There’s another common theme in comments to that video about Ethan Van Sciver: oh, no, he’s not using right-wing rage to promote himself. Uh, yes, he is. That’s what his entire channel is about, claiming that the SJWs are coming to take your comic books away. They’re killing your movies. They’re turning women into merciless, man-hating lesbians. He’s using the Fox News/Donald Trump model of engagement.
In other words, anger is a powerful tool in the worlds of both politics and media. Anger is why narratives about people being “outraged,” written with the intent of actually making readers feel an outrage over that (real or imagined) outrage, are so popular in political media. A lot has happened since Ryan published his study in 2012, but the state of politics and media would seem to only bolster his conclusions.
Keeping audiences lathered into a perpetual state of outrage is good politics and good business. Look no further than Fox News for proof.
Was there ever really a “War on Christmas” involving mass calls to ban Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the song Baby, It’s Cold Outside? No. Is Purdue University trying to ban the word “man”? Also no. Does Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) want to steal your steak? Not at all. Is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) proposing that we “get rid of children?” Absolutely not.
Are the SJWs coming to rip the comic books out of your hands, replacing them with feminist tracts, full of flat-chested old ladies in loose clothing? Nope.
Although this idea of fanning the flames of hatred to drive traffic to your site has some merit. I’ve been doing it lately. Why do you think I’ve been posting all this stuff about spiders? It’s to get you seething and coming back for more.
Is it working?