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Old 07-15-2020, 01:21 AM   #21
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The Harper's Letter and Cancel Culture

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I don't buy for a second that this is an accurate description of the NYT environment. Also, Weiss herself wouldn't have access to that environment given the firewall that separates the newsroom from opinion writers. The problem with folks like Weiss and Stephens is not the opinions that they have - it's that they are lazy, terrible writers who do not deserve that platform.


I read that tweet too — with Douthat, who is clearly to the right of Weiss and Stephens, being seen as a generally happy and well-enough liked conservative who knows how to explain his positions to liberals.

I’m unclear about what she wouldn’t have had access to — she isn’t a reporter, but she is an opinion writer, so surely that’s what she’s talking about?

Anyway, Weiss raised her profile dramatically with this exit. It was a smart career move, if nothing else.

I also think that some of this is a reaction to Trump. There are no intelligent defenders of the president and the Senate left. They are gone. Like Stephens. Like George Will. David Frum. You’re left with, like, Marc Thiessan who is just pathetic. And this is true across the board, also in the WaPo, where they have, like, the equally pathetic Hugh Hewitt.

I spend time on conservative websites as I try very hard to figure out just what the hell people are thinking, and some take the “yeah but Hillary/Obama ...” route of, like, the NRO, where they clearly don’t like Trump but others are just as bad if not worse — and thank goodness they don’t have “socialism” to rally around this year. Fox News is an exercise in creative framing that keeps their readers happy enough. Drudge is basically anti-Trump. And this leaves us with places like Red State or Townhall where the quality of writing and thinking is so shockingly bad, and the comments often baldly racist, that it’s difficult to read.

I won’t click on Breitbart or Infowars. I just won’t.

But I can see where some of the complaints come from. A lot, I think, will calm down once Trump is gone. Any thinking person should be doing everything they can as much as they can and however they can to defeat him. It may all settle soon.

JK Rowling and the TERFs are another, different story altogether. One I find fascinating, and it’s nice to see straight people (not JKR) making informed comments on trans issues — not possible even 5 years ago. We’ve all learned a lot.

Also: I’ve never read a word of Harry Potter.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:36 AM   #22
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My main issue is the speed at which people ar canceled now. It's as if we need to make up for years of inaction by unleashing the hounds on everyone without ever giving anyone a chance to defend themselves.

It's caught a few non celebrities up in shit that they weren't actually ever involved in, like that guy in Bethesda who had his home and work pinged by an angry mom, falsely accusing him of assaulting a couple of teenagers hanging BLM posters, merely because he happened to often travel the same bike path as someone else with a slight resemblance.

A more high profile case might be Al Franken.. there's a high likelihood that he was railroaded. But everyone was so quick on the outrage train that he was gone within a week.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:04 AM   #23
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I think that it can be a problem in some cases, but it's really become just a catch-all shield to deflect from legitimate criticism. It's infuriating that Bari Weiss dares to position herself as some fighter of what she deems to be 'cancel culture' when she has a pretty well known history of trying to cancel pro-Palestinian/Israel critical voices. The quality of the NYT is improved without her writing for it.

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Also, there are a lot of bad actors amongst the signatories of the letter.

Let's not forget that the only reason JK Rowling was asked to sign is because she has recently been the subject of criticism from across the board for her transphobic comments.
Many of the names on the shortened list (Weiss, Kasparov, Frum, Brooks, Pinker, Egghead ...) practically invalidate the letter from the beginning.

I think many still have the image of JK Rowling being progressive, when recent years have suggested that she thoroughly enjoys punching left.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:10 AM   #24
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A more high profile case might be Al Franken.. there's a high likelihood that he was railroaded. But everyone was so quick on the outrage train that he was gone within a week.
Nah, the photographic evidence with Al was enough to call for his resignation.
Even if he made zero contact (which is certainly possible) and did the photo as a joke, its in poor enough taste that the dude should have resigned.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:18 AM   #25
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Nah, the photographic evidence with Al was enough to call for his resignation.

Even if he made zero contact (which is certainly possible) and did the photo as a joke, its in poor enough taste that the dude should have resigned.
You don't think there's a chance that the person involved in the photo was aware that the picture was being taken?

She sat on it for years and just happened to discover it right when she started making regular appearances on Hannity?
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:20 AM   #26
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You don't think there's a chance that the person involved in the photo was aware that the picture was being taken?

She sat on it for years and just happened to discover it right when she started making regular appearances on Hannity?
Not according to Al Franken:
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sen-...ry?id=51394106

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"I am ashamed of that photo," Franken told Minnesota Public Radio. "She didn’t have any ability to consent. She had every right to feel violated by that photo. I have apologized to her. I was very grateful that she accepted my apology. That is all I can say. My intent doesn’t matter. What matters is that she felt the way she felt from this photo and for that I am ashamed.”
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:25 AM   #27
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Many of the names on the shortened list (Weiss, Kasparov, Frum, Brooks, Pinker, Egghead ...) practically invalidate the letter from the beginning.



Do they?

Is an ad hominem dismissal really a good argument to present here, especially given what we’re talking about?

Seems you’re doing exactly what they are accusing the cancel culture warriors of doing.
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:28 AM   #28
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I’d also say, that in the spirit of learning and reconciliation, we might all do well with a bit of generosity when people make mistakes and apologize for them. I realize teachable moments and reconciliation are very Obama-era and now everything is scorched earth, but I prefer the old ways of like 2014.

The photograph is certainly problematic, especially politically, and Gillibrand absolutely pounced for her own political reasons, but Franken’s apology seems much better than a “sorry to those who were offended.”
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Old 07-15-2020, 01:11 PM   #29
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I mean even in that quote he refuses to go further into it. He accepts his fate and goes away. His answers to me always sounded more like a man who accepted that he had no way of defending himself against something that he knew was kinda bullshit so he took one for the team and the greater good rather than drag it on.

Who knows. I could be wrong. There was just something fishy about the whole thing.
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Old 07-15-2020, 02:14 PM   #30
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I mean even in that quote he refuses to go further into it. He accepts his fate and goes away. His answers to me always sounded more like a man who accepted that he had no way of defending himself against something that he knew was kinda bullshit so he took one for the team and the greater good rather than drag it on.

Who knows. I could be wrong. There was just something fishy about the whole thing.


I mean, that’s Franken in a nutshell. It was silly that he was cancelled *because play plays for the good guys.* He had to have his name put next to the likes of Harvey Weinstein, for something that was a comedian not being funny at all.

But it’s not about Al Franken. It’s about the greater good. It’s such a gray area here.
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Old 07-15-2020, 02:47 PM   #31
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The quality of the NYT is improved without her writing for it.
Co-sign. I've come close to cancelling my NYT subscription because if Weiss and Stephens (and Brooks).
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Old 07-15-2020, 04:34 PM   #32
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Co-sign. I've come close to cancelling my NYT subscription because if Weiss and Stephens (and Brooks).


Is it because you disagree with them or because you think they are poor writers?
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Old 07-15-2020, 05:52 PM   #33
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I took advantage of one of their $1 week specials earlier this year, and I’m glad I did. The NYT content is excellent.
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:44 PM   #34
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Is it because you disagree with them or because you think they are poor writers?


The latter. And because they are both racists. Stephens’ “the disease of the Arab mind” comes to mind. Or his mention of “the thuggish elements” of BLM. Or his dishonest and poorly informed writing about climate change.

And because they are both deeply deeply hypocritical in their anti-cancel culture stance. Weiss launched campaigns against Palestinian professors at Columbia trying to get them fired (the irony). Stephens regularly “calls the manager” when someone criticizes him.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:27 AM   #35
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Do they?

Is an ad hominem dismissal really a good argument to present here, especially given what we’re talking about?

Seems you’re doing exactly what they are accusing the cancel culture warriors of doing.

I think it's fair on this occasion - Weiss has no leg to stand on here.


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Co-sign. I've come close to cancelling my NYT subscription because if Weiss and Stephens (and Brooks).

Whilst it doesn't rank high on offensiveness, Weiss' article from last year on Australia was incredibly bad. She's not even a particularly good writer or thinker.
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