Narratives aren’t fact.
People love to think humans are persuaded by facts, that we’re rational beings, willing to weight the information in front of us, and even if we don’t like the outcome, we’re willing to change our minds in the face of truth.
This pretty much never happens. Emotions… our tribe’s position… and what we want to believe… are far more important to us than boring old facts.
Well, here are some facts.
*|FNAME|*, maybe you saw this week’s leak of an internal meeting among the staff of the New York Times?
(Hey — if you’re on the left of the political spectrum there’s a good chance you didn’t see the story — check out this graph.
The graph shows that Conservatives can’t really get away from the large left-leaning media outlets, while Liberals apparently can spend months without reading a Fox News article. (If your sources don’t disagree with you, you might not be getting the full story.))
Now, back to the NYTimes scandal.
What happened at the NYTimes is, there was an internal meeting where the editor discussed changing the focus of their reporting from the Trump-Russia-Collusion narrative…
a narrative which won them two Pulitzer Prizes for their investigative reporting…
a narrative which led their readers to be certain that Trump was guilty of something…
a narrative that was, at the end, unable to be supported by Robert Mueller in his Mueller Report, who found no evidence of collusion.
(but the facts won’t change minds!)
So those Pulitzer wins seem a bit misplaced.
Anyway, that narrative was used up, and the NYTimes had no where left to run with that fake story. (Maybe you’ve noticed it’s dropped from the headlines?)
With that narrative now debunked (but collusion believers don’t see it), the New York Times internal meeting decided to spend the next two years —the run-up to the 2020 election— focusing on Trump’s position on race and race relations.
And like the Collusion story, they’ll be able to dig up plenty of “evidence” to support the narrative. They’ll find historical ideas that put today’s news into some unflattering context. They’ll probably win a prize or two.
In the mean time, they’ll be dividing the nation by creating stories around this theme, and any story that doesn’t fit the narrative will be unfit to print.
Don’t look into the administration’s prison reform efforts, or the demographic employment rates, or any other inconvenient facts that might not support a racist narrative.
Because, facts don’t persuade people. With the 2020 vote coming, riling up emotions is far more important.
So now, the NYTimes —and similar news outlets— will find ways to twist words and ignore actions to support their narrative, the story they want to tell, regardless of facts, regardless of the outcome to the American people.
And the readers will eat it up and ask for more and cry, “We knew it all along!”
This is how the media —on both sides of most issues— leads people by the nose. And they make money doing it.
And… mark my words… if racism can’t take hold, it’ll be a narrative pushing the idea of a recession…
PS Generally I stay away from politics but this NYTimes leak was just too much. It shows how our reality is shaped by what we see (and read) and how powerful people are willing to suppress and shift reality to get us on their bandwagon in an effort to line their pockets.