No Minister

The Struggle Sessions – Inside the MSM

Even people who are quite Far Left are beginning to notice how badly the Woke World is starting to spin out of control. When it comes to some, like Andrew Sullivan, who initially supported the Iraq Invasion, there’s plenty of history for his critics to attack in ways they would not have done when they thought he was on their side.

But here’s another detailed analysis of this Woke nonsense from that scourge of Republicans and the Right, Matt Taibbi, as he writes in, The American Press Is Destroying Itself. First, let’s establish his throat-clearing TDS bonafide:

Our president, Donald Trump, is a clown who makes a great reality-show villain but is uniquely toolless as the leader of a superpower nation. Watching him try to think through two society-imperiling crises is like waiting for a gerbil to solve Fermat’s theorem.

Boom… tish.

Now on to the good stuff. I would urge you to read the whole thing, even if it is lengthy. He covers much of the same newsroom rage-mobbing sessions already covered in the post, The Right to Openly Discuss Ideas Must Be Defended. But he goes into far more detail about the Lee Fang case at the Far left site The Intercept, and has some extra items that never drew much public attention:

There were other incidents. The editors of Bon Apetit and Refinery29 both resigned amid accusations of toxic workplace culture. The editor of Variety, Claudia Eller, was placed on leave after calling a South Asian freelance writer “bitter” in a Twitter exchange about minority hiring at her company. The self-abasing apology (“I have tried to diversify our newsroom over the past seven years, but I HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH”) was insufficient. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s editor, Stan Wischowski, was forced out after approving a headline, “Buildings matter, too.”

He gives a brief summation of the interaction of Woke World and traditional American “Liberals”:

On the other side of the political aisle, among self-described liberals, we’re watching an intellectual revolution. It feels liberating to say after years of tiptoeing around the fact, but the American left has lost its mind. It’s become a cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres.

The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation. They are counting on the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating nature of traditional American progressives, who will not stand up for themselves, and will walk to the Razor voluntarily.

He goes on to make a number of points about how this is now impacting the MSM, first in terms of internal debate:

  • The main thing accomplished by removing those types of editorials from newspapers — apart from scaring the hell out of editors — is to shield readers from knowledge of what a major segment of American society is thinking. 
  • It also guarantees that opinion writers and editors alike will shape views to avoid upsetting colleagues, which means that instead of hearing what our differences are and how we might address those issues, newspaper readers will instead be presented with page after page of people professing to agree with one another. That’s not agitation, that’s misinformation.
  • All these episodes sent a signal to everyone in a business already shedding jobs at an extraordinary rate that failure to toe certain editorial lines can and will result in the loss of your job. Perhaps additionally, you could face a public shaming campaign in which you will be denounced as a racist and rendered unemployable.
  • However, because it is politically untenable to discuss this in ways that do not suggest support, reporters have been twisting themselves into knots. We are seeing headlines previously imaginable only in The Onion, e.g., “27 police officers injured during largely peaceful anti-racism protests in London.”

Then he describes what this means for what is reported, and understand that this is happening in the newsrooms of almost all the US MSM, whether it be the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and New York Times or CNN, and will likely be hitting foreign MSM like the Daily Telegraph and the Economist sooner or later, if it hasn’t already. There is a common pool of journalists.

  • There is symbolism here that goes beyond frustration with police or even with racism: these are orgiastic, quasi-religious, and most of all, deeply weird scenes, and the press is too paralyzed to wonder at it. In a business where the first job requirement was once the willingness to ask tough questions, we’ve become afraid to ask obvious ones.
  • The media in the last four years has devolved into a succession of moral manias. We are told the Most Important Thing Ever is happening for days or weeks at a time, until subjects are abruptly dropped and forgotten, but the tone of warlike emergency remains
  • The traditional view of the press was never based on some contrived, mathematical notion of “balance,” i.e. five paragraphs of Republicans for every five paragraphs of Democrats. The ideal instead was that we showed you everything we could see, good and bad, ugly and not, trusting that a better-informed public would make better decisions
  •  press activism is limited to denouncing and shaming colleagues for insufficient fealty to the cheap knockoff of bullying campus Marxism that passes for leftist thought these days.
  • Today no one with a salary will stand up for colleagues like Lee Fang. Our brave truth-tellers make great shows of shaking fists at our parody president, but not one of them will talk honestly about the fear running through their own newsrooms. People depend on us to tell them what we see, not what we think. What good are we if we’re afraid to do it?

Ha! Given what we have seen recently with the MSM, the question has already been answered,

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