Did The Tea Party Boycott Ebony Magazine Over September Covers? Absolutely Not, Because They Don’t Read It
Early Wednesday afternoon, the Twitter account of Ebony magazine raised an alarm about a distressing new campaign targeting the magazine:
We have so many Tea Party readers and followers. To lose all zero of them due to our September cover would be devastating.— EBONY (@EBONYMag)
The remark referred to a swirl of unsubstantiated rumors, mostly on Twitter, that a group of Tea Party members had vowed to boycott Ebony for its decision to feature people wearing hoodies on four different editions of its September issue — a response to the July acquittal of George Zimmerman for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin. Which is mildly amusing inasmuch as a mass exodus of Ebony's Tea Party audience is unlikely to substantially affect the magazine's bottom line. Sadly, it was immediately clear that no discernible group of Tea Partiers had actually vowed to join the notional boycott. So where did these rumors come from?
The first mention of any proposed boycott of Ebony (limited to today) appeared in a single comment on Breitbart.com. A few hours later, this was passed off with complete credulity byU.S. News & World Report. But the very first mention of some sort of organized boycott appeared on the Twitter account of a Tom Head, a freelance writer living in Jackson, Mississippi:
Heh. Tea Party lynching apologists now threaten to boycott @EBONYMag over the Trayvon cover, as if any of them would have subscribed anyway.— Tom Head, Ph.D. (@_tomhead)
When asked, Head refused to explain where he saw these “Tea Party lynching apologists” (note: plural) threatening to boycott Ebony.
@jktrotter Clearly it’s making the rounds in Tea Party circles, but the place I heard it wasn’t Twitter.— Tom Head, Ph.D. (@_tomhead)
@jktrotter I’m not really interested in going into more detail on my source. I didn’t make it up, and that’s all I’m telling you.— Tom Head, Ph.D. (@_tomhead)
So. A few lessons:
1) THERE WAS NO BOYCOTT.
2) Twitter is terrible. (Follow me on Twitter.)
[Photo via Ebony]
I was going to post something very similar, after a trip through Twitter looking at mentions of @EBONYMAG.
Still, the reactions to the Ebony “boycott” aren’t really all that far off. Ebony is telling the Tea Party that they aren’t their market, that they don’t bring the magazine a dime, and that they have no reason to give a damn what the ‘baggers think.
If there isn’t any boycott, the argument really is still the same. If ‘baggers want to squawk about the magazines’ content, they have absolutely no reason the think Ebony’s editorial board will listen, because they have no financial leverage with them.
You will be responsible for devising and executing the strategies that make Twitter indispensable to newsrooms and journalists, as well as an essential part of the operations and strategy of news organizations and TV news networks. You should have a strong vision for the broad potential of Twitter and news, while also being able to rigorously manage and scale the news team’s daily impact.
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