Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Conservative Narratives

I interact with a number of conservative minded people and one of their main complaints is how the liberal media is pushing their agenda with a liberal narrative.
I don't even try to debate them on this anymore, because I've realized it is mostly futile. While I do believe the media has a liberal bias, in as much as there is more media that appeals to what liberals want because of capitalism, advertising dollars and there are either more people that want this kind of media or liberals simply ingest more media, but I do not think there is some nefarious scheme by nasty Liberal Elites to push their agenda through the media.
Stuart Mackenzie: Well, it's a well known fact, Sonny Jim, that there's a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The Meadows. 
Tony Giardino: So who's in this Pentavirate? 
Stuart Mackenzie: The Queen, The Vatican, The Gettys, The Rothschilds, *and* Colonel Sanders before he went tits up. Oh, I hated the Colonel with is wee *beady* eyes, and that smug look on his face. "Oh, you're gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhhh!" 
- So I Married an Axe Murderer, 1993
What I do try to do is show them examples of conservative media pushing a conservative narrative, which I believe they think is unfathomable. Here are two recent examples I have tried to share with them.

Ohio State Swiftly Ends Students’ ‘Occupation’ With Promises Of Arrest, Expulsion

This was a headline to an article published by The Daily Caller.

Close your eyes, or don't, and what picture do you get in your head of what happened when you read this headline? Did you get an image of a violent or at least a rambunctious occupation of students that had to be threatened by police with arrests before they left? I did, but I knew it was bullshit because it is a Daily Caller link. How many people do you think shared this article after only reading the headline? (It's like 60%)

The story progresses from the violent occupation narrative, winding and weaving its way around the facts without actually telling any lies until it reaches the true narrative of the assorted campus dissidents' protest (yes, they used the word dissident to describe these students) that is buried at the end of the article in a YouTube video of a school official having a polite, respectful and lighthearted conversation with a handful of students who were protesting to the school's lack of inclusion of campus organizations in school decisions.

If you read the source material for The Daily Caller's article, a short concise telling of basic facts in The Columbus Dispatch, you get the real story.
  • It was an 8 hour nonviolent open mic protest that started at 3:30 pm
  • The number of protesters ranged from a low of 80 to a high of 150 students
  • The students were told they could protest until 5:30 am
  • Protestors started trickling out early in the evening
  • The last group of 25 left around 12:30 am
  • There is no mention of police or anyone that could arrest protesters getting involved 
Let me give you that headline again:  Ohio State Swiftly Ends Students’ ‘Occupation’ With Promises Of Arrest, Expulsion

I can tell you, judging by the reactions of the people I interact with who share and comment on these kinds of conservative narrative red meat articles The Daily Caller achieved their desired effect with this "fake news".

One last bit of information on this story. The Daily Caller article was published April 9, 2016. This kind of stuff doesn't die. It just gets keeping shared and and reshared and reshared ad infinitum while The Daily Caller cranks out new stories to be shared and reshared and reshared. It's kind of a big deal.  

Donald Trump Jr. recently admits to having a meeting with Russians during the campaign

I want to share links to four articles. Two from The New York Times and two from a conservative online website called

The New York Times is owned by The New York Times Corporation who's only real endeavor is to publish and distribute The New York Times. is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group who owns a whole lot of things. Jon Oliver did a segment on Sinclair on his show This Week Tonight with Jon Oliver describing how Sinclair owns a heck of a lot of local news stations and use those stations to push their conservative narrative by forcing their affiliates to run segments produced at the home offices. Pieces you wouldn't expect to see on local news (like The Annual Main St. Cornhole Festival is this Saturday), but rather scarier "news" that you wouldn't expect to see on a local station (like Is Your Muslim Neighbor a Terrorist and Should You be Afraid of Him?*)

You are no doubt familiar with the story that broke by The Times on Saturday July 8, 2017 of Donald Trump Jr. and his meeting with Russians. When The Times broke the story, there were a couple of versions of what the story meant. There was The Times version and the version being told by Circa.

The New York Times - Saturday
The New York Times - Sunday - Saturday - Sunday (published before The Times' Sunday reporting was published)

If you can trust me, you don't have to read these stories. I'll tell you what they're about. (Why would you trust me? We just met. Go read the articles.)

At the time of the reporting either Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort nor the White House has disputed the Times' reporting and Trump Jr. had even given a follow up statement to the Times for the Sunday story that confirmed their reporting further. In the days after the initial stories, Trump Jr. further corroborated the Times' story, go so far as to release an email detailing the setup of the meeting. So I kind of believe the Times' reporting over what Circa would like their readers to believe.

If you read the two Times articles you would believe:
  • The Trump campaign met with Russians in Trump Tower to get dirt on the Clinton campaign
  • Donald Trump Jr. knew the Russians wanted to offer him this dirt before he went to the meeting
  • The Russians didn't really have any dirt on Clinton and they ended up talking about the US blocking certain Russians accused of human rights violations and Russia's blocking of US adopting their orphans
  • The Russian in the meeting represents powerful players in Russia and has political and legal operatives in the US
If you read the two Circa articles you would believe:
  • The Trump campaign met with Russians in Trump Tower to talk about Putin's blocking of adoptions in retaliation to the Magnitsky Act
  • The entire meeting may have been part of a larger election-year opposition effort by Clinton aimed at creating the appearance of improper connections between the Trump family and Russia that also included a now-discredited intelligence Steele dossier (the pee-pee tape)
  • The Russian they met with is just a prosecutor and private lawyer who helped setup this trap meeting and helped create the Steele dossier and her US Visa is now blocked
If you read all four you might write this blog post.

*I made this up. It wasn't a segment they ran, but you get the idea. The Cornhole Festival isn't real either, sorry.