This Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 image shows s white supremacist carrying a NAZI flag into the entrance to Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Journalism can, at times, be a very tricky thing. On the one hand, the job is to report the news and developments in the world around us. On the other, there is a thin line between reporting the news and looking for it.
It is hard to ignore the fact that white supremacists felt emboldened by Donald Trump’s rhetoric during his campaign. Every statement about illegals and American jobs only served to fuel their racist anger – whether Trump meant to stir them up or not is beside the point – and they felt more motivated in 2016 than they’d ever felt before.
That is newsworthy. White supremacy is not something that really gets a whole lot of airtime, but their increased buzzing during and after the election was notable enough that it was news.
However, the David Dukes of the world wanted that spotlight again (Duke himself ran for Senate here in Louisiana and lost spectacularly) and fought for it. They had a taste of the mainstream, and they wanted more. This is where the line between reporting news and looking for news becomes blurry.
Groups like these are usually so far out of the mainstream that they don’t get any airtime unless they do something big. So, they managed to organize a rally last year in Charlottesville. It worked, and they got more airtime. The media focused on them, rightly so at the time, and their dangerous rhetoric and actions were well documented even here at RedState.
But, since that first Charlottesville rally, the white supremacists of the United States haven’t really gotten any big rallies like that together. They have remained a noisy but still very small segment of social media. However, because of their views and their support of the current President of the United States, they generate a disproportionate number of headlines for their actual population.
Several actual racists have run for office and some have even won primaries (largely thanks to luck), but they are so far in the fringe that their own party does not turn out for them. They have no real support. Yet, they are given airtime repeatedly. And, when media outlets give these lunatics headlines, they are doing nothing but feeding these trolls.
The line between reporting and looking for news is officially crossed.
Before Trump, these same groups existed. They still made noise. But, the media ignored their antics for the most part. But now, because they support Trump, they get near-daily headlines.
Look at the so-called Unite the Right rally this week. A couple dozen racists show up. Hundreds of Antifa protestors show up. The racists don’t really do much other than exist, but they get all the headlines, even when the stories themselves are about the Antifa protestors attacking journalists and cops.
The media, through all of this, has the absolute gall to ask us why white supremacists are so emboldened in this day and age. They want to blame Trump, and to be fair Trump does take some of the blame. But, there were fringe elements of the liberal side of the aisle who supported Barack Obama. Obama even had to distance himself from Jeremiah Wright.
But, Wright and people like him – people who thoroughly hate America – didn’t get the airtime these white supremacists are getting. Neither group frankly deserves the airtime.
If the media wants to know why white supremacists are so active and visible now, they need only look at their coverage of them. How much airtime has been given to these fringe groups that no one with any sense actually supports? How much of it was actually deserved?
Too much for the former, and not much for the latter.