Someone is wrong on the internet — and the CBS affiliate in Dallas spent two minutes of air time on their 6 pm news broadcast covering it. A woman in Dallas wrote a Facebook post saying that a woman should not be President, and it got quite a few responses. So naturally, a TV news crew interviewed her, her client, and showed a shaky-cam shot of the post itself. Steve Pickett even managed to stand outside on the street — for what reason, no one knows — to recap some of the responses to the Facebook post.
Aaaaaaaaaand … that’s the story. No, really:
“A female shouldn’t be President,” is a direct quote from a Dallas woman’s Facebook page.
As you might imagine, the post has attracted quite a bit of attention from people across the country.
Well, no, we can’t imagine that, especially because the woman is no one of newsworthy consequence outside of this supposedly earth-shattering social-media entry. Or more accurately, we can imagine that it got some responses from other Facebook users, the number of which CBS Dallas doesn’t mention. It characterizes the amount of responses as …. “several.” I just got 500 or so Happy Birthday wishes on my Facebook page; would Pickett like to come out and interview me about it?
CBS 11’s Steve Pickett caught up with Cheryl Rios, the CEO of Go Ape Marketing, and asked her to explain the comment.
“I believe in what I said,” she told Pickett. “There’s an old biblical sound reasoning why a woman shouldn’t be President.”
The highlight of this segment was clearly supposed to be the woman’s client, the owner of a motorcycle shop, arguing for feminism. I’d argue that it was the wrap-up shot with the airplane going overhead. Was this a live feed? Did CBS in Dallas think this was such a hot story that they went live to break the news that someone was wrong on the Internet?
There are two explanations for this segment being broadcast, which aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. One: There was absolutely nothing of interest happening in Dallas-Fort Worth yesterday. (Possible, but unlikely.) Two: Someone in CBS Dallas wants to paint all opposition to Hillary Clinton as kooky, bigoted, and possibly evidence that religion makes people both of those.
My hunch is that Option Two looks pretty likely here. And my further hunch is that we’ll see more of this ludicrous media focus on even the smallest nuggets of anti-Hillary kookiness to exploit as a way to marginalize her opposition over the next several months.
There are a lot of those lately, it seems, and they have a couple of things in common. The first is that they are a product of ignorance stemming from a lack of newsroom diversity. Anyone with any knowledge of guns, or the NRA, would have doubted the claim that firing pins were removed from people’s carry guns. But such familiarity is apparently unwelcome at The Times. Rolling Stone‘s lurid gang-rape story read like bad fiction (which it was) but fed prejudices about fraternities and “white privilege” in a campus “rape culture.” And the notion that Reagan might endorse Clinton was believable only to people who didn’t know much about Reagan but had high hopes for Clinton.
The other thing these stories have in common is that they all served Democratic Party talking points, whether based on anti-gun thinking, “war on women” sloganeering, or pro-Hillary sentiment. For whom journalists are rooting, of course, is no mystery to most news media consumers, but it’s telling that the errors so often point in the same direction. (As columnist Kurt Schlichter tweeted, the corrections to news stories never seem to make conservatives look worse than the original.) That’s a diversity problem, too, of course: When everyone in the newsroom shares the same political leaning, groupthink and outright propagandizing get a lot easier.
Even so, I don’t think that big news outlets such as The Times, Bloomberg or Rolling Stone will start hiring people with different backgrounds and political views. Instead, I think they’ll simply lose audiences, and trust, to people who do. In the marketplace of ideas, you can only go so far when you’re one-sided. Though these humiliations should be a wake-up call, I expect them to keep snoozing.
A pattern has begun to develop — a pattern which itself has a pattern, arising every four years. I wonder why that may be. Hmmmmmmm.