Kara Swisher, Times tech journalist, begins her column:
…So when the Sri Lankan government temporarily shut down access to American social media services like Facebook and Google’s YouTube after the bombings there on Easter morning, my first thought was “good.”
Good, because it could save lives. Good, because the companies that run these platforms seem incapable of controlling the powerful global tools they have built. Good, because the toxic digital waste of misinformation that floods these platforms has overwhelmed what was once so very good about them.
Kara left out the real reason she and, I suspect, her fellow propagandists wish that social media didn’t exist: “Good, because then people will have no alternative but to believe what we tell them.”
Here’s some full disclosure: I have a history with Kara Swisher. Small Washington, D.C. theater companies like mine, the late lamented American Century Theater, had to fight to get any notice from the Washington Post, and in the early years, the internet didn’t help much. Swisher was then the Post’s writer for a weekly column about under-the -radar developments among the smaller theaters, but unlike her predecessor in that role, Kara played favorites. She kept giving ink to the same narrow group of companies that matched her tastes, and the large companies too, which was neither fair nor the column’s purpose. I complained to her, and to her editor, and I wasn’t the only artistic director who raised the issue. We all celebrated when Swisher, who was incredibly arrogant at a tender age, left town. She was and is a classic example of current journalism: convinced that her viewpoint should control what the public has a right to know.
Social media has many flaws, and they are exacerbated horribly by a U.S. education system that appears incapable of teaching critical thought. It is true that morons are especially vulnerable to inflammatory, false, and silly posts on Facebook, Twitter, Insatgram et al., (Imagine: companies pay Kendall Jenner to like things on Instagram, and it works..) but that’s not the fault of the platforms. The news media and journalists like Swisher just want all the morons to themselves so they can manipulate, confuse and control them, and through them, the nation’s culture and political tilt.
For all the garbage that appears on social media, and for all the sinister abuse of power by the companies that run the platforms,if it were not for the opportunity it provides to challenge the news media’s often biased and distorted reporting on our nation and the world, the left-wing information Borg’s domination of what is perceived as “truth” would be nearly total. Most people can’t take the time to write blogs, and the comment sections of newspaper and network websites are basically exercises in metaphorical masturbation. It is unmoderated cacophony interrupted by ads [“I made over 16,000 last month part time on my home computer…”], with intelligent and supported rebuttals buried and unread. Social media, however, can break through the news media monopoly and thriving thought-control projects. President Trump’s crude and impulsive use of Twitter is a net negative for him and the Presidency, but I’ll concede this: without the tweets, the Get Trump news media wing of the resistance would have damaged his Presidency far more than it has. That is, of course, one more reason journalist want him out of office as soon as possible, elections be damned.
British essayist and wit Mark Steyn has added one more smoking gun to the growing collection of sinister mainstream news media gaslighting exercises. I will discuss the emerging journalistic ethics train wreck of the reporting on the Sri Lanka terror attacks on Christians in more detail later (I hope), but Steyn’s analysis of the Economist’s initial coverage shows how the objective in not to inform the public, but to bury the lede. He writes, ruefully, in part,
Okay. Opening paragraphs [of the Economist news story]:
“The deadly attacks in Sri Lanka on Sunday highlighted how easily religious coexistence can be ripped apart in a region where secularism is weakening amid the growing appeal of a politics based on ethnic and sectarian identity.
In India, the country’s governing right-wing Hindu party is exploiting faith for votes, pushing an us-versus-them philosophy that has left Muslims fearing they will be lynched if they walk alone.
In Myanmar, the country’s Buddhist generals have orchestrated a terrifying campaign of ethnic cleansing against the country’s Rohingya Muslims.
And in Indonesia and Bangladesh, traditionally moderate Muslim politicians are adopting harder-line stances to appeal to more conservative electorates.”
So Hindus are attacking Muslims, and Buddhists are attacking Muslims, and “hard-line” Muslims are attacking moderate Muslims. Thank God for some clarity on the situation. But what were all these Muslims doing in church on Easter morning?
…The lights are going out on the most basic of journalistic instincts: Who, what, when, where, why. All are subordinate to the Narrative – or Official Lie…Meanwhile, back in that fast shrinking space known as the real world, from the very first hours the headline of this story was completely straightforward:
“Islamic Suicide Bombers Slaughter Three Hundred on Easter Morning”
But apparently that can no longer be said.
It can be, and is being said on social media, however. You can share Steyn’s truth-telling on Facebook (not mine, more’s the pity, but his). You can foil Kara Swisher and her employer, as well as the Washington Post, CNN and the rest, in small but substantial increments, by calling out the “official” media for not playing straight with the facts, and for becoming, though it is impolitic to say so, “the enemy of the people.” You may get defreinded or unfollowed or blocked, but every bit of truth helps.
It is horribly imperfect, but social media is the voice of the people, and the best chance the people have, those who aren’t morons and ready to swallow whole the tales of the Pope endorsing Presidential candidates and of Hillary Clinton using pizza joints to dabble in sex trafficking, to knock down and overcome propaganda and lies.
This is why, as frustrating as it is, we all have an obligation to keep annoying our gullible Facebook friends with pointed corrections of their latest biased meme or legally absurd impeachment theory. A nice, quite, non-political social media is what the Kara Swishers crave.
For them it means unrestrained power.
13 thoughts on “The New York Times Tech Journalist Cheers Shutting Down Social Media. Of Course She Does…”
Ms. Swisher covered Microsoft for a number of years while I was working there. She got it mostly wrong, and when she didn’t she was intentionally misleading. I still don’t understand why Walt Mossberg paired up with her given his well-earned reputation for fairness, but that’s one of the reasons ReCode ended up as a front for pushing press releases instead of the hard facts tech site it was supposed to be.
Well, she’s cute, or used to be. I was shocked that she had a career based on what I saw in her theater work.
You can do a lot with a resume if you’ve written it yourself.
I doesn’t matter what the resume says if you have the right parent.
The sheer level of ignorance demonstrated regarding India is staggering. It’s like the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_of_India is news to them. If you’re muslim, and live in India outside the five southern states of India, you’ve lived your entire life in fear. It’s been that way for a couple of generations. The borders of the entire region are driven by religious lines.
In my experience, that geographical north/south separation of India is generally correct, though I doubt it is as peaceful as it used to be. I attended a Muslim wedding which included the bride’s father’s best friend as a family member and official photographer (the two men shared a small business space in a “county” town in the state of Mysore (now Karnataka): the Hindu proprietor had his studio upstairs, the Muslim sold kitchenware below. With some orthodox exceptions, they shared customers freely. I’m pretty sure the pastoral ambiance is long gone these days – the surrounding villages (except for two: one which raised silkworms and dyed cloth while the other designed and made saris) were still tied to the land, primarily for rice production. Everyone celebrated the major national holidays and not a few religious festivals together.The coffee houses (little more than huts in the outlying villages, serving a boiling hot liquid tasting of coffee-flavored buffalo milk) which drew both townsmen and farmers after sunset discriminated only against women.
A national committee report in 2010 tells me things continue calm with “a large number of Muslim-run educational institutions in Karnataka . . . having modestly higher levels of progress in terms of education and wealth in the rest of South India than in states of North India, as they [Muslims] are comparatively given more opportunities than their North Indian counterparts.” Ironically, a large part of the friendly feeling dates from the relatively gentle end of the Mughal rule of the 16th century. The final Muslim ruler,Tippu Sultan, is a Karnatic hero, one of the only Indian leaders to defeat the British in battle!
Addendum: The experiences related above took place in the early 1960s.
Keep fighting the good fight, Jack. I, however, have no stomach for the “social media” cesspool. I wish I could tolerate it long enough to offer the much-needed corrections and alternate viewpoints you prescribe, but it’s just too much dumbassery for my delicate sensibilities. Even so, I might be convinced to suck it up and take one for the team, if it weren’t for the massive data-mining and privacy-invading these companies routinely engage in. It all adds up to a front in the culture war that I choose not to fight in. But I’m no conscientious objector; I piss people off in real life all the time with unwelcome facts and statistics. And there’s no “block” button in real life…
Not yet. Have you seen the Black Mirror episode about that?
I’ve watched a handful of Black Mirror episodes, but I guess I haven’t seen that one yet.
“Good, because the toxic digital waste of misinformation that floods these platforms has overwhelmed what was once so very good about them.”
Rather like the New York Times, one might add.
Ugh. Took that necessary line right out of my notes.
The media in general has been gaslighting the public for decades. This is just up front since they should have won the 2016 election and shredded the Constitution by now. This is all simply unfair to dishonest progressives, you see.
Social media is still the devil, and you dabble at your peril, should progressives ever REALLY get the power they crave.