Conservative Media Driving Wedge Between Americans
First and foremost, I am a proud moderate and Independent.
I have often voted for Democrats running for political office.
But I have also sometimes voted for their Republican counterparts.
So, my critique of conservative media outlets does not come from a liberal lens.
It comes from an American lens.
After Judge Peter Cahill read off three guilty verdicts for former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of Houston native George Floyd, many around the world erupted with elation.
For one of the first times, probably since forever, a police officer was found guilty of murdering an unarmed African-American man.
The guilty verdict seemed like a turning point in race relations in this country and in the way that law enforcement treats people of color.
From politicians across the pond in Great Britain to our neighbors up north in Canada, the praise of the guilty verdicts seemed unanimous.
Floyd’s murder in May 2020 led to Black Lives Matter protests as far away as Asia.
But despite the historic nature of the day, a few conservative media personalities like Tucker Carlson, Candace Owens and Tomi Lahren took to the airwaves or social media to spread divisive rhetoric on what should have been a unifying day for this great nation.
Lahren asked would the Foot Locker be safe from rioters since Chauvin received three guilty verdicts, as if riots were guaranteed if a not guilty verdict came down?
Carlson claimed that a year’s worth of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and comments from politicians made the jurors scared to exonerate Chauvin.
And Owens said that Chauvin did not receive a fair trial as if his lynching of Floyd did not play out on television screens across the world.
Vanity Fair reported, “After weeks of grueling, emotional testimony, a jury on Tuesday found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three charges in the murder of George Floyd, an all-too-rare showing of accountability to which the nation reacted with palpable, if fleeting relief.
“The case against Chauvin was particularly damming given the killing was captured in broad daylight on a 17-year-old bystander’s cell phone, without which the former officer may have gotten off.
“Yet despite the indisputable evidence, as well as testimony from fellow police officers who decried Chauvin’s use of force Fox News host Tucker Carlson had a different message for viewers, as he argued Tuesday’s conviction ‘was never in doubt’ following ‘nearly a year of burning and looting and murder by BLM’ to achieve the guilty verdict.
“‘Everyone understood perfectly well the consequences of an acquittal in this case,’ Carlson said, arguing the jurors ‘spoke for many in this country’ by coming to the decision ‘please don’t hurt us.’”
Even some Republican politicians got in on the act like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) criticizing Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) for urging protestors of racism and police brutality to get more “confrontational” before criticizing the verdict in the Chauvin trial.
She tweeted, “After Maxine Waters threats could there have been any other verdict? BLM has now proven itself to be the most powerful domestic terrorists organization in our country.”
Without doing research to verify, I believe that the Ku Klux Klan and other White supremacy groups probably hold the distinction of being the most powerful terrorists organizations in this country.
Furthermore, Black Lives Matter is not at all a terrorist organization.
But the fact that video exists of Chauvin slowly and torturously murdering Floyd for almost 10 minutes makes comments from some conservative media personalities especially sickening.
However, conservative media personality Jeanine Pirro of Fox News spoke out in favor of the Chauvin guilty verdicts, so shout out to her.
But the fact that police officers and the Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arrandondo testified against Chauvin makes those comments from some conservative media personalities that much more insulting.
The fact that the world watched a lynching of an African-American man on video and people like Carlson and Owens still disagree with the verdict shows how deplorable they really are.
But the problem is bigger than just those few individuals.
The problem is with conservative media as a whole.
And I use the word media, as opposed to journalism, for a reason.
Journalists report the truth, regardless if it makes conservatives or liberals happy or upset.
Media members often just say things that they believe their fan base wants to hear, regardless of the consequences.
While I am criticizing conservative “journalists,” people outside of the media with large platforms like LeBron James have to watch what they tweet because their words could also lead to division.
James published a controversial tweet that said the officer that killed Ma’Kia Bryant was next (in reference to the Chauvin verdict), even though her death in no way mirrors the murder of Floyd.
However, people like James do not have the same burden to tell the truth that so-called conservative journalists do.
Journalists, and media personalities, have an obligation to tell the truth even if lies lead to better ratings.
Over the last year, conservative media outlets have contributed to the “big lie” concocted by former President Donald Trump to justify why he lost the 2020 election.
That “big lie” led to the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Conservative media outlets often have guests from one side of the political aisle, avoiding competing perspectives as if getting to the truth does not matter.
On Tuesday night, when Carlson’s guest, former New York City Deputy Sheriff Ed Gavin praised the guilty verdict and attempted to talk about ways to reform policing, Carlson weirdly cut him off.
Often when conservative media outlets like Fox News invite African-Americans on their platform, it often invites an African-American like Owens or former NFL star Herschel Walker who probably wish they were not African-American in the first place.
The reason conservative media outlets book African-Americans who speak negatively about the African-American community is because it allows a somewhat racist, conservative and White fan base to feel less guilty about their racist views.
If they can find a good ole Negro that feels the same way that they feel, then they cannot possibly be racist, right?
Conservative media outlets have an opportunity to educate people with racist views and possibly bring people together by bringing in guests with different viewpoints and from different backgrounds.
However, that is only if they are allowed to express their views.
But too many conservative media personalities seemingly care more about ratings and revenue than in reversing racism and improving race relations.
I have had several conversations with conservative media personalities who have admitted that they do not believe what they say on air.
While some have seen the errors of their ways, others continue to peddle hate because the high ratings, in their minds, justify halting the humanity that could exist in this country.