By: Lucas Lang
The notion of dog whistle, as a signal that only those of a certain political orientation can understand is quite interesting and quite ironic. While memes and social media posts certainly signal specific audiences, evoking certain emotions and sentiments about subjects, do not articles and lectures among academic communities do the same? Underlying the sources this week and under the guise that populism needs to be understood there is an unspoken call that the madness of populism needs to be brought to a halt. Des Freedman’s article for example offers no advice however to how populist media may be able to become more productive and efficient in its contributions to society. Instead, Freedman seeks to identify and propose corrections amongst traditional media of errors that support the spread of populist media’s influence. The main theme that became apparent this week is that all media has biases and motives. As important as it is to recognize that biases and dog whistles, it is also important to hear to them and comprehend the concerns and motivations are for the messages, even if they are as far-fetched and irrational as cultural Marxism. (Which is not to say the dangers and destructive potential of such messages should be ignored.) The European Union’s Digital Services Act and Digital Markets act were also interesting to read about. While creating restrictions for platforms genuinely provides opportunities to reduce illegal activity and restrict harmful behavior online, it is also evident why removing power from platforms to regulate their own users and bestowing it upon the E.U. would be of concern to populist groups.