Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson have both written pieces in response to this week’s meeting with Facebook – Beck as someone who attended, Erick as someone who didn’t. You can read them here, at Medium. And here, at the other site with the eagle logo. Both suggest the same thing about the conservative relationship with Facebook: that criticizing the corporate entity for its obvious bias in its news curation is an act of hypocrisy and nothing more than a Jesse Jackson-style shakedown.
Erickson:“It seems a growing number of conservative decided they must embrace the same tactics of the left and turn into professional grievance mongers and shake down artists. Just as Republicans fail to win elections by being Democrat-lite, conservatives are never going to beat liberals at their own game. But here they are trying.”
Beck: “[Zuckerberg] went on to discuss that they are far from perfect, that they are always working on the algorithms, the improvement of the newsfeed, the user experience, etc. The goal, though, was very clear — to be an open platform. When I looked into his eyes and his team’s eyes, I believed him and I believed them. I hope I am not proven wrong.”
These are the complaints of useful idiots. They are stupid and both men should be ashamed at their dull-witted retromingency in making them. Facebook is not being shaken down in any capacity. It is being criticized not as a corporation, but in its chosen role as a media entity. Facebook curates the news; it is a news source for the vast majority of Americans. It put its trending algorithm forward as a source of news, with the false impression given that it accurately represented the trending topics of the Facebook community. Instead, it warped these results according to their ideological framework and their biases to falsely represent the top stories of the day. This is a serious accusation and one Facebook has admitted to as a problem. Yet Beck and Erickson are arguing against Mark Zuckerberg when they say that it doesn’t matter.
Glenn Beck walked into a room with them and loudly insisted he was uninterested in influencing their hiring decisions which leave out conservatives, because he wanted to out-conservative everyone in the room.
If you agree with Beck and Erickson, you must also throw out the entire realm of media bias reporting that has been a mark of the right for decades as nothing more than agitating for affirmative action hirings, which is not their goal at all. Criticism of the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the mainstream television media has been a hallmark of conservative writing for ages, and it is criticism based on the fact that they are often wrong about things that everyone right of center knows about.
This criticism has had an impact: witness most recently the hiring, over the past few year, at CNN of a number of thoughtful young conservative commentators who offer a much higher quality of analysis than you will…