Saturday, April 28, 2018

David Sirota weighs in on Joy Reid's lies

Some Tweets from David Sirota:

Statement: “A media person blatantly lying to cover something up wouldn’t be a good thing.” Reaction in real world: “Yeah that’s probably true.” Reaction in Political/Media Twitter: “You’re clearly a horrible person for saying that.”

  1. Twitter has become a place where thoughts that are boringly normal in real life — like, for instance, it’s bad to lie to cover stuff up - are now regularly depicted as outrageously evil opinions that must be vilified if they dare offend people’s favorite media/political folk
  2. So let me get this straight: an MSNBC host wrote homophobic stuff not that long ago, and then offered up an unsubstantiated and dubious “hacking” defense, and this has now prompted an outpouring of effusive statements about how she’s a great hero. Umm...WTF is going on?
  3. In an alternate universe, there’s a Twitter where people get as mad about economic inequality as they do about criticism of their favorite cable TV host.

  1. One theory: this kind of common sense thinking actually IS NOT controversial in the real world, but it is a controversial view in the corners of Twitter dominated by media folk & hardcore political partisans who have a professional & ideological stake in the situation.
  2. I'm not a fan of Joy Reid, but I understand how if she changed her views & apologized for them, many folks forgive that. However, if she fabricated the story about hacking to try to absolve herself, I don't see how anyone is cool with that. Why is this such a controversial view?

  1. This is pundit-speak for "please keep booking me on TV."
  2. Hypothesis: when the highest-profile anti-Trump media organization continues to proudly employ people (Joy Reid, Brian Williams) who appear to spin wildly dishonest tales, maybe that ends up helping Trump label his leading media critics as fake news.
  3. I truly think Joy Reid's "hacking" claims deserve to be dispassionately considered. What's troubling tho is the instantaneous defense of her among media elites, even as the facts of her allegations are being called into question:
  4. I was at the dinner last nite. It was a room full of good people trying under tough circumstances to preserve journalism & media credibility in one of the fastest growing cities. When the media industry so publicly defends potential lying, it hurts those efforts.
  5. It is possible to believe people A) can be forgiven for their statements/beliefs in the past B) should not be forgiven for lying about those statements/beliefs in the present. These two principles are not in conflict with each other.
  6. This kind of response is an attempt to pretend the issue isn't about lying. At issue is both the posts & the potential lying about "hacking." The potential lying is a huge issue - trying to pretend that's not an issue is, unto itself, yet more dishonesty.
  7. Left unsaid in the Joy Reid crap: when high-profile media folk appear to blatantly lie & then their media buddies publicly defend them, it fuels overall distrust of media, which makes it harder for honest workaday journalists to be viewed as credible, do their jobs & have impact.
  8. There is no form of class solidarity more powerful than the solidarity between a TV host and a pundit desperate to be booked for some airtime.
  9. Imagine if pundits mobilized as forcefully for universal health care or tougher Wall Street regulations as they have mobilized to defend Joy Reid.