[PHOTO CREDIT ABOVE: Screenshot from Annie Hall]
Some Lefties Waking Up to the Danger
It’s probably not a great awakening. But maybe it’s a little one. Open letters from leftists decrying leftist intolerance have become something of an epidemic these days. Consider these recent events:
- Ariana Pekary, a producer for MSNBC News, announced her resignation from the liberal news company, calling the news media a “cancer.”
- Bari Weiss announced her resignation from The New York Times, citing a hostile work environment.
- J.K. Rowling and other leftist luminaries signed an open letter denouncing leftist intolerance.
These open letters express the same criticisms that conservative commentators have been making for years.
Ariana Pekary Letter: The News Media Is a “Cancer.”
Take a look at the letter from Pekary.
“We are a cancer and there is no cure,” a successful and insightful TV veteran said to me. “But if you could find a cure, it would change the world.”
As it is, this cancer stokes national division, even in the middle of a civil rights crisis. The model blocks diversity of thought and content because the networks have incentive to amplify fringe voices and events, at the expense of others… all because it pumps up the ratings.
This cancer risks human lives, even in the middle of a pandemic. . . .
This cancer risks our democracy, even in the middle of a presidential election.
Pekary’s claims buck the official Democrat narrative in a very significant way. The very things that the Left blames on President Trump, Pekary blames on the media. For example, it is a standard Joe Biden talking point that Trump is to blame for sowing division:
But Pekary rightly claims that it is the media that is sowing this division. In a recent NW article, I pointed out that everyone in the world, left, right, and center, is in agreement about the disgusting and demonic murder of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin. In a word, Black Lives Matter—everyone AGREES. But CNN’s Chris Cuomo is out there trying to claim that there is some White supremacist movement being led by Trump and his supporters who do not care about Black lives. It’s not true, and there is not a shred of evidence for this incendiary and malevolent defamation. This is Jussie Smollett 2.0 from the Left: Defeat political opponents by fabricating ugly allegations against them. That’s how they ruined Nick Sandmann’s life, and why he is winning all his lawsuits.
Pekary also accuses the media of being a threat to democracy and to human lives, accusations that liberals like Bill Maher and Christiane Amanpour have leveled at President Trump. Thus, the net effect of Pekary’s letter is to undermine the liberal narrative coming out of the news media. And she fully realizes this:
According to Pekary, liberals in the media readily admit, off the record, that what they are doing is not news; rather, it is propaganda intended to give “comfort” to the Left. Thus the Left does not deny that what they are peddling is FAKE NEWS.
Bari Weiss—”McCarthyism at the Paper of Record”
The distinguishing feature of fake news is that it is fake, as in not real. Bari Weiss makes a similar accusation against her former employer, The New York Times. She claims that The Times is out of touch with reality—which is like fake news, only less self-aware:
I joined the paper with gratitude and optimism three years ago. I was hired with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives and others who would not naturally think of The Times as their home. The reason for this effort was clear: The paper’s failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that it didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers. Dean Baquet and others have admitted as much on various occasions. The priority in Opinion was to help redress that critical shortcoming. . . .
But the lessons that ought to have followed the election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned. Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.
But “McCarthyism” is easily the most damning allegation that Weiss levels at The Times:
[S]tanding up for principle at the paper does not win plaudits. It puts a target on your back. Too wise to post on Slack, they write to me privately about the “new McCarthyism” that has taken root at the paper of record.
Weiss describes how she became a target of this left-wing McCarthyism:
My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m “writing about the Jews again.” Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.
There are terms for all of this: unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. I’m no legal expert. But I know that this is wrong.
The timing of Weiss’s departure is meaningful. The heat in the kitchen became unbearable after she dared to sign the Harper’s Magazine letter. Here is a sample of the letter that Weiss’s Times colleagues found so offensive—mind you, it’s signed by such liberal luminaries as Gloria Steinem and Noam Chomsky:
“A Letter on Justice and Open Debate”
The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.
This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time. The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. SOURCE: Harper’s Magazine
The letter was signed by 150 well known writers and intellectuals, most of whom are from the Left—J.K. Rowling most famous among them. And some of these people have indeed been subjected to “disproportionate punishments.”
This recent spate of leftist self-criticism is an important vindication for conservative journalism. We’ve been complaining about the same things for years. And now, a growing chorus of celebrity liberals openly accepts the conservative critique of leftist journalism and politics. The term for what the Left is doing is “cancel culture,” and it has two essential ingredients:
- Leftists attempt to “cancel” perceived political enemies by getting them fired or banned from social media like Twitter (called “deplatforming”) so that those enemies lose power and influence.
- To justify the harsh punishments, leftists sell the cancellation to the public by leveling a damaging accusation:
- “Rowling is transphobic.”
- “Bari Weiss is a racist.”
- “Nick Sandmann is an ignorant, intolerant Christian bigot.”
- “Brett Kavanaugh belonged to a rape gang.”
- “The Catholic prayer group defending the St. Louis statue is KKK, so we better get our brass knuckles.”
- And on and on and on.
It’s an old tactic with an impressive pedigree, and McCarthyism is certainly an apt description for the technique. Leftists like Saul Alinsky advocated for such a Machiavellian politics where the ends justifies the means and morality is used as a weapon against political opponents. And like in the McCarthy era, the truth of the accusation is not important. The important thing is to use the defamation to take away power from opponents. And taking away power from Donald Trump has been the primary focus of the Democrats for four years now.
Trump Is the Main Target of Leftist McCarthyism
Remember when Trump was accused of being mentally unfit for the presidency? If the Democrats really cared about mental fitness, they’d be asking more questions about Joe Biden rather than shielding him from situations that would expose his cognitive deficits.
And remember all the ruckus about Trump’s supposed sexual mistreatment of women? If Democrats really cared about sexual abuse, they’d investigate the credible allegation of rape against Biden rather than bury the story. They would show a little more curiosity about how child molester and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein acquired so many powerful political friends and favors that he spent practically no time in jail after pleading guilty in his first go-around with the courts. Instead, they ignore real rape and real abuse and concentrate all their efforts on false accusations against their political opponents.
You don’t really believe Trump colluded with Russia, do you? That McCarthyite allegation was thoroughly discredited. What’s more, Hillary “Josephine McCarthy” Clinton leveled the same asinine smear against fellow Democrat Tulsi Gabbard. Didn’t Mama Rodham ever warn little Hillary about the boy who cried “Russia collusion” too many times?
A Page From the Alinsky Playbook
There is a ready explanation for the Left’s hypocrisy, which I briefly mentioned above. Many on the Left have embraced a cynical, Machiavellian philosophy that deploys terms of moral condemnation as a weapon against political opponents. They don’t really care about sexual abuse if it comes from an ally. The Left isn’t trying to rid the world of sexual abuse or misogyny or racism. They’re trying to rid the world of political opposition—conservatives and Christians mainly.
As Jonah Goldberg showed in his book Liberal Fascism, Saul Alinsky preached this Machiavellian gospel to leftist neophytes, including Hillary Clinton, whom he attempted to recruit.
“His worldview is distinctly fascistic. Life is defined by war, contests of power, the imposition of will. Moreover, Alinsky shares with the fascists and pragmatists of yore a bedrock hostility to dogma. All he believes in are the desired ends of the movement, which he regards as the source of life’s meaning. . . . But what comes through most is his unbridled love of power. Power is a good in its own right for Alinsky. Ours “is a world not of angels but of angles,” he proclaims in Rules for Radicals, “where men speak of moral principles but act on power principles.”Liberal Fascism, Ch. 9
“He believed in exploiting middle-class mores to achieve his agenda, not flouting them as the long-haired hippies did.Liberal Fascism
Kudos to Jonah Goldberg for exposing the Left’s Machiavellian hypocrisy. But Goldberg is a puzzle on this front. How does the man write a book on liberal fascism and yet manage to fall for it himself? Trump is a racist? The guy who fought the Palm Beach aristocracy to include Blacks and Jews at Mar-a-Lago? In the words of a well known golden-tongued tribune:
It’s rhetoric intended to hurt Trump politically—Alinsky fascist politics—that’s all.
More “Disproportionate Punishments”
But four years of unchecked liberal fascism has emboldened these Jacobins. And what began as a political mud-slinging contest against Trump has now spread to any person perceived to be an opponent of the liberal Democratic platform. Thus, Trump is no longer the sole target. The victims of liberal cancel culture are too numerous to count: Nick Sandmann, the McCloskeys, the Tucker Carlson family. And let’s not forget Steve Scalise. Just yesterday, he rightly blamed the incendiary defamations of Democrats for the shooting that nearly ended his life:
Scalise was referring to the recent outrageous comments by Nancy Pelosi. According to Pelosi, Trump and congressional Republicans are “domestic enemies of the state.” That should calm down the rioting and looting Leftists.
Listen to Maxine Waters, below, who actively encourages mobs to show up to people’s houses. Only a few months later, a mob took Waters’s advice and terrorized the Tucker Carlson family:
Mob Attacks Rand Paul Following RNC
Liberal fascism has been allowed to grow into the reign of terror that is now upon us and that has claimed so many innocent victims. And it is for the simple fact that the Republicans have offered no resistance. The Never-Trump conservatives bear much of the blame for dividing and weakening the party. How can we be a forceful voice against the mob when our own “allies” have joined the Alinsky chorus that abets it? Look at this horrendous Never-Trump article from The American Conservative, in which the author joins the liberal fascists in putting the victims of mob violence on trial:
In the case of Never-Trumper Jonah Goldberg, he has fallen for the very movement which he exposed and condemned. How does this Raskolnikov get out of bed in the morning? Let me suggest that repentance can be regenerative. It is time for Never-Trumpers and liberals of goodwill to make a moral correction. The most urgent threat against America is not Donald Trump. It is the radical Left: