When the so-called Nascar Noose story broke, all parties played exactly the role you would have expected. And those reactions are far more important than the latest hoax story itself.
Just so we cover the story itself, here it is in the TL;DR form before we move on to the more interesting details.
In the middle of BLM protests/violence, NASCAR breaks out of their COVID shutdown. Only Black Driver makes a statement about Confederate flags. Not long afterward, there is a claim that he has been harassed by someone leaving a ‘noose’ in his garage. Entire sport gets behind him. Yada yada… acts of contrition… show of support. Investigators arrive, quickly discover there was not only NO hate crime, but there was no noose at all. It was just a pull string for a manual garage door. And once again, everything is stupid. Welcome to 2020, folks.
Everyone, as I said, played along perfectly to their script.
Driver, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., was the hurting victim. League and other drivers showed the prescribed levels of contrition and support, as almost certainly instructed by the marketers, lawyers or some other corporate type. They almost certainly had the Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads: ‘Give them their pound of flesh, or else we get canceled.’
So we know what motivated the league and drivers. But what about the rest of America?
Media talking heads swallowed the story sight-unseen. Racists! White Supremacists! Of course it happened in NASCAR, that sport only a Deplorable could love. Activists and Democrat politicians were right behind them.
But conservatives, libertarians and a crapton of NASCAR fans — not to mention any number of left-leaning voters who don’t have their news pre-chewed for them — weren’t buying this story from the beginning. There were murmers of Jussie Smollett from the very beginning.
Not only did it fit too neatly into the left’s favorite narrative, it just didn’t ring true. The noose thing seems to be a Leftist fever-dream. They WANT to find a right-winger who fantasizes about lynching someone. While such people probably exist, they are hardly the plague the Left tells us is sweeping our nation with ‘white supremacist’ intentions. I’ve never met anyone who openly admitted to thinking that way. Most of us really DGAF what color your skin is.
So, absent some compelling evidence, it sounded sketchy. That was another thing… there was no photo of the alleged noose. That’s why ClashDaily hadn’t even run the story, there was no ‘there’ there. But the ‘real’ media ate it up.
Just like they ate up the ‘racist’ Covington Kids.
Just like they ate up the ‘Trump voters pulled the hijab off of a Muslim girl’ hoax.
Just like the ate up the Russian Collusion hoax… and so on.
There is the other consideration about ‘who would gain’?
If a noose were really planted, by someone who disliked him, who gains what from it? No sane driver would give up his career over finding something like that, and anyone caught planting it would lose it all. Garages with millions of dollars of equipment stored there would be particularly interested in security, so it wouldn’t be hard to prove who put it there.
But someone DOES stand to gain in this process. The ‘victim’ himself. As the only Black Driver in NASCAR, he is a niche market for advertisers. After taking a page from Colin Kaepernick’s playbook, and making an issue over the Confederate Flag, the noose came at just the right time to make him look like he was paying a personal price for taking a principled stand.
That’s martyr material… and good for his brand. I’d be interested to know how many Americans knew his name before this incident, compared to after. I’d be even MORE interested to know what impact these events had on the price of advertising space on his car or his racing uniform. Is this just a cynical play for an advertising niche that none of the other racers could exploit? We’re not ready to rule that out yet.
Again and again, the experts were proven wrong, and the ordinary shmucks like yours truly were vindicated. There’s really no secret sauce to it. The media is so HELLBENT on ‘getting’ Trump, and his supporters, that they see every negative story as an opportunity to score points. But what good are those points if you lose credibility along the way.
Folks like me would rather miss out on a trending story, and get the facts correct, than jump on it and have to retract later. That’s why we didn’t get bitten by an AOC hoax story from yesterday. It was ‘too good to be true’. It fit our assumpts too neatly, so we were suspicious. A little more digging, and it turned out to be a hoax. This isn’t a right-or-left thing, it’s an intellectual honesty thing.
And if there is anything the last few years have taught us, it’s that Intellectual honesty in journalism is a rare bird indeed.