Lyndon Johnson famously (if apocryphally) said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America”. For their own part, the American left have now lost Rolling Stone.
This is a big deal. Rolling Stone has been the bible of the American counter-culture left for more than half a century. Yet now, even its editor, Matt Taibbi, is conceding what’s been bleeding obvious since at least November 2016. Taibbi is also feeling the exhilaration of almost taking the Red Pill.
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 who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.
Of course, Taibbi still peppers his piece with old-school leftist diatribes against the Bad Orange Man and the Bad Blue Men, but even he can’t hide the truth any more. The left are insane totalitarians.
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.
They’ve conned organization after organization into empowering panels to search out thoughtcrime, and it’s established now that anything can be an offense, from a UCLA professor placed under investigation for reading Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” out loud to a data scientist fired from a research firm for — get this — retweeting an academic study suggesting nonviolent protests may be more politically effective than violent ones!
Now, this madness is coming for journalism.
As I recently wrote, journalism is dying by its own hand. What we are seeing is a Stalinist purge; denunciations, show-trials and exiles to professional gulags, minus only (so far) the firing squads.
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.
As happens when totalitarians embark on their crusades, from the Stalinist Terror, to the Cultural Revolution, to Pol Pot’s “Year Zero”, mobs descend into the most unhinged madness of crowds.
Each passing day sees more scenes that recall something closer to cult religion than politics[…]these are orgiastic, quasi-religious, and most of all, deeply weird scenes, and the press is too paralyzed to wonder at it[…]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.
In just the last six months, note how “Climate Emergency” was suddenly replaced by the Wuhan Pandemic – itself rudely thrust out of the spotlight by a race-panic-induced Marxist insurrection. Now that they’ve apparently run out of statues, the “Second Wave” of the pandemic is suddenly in the ascendant.
It’s been learned in these episodes we may freely misreport reality, so long as the political goal is righteous.
And that, BFD readers, is how journalism finally put itself out of its misery.
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