You don’t need a degree in journalism to spot media bias. Just read the adjectives used in any given story.
If an actor gives a Climate Change speech at an awards show, expect to see words like “fiery” or “powerful” attached to the news coverage.
It’s an undeniable tell.
You don’t have to look that hard to gauge the media’s reaction to Ben Shapiro’s rap sensation, “Facts.” The conservative pundit and Daily Wire co-founder joined rap superstar Tom MacDonald for a track that triggered all the usual suspects.
That includes the media, of course.
Reporters could note how MacDonald routinely tops the charts without a label or marketing machine. They also might explore why Shapiro’s presence on a MacDonald track helped it climb the music charts.
You could even use words like “historic” to describe the song’s popularity. How often do white conservative pundits crash the hip-hop charts?
Instead, journalists piled on the song and its curious rap duo.
Newsweek used negative X reactions to frame its piece on the story, saying social media users blasted Nicki Minaj for supporting the MacDonald/Shapiro song.
TMZ also weaponized the Internet’s “reaction” to the track in its coverage, even though the song clearly has its admirers.
BEN SHAPIRO: I’M A RAPPER NOW!!!… Internet Totally Cringes
The far-Left Daily Beast took the song’s success poorly.
Of course, the whole thing is purposely cringe, which is the entire point. Whether it’s MacDonald wearing an “I Don’t Care If I Offend You” hoodie in the video, or Shapiro spitting verses like “Homie I’m epic/don’t be a WAP,” the song is merely another lazy exercise in titillating easily entertained conservatives while supposedly enraging “snowflake” liberals.
Mediaite melted down, too, forgetting that boasting and self-promotion are crucial parts of a rapper’s tool kit.
Shapiro gave most of the limelight to McDonald before busting out his own verse and imploring his fans to boost the song to “a Billboard number one….” Shapiro spent the first hours of the song’s release on X, formerly Twitter, tagging various music stars, including Nicki Minaj, in a ploy for attention.
This may be the first time a rapper tried to do so, of course.
Newsone’s account of the single’s success reads like a spittle-flecked blog post.
Now, people are commenting that they didn’t have Shapiro busting an excruciatingly Caucasian rhyme in a viral video wasn’t on their Bingo cards—considering he spent years vehemently denouncing rap music as some sort of ghetto plague sullying the American arts—but if you had been paying attention to the cultural shift among neo-conservatives, you would know that the tighty-righty-whitey brigade has done a 180 on its anti-rap stance now that its trying to appeal to Black voters and shed its old, white and stale image. (They’re apparently going for a young, 99% white and stale identity now.)
The Root called the single the “worst form of cultural appropriation.”
The Hill, purportedly an unbiased news outlet, framed MacDonald as a “far-right troll rapper” citing the far-Left Rolling Stone magazine.
MacDonald isn’t on the far right. The Hill journalist should work a little harder than a simple Google search to learn about an artist.
FACTS is officially the top song IN THE WORLD on iTunes. Rap god status: unlocked! pic.twitter.com/nSvNLCeCkm
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 30, 2024
TheWrap.com attempted a straight news story about the song but weaponized Shapiro’s wildest critics to say he’s a “White Supremacist” without anything to back it up.
That’s mildly better than Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Both outlets ignored a story that took the rest of the media by storm.
Billboard.com, which purports to cover music, also ignored the single’s obvious news value. So did Rolling Stone.
Would these outlets pass on a story about progressive Rachel Maddow stunning the world with a no. 1 selling rap song? Of course not.
Media bias is often about what’s not covered by the press.
“Facts” has nearly 10 million YouTube views after five days of release. It’s currently the number-one song on iTunes.