The field of journalism is not easy. They are poorly paid and, most of the time, have to be out of their comfort zone. Journalists are often rejected and always pressured by deadlines that they may barely meet. On top of that, they are hated, and that hatred is escalating.
In late 2018, Harvard University published a study debunking the oft-propagated “wage gap” myth. They found that even in a unionized profession that mandates equal hourly pay and tenure-based promotions, women earn about 89% of what a man makes on average. The wage gap study shows that men and women making different choices is really what accounts for the gap.
Glenn Verasco | United States
It was perfect: white, male, MAGA-hat-wearing, pro-life, Catholic school teenagers mocking and harassing an elderly, Native American veteran. The Gods of grievance studies and the Democratic Party had combined their omnipotence to deliver the video exemplifying toxic masculinity and white supremacy in Trump’s America to end all videos exemplifying toxic masculinity and white supremacy in Trump’s America. The Donald and freedom of association would now see defeat in one fell swoop.
Unfortunately for some, the initial video in question, like most videos, neglects crucial and extenuating context.
Nathan Phillips and the MAGA Kid
In the viral Twitter video, a lone Native American man is banging on a drum and chanting a Native American hymn. Directly in front of him stands a white teenager in a MAGA hat. The teenager, whose face is terribly punchable, remains still with an irritating grin plastered on his mug. Surrounding these two are dozens of other teenagers bouncing, cheering, laughing, and clapping to the rhythm as well as some individuals who appear to be with the Native American man.
I've seen that look before — on the MAGA boy's face as he taunts a participant from the Indigenous Peoples March. Fueled by ideology and a desire to dehumanize, it frightens me and reminds me of other cruel youth groups from history.
(anyone know original source of video?) pic.twitter.com/Ka6t5HKmCz
— Melissa Chan (@melissakchan) January 19, 2019
The clip spread online with captions and explanations suggesting that the boys had instigated the situation. Sources identified the man as Nathan Phillips, a veteran, and the boys as pupils of Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky.
It was at this point that an NPC hate mob was born and all the usual suspects latched on. Obviously, left-wing identitarians, woke celebrities, blue check marks, and anti-Trump radicals pushed the hardest. However, cowardly conservative pundits and journalists joined in too.
A Reality Too Convenient to Question
Next came doxxing and explicit threats of violence towards the boys and platitudes of admiration for Mr. Phillips. What never came, at least out of the burgeoning mob, was skepticism. I guess some realities are just too convenient to question.
More video of the situation then began to emerge. To anyone willing to open their eyes, it was clear that the situation was far more complicated than the mob would permit for consideration.
One video shows that it was Phillips who approached the boys, not the other way around. As the boys shout their alma mater wildly, something teenage boys do, Phillips walks towards them with his drum:
As one present student explains, the boys’ initial thought was that Nathan Phillips was making “a cultural display”, so they decided to join his chant. They then grew “confused” after sensing hostility on Phillips’ part:
— Adam Clements (@AClementsWKRC) January 20, 2019
By Ryan Lau | @agorisms
On October 17th, Fox News released a stunning headline. It read, “Hungary bans gender studies because it is ‘an ideology not a science'”. The article prompted vast social media responses, both positive and negative. Some proponents declared that the Euroskeptic nation is moving away from the liberal policies of the EU. On the other hand, others declared that this was going against the desires and interests of many Hungarian students.
In the heated discussions, there was one thing missing: the facts. The thing is, the Fox headline, as well as many other news headlines on the subject, got it all wrong: Hungary is not banning gender studies at all.
A Shaky Headline
Looking at the headline instantly brings about a fair degree of suspicion about its validity. Colleges all throughout the world teach many things besides sciences. In many cases, such courses do fall under the category of ideology. In fact, some, such as political theory, dedicate themselves solely to the study of ideology.
This calls into the question the validity of the Hungarian claim that the decree is due to ideology. At least, it proves a degree of hypocrisy on the part of the Hungarian government for only taking action towards one form of ideology. Yet, even their action against gender studies is quite limited.
Hungary’s New Gender Studies Policy
In reality, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban did sign a decree about gender studies. Effective October 13th, the government did remove federal funding and revoked approval for the master’s program. As such, students admittedly cannot currently sign up to take the program with federal funding.
However, they did not in any way address anything related to undergraduate gender studies. Moreover, the university insisted it will still teach the program to give both MA and Ph.D. degrees.
Further still, the decree did nothing to address gender studies in private schools and universities. There is a clear distinction between a ban and a removal of funding; the latter does not criminalize the act in question. Hungary, clearly, did not make it illegal for someone to practice gender studies. They furthermore will not be giving anyone a punishment for doing so. A lack of funding is not punishment; it is an inaction, not a negative action.
So, the claim, which Fox News, Independent, and many other organizations made, is false. Though the Hungarian government took away federal funding and support for gender studies, they did not do anything to prohibit its practice.
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By Josh Hughes | United States
By now, just about every American has heard the president’s favorite line, “Fake news,” many times. Yes, the divisive rhetoric, which he mainly directs at traditionally “left-wing” news outlets such as CNN, the Washington Post, MSNBC, and others, has become an everyday phrase.
Yelled vehemently by Trump’s supporters at rallies or at journalists, said as a joke between friends, or used as a new slang of declaring something as untrue, you name it: this mantra has become something of a pop culture expression. What implications does this have on America? As it turns out, they are mostly negative.
Trump’s Media War: Part “n”
On Monday, Trump told a reporter from ABC, Cecilia Vega, that it’s okay she wasn’t thinking because she “never thinks.” On August 30, Trump tweeted that the Press was the “enemy of the people.” He has, as previously stated, said the phrase “fake news” countless times. These are just a few of many examples. The more Trump makes these comments, the more he desensitizes the American people.
The Main Issue
While some claim they don’t care about or even support the President’s rhetoric, they often fail to realize how drastic this is. There are people who devote their entire lives to giving reports and analyzing key issues. To write an entire group off as “fake” is not only disrespectful, it’s frightening.
Through normalizing the disregard of every report that goes against him, Trump is trying to pit the people against the media. Repeating the phrase “fake news” has a strong cognitive effect, and eventually, those who hear it will believe it. Scientists recently dubbed this idea “The Illusory Truth Effect.” Basically, it states that when people hear a lie enough, even when they are knowledgeable about a particular subject, they will begin to believe it to be true. Of course, it is true that news sources, including the ones above, do show bias. Some display this considerably more than others. However, dismissing entire organizations, or worse, the industry as a whole, as fake sets a dangerous precedent.
Like it or not, the President of the United States is the most powerful person on the planet. Without a doubt, the things the president says carry a lot of weight. Thus, his constant, deliberate attacks on the media can pit tons of people against each other.
In extreme cases, this division can actually lead to incidents of violence. One such case of this occurred after Trump’s August 30th “enemy of the people” remark. Just hours later, police arrested a man for making threatening phone calls to the Boston Globe. Due to the tense divisions and mob mentality, this man threatened to kill every last one of them for their criticism of the President. Of course, this man’s actions are solely his responsibility, and neither Trump nor the Globe is at fault. Nonetheless, it is clear that this environment stirs up major controversy and even violence.
President Trump is playing a dangerous game. Nobody truly knows the final goal of these endless attacks, but there are a number of possibilities. First of all, he may be attempting to become more immune to criticism. If enough banter from the president will lower the popularity of major opposing news outlets, Trump can control his image by attacking outlets he opposes and praising those he supports. Of course, this is much easier said than done, but in the days of massive mob mentality centered around the media, is far from an impossibility.
How America Can Avoid This
There is bias everywhere. That is an undeniable fact. The best way for people to not get trapped in this situation is to not listen to a lone side. There are times when both the media and the president will lie. It is important to fact-check and gain information from diverse sources. Also, it is essential to know when and how to question media and other suppliers of information. A free press is a precious American right; allowing the president to attack it is unacceptable. All citizens, in search of a better world and country, should strongly oppose this media war.
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