Politics & Policy

The Shaming of Cheryl Rios

Cheryl Rios
In the age of media narratives, your business is everyone's business.

Here it is, the nadir of news:

Dallas Woman Posts on Facebook “A Female Shouldn’t Be President”

That is a real headline from the website of CBS 11, Dallas’s local CBS affiliate, where everyone can now read about how Cheryl Rios, the head of a local marketing firm, posted the following to Facebook in reaction to Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid:

If this happens — I am moving to Canada. There is NO need for her as she is not the right person to run our country — but more importantly a female shouldn’t be president. Let the haters begin . . . but with the hormones we have there is no way we should be able to start a war. Yes I run my own business and I love it and I am great at it BUT that is not the same as being the President, that should be left to a man, a good, strong, honorable man.

CBS 11 thought this declaration so important that it sent a reporter to interview Rios — who, unsurprisingly, defended her comment. You can watch the interview.

Many have noted — with appropriate mockery — the inane press coverage of Hillary Clinton’s “spontaneous” road trip, which on Tuesday included breaking news that she ordered a Masala Chai tea (!) and a Caramellow latte (!) at a coffee shop (!) filled with everyday Americans (!) in Le Claire, Iowa! But — and this is, note, the most robust defense possible for this coverage — at least Hillary Clinton is running for office. We can argue over the extent to which candidates’ public and personal lives should be distinguished, and we can argue about what information is valuable to report — the press is always making tradeoffs about what deserves coverage and what does not — but we can agree that she chose a public life in the modern age, and that this might mean having your Chipotle order scrutinized.

RELATED: The Burdens of Thought Policing

But who is Cheryl Rios? Nobody — at least, not until CBS 11 reported on her personal opinion posted on her personal Facebook page, and turned her into the latest object of left-wing Twitter’s two minutes’ hate (operative hashtag: “#everydaysexism”). And this story is, I think, prompted by a more alarming impulse than was the Hillary Burrito Blowout, which was straightforward media herdmindedness: Reporter Steve Pickett — and his editors — thought that Rios’s comment was worth publicizing. It was something people in the Dallas—Fort Worth Metropolitan Statistical Area needed to know to be informed citizens. It was news.

Yet it is unfair to blame the affiliate entirely. No, it is not difficult to see that this is what you get when what is newsworthy is what informs an ideological narrative. If the story is that “America chafes under the yoke of rampant sexism” — and since we have obliterated the distinction between thought and deed — then it is only reasonable to begin mining private opinions for evidence, which then can be — must be! for justice! — exposed. The endgame is clear: Certain opinions cannot be allowed to exist.

RELATED: Liberals Are the New McCarthyites — And They’re Proud Of It

#related#We saw a similar episode in Indiana two weeks ago. The Left screamed about “homophobes” and “bigots” secretly planning to oppress LGBT persons under the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. So the local ABC affiliate went out searching for some of those people. Thus, the O’Connor family of Walkerton, Ind., and their pizzeria, became hate-totems for Yelp users everywhere — on the basis of a hypothetical scenario.

Political opinions are always, must always be, subject to criticism. But there is a marked difference between opinions about public matters expressed publicly, and toward public ends, and those expressed privately, even if that is the pseudo-privacy of a personal Facebook page. A media that sets to publicizing those opinions — to boost a narrative, or just to boost its own traffic — is not a part of a free press, but a functionary of a culture increasingly comfortable criminalizing free thought.

— Ian Tuttle is a William F. Buckley Fellow at the National Review Institute.

Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More