How the Media Uses Tiny Petitions To Make Leftist Positions Front-Page News. By Jonah Gottschalk.
Two weeks ago, a student started an unintentionally comical Change.org petition about popular grocery chain Trader Joe’s. It alleged that “the carefully crafted facade of your friendly neighborhood hipster grocery store belies a darker image; one that romanticizes imperialism; fetishizes native cultures, and casually misappropriates.”
The petition cites as evidence the stores product names, which include ‘Trader Giotto,’ ‘Trader Ming,’ and ‘Trader Joe San’ for Italian, Chinese, and Japanese foods, respectively. It demanded an immediate end to all such jokes in their branding.
As might be expected, the petition did not take off. After two weeks up, the complaint had mustered less than a third of its 5,000-signature goal. For anyone familiar with the easy-to-spread design of Change.org, which collects more than 600,000,000 signatures a year, this is hardly a success story of online activism. …
A petition from around the same time … named “A petition to Ms. McLernon to watch Star Wars The Revenge of the Sith instead of Romeo and Juliet in English Class” has about 10 times as many signatures ….
But in steps the media, who see an opportunity to further their agenda:
Nonetheless, The New York Times decided on Sunday that this petition was front page news.
“Petition Urges Trader Joe’s to Get Rid of ‘Racist Branding’” was sent out to the outlet’s 5 million subscribers, delivering instant legitimacy and coverage to what had been for weeks a niche, unsuccessful activist cause. The “news” story opened with “Trader Joe’s is being urged to follow the example of other national food companies and rebrand products that critics say perpetuate racial stereotypes.”
The story was then swiftly written up by numerous outlets, including CNN with its 200 million unique monthly visitors. Unsurprisingly, upon being called racist by some of the most powerful media outlets in the country, Trader Joe’s panicked. It apologized and claimed it will remove the “light-hearted attempt at inclusiveness.” …
The bigger picture:
Since nationwide unrest began, online petitions have been a valuable tool for activists — and journalists trying to drive far-left narratives into the mainstream. By writing about petitions, journalists can claim to be simply reporting on a widespread groundswell of outrage, even when their position is only held by a tiny fraction of people, concentrated in Twitter activist circles. …
So when you see journalists write up an article claiming “Ford Pressured to Stop Selling Police cars” because of a petition with a tenth of the signatures as a call for more updates to “EA Battlefront 2,” see it for what it is. …
With the media turning farther and farther from objectivity, it pays to be aware of how outlets show a hard-left bias. Don’t be fooled.
From less than two thousand activists and humorous stirrers to the grovelling apology of a big corporation, in less than a week.
Selective reporting and selective enforcement have replaced truth and justice.
It’s a left wing world now. The left owns the media and the bureaucracy, and is increasingly brazen about exercising its power.