The rolling fallout of the Cancel Culture targeting Goya Foods is the perfect education point for the dynamics of how the loudest, angriest fringes on Twitter leverage the agenda-driven media to create hysterical responses devoid of context or rationality.
It all started at a routine Rose Garden affair last week when the CEO of Goya Foods Robert Unanue spoke at the White House’s Hispanic Prosperity Initiative along with President Trump. Unanue said the blasphemous unthinkable: The United States was “blessed” to have a leader like Trump “who is a builder.” Unanue’s grandfather was a builder who came to America — via Spain and Puerto Rico — and where he ended up starting Goya Foods in New Jersey. Unanue has an obvious and understandable fondness for builders.
Of course no one is allowed to say something even nuanced about the President, let alone actually nice, without the leftist hordes of haters raining down a fiery hail of digital and financial destruction on them. On Twitter, hashtags like #BoycottGoya began quickly emerging.
But remember, Twitter is actually a very loud, but small insular bubble representing a tiny, tiny fraction of Americans (and a bunch of bots and innumerable trolls.) But it is also highly prized confirmation space by the old media. Journalists love their likes and retweets and they provide the Twitter outrage mob with outsized influence by greatly inflating trends. They seem to think Twitter represents America — or at least it does when it coincides with their openly partisan agendas.
So the New York Times wrote a huge story about the Goya boycott effort, the Washington Post helpfully gave a list of alternatives to Goya (not partisan at all) while Vox used their popular “explainer” method to report on it. The CNN dumpster fire of journalism ran with multiple stories, such as “Goya was a staple in Latino households. It likely won’t be anymore” and “Goya CEO’s support for Trump leaves many Latinos feeling sting of betrayal.” As to the alleged journalism portion, CNN’s conclusion of “many Latinos” is represented by a Democratic politician and a “brand influencer.” My gosh this is disgraceful. (Hat tip to Steve Krakauer for assembling the stories by the media in his email blast.)
How about some perspective? First, we don’t even know if Unanue is political or a Trump supporter. Unanue was invited by President Obama to the White House and said nice things. In fact, he repeatedly praised Obama. Of course, no right-winger suggested he should be canceled and financially damaged for it. No one said boo. Conservatives think differently than progressives.
And more: While the media and all progressives like to treat every race and ethnicity (other than whites, interestingly and tellingly) as all thinking and acting alike, which is obvious bigotry, Trump won 33% of the Latino vote. More than four million Hispanics voted for him in 2016.
But this gained huge traction because the legacy media pants after what the Twitter mob gins up and then amplifies it greatly. They gauge what is finding traction on the loud left, then use their blow horns to magnify that issue.
We should remember that the point of boycotts, such as this one against Goya, is not just aimed at that product or company, but they are to send the broad message intimidating and bullying CEOs everywhere into not being seen with President Trump, saying anything positive about him, or advertise on conservative media outlets.
It’s an integral part of Cancel Culture.
Fortunately, there is also a counterpunch movement known as “Buycott Goya” aimed at stocking up on Goya products to blunt the boycott.
But it is all the result of the legacy media absorbing and greatly amplifying the Twitter rage that represents very little of America.
Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Like Rod on Facebook.