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On CNN, Newsweek Editor BLASTS Lib Media ‘Elites’ for Weaponizing ‘Wokeness’

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Newsweek deputy opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon left quite an impression during an appearance on Sunday’s Reliable Sources as she politely went at it with CNN host Brian Stelter over how the “highly affluent, highly educated liberal elites” both in the media and the left generally have weaponized “wokeness” against the “working-class of all races” in America.

They started off the segment with Ungar-Sargon defining the term “woke,” since it could have any number of meanings given its proliferation on the internet. According to her, “It is woke to be calling for defunding police. It is woke to be saying that merit-based education is somehow white supremacy.”

Ungar-Sargon went on to describe how the media sort of co-opted the term to gin up their readership and viewership, and it was backed up with an analysis of their works (Click “expand”):

The word woke actually comes from sociologists, Brian. It was appropriated after — originally it was used as black slang in order to refer to things like systemic racism at the state level, again, something that is very important we talk about. But socialists noted something they called “the great awokening.”

And what they’re talking about is starting around 2015, and this is something that I’m sure you and your viewers noticed. What we saw is white liberals starting to have more extreme views on race than even people of color, the people of color that they’re advocating on behalf of.

And with that co-opting, she noted, came the abuse of slapping it on everything to the point of pushing for policies that harm minority communities. “They started to advocate for things like defund the police, as we saw recently, and that is a view that is most closely held by highly affluent, highly educated liberal elites. While 81 percent of Black-Americans oppose the defunding of police,” she said.

Stelter queried her on what she meant the “woke media,” to which she quipped about being on CNN. “I don’t know, you tell me, Brian, are we on woke media right now,” she laughed.

Returning to the studies documenting the media’s co-opting of “wokeness,” Ungar-Sargon explained how, “These companies started using these words when they went digital as a way of increasing their traffic and it created this feedback loop with the affluent white readership that they were courting, to where it shifted public opinion.”

You say it was trying to gain traffic. Maybe we were just trying to cover America more accurately,” Stelter pushed back.

Things hit a little close to home for Stelter when Ungar-Sargon called out the liberal The New York Times (where he used to work) for using wokeness to shut down all debate. She even joked they’re “the former paper of record”:

UNGAR-SARGON And what we really saw in The New York Times is again and again personnel decisions being made to suit the very, very woke pressures of online mobs that were oftentimes created by their own employees. So –

STELTER (interrupts): So liberal — younger, liberal employees pressuring management to take certain actions, right, is that what that means?

So, it’s not that some people want to have their say, it’s that they literally have imported these highly, highly specialized radical academic ideas. And if you don’t hew to these very radical, specific, elite ideas, you get thrown out essentially. We’re not talking about debate here, but the silencing of debate,” she declared.

This was exactly the account former Times editor Bari Weiss attested to in her resignation later last year.

Stelter also seemed to take offense when she called out the latest example of the media’s reliance on wokeism to smear Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) and his voters as racists:

UNGAR-SARGON: And I think what happened, Glenn Youngkin’s victory was a perfect example of this. The media’s response to Youngkin’s victory is literally the reason that he won, right? How did they–

STELTER (Interrupting): Hold on. Hold on. There’s 100 medias, 100 reactions. You’re being overly generalized, I think.

And although she gave a pass to CNN (when they absolutely did it), Ungar-Sargon ripped MSNBC for immediately claiming it was a supposed victory for “white supremacy” and “racism.”

“When the lieutenant governor that Youngkin won with will be the first black woman to hold that job, when Glenn Youngkin managed to flip majority-black districts, when he managed to get between 40 and 50 percent of Latino voters, ever all of those people white supremacists? Of course, they’re not,” she said, noting they cared about the economy and schools.

Building off of the education topic, she explained how the media elite were punching down with their pontifications against those worried about Critical Race Theory. “You saw all of these pundits being like ‘these people don’t know what critical race theory is!’  That is not a political statement. That is a class statement. ‘They are not educated enough to be opposed to Critical Race Theory, how dare they oppose it?’”

Unfortunately, all of this would fall on deaf ears as the liberal media were determined to divide us and pit Americans against each other.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s Reliable Sources

November 7, 2021

11:16:16 a.m. Eastern

(…)

BRIAN STELTER: We should define the word “woke.” What is woke, first of all?

BATYA UNGAR-SARGON (Deputy Opinion Editor, Newsweek): Let me tell you how I define it. Okay? It’s not woke to agitating fiercely for police reform. Okay? That is a moral emergency. So when Senator Tim Scott wrote a bill advocating police form, he was not being woke. That is something all of us should be talking about. We desperately need police reform. It is not woke to agitating for a more equitable education system.

It is woke to be calling for defunding police. It is woke to be saying that merit-based education is somehow white supremacy.

The word woke actually comes from sociologists, Brian. It was appropriated after — originally it was used as black slang in order to refer to things like systemic racism at the state level, again, something that is very important we talk about. But socialists noted something they called “the great awokening.”

And what they’re talking about is starting around 2015, and this is something that I’m sure you and your viewers noticed. What we saw is white liberals starting to have more extreme views on race than even people of color, the people of color that they’re advocating on behalf of.

They started to advocate for things like defund the police, as we saw recently, and that is a view that is most closely held by highly affluent, highly educated liberal elites. While 81 percent of Black-Americans oppose the defunding of police.

So, in my book I’m trying to explore where did that come from, where which great awokening come from and why did it happen? And what I argue is essentially, affluent white liberals using the real pain of black Americans in order to draw from the common good and abandon the working-class of all races. That’s the argument.

STELTER: And you refer to the woke media right upfront. So, what is the – who or what is the woke media?

UNGAR-SARGON: [Chuckles]: I don’t know, you tell me, Brian, are we on woke media right now? No, again, let’s rely on sociologists, okay? These same sociologists trolled the archives of The New York Times, The Washington Post, even The Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN. And what they found was starting around 2011/2012, and absolute skyrocketing of the use of woke words like “white privilege” or “marginalization” or “oppression.”

These companies started using these words when they went digital as a way of increasing their traffic and it created this feedback loop with the affluent white readership that they were courting, to where it shifted public opinion.

STELTER: You say it was trying to gain traffic. Maybe we were just trying to cover America more accurately.

(…)

11:19:59 a.m. Eastern

STELTER: What about the woke stranglehold that you describe in the book? You say the media is in this woke stranglehold? So, again, what corners of the media and how do you get out of that stranglehold?

UNGAR-SARGON: That’s a great question. So, I spend a lot of time on The New York Times because in my book as the former paper of record, as I like to say, they get outside attention because they have an outside responsibility as a leader in the industry.

And what we really saw in The New York Times is again and again personnel decisions being made to suit the very, very woke pressures of online mobs that were oftentimes created by their own employees. So –

STELTER (interrupts): So liberal — younger, liberal employees pressuring management to take certain actions, right, is that what that means?

UNGAR-SARGON Exactly, right.

STELTER: But don’t we also see these staffers are just trying to push for a place they believe will be a more perfect newsroom, a more perfect union, a more perfect opinion page? Isn’t that just the common tug of war that’s happened for decades?

UNGAR-SARGON: Well, what we’re really seeing is that it influenced the coverage. So, it’s not that some people want to have their say, it’s that they literally have imported these highly, highly specialized radical academic ideas. And if you don’t hew to these very radical, specific, elite ideas, you get thrown out essentially. We’re not talking about debate here, but the silencing of debate.

(…)

11:22:02 a.m. Eastern

UNGAR-SARGON: And I think what happened, Glenn Youngkin’s victory was a perfect example of this. The media’s response to Youngkin’s victory is literally the reason that he won, right? How did they–

STELTER (Interrupting): Hold on. Hold on. There’s 100 medias, 100 reactions. You’re being overly generalized, I think.

UNGAR-SARGON Let me get more specific for you. Okay? Because I have to say – I have to admit, having watched CNN all week there’s been a lot of very, very , very good genuflection on this front. But what happened right after the election was, you saw host after host after host on MSNBC saying, “Oh this is a victory for white supremacy.” Right? “White supremacy wins again. Racism wins again.”

When the lieutenant governor that Youngkin won with will be the first black woman to hold that job, when Glenn Youngkin managed to flip majority black districts, when he managed to get between 40 and 50 percent of Latino voters, ever all of those people white supremacists? Of course they’re not. They are people who are worried about number one, the economy. Right? And number two, schooling.

And it seems to me it is such a self-own to tell people who are worried about the economy that is white supremacy, right? You’re essentially criminalizing the views of working-class Americans. And you saw the same thing with the conversation around Critical Race Theory, right? You saw all of these pundits being like “these people don’t know what critical race theory is!”  That is not a political statement. That is a class statement. “They are not educated enough to be opposed to Critical Race Theory, how dare they oppose it?”

(…)

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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