Those who are supposed to offer clarity instead deliver nonsense.
As activist groups go they crave a tipping point, that moment when their messaging is absorbed by a greater number and their cause grows into a movement. There is a risk as well, when the push becomes an annoyance to more people than you are converting. We are well past this second example, as the racial strife we see across the news channels is less successful at raising awareness than it is now at raising ire.
With growing frequency we are seeing the actions of these activists taking on the appearance of pure anarchy, and the general public is growing tired of it all. Militant-minded disruptors are trying to occupy sections of cities and throughout the country we are seeing statues and monuments being toppled like a third world purge is taking place. As this is all playing out our media complex is not simply standing back and reporting on these idiotic instances, they are cheering them along and promoting the messaging.
To start, look at the glowing ways the Seattle CHAZ/CHOP event has been covered. We get scant coverage of how they are literally taking over square blocks of a city where businesses and residences are located, hardly any condemnation of the local politicians who have permitted this illegal occupation. We do hear how these adorable insurgents have attempted to make their own garden, however. The press seems intent on overlooking the obvious while attempting to gaslight on a peaceable gathering.
Grudgingly there has been coverage of some of the violence within this police-free zone, but the journalists do not want to explore too deeply. They do not want to report how this movement that allegedly springs out of the Black Lives Matter movement has cost the life of one black individual. And note the dichotomy of coverage between this ‘’protest’’ and those that we saw in Michigan last month.
When citizens went to the Michigan state capitol a number of permit-carrying gun owners had their firearms. Across the media landscape this was declared a ‘’storming’’ of the government building (as police supervised them walking in, after submitting to temperature checks) and the gathering was painted as a threat, with intonations of impending violence in many reports. Not a law was broken, but it was dangerous. With CHAZ the press has been sanguine about a self-appointed Warlord, one who was illegally handing out guns to the occupiers. With fatal shootings we have yet to hear anything approaching the condemnation we heard out of Lansing.
More than just delivering generous pats on the head the press is intent on serving as the PR arm of the new movement. Following his Saturday rally speech President Trump spoke against the tearing down of our historical features that is taking place. A number of journalists rebuked this passage, insisting he was promoting the hateful racism of the Confederacy. To make this charge they had to have that accusation pre-written, because they clearly did not hear those words from Trump. He dropped historical names, such as Washington, Jefferson, and Columbus — names I apparently need to note predated the Confederacy. At a recent White House briefing PBS activist and occasional reporter, Yamiche Alcindor, forwarded this narrative.
Yamiche asked Kayleigh McEnany about the President saying that taking down Confederate statues was an assault on our heritage. To ask such a question Alcindor has to promote a number of factual blind spots; that the President did not name those Founders, that our heritage goes no further back than the civil war, and that currently only confederate monuments are being targeted. McEnany adroitly responded with a number of names targeted, asking where do we draw the line, at Ghandi?
Alcindor reveals the precise methodology of the media these days. Just this week, another monument was targeted — an Andrew Jackson statue in D.C.
That video is revealing for a number of reasons, mostly for the things you do not see. There are no signs or banners for a cause. There are also very few POC individuals. Also there is no clear reason why Jackson’s monument is considered connected in any fashion to the current outrage across the country.
The other thing lacking is journalistic perspective. No one in the media is willing call out this behavior, none are able to question how this serves the cause in any fashion. Also lacking are the names of any of the black victims of violence who sparked this activism. How is Georg Floyd’s memory honored by going after statues of disconnected figures? How is the plight of black citizens improved by targeting the statue of musician Stevie Ray Vaughn? How is police violence curtailed or even the broader claim of institutional racism addressed by going after a known abolitionist like Andrew Jackson?
The press will not even entertain these questions. There is just a narrative to promote. We will note their silence as calls go out to remove the musical ‘’Hamilton’’ from the Disney+ streaming service when it debuts on July, 3. Many in the press love that show. Now they will be in a position of either defending a beloved show, or supporting the censoring of more art in this country. The press will look bad if either instance rears up.