Rolling Stone Editor's Key Observation About the George Floyd Unrest Will Probably Infuriate the Left

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Posted: Jun 13, 2020 1:01 AM
Rolling Stone Editor's Key Observation About the George Floyd Unrest Will Probably Infuriate the Left

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

I'd never thought that some liberals would actually take a stand and call out their colleagues for being totally unspooled for caving to the progressive mob. For some, the liberal agenda they grew up with is now considered right-wing in some circles. Why? Well, it doesn't go far enough. It has to be far-left and quasi-Marxist. The woke clowns we used to mock on The College Fix and Campus Reform have graduated. And now, their toxic agenda is spreading like a brush fire. No dissent is permitted. Just one slip-up or differing opinion from that of the far-left mob could get you canceled. These are the hordes of Mordor, an apt description by conservative commentator Erick Erickson. They will make you care. In one way or the other, the left-wing mob will find a way to get you. They also don't want apologies; they want the destruction of those they view as enemies to their unhinged worldview.

Matt Taibbi is no conservative. He's a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, but he's commented on the hysteria that has engulfed the Left, especially with the Trump-Russia collusion nonsense. In a lengthy post, Taibbi torched the media for being afraid to confront the terror campaign that's engulfed the nation's newsrooms. He also said if anything that's been exposed during the unrest over the officer-involved fatality of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 that sparked nationwide riots, it's that the American Left has gone totally insane and the liberal media is destroying itself.

For starters, Taibbi probably disagrees with virtually everything Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) stands for but was his op-ed, which sent The New York Times' woke reporters into a Chernobyl-like meltdown, really a threat to black lives? Was it even inaccurate? He notes that a lot of what Cotton said was backed up by a majority of the American public. Also, it seems clear that these leftist clowns didn't even read the columnThe Philadelphia Inquirer sent their longtime editor, Stan Wischowski, packing for green-lighting the headline "Buildings Matter, Too." Again, another view that's supported by a healthy majority of voters; people value the protection of what they own. It's not that hard. For the woke, this is problematic. Wischowski helped diversify the newsroom and helped the paper get a Pulitzer for their series on Philly school violence in his two-decade career at the paper, but screw him, right?

Taibbi is surgical in highlighting all of the nonsense, all of the weird acts of contrition being exhibited by white liberals that he rightfully describes as activities that are more in line with cult behavior. Of course, he calls Trump a clown but directs most of his criticism at the media industry that is collapsing under the infection of wokeness and political correctness that are terrorizing newsrooms. Moreover, the pervasive "moral mania," as he calls it, has generated a list of the "Most Important Thing Ever" within the liberal media that is often met with the same fate: it's either forgotten or dropped, leaving the public feeling empty as to why they should be outraged besides the ongoing war cry of "orange man…bad" (via Matt Taibbi):

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.

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.

[…]

...the Philadelphia Inquirer’s editor, Stan Wischowski, was forced out after approving a headline, “Buildings matter, too.”

In the most discussed incident, Times editorial page editor James Bennet was ousted for green-lighting an anti-protest editorial by Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton entitled, “Send in the troops.”

I’m no fan of Cotton, but as was the case with Michael Moore’s documentary and many other controversial speech episodes, it’s not clear that many of the people angriest about the piece in question even read it. In classic Times fashion, the paper has already scrubbed a mistake they made misreporting what their own editorial said…

[…]

Cotton did not call for “military force against protesters in American cities.” He spoke of a “show of force,” to rectify a situation a significant portion of the country saw as spiraling out of control. It’s an important distinction. Cotton was presenting one side of the most important question on the most important issue of a critically important day in American history.

As Cotton points out in the piece, he was advancing a view arguably held by a majority of the country. A Morning Consult poll showed 58% of Americans either strongly or somewhat supported the idea of “calling in the U.S. military to supplement city police forces.” That survey included 40% of self-described “liberals” and 37% of African-Americans. To declare a point of view held by that many people not only not worthy of discussion, but so toxic that publication of it without even necessarily agreeing requires dismissal, is a dramatic reversal for a newspaper that long cast itself as the national paper of record.

Incidentally, that same poll cited by Cotton showed that 73% of Americans described protecting property as “very important,” while an additional 16% considered it “somewhat important.” This means the Philadelphia Inquirer editor was fired for running a headline – “Buildings matter, too” – that the poll said expressed a view held by 89% of the population, including 64% of African-Americans.

[…]

After the 2016 election, we began to see staff uprisings. In one case, publishers at the Nation faced a revolt – from the Editor-in-Chief on down – after an articles by Aaron Mate and Patrick Lawrence questioning the evidentiary basis for Russiagate claims was run. Subsequent events, including the recent declassification of congressional testimony, revealed that Mate especially was right to point out that officials had no evidence for a Trump-Russia collusion case. It’s precisely because such unpopular views often turn out to be valid that we stress publishing and debating them in the press.

Oh, and there's this part about the Left's take on the George Floyd riots, which has become a massive exercise in doublethink:

Kathleen Kingsbury [The NYT’s newest opinion page editor], issued a staff directive essentially telling employees they now had a veto over anything that made them uncomfortable: “Anyone who sees any piece of Opinion journalism, headlines, social posts, photos—you name it—that gives you the slightest pause, please call or text me immediately.”

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.

These tensions led to amazing contradictions in coverage. For all the extraordinary/inexplicable scenes of police viciousness in recent weeks — and there was a ton of it, ranging from police slashing tires in Minneapolis, to Buffalo officers knocking over an elderly man, to Philadelphia police attacking protesters — there were also 12 deaths in the first nine days of protests, only one at the hands of a police officer (involving a man who may or may not have been aiming a gun at police).

Looting in some communities has been so bad that people have been left without banks to cash checks, or pharmacies to fill prescriptions; business owners have been wiped out (“My life is gone,” commented one Philly store owner); a car dealership in San Leandro, California saw 74 cars stolen in a single night. It isn’t the whole story, but it’s demonstrably true that violence, arson, and rioting are occurring.

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.”

And on that front, the public shaming aspect, he notes the torching of The Intercept's Lee Fang for daring to tweet an interview he had with a black man who said, "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."

Fang was smeared as a racist for peddling countervailing narratives relating to black-on-black crime. He was forced to apologize in a lengthy letter after his co-workers threw him under the bus; Taibbi credits him for being one of the last reporters out there who does excellent investigative work. Now, he's been tarred and feathered by the progressive mob for simply reporting on what's happening on the ground: rioting, looting, and arson. 

He concludes his post by citing more odd behavior from the Left, like congressional Democrats kneeling in Kente cloth, white resident begging forgiveness for racism, and white police officers in Cary, North Carolina, washing the feet of black pastors. It's cult-like. And that ethos and the inability of the media to counter it due to the lefty mob is probably why issues like "Defund the Police" seem like it's a popular position. It's not. Taibbi noted polls "show 65% of Americans oppose [defunding the police], including 62% of Democrats, with just 15% of all people, and only 33% of African-Americans, in support."

But if you shame, de-platform, and purge those liberals who haven't gone totally insane from your ranks, I could see how abolishing the police could seem like a possibility if you're a lefty loon. The media appears to be a place where there can be no debate, where its writers work in fear, and the political correctness enforcers acting like ISIS' religious police watch their every move. Yeah, I can see why that's causing the liberal media to self-destruct.

Submit or die is the special of the day for the American Left. And that is why I'm proud not to be a liberal or a Democrat. Taibbi's post is lengthy but worth a full read.