• Breakthrough Ideas Team

Outrage Culture Comes for the Super Bowl

By: Kathleen Murphy

During the Super Bowl last weekend, Jeep ran an ad that had the audacity to suggest we “meet in the middle” because those who are different from us still have value. Take a listen…

“Whoever you are… wherever you’re from… The very soil we stand on is common ground…”

It was just too much for the corporate media outrage machine who, in 2019, actually started a campaign called #StayOutraged with an op-ed in the Boston Globe entitled “It’s Important to Stay Outraged.”

The rule seems to be: assume the worst of those you disagree with, rather than seek understanding. Jeep challenged that rule, and was dealt with swiftly and severely.

Despite earning more social media impressions than all but 2 other ads, Jeep was excluded from the Top Ten lists of major media outlets, including People Magazine, Chicago Tribune, CNN and Yahoo.

The Daily Show tweeted: “BREAKING: Armed Trump Supporters Have Stormed the Church in the Jeep Ad.” Hilarious.

Chase Mitchell, a writer for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, said: “Can someone tell Jeep there are Nazis?”

And Erin Ryan, an opinion writer for Daily Beast, tweeted: “Oh, F--- you, Jeep.”

What? Is anyone served by this unending animosity?

Well, Bernie Sanders famously tweeted, “Never lose your sense of outrage.” He knows that raw emotion is necessary for political manipulation. And… well... look around.

Just this weekend, Antifa marched through Washington, DC chanting “If we don’t get it, burn it down...”

This week, Congressional Democrats will try to remove someone from office, who isn’t even in office. They have no chance of a conviction, but they’ll charge forward anyway because it feeds the anger that helps them win elections.

This isn’t to say there’s never a reason to be angry. But anger is an emotion to be overcome, not embraced. Certainly, both political parties deserve blame for the anger and division that exists. But the media has stoked it to new levels by blurring the lines between opinion and news - which misrepresents truth and exacerbates resentment.

When a Super Bowl ad that promotes the idea that we ALL still deserve freedom and have value is met with disdain and hate, it’s a clue that something’s off.

We need to take a more critical look at those dictating the narrative, and hold them accountable for the stories they tell and the ideas they promote.

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