Media Political Whatever

Republicans are crazy and the media loves it

Today, more than a dozen publications were featuring a Herschel Walker event in Richmond Hill. He didn’t take his shoes off and start sucking his toes, so, for the most part, the media coverage is positive.

In the meantime, you can’t find one single story on Senator Warnock. Not on him, specifically. You can find several about him and Walker, both. But not about him. I had to go to his campaign web site to find out he’s currently in Atlanta.

That the media can impact the election with this grossly uneven coverage doesn’t matter, because to them, it’s all about eyeballs and clicks. Attention. It’s all about attention. And what generates attention?

Republicans and their never-ending show of crazies: the crazier, the better.

All Walker has to do is show up and he gets attention. Why? Because of the idiotic things he’s said in the past. My particular favorite was the one about bad air from China coming over here, and our good air going over there. I’m less fond of his demand that women obey him when it comes to our healthcare choices—particularly since his philosophy seems to be do what I say, not what I do.

Sure, you say. It’s good to expose idiocy in a Senatorial candidate. Except now, Walker’s minders have him sticking to the script and following the party line. So when he gets media attention now, the news folks can’t help but comment on the fact that Walker showed up, and he acted normal.

The same applies to JD Vance. To Mehmet Oz. To Boebert. To…well, you get the point.

And when the Republican candidates do the crazy, well, that’s OK, too. The media’s right there, except they aren’t. The Republicans do the crazy at audience-friendly pep rallies. And they do the crazy on friendly media shows, like Tucker Carlson’s, where there’s no real questions; never any pushback. In environments where the rest of the media might say, “Well, hold on now…,” the crazy gets put away.

So in rallies, Walker is against any form of abortion, no matter what. But in the studio or the debate, well, he’s no such thing. Whatever the GOP decides here is OK by him. And too many (not all, but too many) in the media just let it all slide…because after all, they’re fair and balanced. Right?

When the media chooses to go along with the Republican ploy—giving attention to the crazies and then normalizing their behavior when they behave—we all lose. We lose fairness in media coverage. We lose fairness in truth in reporting. And with so many Republicans being election deniers, we risk losing our democracy.

But hey, look what I did. I only talked about Walker. My bad. But since we’re talking about Walker and giving Walker attention, I think I’ll let Pastor Jamal Bryant have the last word on Herschel Walker.

Social Media

Evil twin Twitter and the media

Musk took over Twitter, immediately fired most of the executive staff, and has seemingly lowered the restrictions on some of the more notorious Twitter offenders (of which sadly pathetic but proud killer Kyle Rittenhouse is one).

Musk’s own tweets would seem to support our worst fears of his impact on the site. This screenshot of a Hillary Clinton tweet and a Musk reply is a good example. Instead of joining with Clinton to condemn what was a heinous attack on Paul Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Musk decided to jump onto the most-cringeworthy, fringeworthy conspiracies.

Musk implies there's 'more to story' on the Pelosi attack

What’s worse is the despicable and disgusting lie about Paul Pelosi is being allowed to flourish on Twitter. So much so that I’m wondering if Musk has told the people that handle moderation to cease their activities.

Good-bye Good Twitter

To celebrate Musk’s take over, the right burst forth in hate speech, including an astounding 500% increase in the use of the N word.

tweet about increase

Tom Fitton, that miserable excuse for a human being who wants to destroy the quality of life we still have, is claiming that Twitter is censoring a report on illegal ballot harvesting in Florida. The above-mentioned Rittenhouse is looking into it.

The reality is: there is no illegal ballot harvesting in Florida. The claims are a lie. A fact-checked lie. So Twitter is preventing an election lie, and that has the right so very unhappy. Which says a lot about the right.

But how long will the lies be caught and tossed? Already, the appalling and ugly-as-hell rightwing-generated myth surrounding the Paul Pelosi attack that Musk tweeted is dominating the service.

Meet Evil Twin Twitter

All the ugly activity—the Pelosi attack myth, the racism and bigotry—will end up driving sane people off the site. Many folks have quit already; moving on to singular writing or other social media sites. This leaves the toxic and the even more toxic to control what happens at the site.

Normally, folks who want to stay with Twitter would have a solution: just block everyone who is toxic. And in a way this would work. We could resurrect Good Twitter, and float it above its evil twin.

The problem, though, is the media. The media is used to examining Twitter trends to figure out what stories to cover, and for how long. If extremists on the right have excessive influence on these trends, and the media continues it’s lazy, click-bait behavior, Musk and Evil Twin Twitter could have a profound impact on what news is published.

Twitter and other social media sites have already had a wrongful impact on how news is covered—with major news organizations determined to normalize extremist rightwing activity in order to appear to be ‘balanced’ in its coverage based on loud howls of protest on social media.

I shudder to think how much worse this will all get with Musk in control.

Social Media

Twitter is about to be Musked

The Musk buyout of Twitter is all but done, and even before the blo…ink dried on the contracts, the scent of Musk permeates the social service.

According to the Verge:

Musk has a deadline to close the purchase of Twitter by October 28th. In a sign the deal is proceeding, Twitter froze its employees’ equity awards, Bloomberg reported. Anonymous sources tell The Post that the deal is moving forward in good faith.

Among bright boy’s planned changes? Mass layoffs of over 7500 of what he considers ‘low performing’ employees. This means we can kiss content moderation good-bye. Which means we’ll be inundated with spam, scams, misinformation, and most likely, Trump.

Twitter has always been my favorite social media site. It’s the best source not only for breaking news, but also the more obscure but in-depth news pieces that don’t always float to the top in our attention-grabbing spaces.

I’ve also enjoyed the brilliance of the writing. Anyone can write 10,000 words and eventually make a point—lord knows, I’ve tried—but it takes mad skills to do so in 140280 characters.

Then there’s the people. There are folks with a few followers, folks with millions, but regardless, they have something to say and we want to hear it. Twitter is good at this.

The old Twitter. Not the newly Musked Twitter.

No, the Musked Twitter will be monetized to a degree that will take our breath away (or smother us, whichever comes first). Every bad actor kicked off of the site will be welcomed back, starting with the worst of the worst, Trump. Forget trying to stop the spread of misinformation—if the lies mean profit, the more lies the merrier.

What’s scarier is the fact that the news media trolls Twitter looking for the stories it should cover. Twitter has already had a bad impact on news coverage—I hate to think how much worse it can get with Musk and his ego in charge. Probably All Trump, All the Time. Excuse me, make that All Musk, Trump part of the Time.

My days as one of the birds of Twitter are numbered.