A poll published last month by Morning Consult found that just 38% of Americans express trust in the news media, and a recent Twitter exchange might help illustrate why.
In it, a journalist admitted that media outlets had falsely labeled a piece of conservative legislation, something he called “a good lesson in marketing/branding.”
Journalist refers to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act as “Don’t Say Gay Bill”
According to Fox News, that admission came last Friday from Sun-Sentinel senior journalist Scott Travis regarding Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act.
The law, which bans classroom discussion of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” in kindergarten through third grade, has been labeled the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” despite “gay” appearing nowhere in its text.
Fox News noted that Travis quickly found himself being called out after using the misleading label by The Spectator contributing editor Stephen L. Miller as well as conservative author and film critic Jacob Airey.
That’s not the name of the law. https://t.co/fdoNJcc16u
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) July 1, 2022
In a brazen move, Travis then acknowledge that the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” moniker is inaccurate but explained that has “far higher” name recognition among members of the public. He explained that this represents “a good lesson in marketing/branding.”
That’s why it’s in quotes. But the name recognition for “don’t don’t say gay” among the public is far higher than the bill’s actual name. It’s a good lesson in marketing/branding.
— Scott Travis (@smtravis) July 1, 2022
Journalist complains about being misquoted
That led Miller to summarize Travis’ position as being, “We started calling it that and you know, look how many people recognize it,” something he called “a pretty amazing admission for a journalist.”
Miller wasn’t alone in mocking what Travis had said, as other Twitter users quickly began making light of his words too.
“It’s inaccurate but we’ll keep using it because it sells well and gets them clicks”
Journalism in 2022.
— Sunny McSunnyface (@sunnyright) July 1, 2022
In a moment seemingly devoid of self-awareness, Travis responded to Miller’s tweet by complaining that he was being misquoted, saying, “If you’re going to use quotes, quote accurately.”