The social media landscape can be overwhelming. Its never-ending cycle of information often leaves consumers feeling unsure about how to differentiate hard news from fluff. And once you enter the social media world, the cycle seems to spin with no end in sight. Even a mundane post to the “Twitterverse” can go viral, giving the tweet more legitimacy than it often deserves, just by the sheer number of people the message reaches.
For example, late last night when I was perusing the web one last time for any late breaking news – I came across a tweet written by a journalist named Alex Heard.
He tweeted to his 400 followers:
@alexheard: My #Bachmann theory: What she really wants is a Palin Payoff, meaning book deal, reality show $$, etc. I'd watch "23 Is Enough."
According to his Twitter bio, Alex Heard is the editorial director for Outside magazine.
This comparison of Bachmann and Palin purposefully implies the absurd notion that the two high profile conservative women must be the same because they are, well, women. And his “23 is Enough” statement refers to the title Alex Heard would give Bachmann’s hypothetical show, mocking the fact that she raised 23 foster children.
Jack Shafer, an editor at Slate magazine, had no problem endorsing Alex’s comparison by re-tweeting it out to his nearly 18,000 followers. This is a perfect example of how a political statement that started by a journalist who works for a nonpolitical publication and has significantly less twitter followers can have a viral impact, spreading his message across the internet, therefore giving it more legitimacy.
@JackShafer: RT @alexheard My Bachmann theory: What she really wants is a Palin Payoff, meaning book deal, reality show $, etc. I'd watch "23 Is Enough."
So what inspired Alex Heard and Jack Shafer to push this message out? Is it because Bachmann and Palin are ambitious and attractive female politicians so they must have the same goals? No. I think this is an example of the same sexist sentiment that is still accepted in the mainstream media, so long as it is only applied to conservative women. If you take the gender reference out of the tweet, Alex Heard’s comparison simply doesn’t make sense.
I asked Alex what information he had to make this comparison and he did not respond.
As social conservatives, we must rally together and make it clear that this sexist rhetoric is not acceptable. We need to be on the lookout for the blatant spreading of fallacious statements to fool people into believing false ideologies.
It continues to baffle me that prominent liberals say that conservative women like Bachmann want to put women back in the kitchen and get away with it.
Michele Bachmann has an extensive résumé and continues to prove that her accomplishments and leadership ability far outweigh her appearance. She has made it clear that image is not the platform that she is running on.
If Bachmann isn’t a serious candidate, why are liberals racing to define Bachmann before more voters – specifically those who don’t live in Iowa or South Carolina – have an opportunity to evaluate her up close and in person? I think it’s because liberals are starting to view her as a real contender, and this frightens them. I agree with Andy McCarthy over at National Review who said it yesterday, “Bachmann Can Win.”