The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Everybody Hates Amber Heard

Posted on | May 29, 2022 | Comments Off on Everybody Hates Amber Heard

For reasons related to testimony in Johnny Depp’s defamation suit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, two of the popular Twitter hashtags about the trial are #AmberTurd and #MePoo. While we don’t know what verdict the jury will reach — it’s very difficult for a public figure to win a defamation case in America because of the Sullivan precedent — clearly Johnny Depp has scored a victory in the court of public opinion.

How badly did the trial go for Amber Heard? Bad enough that the liberal media had to blame the public reaction on “right-wing extremists”:

The narrative of the trial has been shaped in part by what appears to be, according to multiple researchers, an army of bots spreading rhetoric favorable to Depp. One researcher found more bots favorable to Heard, but said most of those bots were from third-party apps trying to capitalize on the trial; meanwhile, they found the highest pro-Depp bot post was shared nearly 20,000 times. The work of those bots has been further amplified by “men’s rights activists” — the part of the far-right-leaning extremist “manosphere” that seems to have decided discrediting Amber Heard is the key to destroying every woman who accuses men of abuse or domestic violence.
Conservative media outlets have also promoted a one-sided narrative of the case; Vice recently reported that Ben Shapiro’s popular conservative news platform the Daily Wire has spent nearly $50,000 promoting ads about the trial on Instagram and Facebook — most of it trashing Amber Heard. The presence of these bad actors has, if anything, only exacerbated the vitriol Heard has received within the mainstream.

So, if the Daily Wire sees this high-profile celebrity trial as an opportunity to attract more readers, then their $50,000 ad buy means they’re responsible for “vitriol” against Amber Heard? But the online reactions we’re seeing — including the memorable reaction of Iraq War veteran Kurt Myers — seem to be organic, based entirely on ordinary people’s experience of watching the trial on TV. Which I haven’t done, by the way. I’ve never been a fan of “pack journalism,” scrambling to compete with a swarm of other reporters and commentators all covering the same story. My preferred mode of operation is to find some angle everybody else is ignoring and try to turn that into a story. So I’m not one of those people who watched every minute of the trial and issued daily updates on the proceedings. My position on Amber Heard remains what it was long before the trial began: Never trust a bisexual.

Your honor, I rest my case.



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