Bloomingdale’s Pulls ‘Fake News’ T-shirt After Complaints
At a time when people can declare themselves outraged when others find even the slightest utterance, seemingly innocuous event or customary product offensive, media members tend to rally to tell of the supposed annoyance and the reactions to it. What if, however, the ones responsible for reporting the news find themselves upset with how they are depicted? In the case of Bloomingdale’s, said parties win and leave a business to apologize for reactions to a product it peddles. Due to backlash over a "Fake News" T-shirt, the New York City-headquartered department store chain has elected to remove the garment in question, with the matter drawing a mix of supportive and condemning reactions.
Love it, hate it or hold neutral feelings about it, the current presidential administration has certainly sparked intense debates about the degree of legitimacy present in news coverage. We can find ourselves wondering if someone is obscuring data to serve a purpose or if a group or an agency is presenting only one side of an issue so as to draw followers to that line of thought.
Oftentimes, we can forget to realize that representation is indeed fair and balanced, and holding true to that line of thinking led a writer in the Big Apple to tweet about her disdain for a “Fake News” T-shirt available at Bloomingdale’s. Said objection to the top is certainly par for the course in a free country, but it is tempting to analyze the swiftness with which the chain removed the item, and since, like Oscar Wilde, we can resist anything except temptation, we are going to go there.
— Allison Kaden (@akadennews) February 10, 2019
During his administration, President Donald Trump has drawn criticism for his contention that an abundance of false news exists, and that belief, like much of what the leader in chief has said since taking office in January 2017, has become a marketing opportunity. For Kaden, though, Bloomingdale’s decision to give his “Fake News” mantra a garment-centric platform “delegitimizes hard working journalists” whose efforts assist their communities.
If one were looking for a successor to his Make America Great Again hats as possible controversy causers, that person would need to look no further, as Bloomingdale’s, only a day after the writer’s rebuke, elected to rid the masses of the opportunity to buy it. Since so much of what Trump has said and done has led to easy opportunities to gauge who is for his stances and who opposes them, it should come as no surprise that Twitter users showed their feelings on Bloomingdale’s and any offended individual in earnest.
Hi, @bloomingdales. Apologizing "for any offense we may have caused" is not a sincere apology. This is not about journalists' hurt feelings. This is about damage done to our democracy when your brand joins in perpetuating and celebrating the idea of "fake news." Please try again.
— Pamela Wood (@pwoodreporter) February 11, 2019
— lehimesa (@lehimesa) February 11, 2019
#bloomingdales I’ll take 5 of the fake news shirts, please. Don’t give into these fascists... they are just shirts.
— LibTarTar (@LibTarTar) February 12, 2019
The snowflake brigade is mad at Bloomingdales for selling a T shirt that says Fake News. You’re not going to believe this but evidently it too is a threat to democracy. If you have to silence all dissent to protect your existence, you don’t have a democracy. You’re in a cult.
— The Smirking Hillbilly (@LauraLMonroe33) February 12, 2019
Wow a major retailer caves to ONE tweet by a local TV reporter that needs to be protected from the term FakeNews. Hard working journalists shouldn’t be scared of being delegitimized, only those who spread #FakeNews pic.twitter.com/on3hwqtaM6
— Murray Anderson (@murrayanderson) February 12, 2019
This marks the second time since August that "Fake News" T-shirts have made their way into real news, so if one is to believe the thinking that things come in threes, it will be interesting to see what else might come to rile journalists who contend that the president’s comments demean their profession while simultaneously causing discord for the American people.
What should also be pretty important to notice is the reaction that a business has to the complaints. Thus far, contentions of offense have topped the ability to conduct commercial sales, thereby intensifying talks about the freedom to market whatever one wants. In other words, will companies continue to roll over when they receive gripes over hurt feelings, or will they press on with the production and presentation of whatever is on their minds to sell? Granted, there have certainly been garments that have been in poor taste, but is the repudiation of a “Fake News” shirt really something over which to alter one’s clothing offerings?