Further to my earlier, exceedingly long-winded and probably pointless rant about why I detest The New York Times, I would be remiss if I did not mention that I also despise The Washington Post, and for exactly the same reasons.
I just received a “news alert” via email from The Post, and once again we find that critical information is missing, with duplicitous drivel in its place.
D.C. mayor renames street outside White House ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’ in escalation of feud over federal presence in city
Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) formally renamed the street outside the White House after ordering city crews to paint “Black Lives Matter” in giant yellow letters along 16th Street NW. It’s a pointed message in support of demonstrators and against the president, who ordered an escalation of federal military and law enforcement presence on the streets of Washington in response to sporadic looting and unrest earlier in the week.
Wanna play a game? Okay, let’s pretend I am a news alerts editor at WaPo.
It’s a pointed message in support of demonstrators and against the president, who ordered an escalation of federal military and law enforcement presence on the streets of Washington in response to
sporadic looting and unrest earlier in the weekoverwhelmingly peaceful protests so that the president could engage in a photo op at a nearby church.
The two narratives are distinctly different. And it fucking matters.
Yes, yes it does.
Framing, word choices. These matter.
And are so often racially biased / racist / manipulating us into thinking something isn’t racist when it is..
Pierce R. Butler says
It seems you have, so far, more than half again as many reasons to hate the NYT as the WP.
Does this involve crossword puzzle frustrations, or does the Times run a lot of “aren’t squirrels cute?” stories?
Iris Vander Pluym says
StevoR: …and sexist / heterosexist / classist and every other -ist that posits explicitly or implicitly that the default humans are naturally white, straight, cisgender, (relatively) financially stable males. It exploits our cognitive bias of not noticing what is missing. See e.g. my post here, footnote **. The WaPo editors captioned a photo of exlusively white men drinking at a bar like this: “People filled bars like one in Appleton, Wis., on Wednesday night after the state’s Supreme Court struck down the governor’s stay-at-home restrictions.” Just people, you know? Not white men, who have no race or gender to speak of.
But imagine if the photo instead depicted, say, a hair salon in a black neighborhood, it would almost certainly read “Black women filled salons like this one in Detroit, Mich., on Wednesday night after the state’s Supreme Court struck down the governor’s stay-at-home restrictions.” Or at the very least, “Women” – not “people.” It’s truly fucking insidious – and equally infuriating whenever we manage to overcome that stubborn bias and notice what’s missing.
@Pierce: LOL. No, no, nothing like that. It’s a matter of exposure: the NYT is my “local” paper, so I’ve read a lot more of it over the years. At weekend brunches at neighborhood bars, for instance, there is always a copy for patrons to read. I don’t ever recall seeing WaPo lying around. Also, I totally pull these numbers out of my ass. Yet somehow, they still seem oddly accurate. ;p
@ ^ Iris Vander Pluym : Yes. Good point.