Breaking: nuns, babies, puppies, dolphins spark fierce liberal backlash

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I don’t know. I just don’t know.

I think I will recover. I hope I will recover, but I can’t be sure. It’s still so raw. The wound is deep; penetrating down into the very core of my soul. I am bewildered.

Befuddled.

Bamboozled.

I can remember the moments leading up to the tragedy: I was sitting on the couch with my wife, watching the Annual Commercial Marathon on Fox (interspersed with brief clips of noncompetitive football). Everything was going quite well. You had Budweiser using puppies to sell beer to grown men, Bob Dylan solidifying his anti-commercialism credentials by delivering a patriotic pitch for Chrysler (a fully owned subsidiary of an Italian car company), and Axe trying to market body spray by making a plea for world peace. These advertisers were playing my heartstrings like a violin, and I was falling in love with every product they tossed in my direction.

It was a wonderful night. And then… then IT happened.

The Coke advertisement. Dear God — the Coke advertisement. It started out alright: some girl singing America the Beautiful while beautiful images of America flashed across the screen. But things went downhill fast. Suddenly, other people started singing the song in other languages. It was awful. I was furious. They were speaking in, like, Asian and Australian and stuff. Utterly horrifying. I told my wife to cover the children’s ears.

Out of nowhere, graphic depictions of other cultures and skin colors infested my TV screen. There was a brown one and, like, a Mexican guy or something.

Oh, the foreign languages and varying skin pigmentations!

I couldn’t stand it. Enraged, I grabbed my shotgun and blew a hole through the television. My wife could only weep, and through her tears she thanked me for saving her from the terrifying onslaught of multi-culturalism.

And that’s exactly what happened… in the fantasies of left-wing bloggers and journalists.

In the real world, I saw that commercial and reacted in a way similar to almost all of my fellow right-wing conservatives: I yawned and went to the kitchen for another beer. Then I proceeded on with my evening, not caring one way or another about Coca-Cola’s contrived marketing tactics. Admittedly, I have long since vowed to never drink Coke, but that’s only because I dislike diabetes, not because I’m upset about foreigners singing patriotic hymns.

So imagine my surprise when I went on the internet after the game to see social media abuzz over the “right wing backlash against Coca-Cola.”

Some of the headlines:

Coke Ad Draws Outrage, Praise (EW)

Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad Inspires Racist Twitter Backlash (Mediaite)

Coca-Cola Ad Celebrates Diversity, Twitter Racists Explode (Huffington Post)

Coca-Cola Multicultural Super Bowl Ad Really Angered Conservatives (Talking Points Memo)

Coca-Cola’s Multilingual America the Beautiful Ad Sparks Conservative Outrage (AlterNet)

Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad: Can You Believe This Reaction? (USA Today)

Coca-Cola’s America the Beautiful Ad Creates Social Media Firestorm (The Examiner)

America the Ugly: Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad Provokes Xenophobic Outrage on Twitter (The Daily Mail)

Outrage! Firestorm! Backlash! Xenophobia!

Funny thing: these stories started popping up within minutes of the ad airing.

Meanwhile, I’m on Twitter as much as the next guy, and I didn’t see anyone complain about the ad. I’m connected with 120 thousand folks on Facebook, and none of them seemed too concerned. I checked the #SpeakAmerican and #BoycottCoke hashtags, and I saw nothing but a bunch of people defending the ad and lambasting the “racists” who were “offended” by it.

So where was the backlash? If people are lashing back at things, I want in. I’m always up for a good backlash, but I just couldn’t find it.

Most of the stories about the phantom “firestorm” cite comments from Alan West and Fox News’ Todd Starnes. As far as notable public figures go, that’s it. Two guys.

Two guys can constitute a STORM OF FIERCE OUTRAGE, apparently.

Someone over at Breitbart wrote a short post calling the spot “offensive,” but it’s hard to find any “racism” in anything he said. It was a rather even-keeled reflection about the true nature of American unity. He raised some fine points, but nothing very noteworthy. Certainly nothing that screamed “FIRESTORM” or “OUTRAGE.”

But they aren’t the only ones who complained. The Mediaite piece quotes some fellows by the name of Kip DiEugenio, Chase Floyd, and The Kevin. All three of them expressed disgust at Coca-Cola for having foreigners sing America the Beautiful. All of three of them also have about 350 Twitter followers. Total.

Actually, I think two are kids, but I don’t know. Nobody knows. Nobody knows them. That’s the point. They’re just random people spouting rhetoric on Twitter. And yet they are used by a major online news website to prove a “racist backlash.”

The EW article pulled the same stunt.

I’ve actually seen a woman who goes by “Alexander C” quoted in multiple publications, including USA Today. She has around 400 followers.

She’s just some person.

There’s nothing wrong with being some person. But are these people newsworthy? If you can find a handful of teenagers babbling about something on Twitter, should that make headlines?

Breaking News: Random Kids Write Unsavory Things on the Internet!

This is the game. There is no “news media” anymore. These people are storytellers. They paint pictures; they construct narratives. They build strawmen, which are then offered up to be ripped apart by their rabid minions. They don’t report “controversy” — they fabricate it, thereby starting controversies over controversies that never existed. Which forces me to prompt a controversy over the controversy over the fake controversy.

It’s all so controversial.

Last night, flabbergasted liberals railed against the “bigots” who started the “BoycottCoke” hashtag on Twitter. But, in a humorous plot twist, #BoycottCoke began with gay rights groups a few weeks ago, in response to Coke’s sponsorship of the Winter Olympic Games.

Now gay rights groups are celebrating Coke. They can’t even keep their own outrage/adulation ratio straight.

Of course, this is all very familiar.

You may remember the bi-racial Cheerio’s ad that caused an imaginary “backlash” of its own. If you follow the link I provided, you’ll find a New York Daily News article that reports an epidemic of racists “lashing out” at the commercial. They offer no evidence of this, other than mentioning “disturbing” YouTube comments.

Yes, New York Daily News, they’re Youtube comments. I’ve never seen one that isn’t disturbing. You could probably find racist, violent, Satanic ramblings under kitten videos. This is the internet, that’s what people do here. It might have made for a compelling headline 17 years ago, but unfortunately there’s nothing too peculiar about it anymore.

Last year, an Indian woman was crowned Miss America. Immediately, cyberspace was embroiled in a backlash against a backlash that consisted primarily of 14 year olds on Twitter incoherently ranting about the horrors of a brown skinned person winning a beauty pageant.

And, while a few dozen nincompoops accused Ms. New York of being a terrorist, most Americans didn’t even know the Miss America pageant happened, and couldn’t care less who won or lost.

Just as most of us couldn’t care less about a Cheerio’s ad or a Coke commercial.

These are not news items.

These are not events.

These are fables, bolstered by a collection of convenient anecdotes.

But if all conservatives can be painted with the “gets upset about multi-cultural soda commercials” brush — based solely on the comments of a very select few — I wonder what would happen if I used the same tactic? What sort of “outrages” and “firestorms” can I conjure?

This morning, I went to Twitter and typed  in the phrase “I hate nuns.” Apparently, according to my cherry-picked results, there is a veritable LEFT-WING BACKLASH AGAINST NUNS taking place:

https://twitter.com/_ShadowDemon_/status/430389443871379457

As if this isn’t bad enough, I searched for “I want to kill puppies” and, well, let’s just say PETA better take note:

Dear Lord. There’s a FIRESTORM AGAINST PUPPIES.

Someone alert Mediaite. Someone call The Daily Mail. Get on the horn with Talking Points Memo.

I typed a random phrase into the internet and found random people using that very same phrase. Call a press conference! The public must know!

This is called “journalism,” everyone.

It’s the sort of journalism that revealed the intense blizzard of rage that followed a clichéd Coke advertisement, and it’s the sort of journalism that reported on the widespread panic sparked by a darker skinned woman winning the Miss America Pageant.

It’s the sort of journalism that killed journalism.

But journalism died a long time ago, so I suppose I’m not reporting any news here, either.

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249 Responses to Breaking: nuns, babies, puppies, dolphins spark fierce liberal backlash

  1. NS says:

    Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!
    Journalism in my country,Pakistan, takes a similar distorted shape. Which in turn makes foreign news channels churn more absurdities. Then certain people from other countries who don’t know any better put up questions like: ‘How do you people live in Pakistan? Do you have internet? Do you guys have bullets flying over your heads while shopping for vegetables?’ That is usually followed by a horrendous and uncontrollable bout of anger, screaming and hair pulling(all, sadly hypothetical).

  2. Lke says:

    I, for one, was stoked at the Coke commercial about the little kid from Ashwaubenon scoring a TD at Lambeau.

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  4. Edik415 says:

    That Coke commercial made me so mad that I killed a puppy. And a nun.

  5. Melissa says:

    I think the most important thing to remember here is that the ad was broadcast during the Superbowl, on the Lord’s Day. They sing “God shed His grace on thee..” but how can we expect God’s grace when millions of Americans blaspheme Him and worship a football game over Him on His day? It doesn’t matter what language the ad was in… Americans are sinning and think nothing of the words being sung. There is no heart behind the words. Just pomp. This is a heart issue – not a language issue.

    • bkblues says:

      I dunno…Bible just says “remember the Lord’s day, and keep it holy.” When Peyton Manning missed that snap on the first play, I heard someone in the bar yell “HOLY F#@*!!!” So the spirit was there, anyway… [CUE: Cracklin’ fires ‘o Hell SFX}

      • @Melissa Wow, I went to church on the morning of the Super Bowl, honored Him in worship and heard a pretty good lesson, I even partook of the Lord’s Supper afterwards to boot. At Game time, I also enjoyed the fellowship of friends while we watched our Seahawks whoop up on the Bronco’s. Honestly, I don’t think it is too far of a stretch to believe that Christ was enjoying that game right along with us. I will let God decide if my heart was in the right place along with all the others and love people instead.

        Shari@puregracefarms.com

    • Bethany says:

      You do know the “Lord’s Day”, the Sabbath, is not on Sunday, right?

      • xleighx says:

        Right! Do you all actually know His name either? Everyone is always so quick to shout back about what they ‘know’ and no one really ‘seeks’ things out for themselves.. shew. The bible literally tells us to “seek and you shall find.” He meant this literally, and I doubt he was simply referring to your remote controls or car keys… He literally meant never stop seeking, don’t just believe everyone out there, including your preachers and congregation leaders! Our Father’s name is actually Yahweh, “For example: YisraYah means “the children of YHWH”. To get rid of the Name of Yahweh their name was changed to Israel, “the children of El”. Scripture says that is where Yahweh chose to put His Name, and yet the scribes have removed it! They have replaced His Name with the title of the Canaanite deity, El. This is blasphemy of the highest sort! No longer is Yahweh’s name found in Judah, Israel, or Jerusalem, and the Jews like it that way. ”
        http://www.yahchanan.com/Yahchanan/Hebrew.php <— This is a quote from a very intelligible page that lays it all out for you, and explains exactly how things have gotten so out of hand and completely away from our great creator Yahweh, and how people are literally 'worshiping' the opposite of what they 'believe' they are… So to say you went to church on the day of the super bowl holds no water and actually is a very silly thing to point out. As is the original post about us watching the super bowl on the "Lord's Day". I honestly don't understand why the idea of keeping one day a week extra holy even makes any sense anyway, the way people take it it seems, is that if the super bowl (or any worldly celebration for that matter) had been on a tuesday for example, it would be of no notice to anyone? That part of the 'argument' would be irrelevant? It's just silly. Everyday should matter in other words. I'm not saying there is no need for the Sabbath, which is not Sunday indeed, I am just pointing out that people take things so wrongly and are so far from the true matters it's crazy… Seek and you shall find, take this and run with it people. Don't take anyone's word for it!!!

      • xleighx says:

        Right! Do you all actually know His name either? Everyone is always so quick to shout back about what they ‘know’ and no one really ‘seeks’ things out for themselves.. shew. The bible literally tells us to “seek and you shall find.” He meant this literally, and I doubt he was simply referring to your remote controls or car keys… He literally meant never stop seeking, don’t just believe everyone out there, including your preachers and congregation leaders! Our Father’s name is actually Yahweh, “For example: YisraYah means “the children of YHWH”. To get rid of the Name of Yahweh their name was changed to Israel, “the children of El”. Scripture says that is where Yahweh chose to put His Name, and yet the scribes have removed it! They have replaced His Name with the title of the Canaanite deity, El. This is blasphemy of the highest sort! No longer is Yahweh’s name found in Judah, Israel, or Jerusalem, and the Jews like it that way. ”
        http://www.yahchanan.com/Yahchanan/Hebrew.php <— This is a quote from a very intelligible page that lays it all out for you, and explains exactly how things have gotten so out of hand and completely away from our great creator Yahweh, and how people are literally 'worshiping' the opposite of what they 'believe' they are… So to say you went to church on the day of the super bowl holds no water and actually is a very silly thing to point out. As is the original post about us watching the super bowl on the "Lord's Day". I honestly don't understand why the idea of keeping one day a week extra holy even makes any sense anyway, the way people take it it seems, is that if the super bowl (or any worldly celebration for that matter) had been on a tuesday for example, it would be of no notice to anyone? That part of the 'argument' would be irrelevant? It's just silly. Everyday should matter in other words. I'm not saying there is no need for the Sabbath, which is not Sunday indeed, I am just pointing out that people take things so wrongly and are so far from the true matters it's crazy… Seek and you shall find, take this and run with it people. Don't take anyone's word for it!!!

  6. Mike Petry says:

    I’m genuinely curious to know when “journalism” died?
    I don’t think it’s ever been more than simple stories being told through a massive media.

    • Tony says:

      The death of journalism basically started with the Kennedy assassination. It was the first time in history that news was reported 24/7. With an event like that, it was warranted. Now, it is no longer warranted most of the time, so they just fill the gaps with garbage.

  7. palebluemote says:

    That awkward moment where spending 30 seconds going to twitter reveals that this post is bullshit. #whitewalshing

  8. palebluemote says:

    That awkward moment where spending 30 seconds on twitter reveals this post is bullshit. #whitewalshing

  9. Pingback: Response to “Breaking: nuns, babies, puppies, dolphins spark fierce liberal backlash” by Matt Walsh | The Wilson Report

  10. Cindee says:

    I think the problem with the Coke commercial is described well here: http://www.caintv.com/the-problem-with-the-coke-ad-y

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  12. Lauri says:

    Dear Matt, Have you ever thought about…oh, I don’t know…maybe ‘throwing your hat’ into the ring for the race to the Whitehouse…. one day? PLEASE!!?!!

  13. Mr. Wilson says:

    Greetings for anyone interested, I wrote a critical response to this piece. It can be found here: http://1wilsonreport.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/response-to-breaking-nuns-babies-puppies-dolphins-spark-fierce-liberal-backlash-by-matt-walsh/

    Constructive, specific feedback is of course always welcome.

  14. J says:

    I don’t believe it was the multiracial, multi cultural, it was the gay couples toward the end….

  15. Tammy says:

    Wow these foreigners, as you call them, sure speak great English. Why on earth do you assume the singers are “foreigners”? Because they’re not white? Because they speak another language?

    http://CokeURL.com/singers

  16. C. Craig says:

    My comment? Effervescent enough covers on your bed your fiddlestick out!

  17. emsestuary says:

    I’m not sure they are without any merit. I’m quite sure there are people in our country who are racist and ugly natured. But I do hate it when we are lumped in as “all conservatives”. I actually did have a discussion with a man I know who disliked the Coke Commercial because everyone was signing America The Beautiful in “all those foreign language”. Here in Texas and the deep South, there still are those that hate it. Newsworthy – probably not. But in my mixed-race home, it is something we discuss.
    Love your blog.

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  19. Allyson says:

    I would just echo the feedback of a few other on this comment of yours: I don’t drink coke…”not because I’m upset about foreigners singing patriotic hymns.” What makes you think the people in that add were foreigners?

    Your post is fine but that line reveals some assumptions you have about someone speaking a language other than english. All my relatives spoke other languages because they were immigrants, like 95% of this country at one time or another. All my grandparents spoke Norwegian as they came from Norway through Ellis Island. I love that they still spoke Norwegian at home, while I was growing up. Too bad that is considered to be a trait of a “foreigner” these days and not what they are, true blue Americans. My Grandma would have loved that commercial.

    Agree with your other points… good thoughts.

    • I think that may have been part of his joke, that conservatives were considering the people “foreigners.” Dunno.
      As for my very conservative family (well, I’m a moderate, so are several others, but the rest are very conservative…) we all really liked it except one, who ranted a little about people needing to learn English, and the rest of us got upset with her.

  20. Jayne says:

    You should check out where the outrage started. The cocacola Facebook page is FULL of outrage against the ad. Horrible comments were made within seconds!

  21. Adam says:

    Wow. I see what you mean. It sort of reminds me of how you will take one e-mail from one crank that says he’s a college professor and use that as the foundation for an entire article. Rock solid fact checking there buddy.

    Or how you take one snapshot of a piece of paper taped on a wall with sex positions listed on it and use that as ” evidence ” that that’s what all sex education classses are like.

    Or maybe you’ll take the words of one article written by one guy and then do a whole blog about how absolutely everybody definitely believes the exact same things as the guy who wrote the article, and aren’t they all just so stupid?

    Please spare me the indignation Matt. You do this sort of thing every week.

    • Tony says:

      There is a vast difference between taking one event as the starting point of a personal blog to write down your thoughts on a topic and having a news station using one event as evidence of rampant backlash by an entire group of people and reporting that there is widespread backlash.

      Not sure if you can catch the difference or not, but it’s there.

      • Jacob says:

        If you can’t catch the difference Tony is talking about, then you probably don’t see the difference between Piers Morgan and…wait, the whole media is like that. Never mind, I guess he’s not less credible, just more obnoxious.

  22. Sandi says:

    The thing is, I wasn’t even watching the show, but the Coke video popped into my Facebook newsfeed about 6 hours after it was originally posted, and ny that time it already had 15k comments. When I looked at them, they were pretty bad, in general. I’m not surprised. I’n from the South and have plenty of acquaintances with siimilar attitudes. Several friends posted that they liked the commrcial, and THEIR friends posted rude comments. I saw multiple debates among people in my personal circles as well as on Coke’s page itself. There honestly was an explosion of xenophobia in response to the silly Coke commercial, and I was embarrassed for our country. Ignore it all you want, but it’s there.

  23. Dawn Perry says:

    So why the assumption that ugly, racist comments came from conservatives and praise came from liberals? I know plenty of multicultural conservatives, many who have adopted or fostered children from other cultures, and many who are raising their children to love all people because Jesus died for them, too. What if I lumped all liberals as bigots, self-absorbed and ignorant? That would be unjust, wouldn’t it. So don’t lump all of us together.

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  26. I don’t think many of you got the gist of the article. It wasn’t about the commercial. It was about irresponsible “journalism” that takes a few comments made by a few people and blows them way out of proportion. Thus, leading us to believe that all, or nearly all of the peoples in a specific group share the same opinion when most of those people are completely clueless about the whole thing.

    • Tony says:

      Thank you Mary, I’m so happy I’m not the only one with reading comprehension skills around here.

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