In a strange twist, some people are standing against WikiLeaks’ decision to release thousands of Democratic National Convention related e-mails because they feel as if WikiLeaks has taken on a racist guise while being propped up and championed by an army contained of #GamerGate supporters. That’s a narrative slowly being trumpeted and paraded around by some journalists on social media.
If you’re wondering why the DNC Leaks seems to have come and gone like a spark in a dark room instead of fireworks on the Fourth of July, it’s because the media seems intent on glossing over it as a talking point that bridges toward more demonizing of Donald Trump and praising of Hillary Clinton.
Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, there’s been a very clear bias in the way the media has been covering Senator Sanders, as well as POTUS hopefuls Clinton and Trump. Even now, in the face of e-mails that revealed that the DNC were clearly partial in pushing Clinton to win the primaries, as reported by CNN.
The fallout has at least been significant enough to force the DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, not to speak at the Democratic National Convention in a bid to “keep the peace”.
Despite the e-mails clearly revealing that there was a lot of backroom subterfuge and bureaucratic collusion to undermine Sanders’ run for President, the talk of some journalists was still about underplaying the leaks by pinning the blame on anti-Semitism and #GamerGate talking points.
Upworthy writer Parker Molloy labeled WikiLeaks as a group converging on “alt-right gamer MRAs”, tweeting the following…
Remember when WikiLeaks was all about uncovering government corruption and now they're just alt-right gamer MRAs? pic.twitter.com/SadK94UMMN
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) July 21, 2016
Washington Post writer and contributor Daniel Drezner called them a “badly flawed organization” but didn’t really explain why. It was followed up with a tweet from developer Alex Quirk who conflated #GamerGate and the strawman organization “BernieBros”…
— Alex Quirk (@AQuirkles) July 24, 2016
Former Escapist contributor Bob Chipman also chimed in to take shots at Trump supports, Sanders supporters, and Wikileaks, posting a series of tweets targeting nerd culture and the alt-Right Conservatives, stating…
“Alt-right dweebs are for Trump (or for StillSanders/Stein/Johnson, same thing) because they think if the world ends they’ll be Immortan Galt
”Does that describe a fair portion of the Wikileaks army, even as WL has actively done good in the past? Probly, yeah – just look at Assange.”
In a later conversation, some of Chipman’s critics questioned why people like him continue to defend Clinton while demonizing those who criticize her, comparing it to the fallout surrounding the early days of the GamerGate hashtag when a female developer was involved with Kotaku’s Nathan Grayson, where he was reporting about the developer without disclosing romantic and financial ties. This eventually led to the massive blow-up of #GamerGate that spanned global media coverage.
Even in the early days of #GamerGate, Chipman was still very much against exposing corruption in the press, just the same as he was against standing by the fight for better ethics in media journalism. Chipman acknowledged the tweet stating that the comparison was not wrong.
The irony here is, he’s not wrong. https://t.co/xK6hBSb40I
— Bob Chipman (@the_moviebob) July 23, 2016
It didn’t end there. Former Polygon writer and current freelance journalist Russ Pitts also chimed in on Twitter, mocking the call for better ethics in journalism, writing…
“That new hashtag about ethics in journalism seems to have a lot of abuse mixed in. Reminds me of- *MANY ABUSIVE TWEETS LATER* Um … so, yeah.
“I’m not saying that proves the connection/similarity to gator grape. But I’m also not not saying that. My feed is literally nothing but random hate and personal insults since mentioning the DNC Leaks hashtag.
“Oh right, I forgot it’s about ethics. Cool. Glad we all had this talk.”
The conflation of #GamerGate and the #DNCLeaks seems frivolous at best and a disservice to the public at worst.
There are even reports that Twitter has been attempting to censor and shadowban the spread of the DNC e-mail leaks to keep discussion at a minimum, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
The fact that the e-mails point toward the Democratic National Committee attempting to rig the convention and put into the White House who they want through underhanded means points to a serious problem in American politics. The added fact that the media played a role in these tactics is an explicit affront to the supposed goal of neutral reporting.
What’s worse is that some journalists would avoid conceding that there is a serious issue with media corruption and would rather hand-wave the whole thing away as a #GamerGate harassment campaign, or downplay the issue and focus on the integrity of how WikiLeaks portrays the content on Twitter, as opposed to actually signaling the fact that the DNC is dishonest in how it operates.
This is literally the process in which we democratically choose who governs the entire nation, and the leading committee of one of the major parties in the nation has been found to be using underhanded tactics to discredit a candidate… and journalists would rather scoff because people concerned about ethics in journalism are championing WikiLeaks for spreading the news.
The reality of the situation is that the exposure of this corruption and the irresponsibly lackadaisical response from some media industry personalities and institutions seem to say more about the climate of corruption than anything contained within the actual e-mail leaks.
(Main image courtesy of Bruce is The Batman)