No matter if the topic or its impact is small or large, there is a formula to make it into an outrage. If the matter is small, it is even better because there is lots of room to build towards outrage.
An example from tonight with Tucker Carlson. His piece began with the old claim of a war on Christmas. First there was a quick reference to some criticism about the TV holiday show. Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer. Next they report about a small local radio station that pulled the song, Baby It’s Cold Outside, from their play list because a caller suggested that in light of the #me too movement that the song may no longer be appropriate.
And now the leap. Carlson queries if body shamming will become the next issue. There are many songs that refer to Santa’s girth.
That was the intro and the set up. Then they introduce a guest who will talk about the many favorite songs and stories that will be next to be banned. They may even take it further and show some movies and photos with a skinny Santa.
This could be a funny satire piece. But instead it is used to make people feel like memories they hold dear are being ridiculed and even banned.
Even when no real issue exists they make a small thing into an outrage. And as often happens with anger and outrage, those affected remember the anger with visceral clarify while the fact that the issue was hypothetical and made up is forgotten. Memory is altered by strong emotion and fiction transitions into fact.