Stuff You Should Consume - Dec 19, 2022
Welcome to this week’s edition of “Stuff You Should Consume,”— a weekly compilation of interesting political content for Message Box readers.
“Elon Musk Is a Far-Right Activist” by Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic
Currently, Musk’s politics are a subject of debate in the press. On Saturday, The New York Times’ Jeremy W. Peters attempted to offer a nuanced portrait of the Twitter owner’s ideologies, arguing that Musk “continues to defy easy political categorization.” But Peters’ laundry list of Musk’s recent lib-trolling and “woke” scolding—such as Musk’s November recommendation to his millions of followers to vote Republican—undermines the very thesis of the article. The nuance Peters is looking for does not exist: Musk’s actions and associations make a clear case that he is a right-wing reactionary.
“QAnon, adrift after Trump’s defeat, finds new life in Elon Musk’s Twitter” by Drew Harwell, Washington Post
Since launching his $44 billion takeover of the company, Musk has become so popular in QAnon circles that some regard him, not Trump, as the savior-like figure they had been waiting on to usher in “the Storm,” a quasi-biblical moment in which the cabal that runs the American government, media, technology industry and education system would be vanquished through public executions.
“Midterms Memes and the Future of Digital Messaging” (Q&A with a member of the Fetterman digital team) by Hannah Docter-Loeb, Slate
How do you think the presidential election 2024 will be different?
The midterms have really shown there was not a red wave. There is still a lot of momentum from Democrats from the left. There was a historic amount of young voter turnout, and everyone seems shocked about that. I’m hoping that people won’t act shocked that young people want a say in their future and that they will continue to invest in messaging to them and meeting them where they’re at and giving them the resources and information and support to continue to be activated and a part of this very important process.
Social media isn’t going away. Will the platforms be the same in two years? I don’t know. I’m sure there will be updates, things that we don’t like about it, things that shift. I also don’t think people’s use of digital media to get their information and to be entertained will go away.
There also needs to be a continued effort in making sure that we’re fighting against things like misinformation, and there needs to be ethics and oversight, and intention behind what ads are allowed to be played.
“A Deeper look at Hispanic Voters in the Midterm Elections” by Navigator Research
“Can Nashville Be Hollywood for Conservatives?” by Joseph Bernstein, New York Times
The Daily Wire has 5.4 million followers across its official TikTok accounts and those belonging to its stars, according to the company, and 17 million followers across the same Instagram accounts. It “really gets how media works in the era of social media,” said Ms. Drennen, resulting in “an alternative reality media universe for conservatives.” The company, which is privately held, said it had $100 million in revenue in 2021. According to a spokesperson, it is on track to take in twice that in 2022.
Its streaming service, DailyWire+, has more than one million paid subscribers, according to data the company showed The New York Times. Each pays $12 to $20 per month. That’s a drop in the bucket compared with Netflix (223 million) and Hulu (47.2 million), but it represents 65 percent of the company’s revenue, according to the company’s C.F.O., Cyprien Sarteau.