At 12:42pm ET today, while the many of had just turned our attention to the House Benghazi hearings, the Washington Post chose to turn its attention to those tweeting about Benghazi, rather than the content of the hearing. The Washington Post tweeted a link to their writeup of a study about Benghazi tweeters: “Who’s tweeting about Benghazi? Rich, middle-aged men and Chick-fil-A lovers”:

WaPo Benghazi tweet

It was the Washington Post’s timing — and the data they selected to highlight — that rubbed many of those watching the Benghazi hearings the wrong way. At the same time the Washington Post tweeted the link to this study, others were tweeting about the content of the hearing:


The post, which the Washington Post published on its live blog of the Benghazi hearings, was published at the same time as another piece focusing on Chairman Darrell Issa’s promoted tweet about the hearing.

The Washington Post chose to highlight those in the public interested in Benghazi and the man heading up the investigation, rather than the investigation itself.

The study appears to employ a rather suspect methodology (they leave the details hazy) to make broad generalizations about twitter users based on their “likes.” For example, a twitter user who follows “Chick-fil-A” is assumed by the authors of the study to “eat at Chick-fil-A.” The Washington Post could just as easily have chosen to highlight that 52.2% of those tweeting about Benghazi, according to their results, are Jewish; or that they appear to heavily traffic Starbucks — but what narrative would this serve to further?

At best, the Washington Post’s tweet was ill-timed; at worst, it revealed an agenda they continue pursue while the rest of us ask for truth about Benghazi.

See also: Ace of Spades covers the underlying tactic employed by this sort of “they’re not one of you” narrative.

Update by WAJ — does this qualify at “heh”?



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