"These stories kept building, building, building in this undermedia. You can call it Fox News; you can call it Breitbart sites; you can call it the Drudge Report; you can call it whatever you like — but this undermedia builds up stories."
These are two quotes I found, from very cursory Googling and without venturing onto his site, of Andrew Breitbart, a right-wing blogger, using his favorite word, "undermedia." It would seem that it's been his favorite word for a while, but I comment on it now because I first heard it today, once again on the radio.
From the first quote, it might seem like he has a point. Blogs and other non-mainstream forms of media do have power, especially because people are getting their news more and more from the internet. Blogs often cover issues and provide information that the MSM just doesn't cover, or for which they insist on providing "balance."
Except then you look at the second quote, and you realize what a ridiculous concept is the "undermedia" as Breitbart conceives it/ Because, while he talks about Breitbart sites and the Drudge Report - sure, even the most popular blog is still a blog, and there are plenty of popular blogs with a liberal slant - he also uses, as an example of the Oppressed Non-Mainstream Media, Fox News. The network that has more viewers than all the other major American networks combined.
This is yet another example of what Fred Clark describes as the "Persecuted Hegemon" complex and what we here just tag with the "whine more" tag. (Fred uses it specifically for the Christian right wing, but I find it applies pretty well across the board.) Of course, Breitbart isn't facing actual persecution. He and his blogs don't face any political repression; indeed, the blogs get loads of visitors (far, far more than the blog you're reading right now) and Breitbart himself is a sought-after speaker.
But Breitbart calls himself part of the "undermedia." It's the phenomenon of simultaneously dominating discourse:
...while still claiming to be persecuted.
But of course Breitbart is persecuted, because other voices are speaking. The mere existence of other media - the inability of his media of choice to stifle all other media - means that his media of choice are the "undermedia." (I've covered this before: see "Country First.")
We should all be persecuted like Andrew Breitbart.