Looking Past the ‘Orchestra Pit’ on China

I went to an interesting exhibit of performance art yesterday at the Schindler house in Los Angeles. On display was the work of Andrea Fraser, but also the artist Lincoln Tobier who has been obsessed with Roger Ailes for over 20 years. He told the story of how Roger Ailes fathered the “orchestra pit” theory of the media with this question: “If you have two guys on a stage and one guy says, ‘I have a solution to the Middle East problem,’ and the other guy falls in the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?”

Ailes has certainly taken his theory to new heights with Fox News. But it is pervasive now, and no more so than with China. Only certain issues with China make the headlines—the value of its currency, the new jet fighter, the recent brutal crackdown on artists and political activists. While those issues are each very important, what the media coverage of the US-China relationship does not tend to reveal is how broad it has become.

This article was originally published in Democracy Arsenal.