The Struggle Sessions Are Real

Elite journalism's bizarre week, analyzed on The Reason Roundtable.


It's early yet, but last week may go down as the week that the journalism industry lost its damn fool mind. You've heard (too much!) about the exhaustive WTFery at The New York Times, but here are some other cases making the news:

* Philadelphia Inquirer Editor Stan Wischnowski resigned Saturday after a staff revolt stemming from an opinion piece headlined "Buildings Matter, Too."

* Variety Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller was placed on administrative leave after she (a) wrote a self-critical column about not doing enough to diversify her newsroom, then (b) called one of her subsequent you're-still-not-doing-enough critics "bitter."

* Several news organizations, after tweeting or sending out messages of support for the protests and/or Black Lives Matter, were met with "name and shame" campaigns for not doing enough.

So provides the backdrop for this week's Reason Roundtable, featuring Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch. The gang talks about the original (bad) idea behind Tom Cotton's New York Times op-ed, the federal government's heavy-handed use of force against D.C. protests, blatant epidemiological hypocrisy, and more media skedaddling than you can shake whipping stick at.

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music: "Incoming Transition" by The Whole Other.

Relevant links from the show:

"James Bennet's Resignation Proves the Woke Scolds Are Taking Over The New York Times," by Robby Soave

"New York Times Journalists Scared To Have an Op-Ed Page," by Matt Welch

"Tom Cotton Wants to Double Down on the Authoritarianism That Sparked Riots," by J.D. Tuccille

"Defense Secretary Mark Esper Contradicts Trump on Using Military To Quell Protests," by Christian Britschgi

"It Wasn't Tear Gas. It Was a Gaseous Substance That Causes Tears," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"California County Will Allow Outdoor Social Gatherings of 12 People—and Outdoor Protests of 100 People," by Christian Britschgi

"Public Health Experts Have Undermined Their Own Case for the COVID-19 Lockdowns," by Robby Soave

NEXT: Were the Lockdowns a Mistake? A Soho Forum Debate

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  1. This isn't about journalism as much as it is about the end of the center left. The center left has now completely surrendered to the far left. There is no such thing as a "center left" anymore. You are either on the right or you are far left. That is it.

    1. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right; here I am, stuck in the middle with you . . . .

      1. It amazes me what cowards the center left is. There are literally hundreds of people qualified and willing to take each job reporting for the Times. The Times could have fired every single reporter who complained about the Cotton oped and had qualified people lining up to take their jobs. Instead, they rolled over and gave the little animals what they demanded, even though they had no leverage and there was no reason to do so. It was pathetic.

        1. About six months ago I was starting to think the center left had had enough and were ready to start pushing back on this nonsense. One pandemic and some race riots later and the crazies are more in control than ever.

          1. They are all terrified of being called racist. I have never seen a more cowardly bunch of people.

            1. Many will be so tired of being unjustly accused will either stay home in November, or silently vote for trump as a "fuck you" to the woke brigades.

              1. I can't help but wonder how much that will happen. Everyone hates the woke brigades. They are a small minority that is nearly universally despised.

                1. Do not forget it is estimate that, at the time only about a third of (adult male) population of the colonies supported - passively or actively - the revolution.

                  1. This is true. But I don't think they are even that big. But if we don't stand up to them, they will win by default.

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            2. Try speaking out and keeping your job at any well known corporation. Companies know that most people are replaceable and it is cheaper to cut a few guys loose to satisfy the Twitter mob and save face in public.

              1. There is no satisfying the Twitter mob and they are not even your customers in most cases.

        2. The Times is ruled by the increasingly inbred Sulzberger family. Pinch is long gone.
          Putz ("If White men were not complaining, it would be an indication we weren't succeeding and making the inroads that we are.") ceded control to his son, Pinhead?, Pisspot?, two years ago. Ay Caramba! Carlos Slim should be kicking himself in the ass for signing on to this mess.

        3. they had no leverage

          The NYT wants to be the leading light of the left, it has to appease the movement.

        4. It amazes me what cowards the center left is.

          As if the center right had anything to brag about. "Cuckservative" didn't just drop from the sky one day.

          1. What "far" right positions are in place or even advocated for anymore?

    2. I was accused of right wing extremism back in college 1990. I was and am openly gay, pro-choice, advocate for legalizing marijuana. I used to drive around with a bumper sticker "I'm pro-choice for everything". Anyone remember that LP slogan? So why did my friends, classmates and teachers accuse me of people a white supremacist conservative? I liked my country, I was a patriot. I valued my individual liberty. I criticized the Left's collectivism and cult-like attitude. To them I was worse than an authentic Republican bigot. The only thing that has changed is, the Left has moved academia and minor media outlets to the mainstream. Once CEOs recognized the value of cultural Marxism, it was packaged and sold like a cabbage patch kid. If you're not on board with the Democrats, just line how the media labeled anti-lockfown protestors, you must be a white supremacist. The MSM doesnt even use the term microaggression anymore. You're flat out a member of a nazi hate group. Scary times....

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  2. “Some people think our repression is directed against our main enemies. This is certainly true, but most of all it is concerned with the seizure of absolute power."

    “If we arrest and kill only those who work against us, who collect weapons and have radio transmitters, others would simply protect themselves and make sure they wouldn’t get caught. But this was not our main objective. We wanted to make everybody, even the innocent, shake with fear both day and night. No one was to feel secure even if they avoided all political resistance or power struggle. We wanted to be undisputed lords and masters."

      1. Some Czech secret police officer. Check out the article "Trump ’16, SJWs ’20" on The American Conservative

  3. I think I might actually listen to this one. I'll see if reality has mugged Welch, Suderman or KMW yet.

    1. 5:28 in. KMW is already kinda lying about Cotton's article and is definitely trying to spin justification for the little woke fascists. I totally disagree with Cotton, but like Robby earlier today, she's seriously misrepresenting it.
      Heading back in, wish me luck.

      1. KMW is one of the center left cowards. She will do anything to justify the little bastards because she is terrified they might not accept her.

        1. They're (journalists) a bunch of fn nerds who think leftists are "the cool kids" who will totes like them if they just virtue signal and suck up enough

          1. They are more like ugly Instagram people dressing up as nerds, the ones who think wearing glasses is nerd chic.

            I mean, they get their news opinion from fucking Twitter. Reason editors parrot Voxplainers way too much.

      2. 10:15 and Gillespie is assuring us he's nonplussed, everything is cool and ideological rigidity is the wave of the future thanks to subscription models.
        No effort to tie it in with the current establishment zeitgeist.

    2. Had a work call, but now I'm back. 8 minutes in and now Suderman's up to explain things from a DC perspective. As is modern journalistic practice, he started by reciting the Orangemanbad Shahadah. Listening to him go makes me wonder how McArdle manages not to beat him.

      1. That latex suit has a way of keeping him mark free.

      2. Now Suderman is relaying a NYT's anecdote from yet another "Anonymous Source™" about Bob Barr stopping Trump from issuing a Reichstagsbrandverordnung, like it actually happened.

        I don't know if I can do this. Glad I didn't have a big lunch.

      3. I imagine she does beat him.

    3. 29:00 minutes in. Nick said a quick Orangemanbad Shahadah, but aside from that was on point... although I disagree with his view that libertarian principles of free speech only apply to government.
      I think free speech and ideas should be aspirational everywhere, but I know most Americans limit it to government.

      Then it's back to Welch who sneers about concerns over 'Safetyism". Says concerns over college censorship and groupthink are overblown.

      1. The form of libertarianism that prefers and accepts corporate subservience but not government is weird to me. They are still subservient.

    4. KMW tells us that Black employees have unique needs.

      I can't imagine what these might be. I hope she doesn't say 'Tight Pussy, Loose Shoes, and a Warm Place to Shit'.

      Can any of you imagine what these unique needs are?

      1. KMW tells us that Black employees have unique needs.

        She really seems to have no idea how racist that is. Basically, her position is that black employees are these damaged inferior creatures that cannot be held to the same standards of behavior and open mindedness white people can be held to.

        I have no doubt this is what KMW actually believes. And she somehow has rationalized thinking of blacks as an inferior race because she means well. What a stupid fucking bitch.

        1. I think this type of maternal, patronizing racism is the force behind inner-city projects and race-based admissions.

    5. 35:00 in and KMW really pissed me off, she just claimed that the NYT folks aren't practicing censorship.
      She doesn't fucking get it. It isn't only censorship when the government does it.
      Anyone can be censorious.

      If I offer a platform and then take it away because I don't like what you've said, I'm engaging in censorship. If I try to cause a chilling effect by having people who published you fired, I'm engaging in censorship.

      Private companies shouldn't be legally compelled not to censor, but censorship is still wrong.

      1. Reason is incapable of understanding that private entities can be a threat to freedom or that just because something should not be prohibited by law does not mean it is totally okay and unworthy of condemnation.

        1. That idea seems common to the lefties here who purport to be libertarian too. They can't imagine libertarianism as a personal philosophy and not just a political one.

      2. It's shocking for professionals to not know the difference between the Bill of Rights guarantees and the American / European tradition of free speech which is far broader. It's unfathomable she says it and the rest of the idiots don't contradict a word.

    6. 49:00 - Gillespie states the obvious by saying our choices aren't binary, although to be fair, this is probably a radical idea amongst his media peers.
      KMW finally makes a good point. Cop's are brutal because that's what we want... although I'll assume by "we" she means the clerisy and political establishment.

      1. She means the other stupid prog white people that make up her peer group. I gaurantee you that no black person lives or spends any time in whatever DC neighborhood she lives in. There might be the odd homeless guy but any black teenager that showed up would quickly be dispatched after KMW and the rest of the Karens called the cops. White progs are the biggest racist hypocrites on earth.

        1. Which is why I think they assume racism in others. Black progs on the other hand are just rent seeking.

          1. I think the same thing.

    7. Well, it's done.
      Bunch of uninteresting waffle at the end.
      Suderman manages to make the rap album he's been listening to sound gay. I wonder if she pegs him?
      Nick talks about V for Vendetta and is right when he says the graphic novel fails as a critique of Thatcherism and the movie as a critique of Bush. The story is applicable however to today's political class and deep state, IMHO, although Alan Moore and David Lloyd are far too conventional to notice.
      Nick likes Space Force and Suderman doesn't, so I may give it a shot.

      They never really examined the issues that were raised in any depth. I think that this was all in all a pretty shallow podcast with pedestrian opinions.

      1. I can't even imagine how strange Suderman and wife's sex life is. And I don't mean they are out doing anything wild or kinky. I see it as being something deeply weird. Pegging is probably the most normal thing they do.

  4. Maybe the corona virus alters the brain. Cities, especially NYC, have the highest rates of infection. They seem to have the highest rates of full retard, too.

  5. Those newspapers will be irrelevent by the end of the year, when every story and article has to go before the Kommittee for political approval. People buy newspapers (or subscribe to the online equiv) for the news, not the opinions. Get rid of actual news and no one but the two or three true believers will buy it.

    1. They also buy newspapers to be entertained and there is nothing more boring than propaganda.

    2. The NYT is doomed once their subscribers realize there are other ways to display tribal loyalty without the added expense.

      1. I would love to know the average age of their subscribers. I bet it is over 70. The only people who read it is a certain breed of aging Boomer who sees it as a badge of being among the enlightened. As those people die off over the next decade, they won't be replaced and the paper will live as a vanity project for whatever billionaire doofus decides to buy it.

  6. Is it top early to say learn to code?

  7. Leather Man would watch "V for Vendetta". Looking back, I can't believe I viewed the Wachowski Brothers (now Sisters) as anything other than a cringe fest!

    1. I never understood why people liked their movies. The Matrix was completely idiotic. There were few more pathetic spectacles in the late 90s than people talking seriously about all the meaning in the Matrix. And their movies only got worse from there. The original Matrix, as comically stupid as it was, was at least entertaining and watchable. You can't say the same for their later movies.

      1. I remember discussing the Second Law of Thermodynamics with a college roommate and how the Matrix would not be possible with the use of human bodies for energy generation. A lot of the "man in the machine" concepts were lifted from a popular anime movie, Ghost in the Shell. I recommend watching it.

        1. Even if it were possible, it would be grossly inefficient. Why not just build nuclear reactors? If it made any sense, humans would have never needed to invent fire to stay warm, we could have heated our dwellings with our body heat. The whole thing is just retarded.

          1. Well the story was written by two very mentally ill men.

          2. It was a single line, used to explain the universe.

            They picked the wrong "unique thing" about humans. They should have said they were using our brains as creative neural network computers that could solve problems machines couldn't. One simple change in a single line would have fixed that silly hangup.

      2. The Matrix was awesome.
        Not as deep as people wanted to be, but A+ action sci-fi movie.
        V for Vendetta was ok. Better idea than execution.
        The 2 Matrix sequels were better action than idea - because the original was a standalone movie that hit to big not to come up with some bs philosophy to explain all the shit that was great when left up to interpretation.
        But the original Matrix is still badass

        1. The 13th Floor and eXistenZ were both better movies from 1999 that shared a similar theme with the Matrix.

          1. EXistenZ is great.
            Croninberg is my favorite.
            But it's a different kind of movie.
            I don't like Matrix for the philosophical (lack of) depth, but because it's an amazing action movie

    2. the Wachowski Brothers (now Sisters)

      Is it just me, or does it seem to anyone else that those two are fucking each other?
      Even when they were guys they looked creepy in photos together.

      1. Anything is possible with terminal autism, habitual gayming, and too much money

  8. Elite journalism? The NYT isn't even journalism at this point, let alone elite journalism.

  9. Howard Stern talks about what a great rag NYT is constantly. I'm convinced he's paid to plug the rag. This is the state of journalism in NYC. Paper of record my ass.

  10. Journalism Schools destroyed journalism. It was "professionalized" like every other "trade" in order to shape its output and monopolize the industry. "Activist journalism" is the norm in J Schools now...intent on using emotional appeal to push a prescribed political agenda that is to manifest consolidated power to the Davos Crowd. The NYT is just one of the more visible examples of that culmination. They don't partake in logical debate, and instead try to limit debate and narrow the parameters of "allowable debate".

    Their "reach" is pathetic really. They are experiencing the same crisis of legitimacy every other institution of power and influence is experiencing today. As the podcast referenced...they abhor the Enlightenment...and I suspect that is in part because they are succumbing to a similar impact that former institutions of power succumbed to during the Enlightenment period as well. They are anti-individual...all "progressive" ideologies in this day are...and it's a scam that relies on "branding" (like "progressive" which is quasi-Marxist collectivist power consolidation) rather than real ideas or definitions to hide their own agendas.

    If the government should break up monopolies, then that circumstance should be applied to the use of federal law regarding protections providing social media companies...or not...not a debate on what "censorship really is". Do FB and Twitter and Google have variable monopolies? If so...should government have the right to dictate their businesses, stop certain behaviors, and potential break them up? That's where the debate should be and unfortunately they didn't do that in this podcast.

  11. Years ago I worked for a company that was proud to call itself "the diversity" company. We had very specific quotas for different "tribes" at each management level. I had a friend in HR and as a libertarian I asked how this ensured the merit of the individual. She said we had to do it because everyone of the same "tribe" thinks the same and we need diversity. I mentioned that we were both of the same ethnicity (one that faced discrimination in the old days) and religion and yet we didn't think the same. She never talked to me again.

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  12. They are experiencing the same crisis of legitimacy every other institution of power and influence is experiencing today. electrician odessa tx

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