Episode 324: Papers Push a Narrative / Elon Buys Twitter / Disney Goes Political


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Elon Musk buys Twitter

One way newspapers push a particular narrative is mentioning the race of a perpetrator right up front or way in the back. Or not at all. A study was done looking at major newspaper articles going back 2 years and guess what they found. (You can probably guess, actually.)

There was quite a backlash to Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Thing is, it really brought out who really is for free speech and who isn’t.

Disney dipped it toe into the political waters, but it may be a bit to hot for them.

Mentioned links:

Yes, the Media Bury the Race of Murderers—If They’re Not White

Twitter employees go ‘absolutely insane’ after Elon Musk buys company

The Rising Storm Disney Can’t Wish Away

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Show transcript

One thing that conservatives have had a feeling about is that the media are selective on what they consider national news stories. If the perpetrator is white, it seems they get more press than a person of color. It seems that the narrative is pushing the news.

Well, for now we don’t have any hard data on that, but the Washington Free Beacon has done the work to determine where in a story that the race of a murderer shows up. As an example, they note that the race of Frank James, who was responsible for the subway shootings on April 12th, was not mentioned at all in the coverage by the NY Times and Reuters. The Washington Post only mentioned James’s race in relation to his condemnation of training programs for “low-income Black youths.” The charge is that if he had been white, that would have never happened; race would have been prominent from the get-go.

But now there is hard evidence for that. The Free Beacon reviewed 1,100 articles published by 6 major newspapers over 2 years and found that indeed they downplay the race of non-white offenders. They have a graph in their article, linked to in the show notes, that show in which paragraph the race of the perpetrator was first mentioned. Here’s what they found.

Half of articles about a white offender mention his race within the first 15 percent of the article. In articles about black offenders, by contrast, mentions come overwhelmingly toward the end of the piece. Half of the articles that mention a black offender’s race do not do so until at least 60 percent of the way through, and more than 20 percent save it until the last fifth of the article.

And how about where the race was omitted? Well, the Free Beacon confirmed a murderer’s race from other sources and found out how often journalists skipped it.

Again, the skew is startling: White offenders’ race was mentioned in roughly 1 out of every 4 articles, compared with 1 in 17 articles about a black offender and 1 in 33 articles about a Hispanic offender.

There are more findings in the article, including how these stats changed after the death of George Floyd, which only serve to confirm the bias that conservatives have been confident existed in the media. The narrative is everything and if a news story doesn’t, as they say, confirm their priors, then it gets just the obligatory coverage and then memory-holed.

Oh, that liberal media. And yes, it is liberal.

Employees of a tech company reacted angrily when they found out that their company was to be bought by an African-American. That’s another way of reading the actual headline of a link in the show notes, “Twitter employees go ‘absolutely insane’ after Elon Musk buys company”. Yup, he did it, and it turns out that those employees are not all that hip on allowing speech that they disagree with.

There would still be monitoring of content so that things like promoting violence or pornography would still be moderated. As we have learned over the years, “free speech” still means that there are limits, but viewpoint discrimination is not part of that. The fact that conservatives have been blocked far more than liberals, or that President Donald Trump was banned for disseminating “misinformation” while the government of Iran goes merrily along with their insistence that everything wrong in the Middle East is the fault of Israel.

Instead, Musk wants to open up Twitter. For starters he wants to make the algorithm that removes tweets open source so anyone can see how it works. Sounds like that would make it easier to game the system but at least people would know why their tweet was removed. He also wants to do away with banning someone, thinking that a “time out” works better. He’s got the idea we’ve always heard that the antidote for bad speech is more good speech, not censoring. Transparency and free speech; this is what the Left are losing their cookies over.

Stephen Green, writing at the Instapundit blog, observed, “I don’t know if Musk can ‘save’ Twitter or even whether the platform is worth saving. But he’s certainly annoyed all the right people.” Indeed, and he has unmasked them at the same time.

Speaking of unmasking, it looks like that’s been done to the Disney corporation. On March 11th, Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek decided to go specifically political by saying that his corporation would work to combat laws like the Parental Rights in Education Act that might be introduced in other states. The corporation also vowed to fight the Texas law that prohibits transgender surgeries on minors.

Now what’s interesting is that only 27% of Americans agree that discussion of sexuality should be legal in kindergarten through 3rd grade classes. It seems that the board at Disney got pushed into their position by a loud minority of their employees. Yes, yes, a corporation can take whatever positions it wants, even political ones, but then the political bodies of the state are allowed to take whatever positions they want.

Which they did. Florida revoked the self-governing status that Disney World has enjoyed for over half a century. That may no longer be needed now since the purpose of getting tourism to Orlando has long been realized.

But there are more issues for Disney. A letter from Reed Rubinstein, former deputy attorney general in the Trump Administration, sent on behalf of the shareholders, demanded a corporate investigation into this foray into politics, including asking why they support lessons on sexuality for 5-year-olds, and how any of this enhances the corporation’s reputation. He asks how this will appeal to its core U.S. and foreign customers, many of whom are parents. And, I would add, who’s foreign customers live in countries that jail homosexuals. In an anonymous open letter Disney employees said that they’ve had to “watch quietly as our beliefs come under attack from our own employer” and that Disney has “fostered an environment of fear that any employee who does not toe the line will be exposed and dismissed.” Wording like this often heralds lawsuits. And for shareholders who are expecting that Disney is shirking its duty to not harm the corporation’s value, lawsuits against the officers could also be warming up in the wings.

As of the writing of the article whose link is in the show notes, Disney had shed 10% of its value since it got this political.

Those are the facts. What’s my conservative commentary? The phrase is not original with me, but it certainly fits; go woke, go broke.

The post Episode 324: Papers Push a Narrative / Elon Buys Twitter / Disney Goes Political appeared first on Consider This!.

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