What the hell happened to the Columbia Journalism Review?
The CJR used to be a respected publication. They famously audited the Rolling Stone / UVA hoax just a few years ago. Now they are issuing defamation in gif form.
In just a few short years, CJR has gone from a responsible outlet that investigated matters of journalistic ethics and integrity, to an army of woke zombies who point and shriek “Nazi” every time they encounter heterodox thought.
The editor of the once serious publication actually tweeted this:
While some of the people that CJR labels as “killers and Nazis” are legitimately bad actors, one name stands out as particularly defamatory: Quillette founder and editor Claire Lehmann.
Lehmann and Canadian Quillette editor Jon Kay responded promptly to the gross mischaracterization:
There is a willing glee among certain outlets to engage in the vilification of publications that they believe are on the wrong side of the political spectrum. This gif of CJR cartoons is something of an experiment in confirmation bias. Those “Nazis and killers” include:
- Yevgeniy Prighozhen, a Russian businessman and Putin acolyte who was indicted by a US federal grand jury for interference in the 2016 American elections.
- MBS, or Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, crown prince of Saudi Arabia, who is warmongering in Yemen, uses famine as a weapon, imprisons political dissidents, and is suspected of participating in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
- QAnon, anonymous online conspiracy theorists who believe and perpetrate the theory that there are people in the “deep state” operating in the US responsible for untold horrors.
- Rupert Murdoch, a wealthy, Australian, media mogul who owns Fox News, The Times of London and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.
- President Donald Trump, a controversial figure on the national and world stage.
- The Koch Brothers, Charles and the late David Koch, insanely wealthy industrialists, political influencers, and philanthropists whose companies have been penalized numerous times for pollution, and who built a libertarian-conservative cabal of political donors.
- And the aforementioned Claire Lehmann, founder of an online journal for heterodox ideas and marginalized voices.
What Lehmann has in common with Murdoch is that they are both in media, and they are both Australian. What she has in common with any of the others on this list is unclear.
Lehmann’s influence is due entirely to Quillette’s readers and contributors, who have only one thing in common—that they read or write for Quillette. They are not bound by political or cultural ideology, money, or pressured to read or contribute. The ideas in any given article for Quillette may differ widely from one that ran the previous day, or will run the next. Quillette runs ideas, interesting ones that aren’t found in other publications. These days, that is apparently enough to be tagged Nazi.
This hyperbolic name-calling is a problem that’s being noticed by reasonable minded outlets on either side of the great left/right divide. Mason Pelt writes in Splice Today “…we are over-correcting, invoking Hitler comparisons too early and too often as a sort of ‘we don’t negotiate with terrorists’ strategy to avoid examining uncomfortable arguments. Collectively we’ve become the boy who cried wolf, with a combination of ‘this is self evident,’ ‘reasonable minds cannot dispute,’ and by comparing everyone to evil dictators who must be ignored.”
The CJR is not the only publication that engages in over-the-top call outs, but they are (or were) one of the most prestigious. It’s been a disturbing trend to see storied outlets submit to the name-calling and virtue signalling of using seriously insulting and false terms to decry their opposition.
As The Federalist executive editor, Joy Pullman, recently put it, “taking fire means you’re over the target.”
The Post Millennial reached out the Lehmann who told us “Among a certain echo-chamber of U.S. journalists, a caricature of Quillette has emerged that bears little resemblance to reality. I doubt very much that the cartoonist or editor at CJR responsible for the smear has read much of our work. If they did they would know that we are political moderates and have standards for evidence and reasoning that surpass most media outlets. Nevertheless, journalists who are part of the New York woke clique do not seem to do much research, instead relying on lazy tropes picked up from their hysterical Twitter feeds.”
Perhaps the cartoonist only read some of the numerous, error-ridden hit pieces about Quillette. The cartoonist and his outlet have every right to publish what they see fit, but it is defamation to call Claire Lehmann a Nazi or a killer. She is simply not either of those things. It’s absurd to say that she is. CJR’s latest attack on Lehmann and Quillette only solidifies their current status as another hack rag that fell from grace in the woke era.
Not a week goes by when Jessica Yaniv isn’t in the news for committing a crime or doing something so morally abhorrent it might as well be criminal to do so.
Yaniv’s deplorability is depthless. Yet despite the wall-to-wall coverage of Yaniv’s activities both online and in the real world, the self-described “trans rights activist” has managed to elude any serious repercussions from the law.
Writing for Human Events, I previously described Yaniv’s attempts to manipulate the law as state-enforced sexual assault. I stand by it. Yaniv, who is male-to-female transgender, attempted to subvert law enforcement to do her bidding by taking them to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and essentially trying them for anti-trans bigotry when they refused to provide their genitalia-waxing services, male-bodied transgender persons.
Despite eventually losing the case, the legal ramifications to Yaniv were minimal and Yaniv has only gotten worse since then—and the lack of any severe repercussions has only emboldened her misbehaviour.
Not only has Yaniv tried to subvert the law to force women to wax her male genitalia—she’s now using the law to try and silence her detractors. She made false allegations of sexual assault on The Post Millennial’s Amy Eileen Hamm, who has brought a civil suit against Yaniv.
She also assaulted Canadian journalist Keean Bexte. One might hope that the time she spends roaming about in a motorized scooter will soon come to an end as she was finally arrested over the assault. The footage of the attack was caught on camera, which should be an open and shut case for any prosecutor in the B.C. courts.
That isn’t the only felony charge Yaniv faces, either—having previously been charged for possessing illegal weapons, which she proudly flaunted (and arguably used to threaten) YouTuber Blaire White during a live-streamed interview late last year.
Yaniv has proven herself dangerous to young people. The Post Millennial has profiled in detail allegations by a young woman who alleges that years prior to attaining notoriety over the “wax my balls” scandal, Yaniv—then going by the name Jonathan—had attempted to sexually exploit her when she was underage.
Observers, including myself, remain skeptical that Yaniv will see any actual jail time. Her actions would have landed anyone else behind bars long before now.
Why is it that Yaniv can escape the long arm of the law? A public menace, Yaniv enjoys unspoken protections from the law—not merely as someone who identifies as transgender but as a transgender activist, who makes every action taken against her an action that weighs against the trans rights movement as a whole.
Indeed, the LGBT-friendly media—at least in the form of the internationally read PinkNews came to the apparent defence of the accused child sex predator and public menace. As Celine Ryan detailed for The Post Millennial, the progressive publication chose instead to smear Blaire White, who has been outspoken in her criticism of Yaniv.
Unlike Yaniv, White is openly conservative and doesn’t regard herself as any sort of “trans activist.” In other words, White isn’t the right kind of trans. Yaniv, a colossal fruitcake and aggressively woke social justice activist is everything publications like PinkNews look to champion.
Labels, to some, matter more than substance—and therein lies the problem with those in law enforcement who care more about optics than they do about meting out justice. Just as no plan survives contact with the enemy, no politician, judge, or police officer who acts against Jessica Yaniv is going to emerge unscathed due to the protection she is afforded by the privilege of the labels she wears.
There’s nothing just about social justice.
The New York Times endorsement of both Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for president has been lauded and critiqued, but no take is quite as inane and Lauren Duca’s. Writing for The Independent, Duca takes an essential tack linking womanhood with virtuosity, love, nurturing, and maternal values. These are what Duca believes we need in the highest office, and apparently qualities which are the purview of women at large.
Duca believes that women will bring “unconditional love” to the conference table. She thinks women have less greed and avarice, and that while “the divine feminine is beyond that binary, best understood as the force of nurturing,” gender is a social construct.
It’s surprising that both of these views can exist concurrently within one cohesive ethos. Gender isn’t real, apparently, because it’s made up by society to sell us prescribed notions for what men and women are, but femininity brings with it a form of divinity that is localized within women and those who believe they are women, even though womanhood isn’t really anything specific. Are we all clear? No?
Duca opines: “America, as it stands, is not even pretending to be a free country. We are living in an oligarchy structured by the hierarchy of the white, supremacist patriarchy, and this is where toxic masculinity has led us.”
How can a person of such privilege, who gets to write for fancy platforms, teach adjunct classes, and traipse around the world on tour for a book that doesn’t even sell any copies, claim that America is not a free country? How can a person who has benefited so greatly precisely because of her status as an identitarian grievance monger make the assertion that we live in a white supramacist oligarchy? Isn’t this all getting a little old?
Under the guise of elevating women, Duca puts them right back in their place. Probably she thinks she’s lifting women up by saying that they can achieve world peace and stop World War 3 before it’s begun in a way that men, with their penchant toward toxicity, haven’t been able to do. If men aren’t better suited to office on the basis of their sex, then neither are women. Sex isn’t a characteristic upon which votes should be based.
If a woman were elected on the basis of her sex, and she didn’t magically fix all the social ills with one SCOTUS nom and a few passes of her magical bill signing pen under the light of the full moon in the Rose Garden, how could the US ever justify electing another? Women are fallible, not magical. Y’know, just like other people.
Women are people, with aspirations, faults, wishes, wills, and a drive to succeed. To count them as anything other does their humanity a disservice. Duca writes: “I think it makes a difference if the person at the helm of this transformation is a woman, because of the lessons learned by anyone who has a female perspective on our crisis of toxic masculinity.”
But that doesn’t actually mean anything.
Duca, of course, has been a longtime culture warrior on the woke side—a true believer who has offered up hot take after hot take espousing the most incoherent of woke talking points like “Sean Spicer’s Emmys Cameo Wasn’t a Joke—It’s Dangerous,” or “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America.”
Duca then had her own turn in the barrel, when her entire NYU class revolted because she was not woke enough. Apparently she hasn’t learned the lessons that you can never be woke enough, and that the woke will devour themselves in the end.
The word “woke” has been bandied around in progressive circles since the early 2010s. Ironically, “woke” has become a pejorative term used to denigrate those who signal their virtue without doing much to advance any progressive cause. Woke individuals are, as the rule (that I just invented) goes, more concerned with making themselves look good and using their platform (or building a platform) to abuse others under the guise of combating social injustice.
None of this has, of course, gone unnoticed by the woke progressives who use the term without any sense of irony whatsoever. In an op-ed for the Guardian, writer Steve Rose opines that the word “woke” has been “weaponized by the right.” But whose fault is that, exactly? It’s certainly not the fault of those tired of being moralized and lectured to that they might repurpose the term to mock those who engage in cancel campaigns against any celebrity or public figure guilty of perceived unwokeness.
Citing the Merriam-Webster, Rose says that the term “woke” refers to anyone “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” And much like the term “political correctness,” the term has come to mean the opposite of what it means—or so he claims.
But is that truly the case? Those who elevate themselves through wokeness have little interest in combating social injustices and simply use it as a shield for their own bigotry, and to shut down dissenting opinions. Their wokeness, if it exists at all, is performative.
This isn’t to say that one can simply go about spouting racist, anti-Semitic, or otherwise bigoted remarks without pushback from any decent and reasonable person. Decent and reasonable people don’t care about being “woke.” “Woke” individuals, as it were, cultivate their entire personalities around the fight for social justice without much to show for it besides preening at everyone else on Twitter.
Wokeness has become a social status symbol more than anything else, and the “Right,” or the “unwoke,” or whatever you want to call us continue to be reasonable people while rubbing our lack of wokeness in the face of those who rally around the hollow symbol.
Case in point: Guardian writer, Steve Rose, attacks actor Laurence Fox for—you guessed it, unwokeness. He writes:
“Laurence Fox nailed his colours to the latter mast this weekend, doubling down on his defence of the privileged white male on last week’s Question Time to a Sunday Times article under the banner ‘Why I won’t date ‘woke’ women’. Toby Young piled in, applauding how Fox was ‘terrorising the Wokerati’, while the Sun last weekend branded Harry and Meghan ‘the oppressive King and Queen of Woke’.”
Rose argues that rather than simply rejecting the concept of wokeness, detractors of the term, like Fox, only criticize wokeness as “way of claiming victim status for yourself rather than acknowledging that more deserving others hold that status. It has gone from a virtue signal to dog whistle.”
On the contrary, any individual who makes claims to wokeness isn’t so much of a victim as they are a participant in the race for social status. Being unwoke doesn’t give you an entry pass into a separate league of oppression.
Laurence Fox has been outspoken in his lack of wokeness, simply speaking his mind and saying it like it is with no regard for how supposedly offensive it is to not be mindful to those who hold wokeness up as a virtue in and of itself. He isn’t claiming to be a victim—like any decent and reasonable person, he’s rejecting victimhood entirely. And it’s working.
We live in a politically correct, “woke” time and it doesn’t seem like anyone will let us forget it—not even for a split second, not even for just enough time for us to enjoy our morning cup of coffee.
Douwe Egberts Belgium is a coffee company who just joined the Team Woke.
More and more, companies don’t try to sell us their brand, quality or even their product, but instead they sell us on their “wokeness.”
A recent ad for the coffee shows two young teenagers, one clearly a girl and the other in a hoodie so you can’t discern their gender, kissing on the couch who then get interrupted by the girl’s dad. They run upstairs but the daughter stops to give her father a dirty look.
An obvious, “I hate you. You’ve ruined my life,” teenage-girl look.
Then the dad makes coffee and the two teenagers come down to share a cup. The hooded teen is revealed to be a girl. They all sit around smiling and laughing—with tones of acceptance and growth, which is exactly what you want from your coffee.
The ad ends with the father putting his daughter’s glasses back on her face and smiling. The glasses that the girlfriend took off her earlier while making out on the couch.
Yes, a very wholesome moment, and don’t get me wrong, I’m glad this hypothetical dad accepts his hypothetical daughter. That’s the way it should be.
Belgium was even ranked the second-best country in Europe to live for LGBT people, according to Rainbow Europe poll. Belgians already seem to be plenty accepting.
This ad has already been seen over 12 million times on Twitter and has some users in tears.
The 2019 Brussels Pride Parade had around 100,000 marchers. It’s clear Belgians—and most sane people—aren’t homophobic today, so why are these types of commercials pretending we are?
The ad also reminds me of a recent Sprite ad that you needed to watch twice before noticing the Spite logo. The ad showed LGBT members getting ready for the Pride Parade and their family members smiling and accepting them.
Because again, that’s what you need from your drink choice.
Movies, television and branding have become a competition of who is more woke rather than convincing us to consume their products. Everything out there has to have a political message or statement.
The quality of the product doesn’t matter anymore as long as you’re scoring points with the woke crowd.
Pandering to a rather small portion of the population may not seem like the most business-savvy but they may also overlap with another crowd. The cancel culture crowd.
So even though, Dali Research finds that only about 6 percent of people identify as LGBT in all of Europe, companies choose to target a rather small demographic.
Why go after such a small group? Possibly the fear of the backlash of the outrage culture.
It’s possible companies and business think their public relations will go more smoothly if they go with the trends—even if that means ignoring the larger population.
They’re taking the easy way through—pandering and bending the knee for a small but very loud and demanding group. Woke people are hard to please. You can never be woke enough.
For regular people who don’t discriminate based on sexual orientation, it gets tiring for them to be constantly lectured about something they already agree with.
You see, us unwoke people, who want our ads to be about the products and our commercials to be selling us something without a moral lesson or a guilt trip attached—we see right through the cynical pandering.