There's something that's been troubling me for a while. The proponents of alternative media have been pimping it up as the home for the kind of debate that the mainstream media wishes to suppress, yet for roundabout the past year, much of the discussion has been about other content creators. The past year has been a mountain of drama, peaking with the Kraut and Tea doxing scandal that basically caused the death of the skeptic community (or at the very least the utter tarnishing of its credibility). Interestingly enough, the fall of Kraut and the skeptics during the winter has coincided with the new found success of Andywarski and Tonka Saw, who you probably know as the two main people behind the odious new craze of Internet bloodsports.
What is it? It's basically just drama streams in which internet personalities shout at each over for a few hours (if you actually want to subject yourself to them, Tonka Saw's streams can last for in excess of five hours). Why is it so odious? Well, partly because bloodsports streams are presented as debates, but they're really just the alt-media's bloated answer to shows like The Jerry Springer Show, Maury, or the Jeremy Kyle Show. It's the alt-media's very own trash TV. There's no real debate involved, or if there is it certainly isn't structured very well.
To me it's just brainless entertainment for a brainless audience, just as Jeremy Kyle remains, and yet currently it's the hottest fad on the Internet, and sadly most of the critics are people who can't keep up, people like Jeff Holliday, Mundane Matt and Mouthy Buddha, all terribly antiquated skeptic almuni who are so bad at criticising bloodsports that they have to break out the "toxic" card. Really the best criticism of bloodsports you need is that it's a hollow, passing fad that will eventually die out, because people generally have better things to do in real life than watch four-hour drama streams. If you want a good criticism of bloodsports, Prince of Queens made a good video on the topic not too long ago, and I suggest you watch it (I'll display the video at the end of the post). In the end, the bloodsports craze only benefits two groups of people - the alt-right (who seem to have a talent for making fools out of skeptic community opponents, whether they have the superior argument or not, simply by enraging them), and the people promoting bloodsports, including Jean-Francois Gariépy (who, let's be honest, is about as credible as an article from the National Enquirer), whose channel also exploded in growth as a result of the bloodsports craze, and for some reason is always on Andy Warski's show.
On a more serious note, if this is supposed to be the way debates are supposed to be conducted in the alt-media now, then it's a sure sign that something is wrong. It's a sign that the "alternative media" is slowly turning into simply a competing variant of the mainstream media that just wants its slice of the culture industry. Come to think of it, this is something I should have noticed earlier, because the alt-media certainly has its problems.
For one, there's the trend of alternative social media websites (such as Gab, Minds and others) that profess to offer total free speech, but in the end renege on that principal, either due to pressure from external forces (in Gab's case), or because of the personal biases of the owners (as shown by the Minds-chan drama that happened back in January), and then there's Vidme which had a hate speech policy similar to YouTube (though far less draconian). Just as in the mainstream media we have outlets that promise on one thing and don't exactly appear to be delivering, leading some to suspect that they were being swindled, and really, what did you expect? They're smaller social media platforms that are desperate to compete with the big giants in some way, and found a golden opportunity to grow their platforms in Facebook, YouTube and Twitter's draconian censorship tactics.
Which leads me to another topic, the supposed honesty of alt-media personalities, or at least the larger ones. Of course, many are much more honest than the mainstream media, but can you totally trust them? After all, they have in the past been open to shilling. Remember when various YouTube personalities included Armoured Skeptic, Black Pigeon Speaks and TJ Kirk were trying to convince us all to move to Candid, and how Candid turned out to be a giant scam? In retrospect, that should have been the first warning sign that something isn't quite right. Meanwhile Dave Cullen had spent much of his time doing advertising for Gab, Minds (and he shilled hard for Minds) and the late Vidme, among other platforms. Now that I think about it, there have been plenty of alternative media personalities who shill alt-media sites but then barely use them unless they get kicked out of the mainstream sites.
Of course shilling is one thing. We all need to make money somehow, but if there's one thing the alt-media and the mainstream media have in common, it's rampant sensationalism, except while the MSM yammers on about how everything that's not mainstream is part of the alt-right, various sections of the alt-media have a weird thing about anything minor left-wing or globalist initiative being part of some Marxist conspiracy (keep in mind that the alternative media is heavily dominated by the right).
In this regard, Sargon of Akkad is incredibly guilty of misrepresenting Marxism, and he has done this deliberately throughout the past year (e.g. video titles like "Is the BBC Run by Communists" and "Iceland's Gender Communists"). He usually conflates the bourgeois militant progressives of Antifa with communism, using them to portray communism as this evil force that wishes to usurp the West, by force if necessary ("Weimar America" is perhaps the most blatant example), and he does it so often that it can't be attributed to ignorance. He knows what he's talking about. He is the alt-media equivalent of a mainstream media talking head. In fact, his methodology is a lot like the MSM from a few decades ago when it was more convincing. Dave Cullen does this too, every chance he gets when it comes to feminism, which he thinks is communist despite its utter detachment from Marxism.
Where am I going with this? Well, I think at some point the alternative media will turn into just another version of the mainstream media, if it isn't already undergoing this process as we speak. The sites are getting bigger, the personalities (and their egos) are getting bigger, and in general you will see more and more charlatans (like Gonzalo Lira and Jean-Francois Gariépy) rise to stardom, with their critics being dismissed and slandered as compulsive liars by their ardent fans, and barely anyone challenges it in the alt-media because hey, "at least it's not the MSM." Seriously, if the mainstream media hadn't tried to censor the alternative media, it wouldn't have grown in the way that it has, and it would have been a lot harder for certain actors in our community to convince people that they should trust them and everyone else is lying.
Of course, I don't think that the internet bloodsports craze will last very long, but in its short lifespan it will have revealed how similar to the mainstream media is starting to become, with unscrupulous personalities willing to do anything to make a fast buck, going so far as to further tarnish the state of political debate on YouTube. I would be surprised if the state of alternative media doesn't at some point have its own equivalent of reality TV. They already have dishonest talking heads, sensationalist tendencies, opportunistic shills, and debate streams that often amount to little more than mudslinging and dogfights, so I don't see why they wouldn't take that step.
For all the reasons I outlined, I think it's inevitable that the alternative media will eventually become like the mainstream media, if not a second mainstream media. After all, you can only be edgy and alternative for so long before eventually you start becoming part of the normal culture. Eventually the alt-media will no longer be controversial, rather part of the mainstream, and I think it might happen faster than you might expect.
And now, as I promised, the Prince of Queens video I mentioned earlier.