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“Does the Alternative Media Still Exist?” – with Graham Mehl

 -- Published: Thursday, 26 May 2016 | Print  | Disqus 

My Two Cents

By Andy Sutton


Going in, we readily admit this is likely not to be a popular read with many folks. However, to adapt the famous saying of Patrick Henry, the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots. We use the saying purely in a metaphorical fashion in this instance. In our article, you can substitute the patriot’s blood with the carcasses of those who at first championed liberty, but now have become what they most despised. History is replete with examples of men both big and small of championing a cause only to end up right back where they started – only this time they’re looking at themselves in the mirror.


A mouthful, yes. Perhaps a lot to digest? Of course. But impossible? Not a chance – it has already been done by those of you in this generation who plunged the ratings of the alphabet soup networks into the toilet – very deservedly.


For a minute lets talk about what’s at stake, then we’ll come back to the point of the message and hopefully it hits home.


We are not engaged in a simple struggle for bragging rights for a season. It is not a crosstown rivalry, nor even an interstate rivalry. It’s not the Yankees vs. the Dodgers, the Steelers vs. the Cowboys or even the USA vs. the USSR in that magical moment back in 1980 in Lake Placid, NY. We aren’t engaged in just a battle of ideas or even just about implementation of those ideas by force.


Make no mistake about it, folks, we are in the battle of all time. For all time. For everything. Against an organized foe who will stop at nothing to skew the odds in its favor. This foe will change laws, making the once illegal legal, the once immoral moral, and the once unfathomable an everyday occurrence. If you’re reading this, you’re more than likely a student of history and you know exactly what we are talking about here and you know this is true.


Roughly 15 years ago, with the popularization of the Internet, the first American media revolution began. With access to large audiences without the hefty publication expenses, little voices suddenly became big ones. Make no mistake, DARPA had many uses in mind when it created the Internet (No Mr. Gore, it wasn’t you) so many decades ago. It was more than just a means for otherwise isolated military installations to communicate. The Internet was to revolutionize American living and it has. Many of you are reading this article on a device that is connected 24/7 to the information superhighway and the Internet has changed the way we live, do business, and even think.


The revolution we speak of was unintended, but in all likelihood, a foreseen consequence of the popularization of the Internet. The establishment that plots constantly for the hearts, wallets and minds of the word knew this would happen. And in typical establishment fashion, rather than quash it, the establishment co-opted it and made it their own. This took time, of course, and in the meantime many gained a foothold and their messages resonated with a global population that was, for the first time in decades, dared to think. From day one, these pioneers were targeted by the establishment. The usual methods of marginalization, labeling and co-opting were deployed in full force, much like the CoIntelPro operations of yesteryear. It is this last bit that we take issue with. Being labeled and marginalized are generally unavoidable. The pioneer/patriot can’t do much about this. If you’re going to challenge the status quo, you’re going to make a bunch of people really mad. That’s just how it is.


No, the bone we pick is with the co-opting that we along with many others have been noticing more and more, especially over the last year. Readers have brought it up and we’ve been discussing it amongst ourselves as well. We have noticed that many of the ‘big names’ in the alternative media are doing all the same things as their mainstream counterparts. They’re fighting for sponsor dollars, selling products and advertising, and when you do that, well, you need to keep those people happy. Even alternative media sponsors have agendas they want pushed too. After all, these people are running businesses that sell products and those products only sell under certain conditions just like any other product.


But like our country, the movement has gone astray; this is why the Founders understood the need for constant refreshing. The media revolution is no different. A little shakeup now and then never hurt anyone. Or would it? Many of these folks have made their crusade into how they make their living and again, we are not questioning anyone’s patriotism. We don’t know most of these folks personally; we’re merely making observations. Chief among those observations is that the movement has stalled. The alternative media isn’t forging into new areas. It is the same tired stuff week after week it seems. And what is more disturbing is that we are noticing a lot of really smart folks getting locked out of the alternative ‘establishment’ and silenced – this is precisely why the revolution started to begin with. We’ve become what we despise. Andy started writing in 2006, still somewhat early in the game. Graham has never written alone, but has piggybacked with various individuals since 2003. Neither of us had a difficult time getting exposure.


The group back then, at least on the economic side, was fairly small and close-knit. There were three groups – people looking only to put out a message, people putting out a message in the hopes of having it resonate with potential clientele – as was the the case with Andy – and people who were selling a message. The same structure pretty much exists today except that the latter group has become almost monopolistic in its presence and domination.


Do they have the best information? Debatable. Certainly they don’t have ALL the information. Many of the best nuggets are now falling through the cracks because of nothing more than egotism. It seems as if you don’t have the right name your material doesn’t see the light of day, and that is a shame. The little guy can’t afford Google adwords or a web exposure campaign. Even on the previously ‘cheap’ Internet, it has become insanely expensive to get exposure. It requires big money and some clearly have it and it is becoming pretty obvious by their message that too many of these folks have been co-opted much in the same way the energy of the Tea Party was co-opted by the establishment Republicans. This is a difficult subject to analyze; the differences are very subtle, but they are there. We certainly don’t have the discernment to pull all of this apart without error, hence why we aren’t naming names. That is for you to decide.


Our bottom line is not to point fingers or accuse, but to issue a challenge to everyone – ourselves included. The challenge is not to pin your personal financial situation or the earning of your daily bread on advertisers, clicks, or sales. The challenge is that we all stay true to the courage of our convictions and speak them – loudly. It might sound old and cliché, but as events progress, we are living in more and more dangerous times. Every year is going to be more important than the one prior. Let’s set aside egos for the good of the cause and not forget that cause and the fire in our bellies that made us first wade into these waters way back when. Help that little guy with some great analysis to get a foothold.  And to all of you who have toiled endlessly for the cause of liberty at great expense to yourself both in terms of your time and your financial resources, we thank you, as will future generations.


And, dear readers, we encourage you to take a step or two outside your normal reading and listening habits to find some of the great information that is out there. Even if it means skipping a ‘Two Cents’ here and there. We don’t mind. In fact, we’ll go a step further and ask you to send us what you find. We’ll all be the better for it.  Incidentally, this will be our only sojourn away from the important economic topics at hand.

Graham Mehl is a pseudonym. He currently works for a hedge fund and is responsible for economic forecasting and modeling. He has a graduate degree with honors from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania among his educational achievements. Prior to his current position, he served as an economic research associate for a G7 central bank.

Andy Sutton is the former Chief Market Strategist for Sutton & Associates. While no longer involved in the investment community, Andy continues to perform his own research and acts as a freelance writer, publishing occasional ‘My Two Cents’ articles. Andy also maintains a blog called ‘Extemporania’ at


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