Caught helping Stacey Abrams hide encouragement for Georgia losing the All-Star Game, USA Today’s publisher Gannett apologizes

The largest publisher of newspapers in the United States by total circulation has been caught red-handed engaging in Orwellian rewriting of history to help Stacey Abrams hide her promotion of the boycott of her home state of Georgia by the MLB all-Star Game.

Ms. Abrams is regarded as a savior by many on the left, even future presidential material, and is even excused for delusionally claiming to be the actual elected governor of Georgia after losing that race by tens of thousands of votes, despite the left’s new dogma pronouncing it a crime against democracy to question the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s election. Her promotion of the doctrine of Black “voter suppression” when IDs are required for voting, and her energetic promotion of registration and vote gathering efforts by Democrats have given her a status as an untouchable goddess, apparently.  Even as Black registration and turnout in Georgia put the lie to the suppression narrative.

 

Stacey Abrams Photo credit: Innisfree987 CC BY 3.0 license

But Abrams’s seeming support of MLB punishing Georgia by moving away the All-Star Game after Georgia passed a sensible election integrity law turned out to harm a lot a Black people in metropolitan Atlanta, which is reckoned to have lost about a hundred million dollars in spending from fans traveling there for the game. Spending that would have benefitted local hotels and restaurants owned by and employing Blacks, as well as countless other indirect beneficiaries.

Can’t have the Great Black Hope losing support among Georgia Blacks, especially if she runs for office again. Ryan Mills describes the memory-holing:

USA Today is being accused of providing cover for Stacey Abrams after the news organization allowed the Georgia Democrat to edit out a line from an opinion article she wrote in which she said she “can’t argue with” people who choose to boycott businesses in her state.

In a March 31 op-ed about the corporate response to Georgia’s new voting law, which Abrams called “racist,” she wrote that she doesn’t believe boycotts are “necessary – yet.” However, she added: “Until we hear clear, unequivocal statements that show Georgia-based companies get what’s at stake, I can’t argue with an individual’s choice to opt for their competition.”

Two days after publication, Major League Baseball announced that it was pulling the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta because of the state’s voting law. In response, USA Today allowed Abrams to heavily edit her op-ed. Many of the edits seemingly have little to do with MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game to Colorado, though Abrams did add that losing the game and the MLB draft could cost the state $100 million in lost revenue.

She removed the line saying she can’t argue with people who boycott Georgia businesses, and instead wrote: “Rather than accept responsibility for their craven actions, Republican leaders blame me and others who have championed voting rights (and actually read the bill).”

In the revised version, Abrams also noted that “Boycotts invariably cost jobs,” and that “Instead of a boycott, I strongly urge other events and productions to do business in Georgia and speak out against our law and similar proposals in other states.”

According to the Internet Archive, Abrams’s piece was updated the afternoon of April 6, but an editor’s note acknowledging the changes wasn’t added for over two weeks, on April 22.

With the evidence in the archive so clear, USA Today’s publisher fessed up, Becket Adams writes:

Gannett issued an apology Tuesday for neglecting to affix an editor’s note to a retroactively edited USA Today op-ed authored by failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

"We regret the oversight in updating the Stacey Abrams column,” said a spokesperson for Gannett, which owns roughly 100 newspapers, including USA Today. “As soon as we recognized there was no editor’s note, we added it to the page to reflect her changes. We have reviewed our procedures to ensure this does not occur again."

Too late. Too many people read the original piece, in which Abrams voiced support for a boycott of Georgia over its new voting laws.

The lack of a note about the edit – a so-called “stealth edit” -- is only a small part of the problem. The bigger issue is why a major mass media organization would allow a politician to retroactively hide evidence that would harm her politically. The media are not supposed to engage in revision of history to protect favored politicians and political parties.

Joseph A Wulfson of Fox News called out the inadequate apology:

A spokesperson for Gannett, USA Today's parent company, told Fox News, "We regret the oversight in updating the Stacey Abrams column. As soon as we recognized there was no editor’s note, we added it to the page to reflect her changes. We have reviewed our procedures to ensure this does not occur again."

Fox News had also asked Gannett if it regrets allowing revisions to Abrams' op-ed instead of preserving it as it was originally written, which was not addressed in the statement. 

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