The Church of Woke

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All of us need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are uniquely made, that we are here on this earth for a purpose, and that our lives have transcendent meaning.

If these innate characteristics go unfulfilled, or if life’s trials simply wear us down, our hearts become hardened and our spirits flaccid.

Wittingly or unwittingly, we find ourselves on a quest for the seemingly elusive someone or something that has placed these components deep within us.

We instinctively know that whoever or whatever is the originator of these inner sensibilities is greater than ourselves.

What we are not always cognizant of, though, is the fact that also built into us is the need to bow down to a power that is greater than ourselves.

And bow down we all do.

Like it or not, we all serve somebody. So who do you serve?

Some of us have the peace of always having had the answer to that question. Others have drifted in and out of certainty. And then there are those who don’t think that any of the things described above pertain to them.

But of course they do, as hopefully they will someday be able to recognize in themselves.

At the present time, a newfound spiritual group has assembled together. Members of the group have populated the social media with a creed of sorts, establishing a religion that could aptly be called “The Church of Woke.”

The fledgling church exhibits attributes of religious institutions that have come before it. However, its belief system is antithetical to the time-honored faiths of our country and of the world.

Members of The Church of Woke claim to seek a world in which no inequality exists and everything is paid for without anyone ever having to work. Rather than comparing our nation to other countries, they compare it to the utopia that their religion claims to offer.

The Church of Woke is dead set on disparaging, demeaning, and destroying all things related to traditional religious institutions. It adamantly rejects what it views as archaic absolute standards. Above all else it embraces moral relativism, which has no philosophical leg to stand on. No reasoning allowed, just sheer emotion. According to The Church of Woke, the only way forward is to tear down everything.

Adherents harbor a fierce hatred for America. This is because the notion that our country is the repository of evil has been drilled into their heads. The whole Western World is viewed as having a sinister history, ideology, and political bent. Wrongs are categorized as “systemic” and are therefore incapable of ever being corrected.

The Church of Woke is enlisting new members every day and converting them to the “correct” way of thinking. Services have taken the form of street protests, and prayers, the endlessly repeated worn-out chants of radicals past.

Followers of The Church of Woke consider themselves to be today’s chosen people. No way do they have to follow traditional rules of law. They are completely free to express any degree of hostility toward anyone they wish. They are also allowed to punish anyone who fails to bow to them.

Yes, we all serve somebody. And the reality is, the choice of whom we serve has clearly become a binary one.

What You Need to Know about the Heads of Social Media and Big Tech

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In an unprecedented move by the head honchos of social media, President Donald Trump had several posts on his Twitter account slapped with “fact check” disclaimer labels.

When internet companies were in their infancy back in the 1990s, Congress, via legislation, provided them with immunity from certain civil lawsuits in order to encourage the development of “platforms,” i.e., digital places for users to share user-created content.

Similar to bookstores that are not in the business of creating, editing, or publishing the material contained on the shelves of their stores, companies such as Twitter were granted special protection from lawsuits so that digital platforms that merely host media content created by third parties (their users) would be able to operate unhindered by the threat of legal action.

Companies with very large social media platforms have been acting as if they merely provide space for third parties to share, when in actuality it is just that, acting. Based on the same premise, they additionally continue to maintain that they should not be held liable for what their users post.

Twitter’s decision to fact check in such a high profile and subjective manner stands as a watershed moment in the relationship between government and social media.

By fact checking the President of the United States on, of all things, an issue related to potential election fraud, Twitter tossed its identity of being a platform out into the ethersphere. But it also let the cat out of the bag as to its real present status, that of full-fledged publisher.

Twitter expressed a political opinion when it engaged in its fact checking. The issue was a mega-politically charged one involving mass mail-in voting and whether such a process is ripe for fraud.

President Trump’s tweet was evaluated by the overseers at Twitter, and users were prompted to “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.” Upon clicking a link, users were subsequently instructed that “experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud,” an unmistakable political statement that also happens to be false.

If one is willing to dig a little deeper, what is discovered is that Twitter has implemented a policy that currently seems to apply to a single user—President Trump.

When a social media company engages in the same activities as a publication, it must be treated as if it were one. Newspapers, magazines, etc., fall under the umbrella of conventional publishers that create and edit their own content and are not exempt from liability.

Twitter has not been considered a publisher, despite the fact that it has been acting like one. But to exacerbate the situation, it has increasingly become a publisher of the most highly partisan kind. And it just so happens that, as of this writing, we are less than six months away from a presidential election.

Some big tech companies have also demonstrated a political bias in giving liberals a pass while engaging in an all-out targeting of conservatives.

–PragerU’s Facebook page was marked with a virtual branding iron as containing “false news” and was demonetized as well.

–A study from NYU on the addition of zinc to a hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin treatment was removed by YouTube.

–A hydroxychloroquine video by Sharyl Attkisson was also removed, although it was subsequently reinstated.

–A contrarian Michael Moore-produced documentary, “Planet of the Humans,” was yanked from YouTube.

As reported by Vox, a number of top Silicon Valley figures appear to be working behind the scenes in a concerted effort to get presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden elected. Big tech names include LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, Apple founder Steve Job’s widow Laurene Powell Jobs, and ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Twitter’s own Yoel Roth, who presently holds the title “Head of Site Integrity,” has referred to President Trump and his team as “actual Nazis.” Roth has additionally mocked Trump supporters, insulted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and provided campaign donations to former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

President Trump recently signed an executive order that sets in motion a potentially costly change for Twitter with respect to the company’s civil liability exposure. The order directs all executive departments and agencies to ensure that their application of Section 230(c), the law that limits liability, falls within “the narrow purpose of the section.”

The executive order cites the legislative purpose of the law to maintain the internet as a “forum for a true diversity of political discourse.” The departments and agencies are instructed to “take all appropriate actions in this regard.”

The heads of departments and agencies must also review advertising and marketing expenses that are paid to Twitter and other online platforms. This includes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Justice (DOJ), as well as other parts of the executive branch.

With regard to Twitter, Google, Facebook, YouTube, and others, it is possible that some of the personnel of these departments and agencies will be looking into the practice of the gathering of information about virtually everything users do and then selling the data for billions of dollars.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has already indicated that the DOJ will begin drafting legislation to regulate social media companies.

President Trump’s executive order may have an immediate limiting effect on social media and big tech’s future editorial actions.

Apparently, tech CEOs, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, have already heard the footsteps of the federal government. Zuckerberg recently distanced himself from Twitter when he told Fox News that the social media platform had, in his opinion, made a mistake, and that no social media platform should be the “arbiter of truth.”

The bottom line is that social media and big tech companies can’t have it both ways. And hopefully, in the very near future, they won’t.

The Separation of Church and Search

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Google has been busy of late laying down a track record of bias against conservative, pro-life, and Christian content.

Credible reports indicate that the tech giant has been manipulating searches on the part of participant users to facilitate end results that favor liberal outcomes and simultaneously suppress conservative content.

Google, via YouTube, has removed videos of Prager U, and Live Action and demonetized YouTuber Steven Crowder’s channel as well as Dr. Michael Brown’s Christian ministry, among others.

Concordia Publishing House, the publishing arm of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, had an ad disallowed due to the fact that items in the promotional materials and website postings refer to “Jesus and/or the Bible.”

In early 2019, a Google software engineer became a whistleblower and agreed to go on record to provide an inside witness in support of the premise that the tech company has a bias against Christians.

Hostility by Google regarding the tenets of Christianity comports with the politics of Silicon Valley and in particular the political ideology endemic within the search giant’s corporate culture.

James Damore, an engineer who was terminated by Google, filed a class action lawsuit last year, alleging that the tech giant harassed him and others over their right-of-center political views. Damore had written a memo that characterized the environment within the company as a “politically correct monoculture.”

This descriptive was recently made manifest when Google-owned YouTube suppressed an advertisement for a charity whose purpose is to provide assistance and support to military veterans. The explanation given for the suppression of marketing expression was that the ad in question contained the keyword “Christian.”

Keywords are routinely utilized in online advertising to allow advertisers to have their ads appear in search results whenever potential customers who are conducting internet searches type in a particular term or phrase.

Chad Robichaux, a Marine veteran and former MMA fighter, started a charitable foundation called the Mighty Oaks Warrior Program in order to serve veterans and their families in their battles to recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Robichaux became a Marine at age 17 and served eight tours in Afghanistan, where he was part of the Joint Special Operations Command Task Force and earned a Medal of Valor for his service to the nation.

The marketing team of Robichaux’s charitable organization attempted to publish an ad to promote an episode of the group’s “Mighty Oaks Show” that highlighted ways in which the Christian faith assisted a Korean War veteran in finding healing.

“So one of the keywords to boost the ad was the word ‘Christian,’ which we use regularly,” Robichaux told Faithwire. “The ad was denied specifically because of the use of the word ‘Christian.’”

Robichaux posted a screenshot on Twitter of an email that he received from Google, which indicated that the keyword “Christian” was “unacceptable content” and a “potential policy violation.”

According to Robichaux, the group has run ads with the keyword “Christian” for years. In 2019 alone, the group had 150,000 impressions on this word in its ads. However, because it appeared to be a new restriction, members of the group called the Google helpline. They were told that Google’s new criteria prohibited the use of the word “Christian.”

YouTube responded on Twitter, stating, “We know that religious beliefs are personal, so we don’t allow advertisers to target users on the basis of religion. Beyond that, we don’t have policies against advertising that includes religious terms like ‘Christian.’”

Google’s explanation seemed coherent, possibly even one that had been made in good faith, with a line of reasoning based on an ostensible policy of separation of church and search. However, Robichaux produced evidence that Google’s policy treats some religions as more equal than others.

Mighty Oaks proceeded to run the exact same ad with the keyword “Muslim” in place of “Christian.” Perplexingly, the ad was approved.

The two screenshots Robichaux provided stood in stark contrast to one another. The first showed that the word “Christian” had been flagged, while the second showed that Robichaux’s group had been given the green light to use the keyword “Muslim.”

The above example indicates that Google, the company that holds the key to the information door of the digital world and also owns the number one global video portal, has an animus toward a faith to which a majority of our nation’s residents adhere.

In light of Google’s selective application of its business policies, it is appropriate to examine the legislative privileges bestowed upon the tech giant. It is also fitting to question whether or not anti-trust law should be used to restore competition in the market over which Google currently reigns.

The Scene Stealer Wins

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Democratic candidates who are vying to win the top spot as their Party’s 2020 presidential nominee are set to take the debate stage on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Twenty out of the twenty-three candidates who are currently running have made the cut, which means they will be participating in the debates on one of the two days listed above. They will, of course, be appearing on national television and several will likely be introducing themselves to the public at large for the very first time.

The political face-off is going to take place in Miami, Florida, with telecasts airing on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo. Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow, and José Díaz-Balart will be the moderators.

The rhetoric of many who are chasing the Democratic primary plum has been both confusing and unappealing to a sizable segment of the voting population. Candidates that fall within this category have, for the most part, been speaking to their far-left constituents, especially those who tend to be clustered in East and West Coast urban enclaves.

The candidates’ positions on the most crucial issues that our country presently faces appear to be pretty much the same in content and substance. They seem to be relatively distant from the views held by a major segment of the population as well, with the sometimes exception of former Vice President Joe Biden. When not flip-flopping or dodging questions, the former veep does his best to appear above the fray and create an air of inevitability.

The two-day debate drama will feature an unlikely cast of characters that includes the mayor of the nation’s largest city, the mayor of one of the nation’s smallest cities, certain individuals with no previous political experience, one individual with fifty years experience, and even a New Age guru who is a spiritual soul mate of none other than Oprah Winfrey.

The stakes are quite high for the largest primary campaign field ever assembled. As a result of the sheer number of candidates who are participating in the debate, the DNC has resorted to a lottery in order to assign the candidates’ dates and places across the two-day event.

Wednesday’s grouping includes only one of the current five top Democratic contenders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Consequently, Thursday is looking as if it will be a red carpet event, politically speaking. It will feature the four remaining highest placing candidates, which includes the front-runner, Biden.

A recent Quinnipiac poll showed that only 45 percent of Democrats are paying “a lot” of attention to the campaign. The candidates will vie for their share of attention during the two-hour broadcast, while at the same time trying to distinguish themselves from one another. They will no doubt have to make their points in a condensed period of time, because despite being limited to 10 participants the estimated duration that each will be able to speak is only about seven minutes.

For those in the political arena who have not yet achieved the degree of name recognition and fame that is required, particularly when compared with Biden’s levels, the dream of setting themselves apart in an age of social media depends on their wherewithal to generate a “viral” moment.

Before social media came into existence I would characterize a moment such as this as a “magic” one. The impact on the momentum of a candidate’s campaign had the same effect – shooting star.

In 1984 former President Ronald Reagan deftly dealt with his then-age of 73, when questioned on the matter during his debate with Democrat opponent Walter Mondale. Reagan famously responded, “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

In 2000, during the third presidential debate with then-GOP candidate George W. Bush, former Vice President Al Gore, after sighing audibly through most of the proceedings, left his podium and entered his opponent’s space in an apparent attempt at intimidation. Bush merely nodded at Gore and in wry trademark fashion said a single word, “Hello,” continuing to make his point without skipping a beat.

Back in the day magic moments spread the old fashioned way, via television broadcasts, radio, and print publications. Moving like lighting, today a viral moment is fueled by 24/7 cable coverage and social media platforms.

As the intersection of Hollywood and politics grows ever wider and stardust makes its way from west coast to east and back again, analogies between the world of entertainment and of politics become ever more pronounced. What I see as a potentiality of the upcoming debates is what has frequently been observed on the Hollywood front. An actor who plays a secondary role in a film unexpectedly captures the audience’s attention and “steals the scene.” When this occurs, an unknown supporting actor may suddenly be catapulted on to a new trajectory aimed straight toward stardom.

In 1950, appearing in a mere two scenes of the film “The Asphalt Jungle,” little known actress Marilyn Monroe experienced the propelling of her career, which placed her on a path that ultimately led to cinematic icon status.

In 1969, like Monroe actor Jack Nicholson did much the same in the film “Easy Rider.” So, too, did Viola Davis in 2008 with her role in the film “Doubt.”

With today’s vast social media landscape, the type of moment that will thrust a candidate into the political stratosphere must be one that breaks through the Internet noise barrier. Like it or not, when “Action!” is called on the night of the debates, he or she who steals the scene wins.

John Wayne Becomes Social Media’s Latest Target

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Social media trolls recently honed in on a new target of attack. The same agitators that consistently seek to tear down statues, ban books, and silence dissidents have now dug up an interview with legendary actor John Wayne, which appeared in a May 1971 issue of Playboy Magazine.

What are Wayne’s detractors aiming for?

Well for starters, they want to change the name of the airport that is located in Orange County, California and bears Wayne’s name. Presumably the 9-foot bronze statue of the famed figure that stands at the entrance would be knocked down as well.

Even though Wayne is no longer with us and thus unable to defend himself, the transforming America crowd who are attempting to destroy Wayne’s reputation will not be satisfied until the movie icon’s legacy has been completely redacted from Hollywood history.

Screenwriter Matt Williams used his Twitter account to publish portions of the 1971 interview of Wayne, and re-tweeters managed to push the post into the viral zone.

Although some of the quotes in the interview appear to be inappropriate when examined within the context of today’s more enlightened cultural prism, at the time of the interview Wayne, along with many of his contemporaries, spoke in a blunt and occasionally harsh style both on and off screen, which was part of a projected character image.

Williams attacked the movie icon personally in a profanity laced social media post.

“Jesus f—, John Wayne was a straight up piece of s—,” Williams tweeted.

Comments to various re-tweets seemed to be at odds, with some agreeing with Williams and others urging a consideration of conversational context as well as the era in which Wayne lived.

Wayne was a man who before becoming a film icon was known as Marion Morrison, a football star at Glendale High and later at USC. He called the Golden State his home from the age of ten on and in later years was intimately involved with the once-sleepy county just south of Los Angeles, which grew in size and stature and came to affectionately be known simply by its initials, the OC.

Wayne’s fame transcended the norm of the conventional movie star and rose to a level that few ever achieve – that of enduring icon. However, Duke had something all his own. His movie star identity was wrapped up in the symbolism, beliefs, and ideals of the country he adored.

In a tell of a great artist, Wayne was able to capture the emotions that people felt about their country and place them on the big screen in all their Americana glory. His stories were their stories, perfected in a way that only Hollywood at the time could.

Interestingly, Wayne was an outspoken conservative and anti-communist. During the Playboy interview, he queried aloud, “What kind of a nation is it that fails to understand that freedom of speech and assembly are one thing, and anarchy and treason are quite another, that allows known Communists to serve as teachers to pervert the natural loyalties and ideals of our kids, filling them with fear and doubt and hate and downgrading patriotism and all our heroes of the past?”

Wayne’s popularity and influence on the American mindset disturbed Russian dictator Joseph Stalin to the point that the Soviet despot ordered an attempted assassination of the actor that auspiciously never materialized.

According to Michael Munn, film historian and author of “John Wayne – The Man Behind the Myth,” back in the early 1950s Stalin ordered the KGB to assassinate Wayne because he considered his anti-communist rhetoric a threat to the Soviet Union.

In 1959, when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev came to the United States, the autocrat had two requests he wished fulfilled: to visit Disneyland and to meet Wayne.

When Japanese Emperor Hirohito visited the United States in 1975, he also asked to meet Wayne, who was viewed as the personification of the American spirit.

Wayne’s iconic American status was recognized by the U.S. government, granting him the two highest civilian decorations in existence. In 1979 Wayne was given the Congressional Gold Medal, and in 1980 he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Jimmy Carter.

The legendary film star was nominated for three Academy Awards and was a one-time winner in 1969, taking the Best Actor in a Leading Role trophy for “True Grit.”

Despite attempts on the part of the left to characterize him as a bigot, the truth is Wayne was married three times and the three women he married were Latinas: Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Pallete. In the wake of the coverage of the Playboy interview, Wayne’s family released a statement to the press.

“We hope America remembers John Wayne as we do: a devoted family man, great friend and cherished actor on the big screen, as well as for his continuing work to find a cure for cancer through the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and the John Wayne Cancer Institute,” the statement read.

“It’s unfair to judge someone on something that was written that he said nearly 50 years ago when the person is no longer here to respond,” the statement continued. “Regardless of color, ethnicity or sexual preference, [our] father taught us to treat all people the same, with respect.”

The outrage industry is on an endless quest to secure the next individual to impugn. As a result of the social media’s stoking of the fire, a virtue-signaling editorial was recently published by the Los Angeles Times, advocating that Orange County’s John Wayne Airport be renamed.

A formidable task awaits those who wish to erase Wayne from the public square, though. In addition to the airport in Orange County, opponents will also have to contend with a 21-foot bronze statue in Beverly Hills, which displays Wayne on horseback.

There is also a John Wayne Marina near Sequim, Washington, a 100-plus-mile trail named the “John Wayne Pioneer Trail” in the Iron Horse State Park, which is also in Washington, the John Wayne Elementary School in Brooklyn, New York, which features a 38-foot mosaic mural depicting “John Wayne and the American Frontier,” and the John Wayne Parkway, which runs through Maricopa, Arizona.

Fifteen Minutes of Shame

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“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

This familiar quote, which is attributed to Andy Warhol, has resulted in a modern, truncated version of the concept that everyone will eventually receive his or her time in the spotlight. It also reflects how fragile and fleeting celebrity status has become and just how fickle the present-day public has trended.

In the age of social media, though, another phenomenon has been taking shape online, and Warhol’s iconic words are being subjected to a warped parallel paraphrasing. The twisted Warhol-ism that has emerged is the following: “In the future, everyone will be forced to suffer through his or her 15 minutes of shame.”

In today’s digital world, a Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram mob is able to publicly humiliate a well known, or even not so well known, individual or group for alleged acts or statements, thereby detrimentally affecting occupation, reputation, and/or social life.

Social media shaming can result in an instantaneous career end and destructive ramifications for anyone who is the unfortunate recipient of it.

Embarrassment is an intensely negative universal human experience, which is tethered to a fundamental need to be accepted into a circle, respected by its members, and loved for who we are. The thought of losing any of these basic necessities is a terrifying prospect, and it can create a desperation within an individual or group of individuals that is unlike any other misfortune that may befall us.

For a while now, particularly within the social media realm, individuals as well as groups have been going about weaponizing social media technology via memes and bots as a means of magnifying a digital footprint and amplifying a message. This is routinely done deceptively so as to give the impression that the representative numbers are significantly greater than they actually are.

When combined with the type of hyper-political correctness that is being promulgated by various activist groups, these social media activities pose an unprecedented threat to free expression, and perhaps even more perilous, an assault on the psyche.

The latest large-scale episode of social media shaming occurred when comedic actor Kevin Hart was compelled to withdraw from hosting the 2019 Oscars. Hart pulled out of the hosting gig after he and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences received the social media shaming treatment over jokes that he had posted in the distant past.

Immediately after it was publicly reported that Hart would host the industry’s most prestigious awards show, the virtual walk of shame began. Posts cited select archived comedy routines and tweets, which featured the comedian joking about trying to stop his son from becoming gay.

Reportedly, the Academy urged Hart to apologize for the past posts, but he refused, stating that he’d already apologized.

“I’ve addressed it,” Hart said in an Instagram post. “… I’m not going to continue to tap into the past when I’ve moved on and I’m in a completely different space in my life.”

Hart eventually did express contrition in a later tweet, stating, “I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.” He explained that the reason he was withdrawing from hosting duties was so that he would not “be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists.”

In a surprising twist, Ellen DeGeneres is now in the social media crosshairs. In an attempt to try and reinstate Hart as the host of the 91st Academy Awards, the daytime talk show host acted as a mediator of sorts between Hart and the Academy.

During a recent episode of her syndicated daytime talk show, one in which Hart appeared and gave his first interview on the subject, DeGeneres disclosed that she had talked with Academy officials and suggested that they bring Hart back as Academy Awards host. She also told Hart and her viewing audience that the Oscar leadership would still like Hart to be the host.

“It was an attack,” Hart told DeGeneres. “This wasn’t an accident, this wasn’t a coincidence. …To go through 40,000 tweets to get back to 2008? That’s an attack. That’s a malicious attack on my character.”

Hart added, “That’s an attack to end me. That’s not an attack to end the Oscars, that’s an attack to end me.” He continued in his expression of indignation and defense of his character.

“This was to destroy me. This was to end all partnerships, all brand relationships, all investment opportunities, studio relationships, my production company and the people who work underneath me. This was to damage the lives that had been invested in me. It’s bigger than just the Oscars. It’s about the individuals who are out there now that are finding success in damage. They’re finding success in damaging your ‘celebrity,’” Hart explained.

It turns out that in a prior stand-up routine, Hart had shared, “One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay … If I can prevent my son from being gay, I will.”

In a past post, Hart had also used his Twitter account to jokingly tweet that he would hit his son with his daughter’s dollhouse if he ever caught him playing with it. He additionally told Rolling Stone in 2015 that he intended these particular jokes to be self-deprecating.

“The funny thing within that joke is it’s me getting mad at my son because of my own insecurities,” Hart said. “I panicked. It has nothing to do with him, it’s about me.”

It appears as though the digital powers that be have decided it is now Degeneres’s turn to take to the shame stage. She is presently being targeted by the social media, in part, for venturing into the truth about today’s internet culture.

“There are so many haters out there,” DeGeneres said. “Whatever is going on on the internet, don’t pay attention to them. That’s a small group of people being very, very loud.”

Taylor Swift Gets Political

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For quite a while now the Internet has had a peculiar obsession with pop star Taylor Swift’s self-imposed political silence.

Liberal-minded Twitter and Facebook users have been posting comments pressuring Swift to join the ranks of myriad other celebrity activists who use their fame capital to move the political bar ever further to the left.

Up until now digital bully tactics have had little effect on the singer-songwriter. However, times have apparently changed in a big way, and Swift, who is currently on a “Reputation” concert tour, uploaded a photo to Instagram that virtually announces her candidate picks for political office in the state of Tennessee.

Swift previously nurtured an image of being above the political fray. In stark contrast, she has now chosen to take very specific positions on a number of polarizing issues in addition to her candidate endorsements.

Letting it be known that she will be voting as a Tennessee resident in the 2018 midterms, Swift announced her support for two Democrat candidates in her home state, one who is running for the U.S. Senate and another who is striving to secure a seat in House of Representatives.

Along with her endorsements, Swift let loose with an over-the-top slam of Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn, who although of the female gender has the seemingly incorrect party affiliation attached to her name, at least according to leftist celebrity activists.

Swift informed her fans that Marsha Blackburn was running for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee and conveyed her emotion-laced opposition.

“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me,” Swift shared.

Accompanying her post was a black and white photo in which Swift wears a flannel shirt that makes her look like her old country music singing self.

A number of Swift’s A-list BFFs, including Blake Lively, Karlie Kloss, Katy Perry, and Chrissy Teigen, “liked” the post.

In her political Instagram post, Swift referenced her former approach to avoiding political expression.

“In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now,” Swift wrote.

Swift’s habit of abstaining from political discourse had become part of her public image. In a 2012 interview with TIME, she said that in spite of keeping herself “as educated and informed as possible,” she does not discuss political subjects.

“I don’t talk about politics because it might influence other people,” she told the publication at the time.

In November 2017, a blogger criticized Swift for her political silence and actually accused her of enabling an alt-right and white supremacist fan base.

Meghan Herning wrote a piece titled “Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation,” which was published in PopFront Magazine. Herning asserted that Swift’s single “Look What You Made Me Do” contains “dog whistles to white supremacy in the lyrics.”

Additionally, referring to the clothing worn in Swift’s related music video, Herning wrote that “Taylor lords over an army of models from a podium, akin to what Hitler had in Nazi Germany.” Herning added that “the similarities are uncanny and unsettling.”

Essentially condemning Swift for her silence, Herning wrote, “And while pop musicians are not respected world leaders, they have a huge audience and their music often reflects their values. So Taylor’s silence is not innocent, it is calculated.”

Herning received a letter from Swift’s attorneys, demanding she retract the article and threatening a lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union promptly came to the aid of Herning.

That same month, the left-leaning UK Guardian published an editorial titled “The Guardian view on Taylor Swift: an envoy for Trump’s values?”

The newspaper implied that, in part, because of her silence, Swift was a stealth Trump supporter.

“… a notable voice has been missing from the chorus: that of Taylor Swift, the world’s biggest pop star. Her silence is striking, highlighting the parallels between the singer and the president: their adept use of social media to foster a diehard support base … their laser focus on the bottom line; their support among the ‘alt-right,’” the editorial read.

The Guardian claimed that Swift’s songs “echo Mr. Trump’s obsession with petty score-settling in their repeated references to her celebrity feuds, or report in painstaking detail on her failed romantic relationships.”

In a Politico piece titled “The Weird Campaign to Get Taylor Swift to Denounce Donald Trump,” which summarized the pressure being mounted at the time on Swift to jump on the anti-Trump skateboard, Swift was labeled “studiously apolitical.”

Stats on the pop singer reveal that she has garnered 112 million Instagram followers, 84 million followers on Twitter, and 72 million “likes” on her Facebook page.

It is arguable that she is at the apex of the celebrity pyramid, as liberals who have pressured her to join their ranks are no doubt aware.

Her level of fame grants her greater endorsement power than many of the other celebrities who have been visible participants in left-of-center protests of late.

With all this in mind, there is now a question of whether Swift will be able to hold on to her popularity, and additionally whether she can maintain her sizable social media platform after the public becomes fully informed of her newfound politics.