The Aretha prank tweet is what happens when the world goes off the rails
Over the past few days, many news outlets, both mainstream and conservative, reported that a transgender organization objected to the Aretha Franklin classic "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." It turns out that the tweet from the group making this demand was a hoax, and it did what a good hoax should do: it highlighted that our world has gone so far off the rails that it's impossible to distinguish pointed nonsense from the real deal, and it reminded news outlets to do their research and commentary outlets to be more cynical and to observe the 24-hour rule before opining about something that isn't manifestly real news in real time.
The initial tweet was both shocking and entirely consistent with everything that the transgender crowd has been hollering for years.
Aretha Franklin's 1968 song "Natural Woman" perpetuates multiple harmful anti-trans stereotypes.— TCMA: Trans Cultural Mindfulness Alliance (@TransMindful) January 20, 2023
There is no such thing as a "natural" woman.
This song has helped inspire acts of harm against transgender women.
TCMA is requesting it is removed from Spotify & Apple Music.
Doesn't that seem exactly like something the transgender crowd would say and do? After all, these are the people waging an "everything they've got" war against J.K. Rowling for daring to disagree with their agenda. One of their goals is to implant uteruses in men to allow these delusional men the experience of delivering babies. And the White House keeps inviting activists in for discussions about expanding their reach in society.
Image: Aretha Franklin. Public domain.
Within the parameters of the actual news stories headed our way, it was perfectly reasonable to believe that the Aretha Franklin tweet was legitimate, representing just another in a long line of so-called "transgender" people's demands that we remake society to suit them.
Lots of outlets were fooled. Some have pretended it never happened:
Others, like Breitbart, retained but corrected its original report. The Daily Mail retained its original story and issued an entirely new story about the hoax itself.
Here at American Thinker, we were fooled, too, and we apologize for that.
But there's something people should be asking: was the hoax revealed because the hoaxers were besieged by reporters seeking to know everything about the group?
The answer should be "yes," and, in the past, that probably would have happened. Today, though, with the demand for instantaneous news, media outlets relay tweets rather than investigate them. Subject to three exceptions, news outlets accepted the tweet uncritically:
I am STUNNED that not a single media outlet who reported on the Aretha Franklin tweet even ATTEMPTED to contact this account for comment.— TCMA: Trans Cultural Mindfulness Alliance (@TransMindful) January 23, 2023
Based on the sheer ridiculousness of the content on this page, how could JOURNALISTS not comprehend that this is parody/satire. https://t.co/8xTKnil1vs
...on the quality of journalism we have these days - it's no wonder Joe Biden is in the White House.— TCMA: Trans Cultural Mindfulness Alliance (@TransMindful) January 23, 2023
It's also scary we have to wonder if an organization claiming that "Natural Woman" is transphobic is parody or not.
We live in an upside-down clown world.
Do better, everyone.
And @FoxNews and @iHeartRadioCA right afterwards.— TCMA: Trans Cultural Mindfulness Alliance (@TransMindful) January 23, 2023
Fox didn't publish anything.
iHeart published and later corrected.
Of course, the downstream fallout was that sites such as American Thinker, which comment on but do not break the news, relied on the absence of investigation and believed the tweet was legitimate. A pitch-perfect hoax tweet and compliant media made it all too easy to believe.
Congratulations go to the Trans Cultural Mindfulness Alliance for exposing (1) how insane the transgender cult has gotten because no one doubted their demand; (2) that the news media need to be more rigorous and not just relay tweets to the audience; and (3) that we in the commentariat need to be more cynical as well. The 24-hour rule is usually a good rule of thumb, although perhaps it should be stretched to the 36- or 48-hour rule.