Twitter announced this week that Parag Agrawal will be the social media giant’s new CEO. (This is an incredible achievement for the Indian-born Agrawal, given that the selection process heavily favored people born in India.) He has a difficult job ahead of him, trying to maintain the site’s reputation for fast-paced, free-ranging commentary, while also keeping the platform free of dangerous misinformation.
Agrawal is probably aware of the mounds — and I mean mounds — of irrefutable SCIENTIFIC PROOF that conservatives are gullible paranoids, constantly falling for misinformation and hoaxes. For example, consider these 100 percent objective academic studies:
“Conservatives More Likely To Believe False News, New Study Finds” — Maggie Fox, CNN, June 2, 2021
“Return of the Paranoid Style: Fake News Is Fooling More Conservatives Than Liberals. Why?” — The Economist, June 3, 2020
“Conservatives’ Susceptibility to Political Misperceptions” — R. Kelly Garrett and Robert M. Bond, Science Advances, June 2, 2021
On the other hand, now that I think about it, even powerful Democrats, establishment news organizations, and influential celebrities have been known to err when evaluating the news.
Hey! That reminds me — the Jussie Smollett trial kicks off this week! (It’s a good thing I remembered that while writing this column.) Smollett, you will recall, is the half-black, half-Jewish gay actor formerly of the Fox TV show “Empire” who claimed, back in January 2019, that he left his Chicago apartment at 2 a.m. in the middle of a polar vortex to get a sandwich, whereupon he was viciously set upon by two white guys shouting racist and homophobic slurs. (Despite being racist, homophobic white guys, they were huge fans of “Empire,” recognizing Smollett immediately.)
They “beat him about the face”, “put a noose around his neck”, and “doused him with a “chemical substance.” “(Yes, as luck would have it, the white guys happened to be carrying a noose and chemical agents. Duh. It was a polar vortex.)
For extra bonus authenticity, Smollett said his assailants yelled, “This is MAGA country!” Did I mention this was in Chicago? (Trump: 12.4 percent of the 2016 vote.)
Even a skeptic would have to admit, Smollett’s account had the ring of truth. When you add (to an already highly believable story) the fact that there have been dozens of “noose incidents” over the past few decades, and every single one of them, without exception, turned out to be a hoax, his narrative only becomes more convincing!
To leap ahead to the conclusion, the Chicago Police Department spent 3,000 man-hours carefully examining surveillance tapes of the neighborhood where the incident had occurred and determined that — please sit down for this —
the “attackers” turned out to be two Nigerian extras on “Empire.” (That does explain how they were able to recognize him.) After their arrests, they admitted that Smollett had paid them $3,500 to stage the attack.
Liberals, those calm, dispassionate seekers after truth — not conservative dolts, with their “paranoid style” and “susceptibility” to “false news” — reacted to Smollett’s alleged attack with the cool detachment we have come to expect from them.
“What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie.” — Joe Biden