So much of media bias boils down to selection.
What stories are covered? And, more importantly, which items get ignored?
A new media bias template thrives In our social media age. If reporters want to pounce on a particular target, they can always find enough social media users to back them up.
Voila, instant outrage mob.
A prime example came with a recent “news story” from Yahoo. The search engine doubles as a biased content provider. The feature shared how the co-star of Netflix’s new movie “Triple Frontier” got hammered for an opinion he shared with a men’s magazine.
Charlie Hunnam of “Sons of Anarchy” fame plays William “Iron Head” Miller in the film, directed by J.C. Chandor (“Margin Call”). Hunnam talked up the film during a Men’s Health profile. Nothing unusual there.
Not to the Celebrity guru at Yahoo News.
“Today in Celebrities Who Might Have Been Better Off Not Saying Anything…” the story begins.
What did he say?
- “You know, Hitler gets a bad rap, but …”
- “Some people say poverty is a problem. I see it differently …”
- “I’m all for fighting cancer, but it does thin out the herd…”
The reporter describes Hunnam as “charming” during his press push for the Netflix feature. That ended, apparently, when the actor expressed admiration for the “wrong” person while praising the Navy SEAL trainer who prepped him for the role.
“There’s no flippancy, no triviality to those guys. They were just very, very serious. I really enjoy that. I’m a big fan of Jordan Peterson, as are a lot of people right now — he’s become quite an internet phenomenon, a card-carrying member of the intellectual dark web.”
Why would Hunnam respect Peterson?
He went on to compare the Special Forces “mentality” to Peterson’s way of thinking. “I love the message that he promotes, which is, ‘Take your life seriously.’ Carry as much responsibility as possible,” the actor said. “I think in his words he says, ‘Pick up the heaviest thing that you can and carry it.’”
If you just shrugged your shoulders, you’re not alone.
Yahoo begs to differ.
Hunnam didn’t address many of the issues people have with Peterson, however. For example, as The Guardian reports, Peterson didn’t want the university where he was a professor to adapt the use of gender-neutral pronouns. Peterson has also spoken out against the idea of universities being safe spaces, saying to Joe Rogan, “Don’t come to university if you want to be safe.”
Can we guess those “people” include the reporter in question?
Imagine wanting college-age adults to withstand differing points of view or not agree with overhauling part of the English language. To hammer home the universal outrage aimed at Hunnam, Yahoo published Tweets from people you’ve never heard of.
We get a string of messages from a freelance writer with more than 13,000 followers. Meet Alicia Lutes:
And there you have it. A few folks on Twitter whined about Hunnam’s choice of inspiration. That’s it. Now you’ve got a news story.
Let’s break it down.
For starters, Hunnam can appreciate some of Peterson’s advice without necessarily agreeing to every principle he shares. We vote for politicians who we feel have our best interests at heart, too. We don’t always agree with their entire platforms. That’s not realistic.
So why bring any of this up? It’s simple.
Peterson is a free thinker, a friend to right-of-center souls and a threat to Leftist groupthink. He became a star, in part, after dismantling a hard-left journalist without raising his voice.
And, since the overlap between Leftists and journalists is massive, that matters.
Now, we’ll wait for a scathing YouTube story about Ellen Barkin suggesting a sitting president should be killed and a disgraced comic get shot at. Or, perhaps Yahoo can pounce on Samuel L. Jackson, who appeared less than “charming” when he cursed out multiple GOP members and said he didn’t care a whit if half the country avoids his films.
“I know how many motherf***ers hate me. ‘I’m never going to see a Sam Jackson movie again.’ F–k I care?” he continued. “If you never went to another movie I did in my life, I’m not going to lose any money. I already cashed that check. F*** you. Burn up my videotapes. I don’t give a f***.”
Jackson won’t get the Hunnam treatment, of course, even though plenty of people shredded him on Twitter for those opinions.
That brand of media bias is less visible … but just as revealing.