The Biden administration is reported to be considering expanding its outreach to younger Americans by holding briefings for popular social media personalities, known as “influencers.” These briefings would be separate from those held in the White House Briefing Room for conventional media.
Naturally, any new idea floated by President Biden or the Democratic Party is immediately pounced on by Fox News as something nefarious with an ulterior motive that Fox portrays as sinister. In this case, Fox News is very concerned that Biden is trying to communicate effectively with young people, Something that Fox News is particularly bad at.
To counter this malicious method of messaging, Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum invited the Republican governor if Iowa, Kim Reynolds, to discuss the rumors. MacCallum is regarded by Fox to be one of their alleged “news” reporters. That has never been true, and she demonstrates why in this exchange with the Governor…
MacCallum: I think a lot of viewers, a lot of people, a lot of adults, don’t really understand the influence of TicTok. These folks on TikTok have huge followings. They tell people what they should eat, what they should buy, what they should wear, and more powerfully I think in the midterms, who they should vote for and what issues should be important to them regardless of any fact check going on what they’re saying. So how seriously do you take this is if the Biden team decides to really implement, use these people in 2024?
Reynolds: I think the hypocrisy that continues out of the Biden administration, and with Democrats across this country, is just ridiculous.
Fox News host Martha MacCallum appears to be describing . . . Fox News! https://t.co/W6I13DEbFD
— News Corpse (@NewsCorpse) April 12, 2023
Let’s set aside Reynolds’ response that totally avoids the question in order to fling the word “hypocrisy” around without any relationship to the subject. MacCallum’s concerns about social media “influencers” sound awfully familiar. Can you think of any other media enterprise that tells people how they should eat, dress, and vote?
If you said “Fox News,” congratulations. You’re not brain dead. Fox News also has a huge following (although mostly seniors), and regularly complains about what they call “woke” companies that you should refrain from patronizing. For instance, you must not eat M&Ms, or drink Bud Light, or wear Nikes, or visit Disneyland. And they spend 90% of their airtime advising their glassy-eyed audience to vote only for certified conservative Republicans.
Fox also tells their viewers what issues are important, or by omission, which are not. Recently Fox News buried the story of the Texas judge who ruled against the FDA approval of the abortion pill. From April 7 through 10, Fox provided all of 27 minutes to the story, while MSNBC and CNN each had seven hours of reporting. Likewise, Fox News minimally reported on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of undisclosed gifts from a right-wing billionaire.
The reports that the Biden White House is planning on having dedicated briefings for social media influencers are greatly exaggerated. White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre declined to confirm any such plans. But she did note that, informally, it’s “something that we do all the time, from the President on down, is talk to influencers and try to meet the American people where they are to reach them in a different way.” As examples, there were such briefings last year on the war in Ukraine, and on the Inflation Reduction Act.
There are good reasons to implement an outreach program that caters to social media. Studies show that “Nearly 40% of Gen Z prefers TikTok and Instagram over Google Search, according to Google’s own internal data.” And it makes sense to try to reach citizens where they actually are. And for younger citizens who are wary of mainstream media, that’s on platforms like TikTok. But, not surprisingly, that’s too difficult a concept for the fogies on Fox to grasp. So they condemn it. Even though Donald Trump has his own pitifully failing social media platform.
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