Media throw gas on the fire a day after shootings, it’s a preferred business model now
From talk radio to social media, and even mainstream newspapers, inciting violence and allowing space for those who want to encourage more violence, is the way some media executives have chosen to grow their businesses
Sometimes it is hard to say one is a media professional. This is my 35th year in the this business, and I have never been more saddened by the industry. Today. hours after more violence has hit our streets, we get media outlets flaming the flames.
One could accuse social media, it certainly provides an outlet for hatred. But it is not just those who post anonymously who spout hatred and threats, what to make of this tweet from a former Congressman (and for a while, my district’s own representative):
OK, dismiss this as the ravings of a crazy politician if you will. But Joe Walsh is no longer a Congressman, he is a member of the media now. His talk show airs on the radio in NYC, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Phoenix each weeknight. He brands his show The New Voice of Freedom.
We are familiar with what right wing media likes to do on days like today. Matt Drudge immediately used his website to blame the Black Lives Matters movement, despite a complete lack of evidence that they were involved in the Dallas shooting. No matter, his audience will love it.
But what to make of the decision of The Washington Post to allow comments on the main story about the Dallas shooting? I have said before that the Post is often a place where hate speech has a regular forum. In its drive to boost traffic, to be able to claim it has surpassed the NYT, the Post has decided that its one advantage is its willingness to let readers go wild in their comment threads.
Readers, paying customers, are getting disgusted. Rather than reproduce one of the hate filled comments I prefer to show this one that is more thoughtful, from a reader who has read through the comment thread:
And so it goes, another day in America, another day in the media business. I should have gone to dental school rather than J school.
I'm not aware of a single Mexican or Muslim immigrant who has done as much damage to the US as Rupert Murdoch. pic.twitter.com/V4aghOShC9
— Robert Wright (@robertwrighter) July 8, 2016
Have a good, and safe, weekend.