A political commentator claims that liberal mainstream media outlets have stoked “moral panic” with references to racism and white supremacy. This was after the New York Times introduced a paywall in 2011 and rewarded its white liberal readers for their enthusiasm for waking up, as well as their enthusiasm for white supremacy. 

Batya Ungar Sargon, an opinion editor at Newsweek, wrote a guest post for Common Sense with Bari Weiss. She explained that liberals are willing pay for content that is compatible with their beliefs. This has led to divisive language becoming more common.

The New York Times’ paywall was implemented five years ago by Donald Trump. It gave readers what they wanted. Between 2010 and 2019, 600 percent more people used the term “racist” than before. 

A study by David Rozado (New Zealand computer scientist) revealed the growth in divisive words. 

In ‘Prevalence of Prejudice-Denoting Words in News Media Discourse: A Chronological Analysis’, it also found that the frequency of the term ‘white supremacy’ grew by 2,862 from 2010 to 2019 in overall media coverage.

According to the study, agenda setting can occur when certain core outlets drive the conversation among media outlets, dictating the topics that are most popular.

Although Donald Trump was widely blamed for inflaming division during his run for the presidency and his time in office, this research shows that Trump’s language was ‘denoting racism. [and] homophobia’ reached new highs in 2014 – long before Trump entered the political arena. 

According to Ungar-Sargon, Trump shouldn’t be blamed alone for the rise of the terminology.

A recent study entitled “Prevalence of Prejudice Denoting Words In News Media Discourse: a Chronological Analysis” found that the term white supremacy grew by 2,862 among 47 of the nation’s most viewed news outlets.

Terms such as 'racist', 'sexist' and 'Islamophobic' have skyrocketed in the past decade

In the past decade, terms such as “racist”, “sexist” and “Islamophobic” have seen a dramatic rise in popularity.

Ungar-Sargon said that the moral panic mainstreamed through the liberal news media had been in place for at most five years before Trump arrived on the scene. 

It began in 2011, the year that the New York Times established its online paywall. It was at that time that articles mentioning racism, people of color, slavery, or oppression began to appear with exponential frequency on the Times, BuzzFeed and Vox, as well the Washington Post and NPR.

A spokesperson for New York Times noted that the study doesn’t include any critical information about contexts in which terms are used.

Jordan Cohen, DailyMail.com, stated that “The New York Times” reports on the most significant stories of our age with rigour and fairness. The DailyMail.com editor Jordan Cohen stated that this includes a broad range of daily coverage that helps readers understand the moment.

Usage of the term ‘racist’ grew 638percent at The New York Times between 2010 and 2019 while the phrase ‘white supremacy’ ratcheted 4,196 percent at the outlet

The New York Times reported that the use of the term “racist” grew 638 percent between 2010 and 2019, while the usage of the phrase “white supremacy” jumped 4,196 percent at the outlet.

The ‘Prevalence of Prejudice denoting Words In News Media Discourse: a Chronological Analysis’ study stated that mainstream media outlets play a key role in setting public opinions. It cites previous research. 

The study found that ‘the ‘agenda setting’ literature also found that certain core outlets seem drive the conversation for most media. This is because writers across the political spectrum react or try to emulate coverage in prestige media outlets. 

‘Coverage trends in prestige outlets therefore tend to echo throughout the media landscape, irrespective of other outlets’ ideological lean—and coverage trends in print, online, and television media tend to overlap considerably. Journalists and media organizations have significant financial and political incentives that influence the media’s ‘agenda.’

Similar trends were observed at The Wall Street Journal, where ‘Islamophobic’ was used at 680 percent greater frequency, and ‘white supremacy’ usage grew by 5,931percent

Similar trends were observed in The Wall Street Journal. The frequency of ‘Islamophobic’ usage was 680 percent higher and ‘white superiority’ usage increased by 5,931percent.

The study found spikes in the publications' reported related to a spectrum of prejudicial language

The study revealed spikes in publications reporting on a range of prejudicial language 

Ungar-Satya stated in her column, that she believes liberal news outlets played a crucial role in changing the media narrative.

“For a long period, the notion of America as an unrepentantly white-supremacist country – one which confers power and privilege on white people and systematically denies it to people of colour – was the province for far-left activists. 

“But over the last decade, it’s found itself in the mainstream, largely through liberal outlets like the New York Times. NPR. MSNBC. Vox. CNN. The New Republic.

Published in July, the study by New Zealand computer scientist David Rozado, reached its findings after analyzing 27 million news and opinion articles published between 1970 and 2019 in 47 of the nation’s most popular news media outlets.

Research showed that certain words related race, gender, sexual and religious orientations saw a dramatic increase in use between 2010-2019 across most new outlets, regardless what political leanings.

During the nine-year span, 638 percent of Americans used the term “racist”, while 4,196% of those using the expression “white supremacy” were reported by the Times.

The research shows that language ‘denoting racism, homophobia’ reached new highs in 2014 – a year before Trump announced his candidacy for office

The research shows that language ‘denoting racism, homophobia’ reached new highs in 2014 – a year before Trump announced his candidacy for office

The Times found that 932 percent of “gender discrimination” occurred during the period. However, the frequency of “misogyny” grew by 951 percentage points.

Similar trends were observed at The Wall Street Journal. ‘Islamophobic’ was used at 680 percent more frequency and ‘white supremacy’ usage grew by 5,931 percent.

The Journal implemented its paywall for 2013 

A study co-author said the research has shown that the way media frames issues such as crime and terrorism can affect public perception. The authors tested the theory to see whether shifts in media discourse and prejudice and discrimination followed similar patterns

Co-author of the study said that research has shown that how media frame issues like crime and terrorism can influence public perceptions. The theory was tested to determine if shifts in media discourse, prejudice and discrimination follow similar patterns.

A study author said the spike in words related to race and gender seemed to affect the public's perception on the topics

A study author stated that the public’s perceptions of race and gender were affected by the spike in words about them.

Musa al-Gharbi was a co-author on the study. Research has shown that how media frames issues like crime or terrorism can have an impact on public perception.

He and his colleagues tested the theory in order to determine if shifts in media discourse, prejudice, and discrimination follow similar patterns.

Al-Gharbi stated that ‘this does seem to be true – especially with regard to perceptions around race or gender’ to MailOnline.com.  

Agenda-setting tends to drive the conversation for most other media, research found

Research has shown that agenda-setting tends drive the conversation for all media.

He said that shifts in discourse can predict shifts of perceptions about the severity and prevalence of prejudice and discrimination in America.

These shifts do not appear to be driven Trump’s candidacy (they predate that), nor are they driven by any particular race, gender, sexuality, or other issue. That was at the time. Instead, factor analysis suggests that one, deeper, and more fundamental shift could explain the vast majority the patterns we observed.

According to the study, the results of the research could also indicate that societies have become more intolerant.

“Whereas in past decades, overtly-prejudicious societies would avoid denouncing bias or be constitutionally incapable to recognize prejudice as such,” it stated. 

“Growing sensitivity toward mistreatment of protected groups, assertiveness of egalitarian attitude could lead to an increase in the use of prejudice-denoting language in news media.” 

DailyMail.com did not reach out to the Washington Post for comment.