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More Racism From the Sensitive Press, a Florida Book Ban Story, and Hateful Helicopters in LA

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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02.17.23

Race to the Bottom – MSNBC

  • Funny how he uses the language normally accused as proof of racism on the right.

It will always be a wonderment when the press engages in the very behavior they demonize others over and they do not think it invalidates them. They are so entrenched in their feelings about Republican intolerance – be it racism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry, etc. – that they actually believe they are justified to then attack Republicans within those categories because they are adversely affecting their own.

This week the arrival of Nikki Haley to the presidential race has brought out the knives from these closet bigots. Mehdi Hasan joins the chorus in grand style. "It's not just her gender; let's talk race." Two of his favorite topics. He has gone after her over checking a "white" box on a form two decades ago and for "changing" her given name. But he really just leans into the skin color game here.

  • "A Black state lawmaker later told The Atlantic, 'There are many people in the state who don't think of her as Indian at all. They think she is just a nice conservative woman with a tan.' Gender, race, it all matters to Haley until it doesn't."

I just ponder the reaction should a Republican utter such a comment.

Blue-Anon – WASHINGTON POST

You really have to wonder about anyone still clinging to the Russian collusion/hacked election narratives. You see these people online and you truly have concern for their well-being. It becomes a whole other matter when it is a professional journalist still peddling these lies.

Enter WaPo columnist Philip Bump, who felt the need to combat the Republic House committee by trotting out the moldy storyline of Russia interfering with the election. It would be bad enough to see him still clinging to this narrative, but it is all the worse because just last month, there was a huge story on how it was seen that the Russian efforts had no appreciable influence on the 2016 elections. Phil missed the big exposé – reported in his own outlet.

Anti-Social Media – VANITY FAIR

First, just consider this is from Molly Jong-Fast. This Lincoln Project adherent will rarely deliver a balanced take on a political issue. Now, factor in that she is focusing on Ron DeSantis – yup, this thing is going to spin out of control.

Molly addresses the DeSantis presidential run. You know, the campaign he has yet to even officially declare. But she is at it, you can bet. So what is her approach to all of this? While DeSantis is better than Donald Trump, he is…also worse than Trump??

  • "Some mainstream media outlets are pushing the narrative that DeSantis is a kinder, gentler version of Trump, who I've already argued should not be covered like a normal presidential contender. There's a fair bit of evidence to suggest DeSantis is as dangerous as Trump—if not more. Trump may have sounded like an autocrat when running for president, but DeSantis has already acted like one before officially getting in the 2024 race."

Her argument goes that because of her perceived impression of DeSantis being so deeply problematic, then he should be reported on in a completely different fashion than other candidates. To paraphrase for summary: "DeSantis is worse, so our coverage of him will become worse."

News Avoidance Syndrome – SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL

Hey, speaking of altering factual coverage based on it being DeSantis, here's a Florida media example.

The constant drumbeat in the press regarding Florida schools and Ron DeSantis will usually involve the phrase "book bans." (Even Molly fell prey to this canard in the above entry.) It needs to be repeated, in mantra-like fashion, that no books are being "banned." Select titles are being taken from some classrooms for containing content not deemed to be age-appropriate. Yes, there is a huge difference.

Well, here is one example of that action taking place, as DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin shows a book taken from a Broward County district with some graphic illustrations of sexual activity. The most revealing aspect? In one panel, there is a character referring to an image of a couple naked, in the act of intercourse, and saying that it would be inappropriate in a professional office. The Sun-Sentinel apparently believes that something not appropriate for adults is proper to be placed in a school library.

Artisanally-Crafted Narratives – LOS ANGELES TIMES

Welp, the LA Times has a news scathing report: The local police are being racist by flying their helicopters over black neighborhoods. Dire, intolerant, hateful stuff, that. 

  • "'The higher the proportion of Black population, the lower the altitude of the helicopter,' said Nicholas Shapiro, an assistant professor of biology and society at UCLA. The [police] department is keeping researchers from better understanding the effects of helicopters on the health of county residents."

Now, the initial question would be, are the police doing so in response to higher crime areas? Partially, yes. But there are two other factors that the LA Times missed, detailed over at our partner site, PJ Media. First, in noting that aircraft are supposed to fly at no lower than a 1,000-foot ceiling over residences, it misses that helicopters are exempted. Secondly, most of these black neighborhoods are near LAX, and helicopters are actually prevented from flying over the 1,000 feet limit so as not to interfere with airline traffic. 

Other than that, a great piece of…non-investigative work by the paper. 

Reporting on the Mirror – GALLUP POLLS

Gallup has another of its annual polls, assessing the public perception of the media landscape. Let's just say it is looking rather dire. Here are a few of the takeaways:

  • Only 26% look at the media favorably.
  • While three-quarters say they think outlets could serve the public, under one-quarter believes they operate in the best interests of their consumers.
  • One big number: 50% of Americans feel most national news organizations intend to mislead, misinform or persuade the public.
  • More independents today report distrusting news than ever previously reported. 
  • Across all political affiliations, more Americans say they hold an unfavorable opinion of the news media compared to a survey conducted in late 2019-early 2020. This rise is especially pronounced among independents but is also apparent among Democrats — who typically hold more favorable views of the media.
  • Perceptions of political bias in news coverage have also increased, with independents driving the trend.

This does not bode well for many outlets. The audience is aging out, and younger consumers are getting information from alternative sources. This can either reflect new impressions found or be the result of turning away from mainstream news outlets.

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