Tag Archive: Facebook

Instead of getting distracted, drive the narrative

 

Puerto Rico devastation from Hurricane Maria

Back in February 2011, we published Messaging Maxim #1: Go On Offense. Perhaps some folks need a refresher course. In that post, we wrote, “If you’re fighting a political battle on the other side’s rhetorical turf, you’ve already lost.” At the time, such advice was referring to phony cultural issues like “Ground Zero Mosque” and “is President Obama a Muslim?” that Republicans had ginned up and repeated everywhere they could (see Messaging Maxim #2: Rinse and Repeat). With their herd mentality, the mainstream media then picked up these issues and focused their broadcasts, cablecasts and column space on them.

Fast forward to today. Donald Trump and the Republicans are doing the same thing again, and it’s working. Currently, the phony cultural issues are: “Kneeling NFL Players” and “Harvey Weinstein.” To those, you can add, “NBC and CNN Licenses.” By next week, expect different cultural issues.

Social media coverage of Hurricane Harvey brings Americans together

Driver receives assistance in Pearland, TX during Hurricane Harvey

This past weekend, Twitter and Facebook posts about the Mayweather-McGregor fight gave way to posts about Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Texas, and causing tremendous flooding devastation. Since then, as more traditional media such as broadcast and cable TV news are making admirable efforts on the scene with live reporting (and even some rescue work), social media users are sending around gobs of information, donation and volunteering tips, and rescue requests. Here are some of the highlights of social media activity in Houston, around the U.S. and in other countries as well:

How to get back at Trump for pulling us out of Paris Climate Agreement

Flooding in Miami Beach, Florida

As many people feared, Donald Trump yesterday withdrew the United States from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement that was signed by 195 nations. Trump has added America to an extremely short list of outliers, including only Syria and Nicaragua. However, all is not doom and gloom as a result of Trump’s bad decision. First, plenty of state officials and companies will continue their commitment to fight climate change, for example, by deploying more clean energy such as solar and wind power. Second, there are many efforts each of us can make to bridge the climate change gap that Donald Trump is creating:

Republicans obsessed with fighting Culture War

Budweiser beer, latest target of Republican Culture War

Budweiser beer, latest target of Republican Culture War

Like a dog with a bone, many Republicans just won’t let go of their battles over culture in America, from LGBT rights to guns to infusing government with their religion — often referred to by the phrase “God, Guns and Gays” — to the media we consume. Led by Donald Trump himself, these conservatives seem to be spending an awful lot of time fretting over Super Bowl commercials and other corporate policies. The results vary from ill-fated boycotts to a further tearing of the fabric of America.

Huffington Post flip-flops on Donald Trump coverage

Donald Trump, confusing the Huffington Post

Donald Trump, confusing the Huffington Post

Just over four months ago, the Huffington Post announced that, from then on, it would cover Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign in its Entertainment section rather than in Politics or News. The explanation given was that “Trump’s campaign is a sideshow.” At the time, we said that the Huffington Post’s decision was “boneheaded” because, among other reasons, there were plenty of other Republican candidates whose campaigns fit the “sideshow” bill and/or appeared to be just business enterprises, yet they weren’t being singled out like Trump. Now, the Huffington Post has flip-flopped on its Trump decision, stating that “we are no longer entertained” by Trump, because Trump’s campaign has “morphed into something else: an ugly and dangerous force in American politics.”

How to avoid relationship-killing political arguments

Argument at Occupy Wall Street 2011

Occupy Wall Street 2011

At Messaging Matters, we have spent more than four years trying to help people engage in and win political arguments and policy battles, for example, by identifying loaded talking points and phony phrases used by conservatives. However, we keep hearing from friends who have seen relationships, friendships and even family ties come to an unpleasant end due to political arguments. Often, these arguments take place in social media like Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes, the argument and subsequent ending of the relationship happens in just a few minutes, after several angry message exchanges. But what if you value your friendships and relationships, and don’t want to lose them over political differences? Here are several tips that you can use to preserve your relationships — and your sanity — in these politically charged, social media-fed times:

Social media and the fall of Brian Williams

Brian Williams as Willi Vanilli

Brian Williams as Willi Vanilli

Chris Cillizza wrote a short Washington Post piece last Friday entitled “Who had the worst week in Washington? NBC’s Brian Williams.” Cillizza’s op-ed described how NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was taken down by social media. In particular, Williams was placed on six months’ unpaid suspension, and may lose his job permanently, as a direct result of a Facebook comment by helicopter flight engineer Lance Reynolds, who disputed Williams’ oft-repeated story about being on a helicopter that was hit by enemy fire during the Iraq War. The social media takedown of Brian Williams was a keen observation by Cillizza, but social media are responsible for much than just Brian Williams’ job status. The Brian Williams debacle might be remembered as the moment where social media, and the Internet itself, overtook  television.

Illegal on the Internet, or just stupid?

Angry Internet posting cat

Angry Internet posting cat

Elizabeth Lauten‘s resignation and a case pending with the U.S. Supreme Court regarding Facebook posts give us a good reminder about what’s stupid, if not outright illegal, to post on the Internet.

When politics becomes a joke

Zombie protester at Sarah Palin rally

Zombie protester at Sarah Palin rally

Democrats and progressives may have noticed a trend lately: your Republican friends or family members send you an email, and they write something like “this isn’t meant to be political, it’s just a joke that I thought was funny.” Then the joke contained in the email is something offensive to President Obama or Democrats. It’s never politically neutral, or making fun of both sides, and never ever makes fun of Republicans. Then if you call out the sender, they tell you you’re being too sensitive, or have no sense of humor, or “can’t take a joke.”

But make no mistake, these Republican jokes are meant to score political points, or at least to make Republicans feel better by hating on Democrats. Humor can take down a politician. Remember Chevy Chase‘s “Saturday Night Live” caricatures of a clumsy President Gerald Ford? Or Tina Fey’s dead-on “SNL” takedowns of Sarah Palin using Palin’s own words? So how about we fight back, and turn the tables on these Republican jokers?

Rush Limbaugh Learns that Free Speech is a Two-Way Street

http://youtu.be/ODI-NALkI4c

Rush Limbaugh‘s radio attack on Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke for her advocacy of contraception insurance coverage has been met with an unprecedented response. As a result, at least 29 sponsors and 2 radio stations reportedly have abandoned Limbaugh thus far. However, some are saying that Rush should be left alone because he has “the right to free speech.” Those folks are confused.