This is a term often used by those on both the right and the left to refer to leaders of media conglomerates exerting an over-sized impact on America’s conversations about politics, sex and culture generally. Others point out that “the media” is no monolithic bloc, and that rather than pursuing some kind of agenda, media officials are simply motivated by financial incentives like other parts of the economy. For those on the left, however, these “financial incentives” are seen as part of the very reason the media has the kind of agenda that it does, which often leads leftists and liberals to speak of “the corporate media”.
More broadly, there is a larger consensus that certain voices across the political spectrum are having an over-sized impact on America’s public discourse - including what Liz Joyner calls “professional polarizers” and Charles Blow describes as “profit-driven provocateurs whose livelihoods ride on their abilities to rouse rabble, stir passions and diabolize opponents.”
Rather than being merely annoying, these media voices are understood as having a significant ripple impact on millions of other people. Blow continues, “many of their listeners, viewers and readers become the apostles of passion, enforcing rigid binary ideologies that accommodate little subtlety.”