A Rolling Stone editor slams journalism’s insane ‘intellectual revolution’
Matt Taibbi, a contributing editor to the leftist Rolling Stone magazine, is one of the best journalists out there. He, unlike almost any other left-wing media figure, is willing to report from a place of sanity. In his latest article, he focuses on the American media’s hellbent road to self-destruction.
Taibbi, however, has a serious intellectual blind spot. While he sees and calls out the Democrat party’s insanity, he doesn’t understand that it’s the inevitable endpoint of all leftist political beliefs. He therefore misses that President Trump and his supporters are the last bastions of normalcy. If leftism drives conservatives out of America’s political discourse, Taibbi will learn that the same media madness that scares him will overtake America entirely.
Writing at his blog, Taibbi published an article entitled “The American Press Is Destroying Itself: A flurry of newsroom revolts has transformed the American press.” After a ritual Trump denunciation (ritual denunciations are mandatory for leftists), Taibbi states his core thesis, and it’s a doozy:
But police violence, and Trump’s daily assaults on the presidential competence standard, are only part of the disaster. 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 who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.
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.
What mainly concerns Taibbi is that journalism is leading the lemmings’ charge off the cliff. He touches upon newsroom revolts at The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Variety, and Bon Appetit, all of which have led to editors getting fired for publishing ideas consistent with popular American beliefs, rather than with radical ideas popular on American college campuses.
Taibbi is particularly offended by what happened to the Intercept’s Lee Fang. The Intercept is a hard left, anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic outlet that has intermittent periods of honesty that still make it worth checking out. Lee Fang is one of the intermittently honest writers. That he’s still a leftist, though, wasn’t enough for him to survive America’s modern fascist newsroom:
Yet Fang found himself denounced online as a racist, then hauled before H.R. His crime? During protests, he tweeted this interview with an African-American man named Maximum Fr, who described having two cousins murdered in the East Oakland neighborhood where he grew up. Saying his aunt is still not over those killings, Max asked:
I always question, why does a Black life matter only when a white man takes it?... Like, if a white man takes my life tonight, it’s going to be national news, but if a Black man takes my life, it might not even be spoken of… It’s stuff just like that that I just want in the mix.
Shortly after, a co-worker of Fang’s, Akela Lacy, wrote, “Tired of being made to deal continually with my co-worker @lhfang continuing to push black on black crime narratives after being repeatedly asked not to. This isn’t about me and him, it’s about institutional racism and using free speech to couch anti-blackness. I am so fucking tired.” She followed with, “Stop being racist Lee.”
The tweet received tens of thousands of likes and responses along the lines of, “Lee Fang has been like this for years, but the current moment only makes his anti-Blackness more glaring,” and “Lee Fang spouting racist bullshit it must be a day ending in day.” A significant number of Fang’s co-workers, nearly all white, as well as reporters from other major news organizations like the New York Times and MSNBC and political activists (one former Elizabeth Warren staffer tweeted, “Get him!”), issued likes and messages of support for the notion that Fang was a racist. Though he had support within the organization, no one among his co-workers was willing to say anything in his defense publicly.
Fang made his ritual apology for racial insensitivity, but he’s now on probation.
Taibbi discusses other “outrage mob” attacks within American newsrooms, including the New York Times’ disgraceful conduct regarding Sen. Cotton’s opinion piece. He ends with a cri de coeur about what he perceives as weakness in America’s newsrooms. The irony he misses is that the same newsroom managements that once aggressively supported leftism on campuses are now terrified as the Marxist attack dogs they coddled turn on them, with red, foaming maws and bared teeth.