A Follow-Up, An Apology, And A “Bite Me, Daily Wire!”


The previous post was one of the relatively few in which Ethics Alarms was suckered by bad information. As always when this happens, I am awash with regret and shame. Here is how it now begins, in bold:

“This is the revised part. The retraction is that despite the headline and what I wrote below, Twitter didn’t suspend New York Times columnist Bret Stephens account for violating Twitter’s rules with his recent op-ed calling anti-white measures showing up in the Biden Administration and elsewhere what they are: racism. The Daily Wire, a conservative website that was founded by right wing gadfly Ben Shapiro, wrote the post based on “a Twitter user” as its source,” and I foolishly assumed that the site would have checked out the claim before posting on it. It turns out the Stephens’ account says it’s “suspended” because he suspended it himself, in 2019.

Thus I am made an accomplice to this confirmation bias chain reaction, and I resent it. This is the kind of crap I experienced more than once from Breitbart and The Gateway Pundit, both of which are no longer cited as sources on Ethics Alarms, and whose stories I will not believe unless I find a credible source that independently confirms it. Now I’m adding the Daily Wire to that blacklist. There are plenty of left-leaning sites on that list as well, but since it is virtually impossible to ensure that a story that reflects poorly on the allies of progressive propaganda hasn’t been obscured or deliberately distorted by the mainstream media, conservative media has to be trustworthy and professional, and far too often, it just isn’t. Situations like this make it easier for the mainstream media to call every report they wish would disappear “conservative disinformation.”

Meanwhile, The Daily Wire just notes (a few minutes after I’ve posted relying on its fabricated story) that its post had been “corrected,” rather than “totally worthless.” It was originally titled, “Twitter Suspends NY Times’ Columnist’s Account After He Denounces Equity as ‘Racism.” NOW it is headlined “NY Times Columnist Denounces Equity as ‘Racism’” which is both inaccurate and not news, since Stephens’ column is three days old. He also never called “equity” racism; that’s like something they would say on MSNBC to distort what was written. Stephens wrote that the Left was falsely redefining what equity means .I thought the phrasing was strange and sloppy in the first version, but since the topic was Twitter’s censorship, I didn’t bother with it. Now, the misrepresentation is the subject of the Daily Wire’s whole post. In the body of the piece, it now says, “On June 30, a Twitter reader erroneously claimed that Twitter had suspended Bret Stephens’ Twitter account.”

What it should say is “On June 30, a Twitter reader erroneously claimed that Twitter had suspended Bret Stephens’ Twitter account, and we, because we were looking for another reason to bash Twitter, believed him without checking. We apologize to our readers and any other websites, commentators or blogs who were misled due to our mistake.” But I DO apologize (and thank JutGory for the prompt alert.)

Confirmation bias also played a part in my gullibility: I do not trust Twitter, and what was falsely represented is just a bit beyond what Jack Dorsey’s arrogant cyber-creature has done already. The last line of the post is still valid, though the rest was built on garbage: “Boy, am I glad I quit Twitter. But I’m ashamed that I didn’t do it sooner.”

Like Bret Stephens.

Addendum: Instapundit, which sent me to the Daily Wire botch, still has up a headline reading “IT’S COME TO THIS: Twitter Suspends NY Times’ Columnist’s Account After He Denounces Equity as ‘Racism.’” The “update” that reveals that the headline is false comes way down at the bottom, after six paragraphs and an eight inch long screen-shot. Not good.

9 thoughts on “A Follow-Up, An Apology, And A “Bite Me, Daily Wire!”

  1. I am sorry I ruined your day. I was hesitant to send you the correction because I was not sure THAT was accurate.

    I just don’t really trust much of anything I read online. I se how many people get duped into silly thinking by simplistic memes. And, I am sure some of it is true. You just can’t always tell what is true when the press seems content to filter things through its own world-view.

    And, the headlines are the worst!


  2. I stopped looking at Daily Wire early on, because I felt its headlines were too clickbait, and it just annoys me. On the funny side, I will paraphrase Churchill. Conservative media is the worst kind of media, except for all others.

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