Why is everyone hating on Sheryl Sandberg all of a sudden? I get that Facebook is evil and enables #FakeNews and allowed Putin to subvert American Democracy – but why is Sheryl Sandberg catching the flak? She was always an Unassailable Good, a champion for social justice! This is the Patron Saint of Feminism we’re talking about!
It’s clear that the tide has turned: Sheryl’s stock photos used to be consistently fabulous; now all the header images are beady-eyed and bitchfaced.
Sandberg inquiring about George Soros is a nonstory. Execs want to know whether outspoken billionaires have a financial interest in their demise. This is the guy who broke the British pound, after all. NYTimes editors aren’t complete idiots – I mean, they are, but even they should know that this is a complete nothingburger.
The real story is why the media is so intent on blowing this up. And why now?
Facebook has MSM on a tight leash. Facebook is a gatekeeper; it’s where people go to get the news. They (along with Google) control the flow of ad dollars. There’s been speculation that Facebook’s PR team leans on the NY Times to send any unfavorable Sandberg coverage down the memory hole.
Conspiracy Theory #1: Sheryl Sandberg lost her position of influence within Facebook.
It’s like the Harvey Weinstein story. Journalists overlooked Weinstein’s hiring practices for thirty years because he owned important media properties and controlled a lot of ad dollars. But when social media destroyed the news industry, Weinstein’s influence waned and muckrakers had a field day.
Conspiracy Theory #2: The Sheryl Sandberg/Soros story is a smokescreen for something else.
The events in question took place over a year ago. Why did the story not go to press until the day after Amazon announced their HQ2 locations?
I don’t know. But when a billionaire with outsized media influence and a world-class PR team gets a pile-on, something’s up.
A flashback to better days: