NY Times Sparks Outrage Against Protests with False Suggestion That Black Lives Matter Has ‘Come for Paw Patrol’
A New York Times article has prominent figures from Megyn Kelly to Eric Trump expressing outrage that the children’s show Paw Patrol has become a target of the protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd. It hasn’t.
President Donald Trump’s son was among the outraged throng of people who saw a New York Times headline that read “The Protests Come for ‘Paw Patrol’,” and raced to Twitter to denounce the “movement.”
“Now the left wants to cancel “Paw Patrol.” These people are truly insane…” he wrote.
Now the left wants to cancel “Paw Patrol.” These people are truly insane…
“The Protests Come for ‘Paw Patrol’” – The New York Times https://t.co/8QbV9coBhN
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) June 11, 2020
Alas, he was not alone. Megyn Kelly — exiled from NBC over comments about blackface — applied her energy to Paw Patrol by writing “This is beyond parody.”
This is beyond parody. https://t.co/DMhEMWi3FL
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 10, 2020
Many more prominent voices — including multiple Trump campaign officials — were similarly outraged, along similar lines.
Woke Leftists Targeting Police And Police Shows Now Target Bigger Game: ‘Paw Patrol’ https://t.co/W7ebpBUiiS
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 10, 2020
Defend the Police.
Defend Paw Patrol.
Defend All of America’s Children.
— John Pence (@jepence) June 11, 2020
“Defund the Police” also means Chase from Paw Patrol.https://t.co/QX2zVFd10K
— Tim Murtaugh – Download the Trump 2020 app today! (@TimMurtaugh) June 11, 2020
“First they came for Paw Patrol…” pic.twitter.com/kIlofPK8xx
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 10, 2020
I give up. Game over, man. Game over. Last one out turn out the lights. We’ve gone to plaid. https://t.co/2rGGH24ene
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) June 10, 2020
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 11, 2020
The Left Doesn’t Want to Defund the Police — they want to Erase the Police. The Protests Come for ‘Paw Patrol’ and other positive depictions of police heroes.https://t.co/Aw42N0He5b
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) June 10, 2020
Absolutely idiotic. This exposes how unserious and *malevolent* the mob really is. “The Protests Come for ‘Paw Patrol’ ; A backlash is mounting against depictions of “good cops,” on television and in the street” https://t.co/kw9jehuWSo
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) June 10, 2020
Okay fine. I read it. The only remaining conclusion: National nervous breakdown. https://t.co/v5nwMCTwgF
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) June 10, 2020
“Chase is on the case in ‘Paw Patrol,’ but as protests against racist police violence reach their third week, criticism of fictional cops is growing, too.”
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) June 10, 2020
The left is working overtime to ensure you hate themhttps://t.co/YH3q8lTkTZ
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) June 10, 2020
It goes on and on like that.
As it turns out, though, the outrage is based on an attempt at cleverness by Times critic Amanda Hess, who used the absurd headline as an attention-getting peg for an in-depth look at the portrayals of police on television.
She began with a description of the show, then noted a tweet in which the show’s producers announced that “we will be muting our content until June 7th to give access for Black voices to be heard so we can continue to listen and further our learning.”
In solidarity of #amplifymelanatedvoices we will be muting our content until June 7th to give access for Black voices to be heard so we can continue to listen and further our learning. #amplifyblackvoices pic.twitter.com/NO2KeQjpHM
— PAW Patrol (@pawpatrol) June 2, 2020
Anyone who read the actual article would have seen that Hess was referring to reactions to that tweet that she explicitly identified as jokes.
But last week, when the show’s official Twitter account put out a bland call for “Black voices to be heard,” commenters came after Chase. “Euthanize the police dog,” they said. “Defund the paw patrol.” “All dogs go to heaven, except the class traitors in the Paw Patrol.”
It’s a joke, but it’s also not. As the protests against racist police violence enter their third week, the charges are mounting against fictional cops, too. Even big-hearted cartoon police dogs — or maybe especially big-hearted cartoon police dogs — are on notice.
There were also plenty of users who got the joke, but the reach of the outraged is a cautionary tale for people who only read headlines — or only repeat the parts of things that confirm their own hostilities.
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