THREAD: It's a lot of work to catalog the new copaganda unleashed each day by the New York Times. However, today's piece glorifying authoritarian violence in San Francisco is scary. Some of it is subtle, but it's worth unpacking a few key points.…
First, NYT lets a corporate/police backed politician criticize all of her opponents who want less poverty/more housing/more healthcare/more investment in community and less investment in for-profit surveillance and state violence as "white." She says: “They are not Black people."
This trope of glorifying elites engaging in state violence and using their racial identity to insulate them from criticism is propaganda. It's especially jarring when many of the core intellectual and strategic leaders of the movement against cop/prisons are Black women.
All of the critiques aside, it would have been actual journalism if, after the Mayor said everyone who opposes her program of police violence is "white," NYT either quoted or put the Mayor in conversation with someone like @prisonculture or @dereckapurnell or Ruth Wilson Gilmore.
The framing of the slickly produced episode is about a badass mayor who puts progressives in their place because they are white and can't get it. This is a popular strategy in elite circles: falsely portray critiques of corporate Dems as "white" so that they can be dismissed.
Think for a moment about what it means that the NYT does this free PR for elite politicians and police with no journalistic skepticism when they already have gigantic corporate and bureaucratic PR machines:
Second, before getting to the interview, notice how NYT frames debate as trying to find "the balance between public safety and overpolicing." This is copaganda. It is untrue that we have to choose between safety and civil liberties. More cops/prisons make us less safe.
Notice here the NYT's subtle use of "overpolicing," as if there is *just the right amount* of police. This is like climate science denial when you actually look at the evidence.
What's alarming is that we have overwhelming scientific evidence that more incarceration is devastating for public health and safety and that decreasing inequality, providing housing/healthcare/education makes us safer. As fascism rises, NYT promotes authoritarianism instead.
Here is more background on the lies and copaganda from this SF Mayor, who is trying to suspend democratic laws to give cops more cash to target drug use, shoplifting, and mental illness. NYT doesn't tell you that:
It continues to astonish me that the NYT gives space to glorify politicians like this who are almost entirely ignoring existential crises and rising fascism in order to build a personal brand of pro-police, pro-corporate bureaucratic violence.
For more examples of recent NYT copaganda, you can read this thread:

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Alec Karakatsanis

Alec Karakatsanis Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @equalityAlec

14 Jan
Something alarming is happening. I've been tracking this around the country, and I have never seen a judge in modern U.S. history responsible for more people in jail. Judge Ramona Franklin just hit 500 people in jail at the same time solely because they can't pay cash. Image
Also striking is Judge Kelli Johnson. She has the 6th highest number of people in jail because they lack cash, but records suggest that Johnson has a reduced docket because she is the admin judge. Alarming that her numbers are so high. This was her case:
None of these people are convicted. Given the comprehensive research on how jail kills people, these judges' recent decisions are now likely responsible for thousands of years of human life lost. @TexasCJE @OrganizeTexas
Read 5 tweets
12 Jan
What if local news media reported on safety code violations by landlords in the same way they report on low-level crimes that police send them in press releases? What if they reported on local pollution and wage theft violations that local governments document each day?
It's vital to see that editors choose which stories to cover, and they are typically the stories that police and corporations want covered. It shapes our assessments of what is urgent, and focuses us on things that cause minuscule relative harm. A thread:
This single fire killed almost double the number of people as all murders in NYC combined in a typical week. As this great journalism by @akela_lacy demonstrates, no local news had found it important enough to report on the fire code violations.
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
THREAD: This story is about a 68-year-old unhoused military veteran who just spent 382 days in jail because he lacked cash. His story is important. How he was treated by prosecutors, judges, and his own defense lawyer is chilling.
The man was arrested on Christmas Day 2020. He was accused of stealing a bottle of wine from a CVS and threatening to hit someone with the bottle of wine. He wasn't even brought to court for his own bail hearing, where the judge required him to pay $30,000.
A few days later, a judge reduced the cash bail amount to $5,000. Because only the U.S. and the Philippines have for-profit commercial bail industries, this meant that he could have paid $500 or less to a private company to be free. He couldn't pay.
Read 10 tweets
5 Jan
THREAD. One year ago today, I argued the case of Kenneth Humphrey in the California Supreme Court. The case struck down the cash bail system as we know it in California. But the case is more important for what the court did NOT do, and more people should know about THAT.
Kenneth Humphrey was accused of robbing a few dollars and a bottle of cologne from another man at the senior living facility they both lived in. As he awaited his day in court, he was initially kept in a cage because he couldn’t pay $600,000. He decided to appeal.
Then something amazing happened: the Court of Appeal issued a unanimous opinion striking down California’s ubiquitous money bail practices. Kenneth got a new bail hearing, and he was released and did great. A beautiful photo essay by @svdebug
Read 22 tweets
4 Jan
THREAD. What’s happening at the New York Times is disturbing. Many people pointed out the headline about a mysterious bullet that killed a 14-year-old girl, but some interesting things emerge when you look closely at the article itself.…
The background: An LAPD cop killed two people with an assault rifle in a Burlington Coat Factory, including a 14-year-old girl who was trying on a dress, part of a wave of recent police murders in Los Angeles.
Here are the sources NYT chose to educate readers, in order:

-Spokesperson for cop union
-Lawyer for cop (humanizing, defending him)
-Person mentored by the cop
-New person mentored by the cop
-Professor (former cop)
-Lawyer for family
-Lawyer for cop (again, twice more)
Read 22 tweets
4 Jan
Look at the choice to use the word “overarching” here. It’s important to understand how it is sophisticated propaganda.
At a time of global ecological catastrophe, rising overt fascism, and rampant death and suffering from lack of healthcare, housing, and inequality, elites foment panic re: small categories of “crime” that cause exponentially less harm but provide excuses for repression.
Interests that own news outlets benefit from people focusing urgently on the narrow category of police-reported “crime” and not on wage theft, pollution, evictions, foreclosures, tax evasion, etc. or myriad deeper issues of corruption/inequality.
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!