Why the Cheerios Racism Controversy Was Bad Journalism
In the past few days, you may have gotten wind of a media frenzy concerning a harmless Cheerios commercial featuring an adorable little girl pouring cereal on her sleeping father.
There's nothing funny about ruining a working man's nap.
And according to such news sites as NPR, USA Today, the New York Times, Yahoo, ABC, and the Huffington Post, this totally innocuous ad riled up throngs of bigoted wackjobs incensed about the ad's incidentally interracial couple who enjoy bland grain loops.
But where did all this racist invective come from? Was this a smear campaign orchestrated by those evil bastards at Cracklin' Oat Bran?
Some folks long for the days when white people were more than just "mostly every" Cheerios model.
To answer that, you have to go back to a widely cited article on Adweek that apparently first broke the news that some people were penning nasty comments about the commercial ... on YouTube.
Don't get us wrong -- the idea that some people are so behind the times that the sight of a racially mixed marriage sets them off is appalling. But allow us to reiterate -- this entire news cycle rested on the fact that people were spouting inane shit ... on YouTube.
For those readers who are just discovering the Internet (hello, medieval time travelers! We're sorry Merlin's spell went awry!), chances are you'll eventually end up at a popular video-sharing website called YouTube. And even as you read this, hundreds of lost souls are slapping confused, hostile, and quasi-illiterate non sequiturs on YouTube's comment wall, willy-go-nilly.
Take this commenter, for example, who recently wallpapered YouTube's comment section with this sort of dreck:
Yikes! That's the kind of professional crazy you need to go to school for ... say, Hogwarts, if David Duke ran it. But that wasn't a comment on the Cheerios commercial. No, it was posted to a YouTube upload of Life cereal's famous "Mikey Likes It" ad.
Easily the most anti-white cereal campaign of the '70s and early '80s.
So why is there a racist manifesto scrawled underneath the Mikey ad? Because it's fucking YouTube, an abattoir for rational thought that no one should EVER -- least of all any self-respecting news site -- consider a moral sample of the actual human race.
Several of the aforementioned sites specifically noted that commenters on the Cheerios ad prattled on about Nazism and genocide. The thing is, throwaway statements about Nazism and genocide are the sun and the moon of the YouTube comment section. Anyone who's spent more than 10 minutes on the Internet knows that the whole place is just a Hieronymus Bosch painting with words.
And most of those words are just screaming.
And you don't even have to dig deep or long into YouTube's archive of cereal commercials to find baffling non-discussions about race. Here's one such brain fart regarding a circus-themed ad for Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs:
And here's an assessment of Cap'n Crunch's race and sexuality:
And finally, we have a theory concerning the ethnicity of the Golden Crisp mascot:
More of a dark brown, but yeah, close.
Look, the people who typed that nasty stuff on the Cheerios ad all deserve to have their hands magically transformed into hungry python heads. But if you try to divine societal trends from YouTube comments alone, the Gallup Poll might as well only interview 14-year-olds playing Halo 4 on Xbox Live.
The Internet allows people to be anonymous and disgusting, like Zorro if he never learned to wipe his ass. And when your entire news story boils down to "unknown shit stains were horrible on YouTube," that's not really news -- that's every single damn day on YouTube. If YouTube had its own newspaper -- say, The YouTubeVille Tattler -- it would have the same headline every day: "WORLD WAR III BREAKS OUT YET AGAIN, CIVILIZATION STILL A SMOLDERING CESSPOOL, HITLER BITCH FUCK LOL."
Above: a comment on Littlefoot's birth scene from The Land Before Time.