerns….”
We did this through a process. Broadcasters would hold regular community ascertainment meetings with officialdom and community activists. We would diligently question then, write down their beefs and then come up with some public service and public affairs programming to make sure we were doing our jobs of being responsive.
Nationally, only a few stations ever really lost their licenses over responsive programming – in fact I can’t remember a single one. But there were attempts.
Now fast forward to this morning to sort of put this into context.
CNN, by the way, along with the other cable newsers, didn’t come along until summer of 1980, by the way. So the “press to fill minutes” just wasn’t there. ENG (electronic news gathering) was new, too, so live from the field was not on phones yet, lol.
It was much the same in the old newspapering business, too. The barriers to entry (high cost of distribution, printing equipment, and so on) is what led to a whole series of joint operating agreements between newspapers around the country including the Seattle Times and the Post Intelligencer in Seattle for a while.
Now let’s look at how bloated, under-skilled, and self-absorbed the modern media has become.
You have the same three networks as when Nixon and McGovern were arguing The War. But now you have all the cable operators, as well. At least a dozen, but you already know the big ones: CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, and on down that list.
What’s more, there is a whole pallet of online news organizations, too. And let’s not leave our the foreign news sources that historically were never available in America except to those of us with shortwave receivers. Today you can grab Sky News, the NK government party line, ditto from Iran, not to mention all the foreign aligned outfits like Al Jazeera and Russia Today/RT.
As if that’s not enough of a wolf pack sniffing endlessly and tirelessly 24-7, let’s not forget the massive numbers of political sites like RealClearPolitics, and National Review, and so forth.
Now toss in the “movements” which are funded by partisans (talking George Soros-types here) and that brings us to MoveOn.org and at the other end of the spectrum outfits like Judicial Watch. And yes, organizations with causes, like the Southern Poverty Law Center have a strong web presence, too.
So that’s what has changed and why it seems the media missed the election.
The good news is, they haven’t. But there is simply so much capacity in terms of “news minutes to fill” (and remember, news is just the space to be filled between the paid ads, lol) that we have a kind of rising tide of dissent apparent in the media. So where a President used to need only say something once to the NY Times or the WaPo to “make a public impression” in today’s world there are so many outlets that a President says things three to 100 times and any variances are leaped on as inconsistencies and repetition is the President-elect beating a dead horse.
But is it?
So this morning, many of the headlines that pass for news are more progress and process than really meaningful items. A sampling to you can feel informed yet at the same time appreciate the need to fill up the hopper of the news-money machine because (repeat after me) Everything’s a Business Model….
Here’s Gigi Hadid’s Impression of Melania Trump… like we give a hoot. But this is in Time…which goes to my point about communication channel capacity.
Why a Trump trade war with China could be a disaster for the US is scary – and scary sells papers or pops eyeballs which can be monetized.
And yes, the sore losers are still around too and they make great filler as “NOT BITING HIS TONGUE Obama says he’ll speak out if Trump’s policies put US ideals at risk.”
So the second-guessing of Trump is the new National Game to fill space. “Donald Trump Says ‘Incredible People’ Are Joining His Team Soon.” (Oddly, I seem to have been overlooked…hmmm…)
Meantime, the tactics of the Left are still with us, supporting the Great Divide in America. See “The Interpreter: ‘White Nationalism,’ Explained.”
Here I could have sworn that the NY Times had just re-dedicated itself to “Honest journalism” but I must be mistaken. To quote from the article:
“So, like white supremacy, white nationalism places the interests of white people over those of other racial groups.”
So Black Lives Matter isn’t racist, but Bannon is? Where did absolute equality go? Black supremacy seem fine but a corresponding….oh dear, this is why vodka makes sense.
Like I said, sells papers. And plenty of democrats to buy ‘em in the region that put HRC in the Senate. I didn’t say they were right or bright, just that there’s a lot of ‘em.
As we begin moving toward the Biggest Dinner of the Year Thursday, a key point to remember is that as business models prove, even the Turkey has competition nowadays…and plenty of it.
As the mainstream of the world continues the soft global revolution against top-down Elites, we notice this: “Pope grants Catholic priests right to forgive abortion”
Marketing or something else?
What I’m not clear on is whether this is the Pope moving the Church Business Model to retain income, or whether situational ethics is still in full bloom? I’d need a wholly see of their P&L to figure it out, I suppose.
A Week to be Cautious
The report that a San Antonio Police Officer Executed While Writing Traffic Ticket — Suspect/ Black Man in Black Car…has us worried that the revolution against Elites is being orchestrated by the Bolsheviks to take down Law and Order.
If you tell people long enough that they are being targeted, at some point they’ll start to believe it and the blow-back will be on.
That said, we also have the OTHER terrorist problem to worry about this week, especially Friday and Saturday which are the big retail – and risk times – according to reports circulating in non-traditional media.
A Calm Trading Day?
The futures were flat to up 40 points, but it’s normal to have a pre-Holiday pop to the upside.
Chicago National Activity Index is out:
“The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) increased to –0.08 in October from –0.23 in September. All four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from September, but all four categories again made nonpositive contributions to the index in October.
We’ll just keep half an eye on the market, since we’re still trying to get this place whipped into shape for guests…
Not exactly runaway growth, is it?
Have a great Monday, especially if you’ve wangled this into a three-day work-week.