The decade's most triggering comedy
Katrina Trinko, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Signal, noted that the Associated Press took a claim from Target that conservative backlash against the company had turned “violent” at face value, prompting the news outlet to quietly amend the story.
Conservatives have launched a boycott effort against Target after the retail behemoth marketed a female swimsuit as “tuck-friendly” and with “extra crotch coverage,” as well as hired an artist who formerly created Satanic items to make various “Pride Month” designs for the company. Target claimed in a statement that the firm’s stores have seen threats after introducing the items.
“Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work,” the company said. “Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”
The Associated Press had said in the lede of an article written earlier this week that stores have faced “intense backlash from some customers including violent confrontations with its workers.” Trinko, whose publication is an initiative of the conservative Heritage Foundation, wrote to the Associated Press to ask for the source of the claim, which had not been mentioned in the statement from Target. The outlet then softened the language of the lede and added another sentence: “Target said that customers knocked down Pride displays at some stores, angrily approached workers and posted threatening videos on social media from inside the stores.”
“Again, what are the specifics? What is a threatening video?” Trinko wrote in a commentary article at the Daily Signal. “What constitutes angrily approaching a worker? How many customers at how many stores knocked down Pride displays?”
The Associated Press did not include an editor’s note in the updated version of their article explaining the reason for the change. Lauren Easton, vice president of communications for the Associated Press, said in an email to Trinko that as the outlet “continued to report out the story, we were able to provide more specific examples of the incidents that took place and we updated the story accordingly.”
Trinko noted that California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom recently used the Associated Press article as the basis of a social media post claiming that there is a “systemic attack on the gay community happening across the country” bound to impact racial minority groups. She predicted that “insinuating conservatives are dangerous and a genuine threat to the safety of others” is merely a new tactic for companies and ideologues impacted by conservative boycotts.
“This is the Left testing out a new playbook. They’re frightened by what’s happening to Bud Light, which continues to grapple with massive declines in sales. Leftist activists know that having corporations side with them and promote leftist values is crucial to their long-term success,” Trinko continued. “If Target has receipts, as the kids say when they want proof of something, let’s see them. Let’s see the security camera footage of what exactly made employees feel unsafe. Let’s see the attacks on displays. Let’s hear the threats for ourselves.”
Target’s market capitalization, which refers to the total value of a publicly traded company’s outstanding shares, has indeed fallen from $70.4 billion to $65.0 billion over the past week.