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The bully we like

While bullying is usually condemned in high schools, it’s becoming all-too common in mainstream media.  In fact, it’s considered an excellent tool in this age of moral superiority.

Rose McGowan, who was hailed as one of the first to publically charge Harvey Weinstein for sexual misconduct and assault, has continued, months later, to Tweet her attacks on other actresses who worked with the former movie mogul.  She has condemned their “friendships” with the man as proven by past photos of them together at entertainment events.

The problem is, there are similar photos of McGowan with Weinstein too.  And attacking other actresses for working with Weinstein before his sordid behaviour became public knowledge is like an alcoholic who’s suing Captain Morgan but condemning me for having a drink.

Yet people are supporting her media attacks of Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, and Weinstein’s ex because she is a victim.  She’s even gotten a documentary out of the deal.

Had she been talking about anybody or anything else, this would be considered cyber-bullying.  But in the time of the #MeToo Movement, we call it necessary.  Empowering.  A step forward.

Meanwhile, media giant CNN has taken up the torch and recently gone after advertisers such as Nike, Paramount Network, Fox, Moen and even the Mormon Church for running their ads on YouTube site, The Alex Jones Channel which runs InfoWars.  This far-right program touts conspiracy theories and even recently claimed that the student anti-gun activists in Florida were, in fact, actors.

It’s a morally questionable program but people do watch it.  So these companies who promote their products to whoever will buy them have spread their advertising budgets over various online platforms to hit the widest audiences.  But a recent CNN article publically questioned the morality of these brands’ marketing plans.

In fact, CNN’s article outlined how their reporter contacted management to see if they knew their advertisements were airing with Alex Jones’ show.  Then they waited several days.  If the ads continued to run, they contacted them again to question why they were still airing.  According to the article, InfoWars runs on numerous channels and it slipped by YouTube’s filtering programs.  However, eventually all the ads were pulled.

Given many people’s feelings about this program, CNN’s actions would be hailed as heroic.  However, was CNN just informing these companies?  Or was the media outlet essentially bullying them into doing what it wanted with the unspoken threat of an article?  I guess it doesn’t matter since CNN was in the right.

But were they really?  The media often condemns Donald Trump for his bullying Tweets.  Yet we’ll support similar attacks as long as they match our own political views.

Would these companies have pulled their advertising had CNN not singled them out?  Maybe.  But change should come from the public at large, not the media or one person.

Too many moral compasses are losing their true north as individuals continue to search for new targets to attack in the hunt for the moral high-ground.