Troll wars in the news: Tapper vs the quota monster

Mediaite has some in-depth coverage of a really amusing spat which I walked into the middle of on Twitter and which was worth more than just the amusement value of seeing liberal trolls getting a Seal Team Six level beatdown. The Sunday shows this week apparently didn’t include enough “diversity” for some head counters on the Left and they decided to let the media know about it on social media. That part wasn’t especially notable since it was just a running count of men versus women and white versus non-white.

As reported here yesterday, the 46-year-old host of CNN’s The Lead and Sunday’s State of the Union had a run-in with one of the bigger trolls on Twitter in the form of Oliver Willis. Willis isn’t a reporter, he just plays one on the Internet for David Brock‘s Media Matters… which really isn’t a publication… just an innocent non-profit free of any tax burden with no political activism attached or anything. Anywho, the whole brouhaha began when someone named Judd Legum (Think Progress), decided to attack Tapper about the lack of diversity on the Sunday political talk shows.

Unfortunately for them their complaints caught the attention of CNN’s Jake Tapper who had hosted one of the “unacceptably white and male shows” in question:

That attracted Willis, who complained about Tapper’s white guests also.

Ouch. I marked that one up as the Tweet of the Day in my book and thought no more of it, but Mediaite brought up a reminder of The Chris Hayes Quota Rule, which I’d completely forgotten.

“We just would look at the board and say, ‘We already have too many white men. We can’t have more.’ Really, that was it,” Hayes says. “Always, constantly just counting. Monitoring the diversity of the guests along gender lines, and along race and ethnicity lines…A general rule is if there are four people sitting at table, only two of them can be white men. Often it would be less than that.”

Tapper is one of the few decent journalists left in the business and it’s not shocking that he wouldn’t be paying attention to the skin color of his guests or which set of equipment they have in their knickers. He was covering the state of the election and getting the guests who were willing to show up. With Hillary refusing to do any press, that only left old white men for the Democrats so that’s who we got. They were good interviews. The people not taking the news seriously are the ones counting skin pigmentation rather than the newsworthy value of the guests.

And to think… we’re still half a year away from the first vote getting cast. This is going to be a bumpy ride.

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