Yahoo came under heavy fire after linking a Gadsden Flag t-shirt worn by actor Chris Pratt to him promoting white supremacy.
Yahoo Movies UK published a story on Tuesday night titled, “Chris Pratt criticized for ‘white supremacist’ T-shirt.”
The t-shirt featured an American flag with the superimposed image of a coiled rattlesnake and the words “Don’t Tread On Me” written beneath.
The Gadsden Flag was designed by American Revolutionary War Colonel Christopher Gadsden at the beginning of the colonies’ conflict with Great Britain in 1775, according to USFlag.org.
Multiple people circulated a picture of Pratt wearing the shirt as he walked beside his wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger, on Monday.
— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) July 15, 2019
Concerning the Gadsden Flag, Yahoo reported, “Although the symbol has a non-racial history — it is has been used by the U.S. men’s soccer team and Metallica — over the years it has also been adopted by political groups like the Tea Party and some Libertarian groups, as well as gun-toting supporters of the Second Amendment.”
“It has therefore also become a symbol of more conservative and far right individuals,” the news outlet added.
In other words, conservatives and white supremacists seem to be synonymous in Yahoo’s estimation.
The story cited six tweets to justify its title that Pratt was being criticized for his shirt.
One Twitter user called it a “white supremacist” dog whistle, according to Fox News.
The Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro was among those to weigh in on the Yahoo story, tweeting Tuesday evening, “This is pure idiocy. Not every symbol of the early republic is a white supremacist symbol, unless you are a moron.”
This is pure idiocy. Not every symbol of the early republic is a white supremacist symbol, unless you are a moron. https://t.co/zWT7GZK602
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 17, 2019
His comment was also an apparent reference to the Betsy Ross flag controversy of a few weeks ago.
Shapiro further noted, “(T)here are six tweets cited, none verified. Which means another manufactured stupidity.”
Washington Post columnist Aaron Blake argued Yahoo’s story did the country a “disservice” by linking Pratt to white supremacy.
“(T)he whole thing is completely counterproductive when it comes to the debate we’re having right now,” Blake argued. “It makes the media look rabid for this controversy and for more symbols to associate with racism.”
The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross found irony in The Washington Post being upset that Yahoo published a story stoking false racist sentiment.
“lol,” Ross tweeted, “WaPo complains that the Yahoo story on the Chris Pratt Gadsden flag t-shirt does journalism a ‘disservice’ by making ‘the media look rabid.’ WaPo — which stoked the Covington high school bulls—.”
On Wednesday, Yahoo took the words “white supremacist” out of an updated headline, which reads, “Chris Pratt criticised for T-shirt choice.”
A note at the top of the article further states, “References to White Supremacism in this article have been removed.”
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