On Standards

mostly_europe

Most of the posts on this blog relate to Danish misrepresentations of America and Americans.

But the Highway of Misunderstandings has always been a two-way street. With multiple lanes in each direction. And heavy traffic.

Case in point, a tweet from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from a few weeks ago (which came to my attention via Ace of Spades). I’ve fallen into the habit of citing tweets without embedding the tweets themselves because Twitter’s a sewer and I’d like to keep its pollutive influence off my blog, but this one has to be seen to be believed:

I can’t access the article itself because the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (the AJC) actually blocks European traffic (which adds just one more delicious slice of irony to this ample sandwich).

That’s beside the point, however: this is a newspaper’s official, blue-checked Twitter account asserting that Vikings weren’t Europeans.

Probably because the person in charge of the paper’s Twitter account is a 22-year-old product of America’s educational system: razor sharp on pronouns, white privilege, critical theory, and equity, but not so hot on old-fashioned superfluities like geography and history.

And that kid’s probably running the company Twitter account without much editorial oversight.

I’m only guessing, obviously, but that’s the most charitable guess I could come up with. If an actual journalist composed that tweet, or if it was reviewed by two pairs of eyes before being sent, then the AJC is in serious trouble.

Regardless of whether it was a fresh green intern or a grizzled old pro that put that tweet out, however, it’s the most obvious, slam-dunk case of misinformation I’ve seen in a long time.

The Vikings, you may have heard, came from Scandinavia.

Scandinavia, you may have heard, is in Europe.

By my reckoning, that makes Vikings European.

“Europeans arrived in America before Europeans arrived in America” makes less sense than a David Lynch movie.

And yet the tweet has not been flagged by Twitter’s tireless brigade of fact-checkers and busybodies. It has not been corrected or deleted by the AJC itself.

This is, as the Harry formerly known as a Prince would say, a humanitarian crisis.

Or it would be, if anyone cared. But no one cares, because the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is just a newspaper, so it’s not their job to get things right. Not in this glorious year of our lord 2021. Accuracy is for chumps.

I can see the kids in the back row are looking dubious: I’m just some rando blogger and the AJC is a respected newspaper that’s been around for more than 150 years. Why should they trust my word on this?

Let me draw you a map of Europe:

Europe, kind of.

It’s just a crude silhouette, obviously, and I left out Russia because fuck them, and I left out the British islands because they’re not Europe, and I left out a lot of islands (including the one I live on) because they’re hard to draw and I haven’t got all day.

So it’s not all Europe, but everything in it is Europe, and most of that stuff on top is Scandinavia. Where the Vikings came from.

Down on the bottom left, that’s the Iberian peninsula, where you’ve got your Spain and your Portugal, and that little boot hanging down in the middle, that’d be your Italy. They’re all part of Europe. You can tell, because they’re on the map, and it’s a map of Europe.

If the Vikings went to America 1000 years ago, then Europeans were in America 1000 years ago.

If Italians and Spaniards and Portuguese went to America about 500 years later, then Europeans were also in America 500 years ago.

It’s not that complicated.

It’s also not that big a deal.

Unless you’re all wrapped up in the idea that misinformation is a humanitarian crisis. If that’s how you roll, then this is obviously a pretty big deal. Massive. A major American newspaper, flinging out lies with reckless abandon.

You can’t just roll your eyes and chuckle at the silly mistake: it’s a humanitarian crisis!

It’s also really small potatoes.

I should have knocked it off paragraphs ago, but I was having fun.

So let’s move on to another, strangely related media curiosity:

Google news search on Waukesha, 23 Nov 2021, 17:35

That’s a screen shot of the top results returned when I searched “waukesha” on Google just now.

What do you not see in any of those headlines?

Ha ha, very good, you kids in the back row got me: my ass is not in those headlines.

Neither is any mention of race. Or terrorism. Or much of anything, really, beyond an apparent desire for more information (“new questions emerge,” “what we know”).

That’s prudent and responsible reporting.

Which is what you get when a black guy deliberately runs a truck into a crowd, killing at least five and wounding dozens. Some of whom may have been white. Most of whom probably were, in fact, since we’ve already learned at least three of the fatalities were from a dancing group of elderly women called the “Milwaukee Dancing Grannies,” and here’s the featured image from their website (right now):

Milwaukee Dancing Grannies (screencap from their website).

What if he’d been a white guy and the victims had been a bunch of black grannies?

Wouldn’t make a difference to me: the driver would still be a monster and I would still mourn the victims. The whole thing would make me just as sick.

Kyle Rittenhouse, also of Wisconsin, shot and killed a couple of lowlife thugs in self-defense, and all we heard about—even from the American president—was more blather about race, race, race. A white guy kills a bunch of other white guys that were assaulting him and stating their intent to kill him, and it’s just another sad chapter in America’s brutal history of racism. White privilege, white supremacy.

A black guy drives a truck into a crowd, killing a bunch of white grandmas, and we need more information. We don’t want to jump to any conclusions. Let caution be our watchword.

I’m not gonna knock the media for how they’re playing this: their careful and sober approach is just as it should be.

Always.

And I’m not knocking Twitter for letting the AJC goof slide. It’s obviously wrong, a dumb mistake, and the world will keep spinning even if we all know there’s a factually false tweet out there.

Which is not a bad way to approach all information on the net.

The problem is, the racist “progressive” media don’t see it that way.

They say we need more information about Darrell Brooks because he’s black. Were he white, of course we’d already be knee-deep in the hysterics of White Supremacy. They’re treating the story differently because of his skin color—just as they did a couple of weeks ago with the school shooter who was black and therefore not a very good symbol of white gun rage (he had reasons, you see: as his lawyer put it, it was not “a standard issue school-shooting”). Deranged white kids have white rage. Deranged black kids have reasons. Again, that’s not my take: it’s the media’s.

We can let the silly tweet about Vikings stand because it’s just mixing stuff up about Europeans, and everyone with any education at all knows the Vikings were European, and the text of the linked article surely makes that clear anyway. And it’s not like Scandinavians are gonna blow a gasket or anything. It’s not misinformation unless and until the anointed say so.

This bizarrely unequal coverage isn’t just bad journalism: it can have consequences.

Had Darrell Brooks been following the media for the past few years, for example, he’d be under the impression that American whites were out to get him at every turn, that he could never get a fair shake, that he would forever be in the power of white people so innately racist that they can’t help oppressing him. They’re oppressing him in their sleep, those bastards. Why, even Joe Biden, the man who is now President in Chief of the Oval Office replica, had once warned black Americans that Republicans wanted to put them all back in chains!

When the entire leftist establishment—media, politicians, entertainers, professional athletes, universities, big tech—when they all persist in making everything about race, and making everything about race mainly about black victimhood and white oppression, then they’re literally manufacturing frustration, despair, hopelessness—and maybe even a little rage.

That’s what we know so far.

When will new questions emerge about the wisdom of their doing so?

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Soren Rasmussen
Soren Rasmussen
7 days ago

Two things popped into my head at this:
One (and this is really trivial), if even a tiny minority of Scandinavians were in the habit of decapitating people they perceived to be spreading falsehoods about them, you might still have seen that tweet, but there would certainly have been a more, er, vigorous response, retraction and backtracking. Homicidal maniacs get all the grease.

Second, and more interesting, one notes the strange commonality of expressions used when describing the Waukesha attack: the term “Waukesha parade crash” or “Waukesha Christmas parade crash” is being used regardless of what mainstream media is reporting (you can add APnews and WaPo to the list).

The interesting word here is of course “crash” which is normally used for accidents. You know, just one of those things. (Except for NPR which for some reason is only using “Waukesha Christmas Parade” in their headline – and then only providing the additional word “incident” as a clue to the casual reader why they are reporting on something as seemingly anodyne as a Christmas parade).

I am not saying someone is distributing talking points to all these media telling them precisely what phrase to use to refer to the attack (though I would not rule out a Journolist type operation whereby editors of these publications actively agree on how to frame things), but in practical terms the effect is exactly what you would get if someone did just that, which would speak volumes about the near identical world views of everyone involved in framing the news.

This is in contrast to how others refer to what happened, such as Fox News (“attack” or “tragedy”) or Breitbart (“massacre” or “horror”), which at least gives off less of an in-lockstep vibe.

Soren Rasmussen
Soren Rasmussen
7 days ago

you know, just like phrase “cross state lines!” suddenly popped up everywhere some talking head was pontificating on the Rittenhouse trial. And we could continue ad nauseam with many of the supercut greatest hits in the “Bombshell”, “the walls are closing in”, “beginning of the end” genre.