Look at the headline in the lead image. Aren’t you enraged? Betsy DeVos, that destroyer of public schools, that evil billionaire—she’s flying a private jet for official travel! It’s outrageous, ridiculous, and completely inappropriate for taxpayers to pay for a woman worth well over $5 billion to fly in a private plane! It must be a scandal, because Tom Price and Steve Mnuchin are also embroiled in scandals.
Of course, if you were actually to click into the article, you’d read the following quote, right at the top of the article:
Education Department Press Secretary Liz Hill told The Associated Press on Thursday that DeVos travels completely on her own dime, accepting no government reimbursement for flights or other expenses.
“Secretary DeVos accepted her position to serve the public and is fully committed to being a faithful steward of taxpayer dollars,” Hill said.
So, wait…what? She’s flying on her own jet to save taxpayer dollars? Well, holy shit. She’s an American hero, not a criminal. But do you think this matters to people who just read the headline on Facebook? Who took the five seconds out their miserable days to make the mad little emoji, or to share it nearly a thousand times?
SHE IS PAYING FOR IT HERSELF, YOU IMBECILE.
Maybe because Michelle’s family trips were at taxpayer expense. Just saying.
“Ametuer hour,” indeed.
No, it’s not your money. It’s hers. Again, she DOES pay for her own private jet.
I mean, it just goes on, and on, and on. Hundreds and hundreds of people looking to have their own, personal confirmation bias legitimized with a headline. It literally took them longer to write out their daft opinions than it would have to have clicked the article, read the very first fucking paragraph, realized it was a non-story, and moved on.
And, of course, The Hill is “Facebook-verified” with a blue check and everything, so naturally it must be legitimate news. No inherent bias there. Of course, Facebook isn’t liberal-leaning at all, right?
It doesn’t matter that this story is anti-Trump administration—it could just as easily be an anti-Clinton/Sanders/Obama story, and you’d see the same reaction from the uneducated on the Right. Part of the problem of having the vast majority of our information coming from social media means that we usually only hear what we want to hear, not what we need to hear. We only want our existing opinions to be reinforced. Betsy DeVos is stealing my money? Of course she is, because I already think she’s a horrible succubus.
I’m likely as guilty as the next person. The only news sources I follow on social media are conservative-leaning, and I very rarely go directly to independent sites to get my news. So I’m going to stop being part of the problem.
I’m not going to use social media to help shape my opinions anymore. In fact, I’m pretty close to going the route of my big brother and deleting my FB profile altogether. He says it’s made his life better. Maybe it would do the same for me.