Liberal journalists keep falling victim to conservative "disinformation campaigns," liberal journalists have declared.
The libs are particularly aggrieved over the Associated Press's decision to rescind its job offer to Emily Wilder, an anti-Israel activist. They are equally perturbed by the University of North Carolina's decision to award New York Times opinion writer Nikole Hannah-Jones a five-year contract worth $900,000, as opposed to a tenured position worth even more.
By most standards, neither the Associated Press nor the University of North Carolina is a particularly "conservative" institution. But that hasn't stopped critics from suggesting their decisions were influenced by conservative "disinformation."
"Disinformation campaigns against journalists are a growing problem in our age of information overload," journalist Janine Zacharia writes in Politico. Wilder, she argues, was "targeted by a disinformation campaign—in this case, by people who took issue with Wilder's documented pro-Palestinian views."
In spite of her best efforts, Zacharia is unable to explain how reporting on publicly available information constitutes "information warfare," although she appears to suggest that Israel may have been involved. "It bore all the classic marks of a disinformation campaign," she writes. "Pushing the Wilder story refocused attention from Israel's bombing of the AP bureau to a junior news associate who had just started in Arizona."
University of North Carolina journalism professors Alice Marwick and Daniel Kreiss are just as convinced that Nikole Hannah-Jones was the target of multiple "conservative disinformation campaigns." Writing in Slate, the professors argue that criticizing Hannah-Jones and her controversial 1619 Project, a revisionist history of the American founding that has been widely criticized by historians, is tantamount to waging disinformation.
It's "possible," they concede, that some critics might be "doing so in good faith," but that doesn't mean their criticism is any less disinformative. "Debate and disagreement are at the heart of academia—but conservative disinformation campaigns are deliberately spread to advance particular political and ideological goals," Marwick and Kreiss write. Of course, by this standard, most of what the mainstream media do on a daily basis might be described as a disinformation campaign.
Nevertheless, the professors conclude that criticism of Hannah-Jones and the University of North Carolina's decision to wait five years before deciding whether to grant her tenure are evidence that "systemic racism exists and the 1619 Project is vital."