Media

Conor Friedersdorf: Stand Against Left-Wing and Right-Wing P.C.

The Atlantic writer says that illiberalism and the urge to shut down debate need to be confronted across the political spectrum.

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To say that we live in a hyper-polarized, angry society is to state the obvious. Everywhere around us, but especially online, in politics, and in the media, we seem to be, with apologies to Matthew Arnold, trapped on a darkling plain where ignorant armies clash by night. It's impossible to avoid a continuous stream of stories, often erupting from prestigious institutions such as The New York Times and Ivy League universities, of people being canceled for real and imagined thought crimes, political hacks defending objectively awful policy failures, and charges of racism, sexism, and homophobia being launched like drone strikes on unsuspecting, innocent civilians.

Many in the media and the academy are questioning bedrock commitments to free expression and intellectual freedom.  As the former head of the ACLU, Ira Glasser, told Reason recently, many activists, academics, and journalists believe that "free speech is an antagonist" to social justice.

One journalist who pushes back against all this is Conor Friedersdorf, a staff writer at The Atlantic, who maintains one of the smartest and engaging Twitter feeds around, and publishes the newsletter The Best of Journalism, which "highlights exceptional nonfiction journalism." The 41-year-old Southern California native writes about criminal justice reform, the excesses of wokeness and political correctness on the right and the left, and the failure of government to effectively deliver many of the basic services it's supposed to provide.

"The biggest thing I'm interested in is, can we have a robust public discourse? Can we adjudicate truth propositions together?" Friedersdorf tells me in today's podcast. He cites Jonathan Rauch's influential 1993 book, Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought, which lays out the case for free and open dialogue in society, especially about contentious topics and ideas. (Go here for my interview with Rauch on today's cancel culture.). "It is a messy process of talking back and forth, and it's really important," says Friedersdorf. "We can get tremendous value from it in the future if only we allow it to happen. And I see more and more people not allowing it to happen with the advent of social media."

We talk about the case of New York Times reporter Donald McNeil, who was pushed out of the paper after colleagues learned he used a racial epithet in 2019 while on a trip with high-school students, calls by journalists to regulate conversations on the popular new audio-only social media platform Clubhouse, and the failure of the FDA and CDC to roll out vaccines as efficiently as possible. We also talk about how libertarians might effectively reach out to people on the left and the right who are increasingly exhausted by the orthodoxy demanded by progressives and conservatives.

NEXT: The Dark Underbelly of Equity Based Thinking

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  1. And in other news, “ Conor Friedersdorf first person to be canceled by both Democrats and Republicans. “If we can’t be meanspirited and partisan, what’s the point of politics?” they ask.”

    1. Coming to the reality that politics = Gov-Guns; would be a big enlightening step for everyone.

      A Government without guns is just another run-a the mill organization.

  2. Who are conservatives cancelling? This is not a “both sides” issue. One side is clearly leading the charge, and that side is not conservatives but the people that call themselves “liberals” or “progressives.”

    1. Man, dont you remember, it was just back in 1980 that Jerry Falwell wanted Life of Brian taken out of a movie theater

      1. 90% of ENB’s sex work arguments are that it’s still 1992 and the Moral Majority pose some sort of threat to legalized hooking.

        1. There’s tons of states where the Religious Right says jump and the state GOP says ‘how high!’

          1. Such as? (this should be good)

            1. You’re kidding, right?

              I’m going to guess you are a total right wing nut job OR you don’t live in these states.

              1. Name the states, and all the recent legislation that proves your point.

                Surely you dont mean the states legalizing cannabis, doing away with blue laws, doing away with restrictions on retail beverage sales, not those states?
                Go ahead, make your non-existant case, you knownothing buffoon. I am confident I am 1000x better informed than you are.

                1. This is what they call the crazy brave. Not impressed.

                  OK, let’s take your first listed, marijuana legalization. I’ll bet you that the states where the Religious Right is most powerful are less likely than blue states to legalize it. If I’m correct, you confess here you are a complete dumbass and vice versa for me if you are. Put your credit where your silly mouth is.

                  1. Mississilpi and Arizona just passed MJ legalization. Alabama and TN have recently scrapped all their restrictive retail alcohol laws.

                    Still waiting on your “crazy brave” stulid ass to make a single coherent point in favor of your assertion of the Moral Majority (pssst – it no longer even exists, dumbass) is calling all the shots in tons of states

                    1. Sigh

                      https://disa.com/map-of-marijuana-legality-by-state

                      Notice any patterns?

                      Mississippi? You’re just lying or misinformed now. Who has misinformed you?

                    2. Queen, the problem with your map is that nearly all the states legalized through the people, not the legislature.

                    3. I ask for recent examples of tons of states “jumping” for a defunct organization, and you post an out of date map that proves the opposite – marijuana is only fully illegal in 10% of the states.

                      https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.clarionledger.com/amp/6161855002

                      Mississippi just legalized MM, moron

          2. Wow, tons?
            You must have loads of sinister examples to share.

            1. Here’s what’s hilarious and telling of your patent dishonesty here: the original comment was about sex work. Now, very few states are relaxing their stance on sex work. But would you like to point to some hardcore red states that are?

              Of course not. Because your dishonesty is what’s going on here.

              1. Remember when you wrote this?

                Queen Amalthea
                February.17.2021 at 7:05 pm
                There’s tons of states where the Religious Right says jump and the state GOP says ‘how high!’

                Where’d you specify you were only talking about hooking?

                And even if that was the case, in what states are the “Religious Right” preventing prostitution? How’s legalized prostitution being restricted in ultra-religious Oregon or New York?

                1. Lol, you actually went and created a *second* account to argue with me?

                  You’re *special* dude.

                  1. Oh, yes, I’ve “created” accounts. Lol.

                    1. So, Queen Whiteknightsock, Queen Goalpostmover, Queen Anathema, were just pre-existing accounts?

                      Lol.

                    2. Seriously!???
                      Lol.

                  2. Yeah it’s super duper hard to edit your user name. Dumbass.

                2. I especially like too where you quote something that *doesn’t even mention the hooking* which is, well, you’re hook.

                  You’re not a very competent person, are you?

                  1. That doesn’t even make sense.

                    1. I’m betting that’s a common line for you.

                    2. No. Explain what the hell this stupidity is:

                      “something that *doesn’t even mention the hooking* which is, well, you’re hook.”

                      What the fuck is “You are hook”?
                      And why you think that excuses you from answering the question “what states are the “Religious Right” preventing prostitution?”

                    3. You can’t look up and get what the conversation is about? Of course. You’re sitting at home in your basement creating all these socks to attack me. Rahh!, get ya!
                      Pathetic.

                    4. Quit evading and pretending you’re being bullied and answer the fuckin question.

      2. And Tipper Gore giving music albums “problematic” labels.

        1. Gore is now a conservative?

          1. “That’s the joke.”

    2. Conservatives/Progressives aside, not just social media is complicit in conflating “There will be no discussion.” with “I don’t want to take part in this discussion.” or “I don’t want the outcome of this discussion to affect me.” in a selective or biased manner. More than one Reason writer openly holds a number of reasonable opinions as unquestionably terrible and a number of patently retarded opinions as ‘superficially credible accusations’, to be sure.

    3. Another Atlantic chuckle fuck tepidly lamenting our current political climate while making sure he can explain to his/her employers that he blamed “both sides” to keep from being cancelled.

    4. Dixie Chicks. Kaepernick. Jamelle Harris. The angry guy in the Chik-fil-a line. The fellas who called Arizona for Biden on Fox. The GOP Congresspersons who dared vote against/criticize Trump.

      1. Jeezus, Not buying an album is not “cancelling” The Dixie Chicks. The Dixie Chicks, (unlike Morgan Whalley) kept their contract, got a lifetime of fawning press, and put out the worst work of their career which promptly won every industry award possible. That is not Cancelling. No one threatened to take TV shows off the air for booking the Dixie Chicks. The only cancelling of the Dixie Chicks was done by The Dixie Chicks, who are now The Chicks, because Dixie suddenly became racist.

        1. The rest of your examples are just plainly idiotic, with the possible exception of Angry Chik Fil A Douche, who embarrassed his employer. I dont think there were any organized boycotts of his employer, or companies that do business with his employer, which is how Progs Cancel others

        2. Lol, Country Music stations proudly announced they were banning them, they got death threats, etc.

          Btw, Dixie didn’t ‘suddenly’ become racist, you might want to read this thing called ‘American history.’

          1. (I know “Dixie” actually just means the area below the Mason-Dixon Line, but I have an argument on the internet to win)

            1. Yeah, that’s all Dixie ever, ever meant. Just a line, that’s it. Talk about having an argument on the internet to win.

              1. “In 1763-67 Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon surveyed and marked most of the boundaries between Maryland, Pennsylvania and the Three Lower Counties that became Delaware. The survey, commissioned by the Penn and Calvert families to settle their long-running boundary dispute, provides an interesting reference point in the region’s history.”

                https://web.archive.org/web/20190404151845/http://www1.udel.edu:80/johnmack/mason_dixon/

                1. My word but you’re an idiot. Yes, you’ve proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that ‘Dixie’ has, and can only, refer to a line drawn by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon.

                  Holy shit.

                  1. You now know where the term originated, but now you’re trying to pretend it didn’t because you’ll feel like an idiot otherwise.

                    1. Omg, are you the same nut who went and made several socks of me to argue with me?

                      Holy shit, you’re a bit retarded, are you?

                    2. I’m starting to think you are, if you don’t understand how this works.

                    3. Pathetic.

                    4. You still haven’t answered what you imagine “Dixie” refers to other than the states south of the Mason-Dixon line, clownshow.

                      You’re not getting to evade this.

                    5. Omg, you’re funny.

                      Maybe, I dunno, Southern culture and history? Lol.

                    6. From places like Arizona or New Mexico or from the states South of the Mason Dixon line?

                    7. You fucking idiot, Arizona and New Mexico are clearly not Dixie (I say this as a Southerner). You stupid troll! Lol.

                    8. You fucking idiot, Arizona and New Mexico are clearly not Dixie (I say this as a Southerner). You stupid troll! Lol.

                      Hey now, let’s not forget the slave-owning Indians from Oklahoma who fought on the side of the Confederacy!

                    9. “You fucking idiot, Arizona and New Mexico are clearly not Dixie”

                      No shit, you illiterate weasel, because that isn’t what I said.

                      I asked you to make a differentiation because you were trying to pretend that what constitutes the appellation “Dixie”, isn’t determined by geographical construct.

                      Now answer the original question, fraud. Why do you imagine “Dixie” refers to anything other than the states (including their culture, folkways, dialects, etc) south of the Mason-Dixon line?

                    10. There is also the theory that “Dixie” was originally the area where French-language ten dollar notes, issued by a bank in New Orleans and prominently displaying word “Dix”, were circulated. They were apparently referred to as “Dixies”.

            2. What’s almost as much fun is some poor, pathetic tool here was so incensed to read my comment she didn’t like they went and created a sock to mock me.

              Yeah, these people are totes ok with divergent views!

              1. Mocking you is incredibly fun… and easy. You’re such an ignorant tool.
                Now, that you’ve given us a history lesson, tell us all about the chemical formula for water.

                1. WTf? Are you wanting to argue about fluorides?

                  That’d be a Trumpista.

                  1. “the chemical formula for water”
                    “fluorides”

                    Oh White Knight, lol.

      2. “Dixie Chicks. Kaepernick. Jamelle Harris. The fellas who called Arizona for Biden on Fox.”
        None of those people lost their livelihood or got booted off social media. I don’t know anything about the angry Chic fil guy but I imagine there are thousands of angry people in those lines at any given moment. The congresspersons will face primary opponents and the voters will decide if they were representing their constituents or not. Not exactly a death sentence.

        1. All of them lost their jobs. And the threat against the Congresspersons is they will lose theirs.

          Is your difference ‘social media?’ And what you really mean is ‘certain popular platforms on social media.’

          1. All of them lost their jons? Jemelle Hill didnt lose her job fornspeech, but for losing an audience and cable subscribers.
            The Dixie Chicks didnt lose their revording contract for making political statements, they didnt get a fat new one because their audience stopped buying albums.
            Nobody lost their job on the Fox Decision desk, people rightly asked why they made premature declarations.

            You are TERRIBLE at this

            1. 1. She lost her job because the White House singled her off air criticisms of Trump out as ‘Fireable.’
              2. The audience stopped buying their albums because of a wave of cancel culture about a line they said.
              3. The premature declaration was…correct. And they were fired for it because Daddy Trump didn’t like it and his fans joined the cancel culture over it.

              1. Lol. Not buying a new album isn’t cancel culture retard.

          2. Queenie, are you aware Kaepernick had ALREADY lost his starting QB job when he started his “protest”? He was beaten out by Blaine Fucking Gabbert (who is just not any good) for the job. He did the “protest” to try and get him some attention.

            He then turned down multiple job offers and basically screwed himself out in his NFL tryout a few years back (but one of “his” receivers got some interest)

        2. Je is such a duplicitous idiot, he cant distinguish between The Dixie Chicks alienatingbtheir own audience on stage by introducing stulid political hot takes unnecessarily into their apolitical job, or Jemelle Hill alienating ESPN’s viewing audience causing them to change the channel by introducing stupid political hot takes into an apolitical job function, vs Conservatives being punished for private speech or campaign donations made outside their job by angry mobs of non-customers bringing pressure on businesses that do business with their employer.
          The distinction is clear and completely different.
          Arbys doesnt look thru employees social media looking to fire employees who are sympathetic or donate to PETA. But when they put on an Arbys polo and go to work and start haranguing Arbys customers while they order, they should be fired.

          1. Pathetic straining to distinguish. When my side does it there’s Reasons!

            1. “Arbys doesnt look thru employees social media looking to fire employees”

              Hill was fired for tweets, bro. The White House called for it.

              Who has misled you so much on these things?

              1. Jamelle Hill is a woman, and she currently has her own show on the Vice network

                1. And Hawley has a book contract.

                  1. Hawley did not lose a book deal because no one wanted to buy his book, moron, which sets him apart from the Dixie Chicks, he lost a book deal because illiberal squawkers banded together because he took a position shared by 75 million potential book buyers. The NYT fired their editor for almost allowing him to publish an opinion held by almost every rational person and which his detractors adopted in a much more stringent fashion in a lightning quick 180 as soon as they were in power

              2. No, Hill was fired because the ratings for her 6P SportsCenter were abysmal and that used to be a money spot in the ESPN lineup. These numbers ain’t hard to look up, hon.

            2. You ate too duplivitous and or imbecillic to continue to argue with.

              There is no organized faux outrage generator trained on pressuring employers, their customers, or vendors to cut all ties with progressives who speak up outside od their job function. Perood. Full Stop.

              The Trump White House got a media personality fired? LOL. Im embarrassed for you

              1. You mean, you’re about to pass out. Got it.

                So, Trump pushing and getting a firing, it’s ok. Others, ‘Cancel Culture bad!’

                Got it.

                1. Media Matters needs to ask you and Tony for a refund. Neither of you have the intellectual caliber to be operating away from Buzzfeed or the Huffington Post’s comments.

      3. Mediocre to bad defence canceled kapernicks qb carreer

      4. Dixie Chicks.

        Were awarded a Grammy in the aftermath.

        Kaepernick

        Is employed by a corporate global megacorps as a meat shield for their factory labor practices in China.

        Jamelle Harris.

        Who?

        The angry guy in the Chik-fil-a line.

        Okay, there’s one. Probably didn’t deserve to get fired, but he did deserve to get his throat punched for being an asshole to some random teenager handing out food orders.

        The fellas who called Arizona for Biden on Fox.

        Welp, you got one, at least.

        The GOP Congresspersons who dared vote against/criticize Trump.

        Going against your party tends to get you ostracized from that party.

        1. And Hawley was on TV a bunch and got a book deal…

          Hernia inducing straining for you to come to the idea that ‘your side’ doesn’t do this.

          1. You’re desperately flailing here.

          2. Hawlet Lost a book deal, doofus, and then got a worse one

          3. My “side” lacks the influence to do it.

      5. Just so we are all clear here, Queen A goes back 17 years, then 6 years, then 3 years, then 4 years to prove his point about ubiquitous Conservative Cancel Culture, only 1 of the examples being germaine.

        There are more Proggy cancel culture stories in the last 6 weeks than these dubious examples

        1. Yeah. Didn’t the Dixie Chicks thing go down during the Bush administration?

          If we’re reaching back this far for examples, might as well mention how the religious right attempted to cancel Nicholas Copernicus. And before that, they tried to cancel Jesus. See how it comes full circle?

      6. Don’t deadname bands! The band you mentioned realized — in 2020 — that “Dixie” was DEEPLY PROBLEMATIC and renamed themselves to The Chicks. And here you are complaining that The Dixie Chicks got canceled by the right.

        Yes, your side really is this fucking inane.

    5. You beat me to it. More Reason bullshit.

    6. The idea that conservatives could ever silence the other side is beyond laughable; the other side controls about 90% of the national megaphone.

    7. You should look into One Million Mom’s. They’re a conservative outfit that’s spent the last decade cancelling shows/ads. Their website brags about their successes.

      The “All-American Muslim” show is another example of cancel culture as well.

  3. BOOOOOOOTH SSSSIIIIDEES

    1. Because Lionel Hutz and Cthulhu are equal existential threats.

      1. Nice.

        Too bad the writers here have no shame.

  4. “the orthodoxy demanded by progressives and conservatives”

    Let’s see…the orthodoxy demanded by progressives is constantly evolving, complying with it isn’t an intellectual exercise but simply a matter of parroting what your “betters” said two nanoseconds ago, and even then you might not be quick enough to absorb the most recent change of line.

    As for the orthodoxy demanded by conservatives, did I miss a memo?

    1. Reason mirrors the Atlantic more and more every day

      1. It’s an aspirational employer for most of them.

        1. Fonzie is way too old, white, and out of touch to get an Atlantic gig now. He sucks Proggy scrotes simply because he has a taste for it

    2. The “support the troops!” silliness was de rigeur for quite a while.

      1. Who does that cancel? And what was silly about it? I dare say 99% of people thruout history have supported their troops while fighting a foreign foe

        1. No, noone got their position attacked for being seen as insufficiently ‘support the troops.’

          Do you want to die on this hill? Let me know if you’d like a sprint up it.

          1. You fvckin retard, ” having your position attacked” is run of the mill criticism, not Cancel Culture. You dont even understsnd the basics of this argument

          2. Cancel culture and criticism aren’t the same thing. But you’re incapable of good faith.

    3. Don’t criticize Trump is the conservative orthodoxy. You missed it because you’re soaking in it.

      1. “Trump is the conservative orthodoxy”

        Because the Bushes, Romney, McCain, Ryan, McConnell, French, Kristol, Will, Goldberg, Boot and the National Review NeverTrump crowd were all crazy unorthodox radicals.

        1. Boot? Yes he is a crazy neocon war monger who never say a young American who shouldn’t die for Israel…come on man…as Corn Pop would say. Kristol is nuts..another neocon troyskyite..

      2. Who was cancelled for criticizing Trump?

        1. Conservatives work to cancel any significant GOPer that did.

          1. But, also, Jemele Hill for one.

            1. Jemele Hill has a job at the very same magazine as the subject of this article, you moron.

              1. And Hawely and others have jobs, right?

                1. “others”

            2. Hill got canceled for criticizing the NFL, one of espns most expensive products retard.

              1. When I was in college they had a show, can’t remember the name of it, but it was a pro football melodrama. Cuba Gooding’s brother played a crackhead running back. Me and my friends loved that show (it was ridiculous) and it had good ratings, but espn canceled it after the first season because the NFL didn’t like its implications.
                Bill Simmons, before he became zombie Bill Simmons, was their most popular writer. Pretty much carried their “Page 2” website. He got canned for going at Goodell too hard on concussions.
                The NFL doesn’t run ESPN, but they can shut down anything they want on it.

      3. “Don’t criticize Trump is the conservative orthodoxy.” — What a load of horseh*t.

        There was tons of conservatives who criticized various things Trump did.

        Half the time you lefties are running around talking about Trump dividing the conservatives and the other half of the time you’re talking about ‘cult’ mentality.

        1. That kind of gaslighting — “all your friends all believe X, and X is evil” alternating with “why can’t you be like your decent friends who reject X?” — is a hallmark of abusers.

    4. I’m not sure if it’s that you missed the memos or intentionally ignored it.

      You should look into One Million Mom’s. They’re a conservative outfit that’s spent the last decade cancelling shows/ads.
      The “All-American Muslim” show is another example of cancel culture as well.

  5. This equivalence of Democrats and Republicans is simply dishonest. Almost all the suppression of free expression and punishment of thought crimes today is coming from the left and from Democrats. I wouldn’t trust Republicans, but the fact is today Democrats are the illiberal people.

  6. The Atlantic is owned by Jeff Bezos’ former wife and left wing activist MacKenzie Scott, and The Atlantic published a propaganda hit piece last summer demonizing Trump (and quoting never named anonymous sources) for purportedly claiming WWII soldiers were wimps.

    I suggest that Freidersdorf “push back” against The far left Atlantic before presenting himself as an objective nonpartisan.

    1. I suggest that Freidersdorf “push back” against The far left Atlantic before presenting himself as an objective nonpartisan.

      And risk getting cancelled? You’re nuts!

  7. When you compare what society used to be in the 1950’s to what we see today – women in the workforce, blacks in the workforce, gays in the workforce, militant whatevers in the workforce, the products of the Great Society in the workforce – it’s clear that this country has been on a long, steady slide into right-wing authoritarianism and left-liberalism is practically on its deathbed.

    1. “blacks in the workforce”

      Even Jefferson Davis wanted blacks in the workforce.

      Or are you alluding to the right-wing “free-labor ideology” by which workers can choose their own employers and vice versa?

      1. Eh, they cant be too picky, because as every good Proggy knows, they are just too dumb to get online or learn to do anyting too technical, (much less know where or how to get a photo ID)

  8. As usual they are straining to reach their “both sides do it” goal. Friedersdorf compares cancelling Kaepernick from his job to the woke efforts of getting people (unnamed in this segment) fired without noting Kaepernick engaged in politics not just at his work but intentionally to disapproving customers in a fashion specifically designed to be offensive. Nor was he fired, nor has he suffered any loss for being “cancelled”. So one event with more justification and less impact offsets many events with lesser justification and more impact.

    The truth is cancellation is overwhelmingly a left wing phenomenon not just because they engage in it more often but also because the left controls essentially all our major institutions and thus is in position to effect the desired outcome far more often.

    1. Kaepernick initially getting frozen out was bullshit, but not surprising (and I’ll leave out the question over whether he got benched because defense caught up with him, over his activism, or both. He still had a right to express his opinion). The problem is that his antics since then haven’t done anything to demonstrate that he deserves another shot, and he even got a global sportswear conglomerate so far under his thumb that he was able to get a 4th-of-July themed shoe design cancelled because it had an American flag stitched on it.

      For all the mewling in the jock-sniffing sports media about how oppressed he is, Kaepernick is clearly living in the lap of luxury and won’t have to worry about money for the rest of his life unless Nessa cleans out his bank account.

      1. He got benched for Blaine Gabbert because his completion percent dropped below 50%. He was a run first gimmick qb that forgot how to complete a pass.

        1. And then soon after got about 300 yards passing and 2 touchdowns leading the Niners over the Rams.

          His 2016 pass % was about 60%.

          You’re obviously more a right wing shill than NFL fan.

          1. Running QB’s never have a long NFL Career. Even Jackson is now “figured” out by defenses. There is a reason why Brady has 10 SB appearances and 7 wins…the QB has to play in the pocket and be able to read defenses and think quickly/make good decisions…Kap never really could do this. Get over it..he flamed out.

            1. I’m a Brady fan.

              Jackson has a long way to go, let’s see.

              Ever heard of Russel Wilson?

              I don’t like running QBs, but I’m not partisanly biased enough to deride my years of football enjoyment and deny that many running QB’s, including Kap, do quite well.

              1. Wilson is a pocket passer..albeit they have to “move” the pocket so he can see the downfield receiver but he doesn’t “run” first. And to be honest he has been just so so the last few years…I’d put him with Rivers level…or maybe Staffer (although he is more clutch). Not a top five QB. Running QB’s…Vick, RG3 and so on get hurt running and they usually decline rapidly. Even Steve Young really didn’t have that great of a career.

                1. Even Steve Young really didn’t have that great of a career.

                  What? Steve Young’s a Hall of Famer. Yeah, he was a late bloomer, but he was a franchise QB for the Niners through the 90s and set new standards in QB rating after he took over for Montana. Even at the end of his career, the Niners went from 2-1 to 4-12 after he went down with his last concussion.

                  Now, granted, he was a pocket passer that could run, sort of like Josh Wilson at Buffalo or John Elway, but I wouldn’t call him a running QB.

                  1. That was a spicy take. Young has a decent argument for having the greatest peak years of any NFL QB ever.

                    See, for example, the all-time single-season leaderboard for NFL Passer Rating Index. Most seasons in the top 300:

                    Peyton Manning + 8
                    Sammy Baugh+ 7
                    Steve Young+ 7
                    Aaron Rodgers 7
                    Joe Montana+ 7
                    Otto Graham+ 6
                    Drew Brees 6
                    Len Dawson+ 5
                    Johnny Unitas + 5
                    Bart Starr+ 5
                    Roger Staubach+ 5
                    Fran Tarkenton+ 5
                    Y.A. Tittle+ 5

                    1. Yeah, he was just incredible when he finally took over for Montana. I don’t think even the Niners expected him to go off like that, but he’s a big reason they traded body blows with the Cowboys during most of the 90s.

              2. Russ got a bit exposed this year too, though he is a good QB, and hasn’t been a “running QB” for years

          2. 60% is really bad…

            1. Not worse than many starters and back ups.

              But you knew that…or, yes, you didn’t because you aren’t a fan and/or you are a partisan who needs to make a point here.

              I can not like Kap and still realize he’s better than some starters and backups since. You can’t.

              1. He likely could have hung on and played the Fitzpatrick game of jumping from team to team as a third-tier starter. But if you’re trying to launch yourself as a social justice icon, it’s much better for your brand to be “blackballed NFL superstar Colin Kaepernick” instead of “the guy who ruined your fantasy season after your top QB got hurt Colin Kaepernick.”

                Nobody wants to hear from a washed-up has-been, after all, and he got out before the evidence of his declining skills was overwhelming.

                This was obvious to most of us at the time, but still his well-timed pivot worked out perfectly. Way to roll with the punches, kid.

                1. Partisan hindsight. The guy was good and dangerous, and, after his blackballing, better than many alternatives. But, many partisans don’t want to admit it, so there’s that.

                  1. It was said frequently at the time, including on these boards before they became a bastion of Trumpism.

                    Dude was 23rd in both QBR and ANY/A as well as 29th in DYAR in his last year despite playing in a system tailor-made for his skill set, and was a run-first QB that was about to turn 30. That’s not a good long-term situation (see also Newton, Cam).

              2. If Kap wanted a job, he would have had one long before now. He and his camp pointedly submarined any serious attempt he might have had at working elsewhere.

                -Denver would have taken him, but he didn’t want the pay cut–which is normal for benched starters in that league even if you threw for 60% one year (and 60% was about his average, which nowadays is, well, average at best).
                -Miami tried to sign him, and he showed up at a press conference with a t-shirt praising Fidel Castro.
                -Baltimore tried to sign him, and Nessa posted a picture from Django, calling the owner a slaver and Ray Lewis a house nigger.
                -He played reindeer games at his last pro workout, and even the NFL Sunday yak guys had to finally admit that he wasn’t serious about playing.

                It’s actually more useful for Kaepernick’s camp to run with this “Oh, no one will sign him even though he continues to work out!” grift, because he doesn’t actually have to put his body on the line anymore, and global megacorps and sports media jock sniffers will still run his “look how oppressed I am!” scam.

                If Kaepernick really loved football and wanted to play, he’d have found a way to do it. He’s basically just a left-wing version of Tebow–neither of them loved the game enough to do whatever it took to play it, wherever they could. I have more respect for Jared Lorenzen playing QB at 400 pounds in some podunk arena league, and Drunkass Druggie Johnny Manziel for applying to any league that will take him, than I do Kaepernick or Tebow.

                1. I don’t think that’s fair to God Boy. He took flier contracts with both the Pats and the Eagles after his high-profile failure with the Jets. After his release by the latter he immediately made the switch to baseball (AAA is undoubtedly a more comfortable experience than whatever Johnny Football’s up to; nice work if you can get it).

                  So yeah, maybe a similar kind of fame whore, but he at least had the common decency to fail before moving on to the next grift.

                  1. (AAA is undoubtedly a more comfortable experience than whatever Johnny Football’s up to; nice work if you can get it).

                    His income is most likely subsidized by other sources. Minor league players, even at the Triple A level, don’t get paid shit, although they at least get to fly for road trips.

                    There’s a couple of videos on YouTube by ex-players talking about their playing days and the relevant salaries, and man, these guys get absolutely fucked at the lower levels. They don’t get paid while they’re at spring training and a lot of other organized activities that they are required to attend, they’re usually bunking five or six to an apartment, and eating crap because the teams don’t provide game-day meals.

                    You really don’t get paid until you hit the majors, and if you get sent down, your salary actually drops to the correlated level. You don’t get the big-boy bux back until you make it back to the show.

                    1. His income is most likely subsidized by other sources. Minor league players, even at the Triple A level, don’t get paid shit, although they at least get to fly for road trips.

                      No doubt. In his case it’s really a way to kill time during the CFB offseason, since his real job is a sportscaster. “Nice work” is in comparison to ther NFL flameouts, most of whom aren’t fringe MLB prospects.

                      You really don’t get paid until you hit the majors,

                      Yup. I’ve often pointed out that the median salary for a pro baseball player is only like $50K when you really get down to it. For independent league guys the training and coaching costs end up outweighing any salary. I’m pretty sure most of them still live with their parents.

              3. No, 60% is terrible for an NFL QB. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

              4. 60% would’ve been good for…
                33rd in the league this year.
                https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2020/passing.htm#passing::pass_cmp_perc

      2. I’ll leave out the question over whether he got benched because defense caught up with him, over his activism, or both.

        Since he was benched before he started his activism this is not an open question, but is in fact part of the propaganda effort. In fact people who were there believe his kneeling was pique at being benched and he only later converted his justification to activism when others started mocking him for being such a poor sport.

        He still had a right to express his opinion

        Of course, and if he written an op-ed it would have had no impact on him whatever. But instead he did it to customers. Imagine if a pro-life bank teller lectured every customer on the evils of abortion before handling their bank business. The people loudest in defending him would kill the hypothetical teller.

      3. Pretty sure he was benched after a game against the Bears he finished with like 4 yards passing, and he played the entire game.
        He had a good arm and was a decent runner – not as fast as Lamar Jackson, nor quick as kyler Murray, nor strong as Cam Newton, but good. He couldn’t read a defense to save his life and his accuracy was trash.
        The 49ers were a dumpster fire his last year, but he didn’t help and was a shitty teammate.
        The whole kneeling thing started as a lie. After Gabbert was named starter in preseason, Kaepernick remained seated on the bench during the anthem. Because he was pouting. After a couple weeks, and rather suspiciously, media noted it and started hyping it up. So Kaep came up with the “protest” excuse to play the vicarious victim rather than admit he was not a victim, just a brat.
        Dude WAS good enough to be a backup in the league, but he made it so there were literally no positives to bringing him on, and a boatload of negatives and distraction.

    2. Kaepernick lost his starting job to a career backup who had already been a monumental bust as a starter.
      He nixed a trade to the Broncos because they needed him to renegotiate his contract to reduce his salary and he’d have to compete for the starting job.
      He then opted out of his contract, though it is presumed he would’ve been cut anyway.
      Baltimore and Miami both thought they might sign him. He sabotaged both – he called the Ravens franchise iconic player a house n***er, and he wore a pro Castro shirt to a press conference in Miami – because he wanted to play martyr instead of football.
      He then sued the NFL, who gave him $10m settlement because they didn’t want to deal with publicity of fighting him.
      And just 16 months ago the NFL set up an unprecedented personal tryout for him and him alone… and he skipped out on it at the last minute.
      He never tried to play in the CFL, AAFL, XFL or any other leagues.
      Kaepernick is a professional martyr and manipulative bigot who the media has shamelessly pimped.
      He wasn’t canceled – he was benched and then quit.

      1. And he never lost his expensive nike endorsement contract the entire time.

      2. The revisionism on Kaepernick is telling I think because it’s such a glaring and obvious counter to those who want to run with the narrative of the ‘only the left is canceling!’

        As a Green Bay fan I truly disliked Kaepernick, but his talent was undeniable. You can put his numbers up against a bunch of worse farers who have gotten starts since he was blacklisted.

        And the argument of, well he turned out alright! Well, so did Hawley and others. Not a good one.

        1. He did have talent, but his skills were waning. Not everyone is a Tom Brady and can okay until their 40’s. He likely realized he could do a lot better playing the victim card.

          He was clearly correct.

          1. This is the tell of someone who has let their bias move them more than their love of the game.

            I hated that guy for a long time, but, look at his performance and don’t swallow the obvious bullshit like those that posted first here offered. Look at my responses.

            The guy was obviously better than others that have backed up or started since.

            1. This is the tell of someone who has let their bias move them more than their love of the game.

              No, the tell is whining about someone who actually had multiple chances to play again and actively destroyed those chances.

        2. Revisionism?
          Lol
          Everything I wrote above is true, dumbass

          1. It’s amazingly selective.

            1. Yes, of events as they happened in sequential order.
              You really don’t have the knowledge or wit for this game.

                1. Performance doesn’t matter when your girlfriend calls an ex-player a house nigger.

                2. He had a losing record after the superbowl. His 6.5 YPA was terrible.

                3. Lol

                  “Statisticslly better than half the NFL’s backups” isn’t a good sell to give a guy more money than a 1st round pick would make and deal with the media circus, plus pissed off fans and teammates, that would come with him.

        3. He was blacklisted, bitch.
          Distraction is the #1 enemy of NFL head coaches.
          Kaepernick wasn’t good enough to put up with his bullshit.
          No team wants their second string QB surrounded by reporters in the locker room after every game. No team wants their players and coaches answering questions about their second string QB every week.
          There’s a perfect counterpoint to Kaepernick, one who also kneeled: Tim Tebow.
          However, unlike Kaepernick, he was a model citizen and beloved teammate.
          Like Kaepernick, his presence also created distraction (though, opposite from Kaepernick, it was through no fault of his own).
          They’re pretty much the same player, though Tebow is a far better person and teammate. But Tebow is also out of the league.
          I suppose you’ll talk about him being blackballed now too…
          LOL

          1. “He was blacklisted, bitch.”

            Uh, called ‘Cancelled Culture’ in other areas. Thanks!

            1. At least Tony is only as dumb as a box of long hair. You’re on par with a crate of clippings from the barber shop at the PX.

          2. *wasn’t blacklisted

        4. His losing last 2 seasons say different. He lost put to Gabbert retard.

        5. Talent and work ethic aren’t the same thing. JaMarcus Russell has worlds of talent and a jack shit work ethic. Didn’t work out well for him, either.

  9. The Bangles cover of Dover Beach was better than the original.

  10. Friedersdorf must be happy today. He won’t have to write filler column based on taking a Rush Limbaugh joke seriously anymore.

  11. Friedersdorf is also wrong when he says people on the right will miss the NYT if it were to disappear because we need counterweights to government. The justification is true, but the NYT is not and never has been a counterweight to left wing government. Since it works in concert to both make government more left wing and defends it when it errs it has the exact opposite impact. The NYT literally protected Stalinism.

    More recently consider how university activists created propaganda research supposedly showing more than 1 in 4 women on campus were sexually assaulted in 4 years on campus (which exceeds the highest rates ever recorded including countries experiencing civil war where rape was used as a weapon). Rather than opposing this nonsense the NYT performed its role in the activist to legislation pipeline by using its prestige to whitewash the lies. Then legislators like Kirstin Gillibrand were able to cite this propaganda to justify legislation which was fortunately set aside after propagandist Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s UVA Rape Hoax discredited the movement. But it will return just as Antioch college’s sexual consent policy was laughed out of court and two decades later it’s CA state law that all universities use it.

    We do need institutions to oppose government, but the NYT does not perform this function.

    1. I miss the NYTs right now

      Even the shadow of its former greatness expired over a decade ago.

        1. Makes Better Marksmen

          Many of the wholesale killings in the South may be cited as indicating that accuracy in shooting is not interfered with–is, indeed, probably improved-by cocaine. For a large proportion of such shootings have been the result of drug taking. But I believe the record of the “cocaine nigger” near Asheville who dropped five men dead in their tracks using only one cartridge for each, offers evidence that is sufficiently convincing. I doubt if this shooting record has been equaled in recent years: certainly not by a man under the influence of any other form of intoxicant. For the bad marksmanship of the drunken man is proverbial; while the deadly accuracy of the cocaine user has become axiomatic in Southern police circles.

          1. I don’t understand…doesn’t this meet the NYT’s general standards for accuracy?

            Everyone knows cocaine improves your marksmanship, you science-denier.

    2. Never forget the NYT has a long history of being bigots (cheering on the lynching of Italian Americans), apologizing for mass murder (They old friend Troysky in the Ukraine) and always cheering on American boys dying for “global” and middleeastern nations’ benefits. Let’s just be honest..the NYT is modern propaganda Lenin would be proud of. It is not an American paper…never has been.

  12. Lol

    Last fall, in one of the bigger victories for the movement to defund the Seattle Police Department, the Seattle City Council awarded a $3 million contract to a community coalition to research new ways to assure public safety.

    That coalition, King County Equity Now (KCEN), was a leading organizing force behind last summer’s protests against systemic racism and police brutality and one of the most prominent voices behind the push to defund the police.

    But the city-funded research project has now been tossed into turmoil, with the lead researchers saying they’re “parting ways” with King County Equity Now, amid accusations against KCEN leadership of “abusive communications,” delayed paychecks and “dismissing the lived experiences of some Black community members.”

    1. Glaze, who uses the pronouns they and them, said they had been working without a contract, but anticipates they will be “compensated for this work out of the city contract” or another funding source.

    2. If they get a report on a robbery in progress, they should rush over and hector the robbers for not being inclusive of women and gender non-conforming etc.

      The robbers might sue for police brutality.

  13. Rush Limbaugh died.

    1. Maybe he’s looking up at us now.

      1. He could end up in the ninth circle and I’m afraid he would still end up looking down on you, White Knight.
        Time to mend your ways.

        1. Just quoting your Cult Leader bro. Why u mad?

          1. Barak?

    2. Jesse Walker should write Reason’s obituary

    3. RIP, if they’re hating on him instead of “finding strange new respect” he must have still been an adversary to them.

    4. Rush Limbaugh died

      Someone else here called Rush the “white Al Sharpton”. Nevertheless one less race baiter to deal with is among the living.

      1. …except GOP presidential candidates didn’t seem to need to all go to Rush and blow him.

        Rush also basically created his market. Sharpton is now working for a hack cable network.

  14. WTF is going on with our new Secretary of Defense (Lloyd J. Austin III, who couldn’t have a whiter name) and his standdown order to give the DOD some time to rifle through the social media posts of servicemen? Sorry, I meant servicepersons.

    This should be a front-and-center news story. President Biden is on the warpath for White Nationalists. What measuring stick are they going to use to root these evil-doers from the military? Securing weapons in a plot to overthrow the government or calling or calling out “Wet Ass Pussy” rapper, Cardi B, for being a slut? How about wondering whether the proximate cause of George Floyd’s death was asphyxiation or a drug OD?

    This could be the grandest public-sector cancellation project ever.

    1. White? Putting a suffix after your last name is all the rage in the black community nowadays. Have you not watched any football in the last three years?

      Pushing ordinary conservative service members for having ordinary conservative views would obviously end up going to end up very badly, and as such they probably won’t do much to the rank and file. But any up-and-coming officers should probably start making plans for life as a civilian, because they may find a new glass ceiling in place for the next few years.

      1. Why even go in …sort of like natives of European Colonies fighting for the country ruling over you. Like Indians fighting for the British Empire. You are cannon folder and the rulers enjoy you signing up and then fighting their “globalist” wars while attacking your ethnicity…

      2. No, I don’t think you are correct on this. Military officers are already taken from the pool of college graduates who have already been sorted out through the admission process or post-admission discipline, for their politically incorrect sensibilities.

        It’s the soldiers that the DOD is going after.

  15. I think the author needs to do a little research on the who is leading the charge here..yes NYT, Ivy, Wapo, “non profits”, the democratic party, big tech, and bankers..what is the commonality of these groups with the attack on freedom and liberty? This might be uncomfortable but it tribal very tribal…a deep seated hatred of liberty…and a deep desire for authoritarianism based on “Old world” issues.

    1. Hmmm…I have no idea what he’s getting at here. ((()))

      I *am* getting something of a retardation vibe.

      1. A irrational love of centralization and domestic imperialism (the definition of being a prog). It’s a historical thing..contempt for “others” based on your tribe. Minority desire to be a majority through force…

  16. As the former head of the ACLU, Ira Glasser, told Reason recently, many activists, academics, and journalists believe that “free speech is an antagonist” to social justice.

    You could’ve stopped at “activists.” I think at this point most of us understand that “activists” includes “academics and journalists.”

  17. The violation of 1a is simply a means to an end.

    People have generally discovered that emotion persuades better than facts which actually undermine narcissistic agendas.

    This is a precarious position as emotion is generally irrational and is easily overcome by reason. So fact based reasoning must be discouraged.

    First it was through political correctness that steered us away from inconvenient facts. Now we have the cancel culture which deplatforms , censors, erases and persecutes those who merely utter unwanted truth.

    Our inalienable right to free speech is supposed to prevent this oppression. Why isn’t it?

    1. Because, so far, the government has not been involved in this “oppression.” But now that Democrats control both Congress and the presidency, that may change.
      Q: Won’t the courts step in?
      A: Maybe. In which case Democrats will “pack” the courts.

  18. The camel’s nose that got the camel into the tent was Holocaust revisionism. Any regime that permitted/protected honest, free discussion of the Holocaust would probably be just fine with everything else (too).
    But, no …
    And why not?
    Or even, WHO not?

    1. I don’t know where you’re writing from, but the U.S. regime has never interfered with “free discussion of the Holocaust.” (Which is as it should be. Lies should be countered by truth, not by censorship.)

  19. Since the Atlantic’s “diversity” was discussed, I wish Nick had brought up the specific example of Kevin D. Williamson’s on-again, off-again employment there.

    1. I would absolutely agree. The non-mention of Kevin Williamson’s name was kind of the elephant in the room by its absence. Especially since Friedersdorf came right out and said that he would like to have Williamson’s buddy Charles Cooke writing for The Atlantic.

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