CNN Story About KKK Propaganda Campaign In New York Is Ridiculous
This morning, CNN is reporting/fear-mongering parents that the KKK is targeting children in New York using Snicker bars. But something doesn’t make sense (yeah, keep reading). The story is completely absurd in every way (again, keep on reading).
Hint…This entire story is completely preposterous.
So prepare to have your mind blown, and not in a good way.
The CNN article claims that the KKK targeted bus stops in Oneida County with the flyers and miniature Snicker bars. But can you spot the problem? Allow me to break this down for you.
The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office posted a “terrifying” picture of the flyers and accompanying candy. This is the picture that’s sure to infiltrate social media feeds throughout the day.
As a Parent, What’s My Concern Here?
The letter looks mean and poorly done. The messaging is practically non-existent.
As a parent, I’d be paranoid over any strange candy being left for my child at a bus stop. I didn’t even know Snickers came in yellow, are those flavored? Or has it been left in the sun?
But I’m 100% sure I wouldn’t be worried about my child joining up with the Klan. Why would the Klan ask 9-year-olds to visit their website or write letters to them? Do parents that are worried have no parental controls? I barely know how to write and mail a postal letter anymore, not sure how savvy children would be in such areas.
But even if your child writes a letter of interest to the KKK based on a flyer that gives them no details about what the KKK is about, the KKK would need to write a letter back. Do you let your kids open random postal mail?
This is absurd.
But wait, because, things get more absurd.
New York Gov. Responds With Fury
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo erupted over the incident, saying, “While President Trump and Republicans in Washington sow divisiveness and hate that is spreading like a cancer across the country, in New York we say not here, not now, not ever.”
Notice Cuomo’s response engages political affirmations, positively avoiding any semblance of problem-solving (there’s a reason for that).
“New York has zero tolerance for intolerance.” Cuomo went on to say.
“The KKK is a terrorist organization, and even dropping off these materials itself is terrifying, especially when you find something like this in your driveway in the morning,” said teacher/journalist Ron Klopfanstein.
“It requires a response, and the only way to get through that fear is to stand up and come together. I think the worst part is that a lot of kids found it on the way to the bus in the morning.”
As a parent, the idea that creepy candy with messaging is left for my child to potential find at the bus stop is unsettling. I still fear Halloween candy (that’s just me). But what’s more unsettling is the investigation and investigative journalism that’s sorely amiss any reason or logic.
Nowhere in the article is there an effort to confirm the KKK sent out the messaging. I’m not saying they didn’t, I’m just saying, anyone with access to mini-Snicker bars and a printer is capable of creating such flyers.
Instead, CNN’s article is titled:
After the Klan sweetens its New York recruitment with candy, Cuomo launches a probe
“Sweetens the pot.”
There is no messaging on the flyer. What’s the pot sweetened for in the first place? “Sweetening the pot” implies that children have been subjected to messaging prior and there is some sort of negotiation ongoing. Is the Klan now carrying out the worst negotiation strategy with 9-year-olds in the history of negotiations?
What was the pot prior to the “yellow Snickers sweetening?”
Above the title that takes the position that the KKK created the awareness campaign without legitimately confirming the source of the flyers, there’s a massively intrusive and likely profitable, ad. I have a couple ads in these parts, I get it. Without ads, many of us go out of business. But should we assume the article’s title is more to drive eyeballs to the ad?
If CNN were to contact the KKK office listed on the flyer and the KKK were to deny they ran the campaign, CNN would be unable to use such a fear-mongering article title. And then fewer people would view an ad for doggy meds (or whatever Google deems appropriate for you).
The article goes on to deploy a number of sub-headers throughout the text.
‘Stand up and come together’
‘Naive’ to think Klan isn’t here
Buried at the bottom of the article, which, by the way, required two journalists to write (not kidding: “CNN’s Sophia Lipp reported from New York and Joe Sterling reported from Atlanta”), is a little nugget of potential reality.
Westmoreland Board of Education member, Denise Szarek, who is credited in the final sub-header section related to ‘Naive’ to think the Klan isn’t here,’ essentially says that she isn’t sure the Klan created or distributed the flyers.
“My theory is that it’s someone local who’s downloading them, printing them out and passing it around,” Szarek said. “I mean, it really could be anyone. But I think we’re naïve if we think that KKK members aren’t here, aren’t present in our communities.”
But wait, doesn’t the CNN headline and coverage essentially rely on the confirmation that the KKK did, indeed, attempt to recruit children at bus stops?
Here’s the first paragraph of the article:
The Ku Klux Klan has embarked on a recruitment campaign in upstate New York in recent months, dropping off packets of white supremacist propaganda and sweetening the material with bars of Snickers in an initiative seemingly aimed at young people.
Could it be more clear?
Media Is Prepping For D.C. “White Nationalist Rally”
In five days, Jason Kessler, a self-proclaimed “white nationalist,” will hold a rally across the street from the White House. This will be Kessler’s second major rally in a handful of months. Stories like the CNN “KKK Snickers recruiting” story are greasing the outrage wheel that’s about to spin fast and furiously.
The first “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville resulted in chaos, salacious and profitable media coverage, and even the death of a protester who’s life was ended when a lunatic drove a car into the crowd.
Kessler’s upcoming rally in D.C. will feature David Duke as a speaker. It is needless to say that every major media group will be there positioned for a potential tinderbox to go up in flames. Kessler, a former Obama supporter, has somewhat come out of nowhere to become some sort of face for “racist America under Trump.”
I’m neither here nor there on drawing conclusions or asserting opinions over the matter of Kessler and his rallies. The greater problem in this case and cases similar to it is the media’s latching on for purposes of promoting clear political bias.
Let’s be honest, if the media and counter-protesters ignored Kessler’s rallies, there wouldn’t be rallies. Guys like Kessler don’t stand on soapboxes without an audience. But the media and counter-protesters provide Kessler with a grandiose stage. The rally will be tied to Trump’s “new America that emboldens the KKK.”
Worse more, there will be little if any sincere journalism present. The journalistic angle will be that which creates massive-scale outrage.
What About The KKK?
The KKK has about 3,000 active members at most. Many of the 3,000 are not specifically “Klan” members, meaning, “watchdog” groups that often carry a political bias are relating outlier groups, or potentially groups that support Trump, into the fray. I’m not going to take the time to investigate that road, we can just assume it is 3,000.
Most Klan groups have only 25 members in them.
At this point, I’m less likely to fear my child will be lured in by KKK flyers that have no pitch in them and more concerned that my child might want to go to a school of Journalism.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.