Are you already sick of the controversy over the New York Times hiring Sarah Jeong? Don’t be. The mainstream media and the now officially-derailed progressive establishment want you to move on, as in Move-On.Org’s definition, meaning …
… but there is a lot to see, and it is important to see it clearly.
…racist tweets? Of course they are. Denying that they are is Orwellian, but progressives have been tending to 1984 for quite a while now, and denying it all the while. Would any journalist tweeting the equivalent sentiments about any other race have a career left in anything but wreckage? No. Rosanne Barr, a comic, not a journalist, was fired, branded a pariah and non-person, and had her hit ABC show cancelled for a single racist tweet about one woman. These are but a sample of many tweets from Jeong about an entire race (and often an entire gender). Not only is her career not in tatters, it is advancing.
What this means is that the Left, including the mainstream news media that is represented by the New York Times, the traditional exemplar, the role model, the standard-setter, now unapologetically and openly endorses an unethical, dangerous and divisive double standard. Non-whites can engage in hateful, racist speech against whites, and women can use sexist, misandrous rhetoric against men, and that’s not only acceptable, but deserved.
Andrew Sullivan framed this construct while referencing the sociology/pseudo academic/ activist-speak that I have detested since college:
The.. view…of today’s political left is that Jeong definitionally cannot be racist, because she’s both a woman and a racial minority. Racism against whites, in this neo-Marxist view, just “isn’t a thing” — just as misandry literally cannot exist at all. And this is because, in this paradigm, racism has nothing to do with a person’s willingness to pre-judge people by the color of their skin, or to make broad, ugly generalizations about whole groups of people, based on hoary stereotypes. Rather, racism is entirely institutional and systemic, a function of power, and therefore it can only be expressed by the powerful — i.e., primarily white, straight men. For a nonwhite female, like Sarah Jeong, it is simply impossible. In the religion of social constructionism, Jeong, by virtue of being an Asian woman, is one of the elect, incapable of the sin of racism or group prejudice.
This intellectually dishonest political gaslighting has always been screamingly offensive, and yet it not only survives, it is now considered acceptable enough by a critical mass of brain-washed ideologues that the mainstream Left isn’t even embarrassed to endorse it. The contrived defenses of the Times’ standing by its indefensible choice offered by “the team” are instructive. ThinkProgress, for example, never explained why an Asian woman’s voluminous racist tweets shouldn’t be a disqualification for a post requiring fairness and objectivity (perhaps because they should be, and TP has no counter argument that wouldn’t look idiotic in print), other than to claim the tweets were taken out of context (All racist statements by conservatives are defended by protests that they were “taken out of context”) and Rationalization #2, Ethics Estoppel, or “They’re Just as Bad.” But…but…Jeong’s critics posted racist tweets too!
“Welcome to the popular new game Is There A Sarah Jeong Critic Who Hasn’t Tweeted Something Racist?”, TP quotes an ally as writing. What does the hard-left site consider comparably racist? Tweets like this, in 2013, from Sullivan:
“I’m English by origin. As a people, we will never stop giggling at funny names and Asian accents.”
Of course, that tweet is not racist, but this is the brilliance of liberal race-baiters blurring the definition of racism so Chris Matthews can call using the word “urban”racist. Now you can get away with falsely calling that obvious self-deprecating tweet by Sullivan the same as Jeong tweeting out “#CancelWhitePeople.
Vox took a different approach, dishonestly attributing the attacks on Jeong to the alt right—you know, crazy skin-heads like Brit Hume—and comparing the exposure of her old tweets to what was done to Disney Director James Gunn, which Ethics Alarms condemned here and elsewhere. This is really outrageous, as the social media attacks on Gunn as a result of his series of black humor jokes about AIDS, gays and sexism were all from progressives and political correctness bullies, intimidating Disney, not that this is difficult, into firing him. Gunn’s job, however, had nothing whatsoever to do with his social and political biases even if the old tweets accurately represents them today, which is highly doubtful. Jeong’s tweets are relevant to her new job and its duties, in which bias is crippling. Moreover, the New York Times must be trustworthy. A newspaper that happily hires editors who have previously opined that “white men are bullshit”—what a funny quip!—cannot be trustworthy. This is materially different from Gunn’s situation: horrible, bigoted can make great art. It may well be that horrible people have created more great art than nice people. Racist, biased, bigoted people, however, cannot make a trustworthy newspaper. The editors of The Verge, the rock from under which Jeong crawled, tried to defend her and could only sputter (in part):
“But as the editors of The Verge, we want to be clear: this abusive backlash is dishonest and outrageous.
This is classic “How dare you!” rhetoric. Neither the Verge. nor any other defender, explains why Jeong’ stating that “white men are bullshit” is any less racist and sexist than a white man tweeting that “black women are bullshit.” They can’t, without sounding ridiculous, so they just assume their audience “gets it,” it being the double standard that Sullivan described.
“The trolls engaged in this campaign are using the same tactics that exploded during Gamergate”
Sure! An incomprehensible videogame journalism controversy over one journalist arguing that that “gamers,” have been overwhelmingly “angry young men” and that they needed to grow up and accept that the demographics were evolving is exactly like the New York Times hiring a flagrant anti-white, anti-male editor! Good argument!
“Trolls” is pure ad hominem, because when lame debaters have no bullets, they default to name-calling.
“…and they have been employed in recent years by even broader audiences amid a rise in hostility toward journalists…”
The fact that bigots and biased activists like Jeong are infesting journalism is why there is that rise in hostility, and why it is 100% deserved.
“So we’re not going to fall for these disingenuous tactics. And it’s time other newsrooms learn to spot these hateful campaigns for what they are: attempts to discredit and undo the vital work of journalists who report on the most toxic communities on the internet.”
And now the time-worn. “I’m not going to distinguish that accusation with a response!” tactic! Isn’t this a perfect and hilarious example of a self-rebutting statement? The vital work of journalists who report on the most toxic communities on the internet by being part of those toxic communities!”
This episode is important and significant. The ugliest, most anti-democratic and intolerant segment of the political left now believes that it can show its real face, and proclaim its divisive ideology openly and without apology, confident that there is now sufficient support for it. The mainstream news media is adopting the Orwellian strategy of claiming to have one set of principles while actively supporting the antithesis of those principles.
The rest of the news media appears to be uncertain that the mask isn’t coming off prematurely as a tactical matter, and is treating the story as a minor one. In the absence of a single trustworthy, non-partisan news source, we have to rely on the conservative news media to keep this “nothingburger” cooking. The flagship of journalism, and the de facto Prvada of the Democratic Party, has told us that anti-white racism is fine.
That’s signature significance. Trustworthy journalists wouldn’t behave this way.
One more thing...the progressive readers and commenters on this blog have disappointed and disillusioned me greatly by their unanimous failure to discuss the Jeong fiasco so far. I see only three explanations:
- They understand what is wrong with the Times conduct, but will not openly criticize their perceived “team”
- They have decided to follow the Left’s mob on this matter, but know they can’t make a coherent case that Jeong is defensible or that her explanation is credible.
- They are sitting in a corner somewhere with their fingers in their ears and humming, hoping it will all go away.
None of these are ennobling.