A journalist who has branded herself as the fact-checking journalist of Finland shared a noteworthy article on Twitter. The article, based on anecdotal evidence and liberal/progressive ideological axiomata, serves as a case in point for why such a big proportion of people today distrust journalists and the media.
Really dissecting the article would require considerable amount of work as the contents overall arouse so much doubt that I wouldn’t trust any of the background narrative. For example, is the man mentioned in the lead actually a white supremacist, or is this a deliberate misrepresentation by the author to promote his own world-view like the rest of his writing? Originally written with social media in mind, my recent observation could well apply to professional news media as well:
Noteworthy as the MRA*-bashing article might be, checking every little detail thereof would be a waste of time as the article’s conclusions are monumentally failing regardless of the background details’ factual accuracy.
*) men’s rights activist
Firstly, as noted, the article relies on anecdotal ”evidence” to make its case. This and that person used to be an MRA, and now he’s alt-right! Let’s not look into what most MRAs statistically end up doing, as that would deprive us of a clickbait of a headline! Not even correlation is truly demonstrated, let alone causation. The article goes on with even more anecdotes, this time to create the illusion that it’s listing all the (im)moral principles of all the MRAs and alt-rightists. These two groups are, for obvious motives, presented as closely together as possible.
After his anecdotes, the author proceeds with typical liberal/progressive rhetoric reducing his journalism to political pamphletry, surely aimed at the publication’s narrow-minded target group. You know what this rhetoric entails: the typical dichotomy between the privileged and the oppressed. Wasn’t journalism supposed to question everything and present multiple differing points of view?
Closer to the truth. While the journalist epically failed to substantiate this alleged link between the MRM and white supremacism, something can be said about the matter. I’m certainly no more familiar with the MRM and the alt-right than the article’s author (meaning, superficially familiar at most), however the overall picture of today’s ideological divisions in the first world is pretty revealing. You see, I do believe the MRM and white supremacism have a connection, after all. There’s just no putting sins of one group on the shoulders of the other.
It only takes common sense to understand that alt-rightists are more likely to align themselves with the men’s rights movement than with feminism. Why might that be? Was the MRM a gateway drug? (If only I could rely on your common sense and consider this a rhetorical question…) A far-rightist will find more to exploit in the MRM than in feminism. S/He may not agree with everything the MRM stands for, but there’s enough common ground to work with.
To draw the conclusion that MRM leads to white supremacism would be dishonest, even outrageous. A person’s beliefs, ideas, and values will obviously serve as a causative factor leading to both these alignments independently. There’s no doubt that other MRAs are found in whole other positions in the political spectrum. They are going to have more sincere motivations for their activism, such as honestly egalitarian values and the aim to make the society better for everyone.
There are numerous correlations similar to that of the MRM and the far-right. Liberal/progressive commentators have the habit of characterising proponents of tighter immigration policy as racist. Obviously, a racist will be more likely to promote tighter than looser immigration. This doesn’t mean that most people with reservations towards immigration are racists. To present a different kind of example, there likely is a strong correlation between feminism and violent, even lethal, far-right/anarchist terrorism. Even veganism is probably associated with left-wing violence, as it once was with Nazism. Islam also has a correlation with terrorism, and it actually might be a gateway drug; the MRA-bashing journalist will be investigating this when pigs fly.