The media meltdown when layoffs were announced at Buzzfeed and Huffington Post was comical. So many members of the profession seemed to think these jobs are somehow impervious to market forces. Of course, since in their minds, the press is the only thing defending democracy from Donald Trump.
Speaking truth to power and discerning between bananas and apples is sacred work y’all. Firefighting even. Or so they say.
The plain fact to everyone who follows the media is a concept called “market saturation”. You can only have so many media outlets writing about problematic white people, The Patriarchy ™, those crappy Christian holidays and how to talk to your Trump supporting relatives.
The tone of the content from these outlets eliminates half the potential market. Ergo, some will survive, some will not. Some of these writers will keep their jobs and some will be made available to the market. Once you add in trends like crowdfunding citizen journalists, consolidation in the industry and a changing media landscape, the problem of market saturation is just magnified.
Some people, who were victims of similar market forces, such as automation, off-shoring, and downsizing, were not treated very well by the left-wing media for their support of Donald Trump. These issues facing middle America and the rust belt were highlighted by reporters like Salena Zito and books like Hillbilly Effigy during the election. And the coastal media sneered.
These voters were positioned as uneducated and nostalgic for a backward and racist time in our country’s history. Opinion writers from The New York Times to USA Today wrote about Trump’s uneducated, white, racist, mostly male base. And dismissed the problems these voters encountered such as dying towns, central industries disappearing and economic hardship with disdain.
Often their advice to these deplorable Americans was to upgrade their skills. In short, they should learn to code.
So it was not surprising after the reductions at some of these media outlets were announced, helpful folks on Twitter suggested laid off journalists could learn to code.
Seems these heroes and purveyors of the unvarnished truth did not like having the tables turned on them. It is, after all, their job to look down their nose at these unenlightened inhabitants of Middle America! How dare these people!
Seems Twitter agreed:
Twitter did clarify to say the following:
It’s more nuanced than what you reported. Twitter is responding to a targeted harassment campaign against specific individuals — a policy that’s long been against the Twitter RulesJon Levine on Twitter
So basically they will be penalizing people who tell laid off journalists, specific individuals, to learn to code. Got it.
Naturally, this spawned quite the reaction, including the hashtag #CodeAQuote. Even Twitter wasn’t immune to the gag.
Hopefully Paul’s account survives.