Tony Ortega’s Red Meat Diet

Why do people put up with Tony Ortega’s extreme bias? Clearly Ortega has a long track record of saying things that are false or exaggerated. Often he will take these exaggerated claims and mix them with just enough things that are occasionally true to make his ‘reporting’ feel like journalism. With his selected ‘facts’ Ortega then weaves them into pre-fabricated narrative his readers are already desperate to believe.

That is Ortega’s trick.

He knows quite well that his readers don’t want to think about complex questions such as what parts of his victims’ story might be beneficial.

Encouraging free thought is not what Tony Ortega is or has ever been about.

That process of holding both “sides” of the truth in one’s mind can be extremely dissonant (distressful) at first. But the better you get at it, the less stressful it becomes. This is how human beings learn and communicate meaningfully with one another.

Meaningful dialogue has never been Ortega’s objective.

He knows his readers demand to have their emotions stoked with as much narrative-affirming hatred as he can throw at them because controversy is what attracts an audience. Spectacle draws eyeballs.

It is this ‘red meat’ approach which has been adopted by Ortega and those like him. The thing is, the moment you set aside any pretext of looking at issues from more than one perspective, that is the moment you cease to be objective and let bias guide your thinking.

At this point reason is abandoned in favor of ‘gut-level’ appeals. It is the difference between telling news stories to someone and feeding stories at them.

Tony Ortega’s blog, his Twitter feed, indeed, the vast majority of his career has been spent in the pursuit of emotional manipulation designed to appeal to the baser instincts of his readers.

He flames the fires of their own biases, their own misconceptions, their own hate, and echoes it back to them like fun house mirror, all while positioning himself as a brave truth-teller of the information age to his readers.

Tony Ortega is a snake oil salesman of the oldest variety. There is no bravery in telling people what they want to hear. And there’s precious little truth in what Ortega is trying to sell his audience.

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