Hillary Clinton has endorsed a strange news website called Verrit
It describes itself as "media for the 65.8 million", which is the number of Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. It "contextualizes noteworthy facts, stats, and quotes for politically engaged citizens." And recently, it was endorsed by Hillary Clinton herself.
What is Verrit? Well, that's the source of the confusion. It's like a news website, except it 'reports' partisan notecards, not news. Here's an example of what a "Verrit" looks like:
So, it's a weird ID card with a political statement, backed by some kind of statistic or reporting, with an 'authentication code'. What does the code do? No one really knows.
How would you feel if you were in a debate with someone on politics and they sent you one of these Verrit cards? I'm not sure it would be effective. It feels like someone is trying to think for me, by taking the thoughts of a think-tank as gospel.
The site was launched by longtime Clinton strategist Peter Daou, who released tons of Tweets defending the platform. Here's one of them:
Twitter users at the intersection of ironic humor and leftist politics have already taken advantage of the odd format to make some jokes.
Of course, this one is pretty brutal.
Many Tweets have gone viral commenting on Verrit, and the reaction has tended toward the critical.
Daou defended himself and his website with a very popular Tweet, however:
What do you think of Verrit? Coinciding with the release of Hillary Clinton's new September 12th book, What Happened, it seems that the platform is part of Clinton's resurgence into the national dialogue.
Yet, Clinton seems to want to re-fight the 2016 primaries, largely by attacking Bernie Sanders and his supporters. Isn't there a need for a broader liberal-left unity right now against Trump? I mean, isn't it cynical to say that it's factually true that Bernie cost Hillary the election, knowing that he endorsed her and campaigned for her, and recently it was ruled that the Democratic National Committee had the right to be biased against his primary campaign, effectively shutting him out of the race?
It's a curious decision to make a safe space for Hillary Clinton supporters at a time when the American left is being accused of being too insular and unwilling to debate. Plus, why is it only for the '65.8 million' who voted for Clinton? That is inherently exclusionary, as the bulk of Americans did not vote at all. They're just thrown out of the political system now? Isn't that exactly why Hillary lost in the first place - a strategy that didn't focus on picking up new voters?
Verrit seems like more of the same from a liberal political establishment that sees itself as permanently victimized and in need of support, yet consistently exalts itself above other voices on the left and the Democratic Party, such as Sanders supporters or those who fight for a $15 minimum wage, universal health care, and more.
It seems elitist to make a media platform only for the people who already voted for you, and no one else. It also seems tone-deaf to make these fact cards with strange codes on them, knowing that they don't promote facts, but partisan information. Is this really going to fight 'fake news'? I think it'll worsen the problem.
The word "contextualize" is what worries me. You can't promote facts and biased context at the same time. Those are two opposing views. Is the goal of Verrit to create a new basis for fact-based reporting in the United States, or to promote the interests of Hillary Clinton? You decide.