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Showing posts from January, 2018

On conservative contempt for the poor

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In 1976, when Ronald Reagan ran (unsuccessfully) for the presidency, his campaign crafted an ad that has inspired a generation of conservatives: the 'Welfare Queen'. Focused on Linda Taylor, who defrauded the government for hundreds of thousands of dollars, it was intended to show how the welfare system was being exploited so that the 'poor' could live like royalty off of the tax returns of hard-working middle-class people. (Incidentally, NPR did a fine write-up on the facts behind her story, which highlights how misleading Reagan's campaign really was.)

This narrative is still in effect today in conservative media. Numerous stories from conservative media and think-tanks have cited the ownership of appliances as a sign that the poor in America are actually pretty well-off. Popular conservative commentator Ben Shapiro chalks up poverty to people being "bad with money." It's been over four decades since the Reagan's "Welfare Queen" campai…

On media bias

I subscribe to the "failing" (ha) NY Times. To me, it's pretty much what I've always associated with "news": they just describe shit that's happening. We're human beings and I'd never suggest that bias can't enter into reporting at all, but the typical NY Times article is pretty banal. Notably, their editorial section, in which opinions are argued, is kept separate from their news reporting. And yet this is one of many outlets—NBC/ABC/CBS, CNN, WaPo—that's considered a "liberal" news outlet by conservative media. Snap to today, after Canadian intellectual Jordan Peterson was interviewed for BBC. Here's how conservative media outlets reported on the "news": Washington Times: "Jordan B. Peterson leaves reporter speechless after her 'right not to be offended' remark: 'Gotcha'" Breitbart: "'You've Got Me': Feminist Cathy Newman Crumbles in Channel 4 Interview with 'Contr…