10 min

Papers Push a Narrative / Elon Buys Twitter / Disney Goes Political Consider This! | Conservative political commentary in 10 minutes or less

    • Politics

One way newspapers push a particular narrative is mentioning the race of a perpetrator right up front or way in the back. Or not at all. A study was done looking at major newspaper articles going back 2 years and guess what they found. (You can probably guess, actually.)

There was quite a backlash to Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Thing is, it really brought out who really is for free speech and who isn’t.

Disney dipped it toe into the political waters, but it may be a bit to hot for them.

Mentioned links:

Yes, the Media Bury the Race of Murderers—If They’re Not White

Twitter employees go ‘absolutely insane’ after Elon Musk buys company

The Rising Storm Disney Can’t Wish Away



Show transcript

One thing that conservatives have had a feeling about is that the media are selective on what they consider national news stories. If the perpetrator is white, it seems they get more press than a person of color. It seems that the narrative is pushing the news.

Well, for now we don’t have any hard data on that, but the Washington Free Beacon has done the work to determine where in a story that the race of a murderer shows up. As an example, they note that the race of Frank James, who was responsible for the subway shootings on April 12th, was not mentioned at all in the coverage by the NY Times and Reuters. The Washington Post only mentioned James’s race in relation to his condemnation of training programs for “low-income Black youths.” The charge is that if he had been white, that would have never happened; race would have been prominent from the get-go.

But now there is hard evidence for that. The Free Beacon reviewed 1,100 articles published by 6 major newspapers over 2 years and found that indeed they downplay the race of non-white offenders. They have a graph in their article, linked to in the show notes, that show in which paragraph the race of the perpetrator was first mentioned. Here’s what they found.

Half of articles about a white offender mention his race within the first 15 percent of the article. In articles about black offenders, by contrast, mentions come overwhelmingly toward the end of the piece. Half of the articles that mention a black offender’s race do not do so until at least 60 percent of the way through, and more than 20 percent save it until the last fifth of the article.

And how about where the race was omitted? Well, the Free Beacon confirmed a murderer’s race from other sources and found out how often journalists skipped it.

Again, the skew is startling: White offenders’ race was mentioned in roughly 1 out of every 4 articles, compared with 1 in 17 articles about a black offender and 1 in 33 articles about a Hispanic offender.

There are more findings in the article, including how these stats changed after the death of George Floyd, which only serve to confirm the bias that conservatives have been confident existed in the media. The narrative is everything and if a news story doesn’t, as they say, confirm their priors, then it gets just the obligatory coverage and then memory-holed.

Oh, that liberal media. And yes, it is liberal.



Employees of a tech company reacted angrily when they found out that their company was to be bought by an African-American. That’s another way of reading the actual headline of a link in the show notes, “Twitter employees go ‘absolutely insane’ after Elon Musk buys company”. Yup, he did it, and it turns out that those employees are not all that hip on allowing speech that they disagree with.

One way newspapers push a particular narrative is mentioning the race of a perpetrator right up front or way in the back. Or not at all. A study was done looking at major newspaper articles going back 2 years and guess what they found. (You can probably guess, actually.)

There was quite a backlash to Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Thing is, it really brought out who really is for free speech and who isn’t.

Disney dipped it toe into the political waters, but it may be a bit to hot for them.

Mentioned links:

Yes, the Media Bury the Race of Murderers—If They’re Not White

Twitter employees go ‘absolutely insane’ after Elon Musk buys company

The Rising Storm Disney Can’t Wish Away



Show transcript

One thing that conservatives have had a feeling about is that the media are selective on what they consider national news stories. If the perpetrator is white, it seems they get more press than a person of color. It seems that the narrative is pushing the news.

Well, for now we don’t have any hard data on that, but the Washington Free Beacon has done the work to determine where in a story that the race of a murderer shows up. As an example, they note that the race of Frank James, who was responsible for the subway shootings on April 12th, was not mentioned at all in the coverage by the NY Times and Reuters. The Washington Post only mentioned James’s race in relation to his condemnation of training programs for “low-income Black youths.” The charge is that if he had been white, that would have never happened; race would have been prominent from the get-go.

But now there is hard evidence for that. The Free Beacon reviewed 1,100 articles published by 6 major newspapers over 2 years and found that indeed they downplay the race of non-white offenders. They have a graph in their article, linked to in the show notes, that show in which paragraph the race of the perpetrator was first mentioned. Here’s what they found.

Half of articles about a white offender mention his race within the first 15 percent of the article. In articles about black offenders, by contrast, mentions come overwhelmingly toward the end of the piece. Half of the articles that mention a black offender’s race do not do so until at least 60 percent of the way through, and more than 20 percent save it until the last fifth of the article.

And how about where the race was omitted? Well, the Free Beacon confirmed a murderer’s race from other sources and found out how often journalists skipped it.

Again, the skew is startling: White offenders’ race was mentioned in roughly 1 out of every 4 articles, compared with 1 in 17 articles about a black offender and 1 in 33 articles about a Hispanic offender.

There are more findings in the article, including how these stats changed after the death of George Floyd, which only serve to confirm the bias that conservatives have been confident existed in the media. The narrative is everything and if a news story doesn’t, as they say, confirm their priors, then it gets just the obligatory coverage and then memory-holed.

Oh, that liberal media. And yes, it is liberal.



Employees of a tech company reacted angrily when they found out that their company was to be bought by an African-American. That’s another way of reading the actual headline of a link in the show notes, “Twitter employees go ‘absolutely insane’ after Elon Musk buys company”. Yup, he did it, and it turns out that those employees are not all that hip on allowing speech that they disagree with.

10 min