National Public Radio took aim at Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire on Monday. Establishment media wants a stranglehold on the narrative, and hit pieces like this one show that their primary issue with outlets like The Daily Wire is that they tell the news without left-wing narrative spin, and they're very successful doing it. In fact, Daily Wire is so successful, NPR wants Facebook to take some action against it and those like it.
To discredit The Daily Wire, NPR takes aim at not only their content and ethos, complaining that they are conservative, but the fact that The Daily Wire has more Facebook followers than The Washington Post. They say that The Daily Wire has "turned anger into an art form and recycled content into a business model."
What they miss is that the American public is tired of the same regurgitated perspective that marches forth from establishment media outlets. They are sick of the pandering to the Biden administration by CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, The New York Times, and so many other outlets that would rather give doe-eyes to the White House under Biden than ask tough questions.
The public radio broadcaster dug into Daily Wire's engagement, saying that "over the past year… The Daily Wire received more likes, shares and comments on Facebook than any other news publisher by a wide margin."
NPR laments that "even legacy news organizations that have broken major stories or produced groundbreaking investigative work don't come close." It's hard not to read this as sour grapes from an establishment news outlet that has been unable to transition their 20th century model to the digital age.
They take issue with Daily Wire headlines, which get readers and keep those readers interested, while establishment media outlets do not hold readers' engagement. It's the spicy headlines, like "BOOK REVIEW: Proof That Wokeness Is Projection By Nervous, Racist White Women Who Can't Talk To Minorities Without Elaborate Codes," that NPR finds distasteful.
And distasteful is the word. Establishment media outlets are getting destroyed in social media, and establishment media, which has for so long had a monopoly on "all the news that's fit to print," as is The New York Times' motto, don't like the upstart, independent media outlets that are conservative, young, and full of fire.
At issue for NPR is that "Shapiro is turning that Facebook reach into a rapidly expanding, cost-efficient media empire — one that experts worry may be furthering polarization in the United States." But when NPR touts experts, they refer to those that also uphold the establishment outlets as the only ones that are worthwhile to report on and deliver the news of the day to eh American public.
These experts include the Social Networks and Political Psychology Lab at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, a social science "political psychology lab," that researches, among other things, public opinion, ideology, partisanship, political knowledge, participation, campaigns, the media (including social media), and polarization," specifically in "comparative political behavior" in American politics.
Jamie Settle, who oversees this student research group, said "They tend to not provide very much context for the information that they are providing. If you've stripped enough context away, any piece of truth can become a piece of misinformation." This is much the same perspective as Facebook's third party fact-checkers, but what they mean by context is often more akin to "doesn't provide a view that aligns with the progressive narrative."
"While other media publications have seen their engagement numbers on Facebook fall off this year," NPR writes, "The Daily Wire has stayed fairly constant, according to NPR's analysis."
When they asked Settle, the expert, her take, she said "I'm depressed by it, but I'm not that surprised. This has everything to do with the psychology of news consumers and the broader issues with polarization in American culture."
In other words, conservatives just don't deserve to have access to or control of the narrative. "The New York Times reported," NPR writes, "last week that Facebook tinkered with the idea of a tool that would make reach data public in addition to engagement data but scrapped it after it also showed false and misleading stories rising to the top of that data."
In fact, that The Daily Wire is and looks like it is a news outlet at all is a problem for NPR. They write that "The Daily Wire's content looks no different in Facebook's newsfeed than an article from a local newspaper, making it potentially difficult to distinguish between more and less reliable or biased information sources." They don't stop for a minute to think that perhaps that's because it is reliable, or that NPR, The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC are all biased news outlets that are driven to report based on ideology, and in many cases, not fact.
It's not just The Daily Wire that NPR attempts to discredit, they take aim at several others who also use a similar business model, who bring news to a readership that doesn't want to read about the glory of Biden and the evils of Trump. Americans are sick of what is being offered, and they are turning elsewhere. Instead of looking at their own practices, NPR seeks to undermine new media, and their readers.
NPR would prefer that The Daily Wire be listed as entertainment, not news. They claim that outlets like The Daily Wire are sowing division in American culture and in the political landscape, without realizing that the divisions were there, and were growing with the help of false and misleading narratives pushed by establishment media outlets.
With The Daily Wire, and others of its kind, Americans who don't adhere to progressive ideology, who can see through the smokescreen and the veils of narrative spin published by establishment and mainstream media, finally have a voice. And it's a voice NPR doesn't want to listen to, and doesn't want heard.