Down is up and up is down and everything is crazy now. Which might explain why Matt Taibbi, long-time Rolling Stone contributing editor, is now publicly criticizing the American left and in particular, the media.

Taibbi etched for himself a permanent spot in the annals of right-media scorn when he was brutally critical of Andrew Breitbart shortly after his untimely passing.

Writing not at Rolling Stone, but at Substack, Taibbi called the left a, “cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.”

But police violence, and Trump’s daily assaults on the presidential competence standard, are only part of the disaster. On the other side of the political aisle, among self-described liberals, we’re watching an intellectual revolution. It feels liberating to say after years of tiptoeing around the fact, but the American left has lost its mind. It’s become a cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.

The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation. They are counting on the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating nature of traditional American progressives, who will not stand up for themselves, and will walk to the Razor voluntarily.

They’ve conned organization after organization into empowering panels to search out thoughtcrime, and it’s established now that anything can be an offense, from a UCLA professor placed under investigation for reading Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” out loud to a data scientist fired* from a research firm for — get this — retweeting an academic study suggesting nonviolent protests may be more politically effective than violent ones!

Now, this madness is coming for journalism. Beginning on Friday, June 5th, a series of controversies rocked the media. By my count, at least eight news organizations dealt with internal uprisings (it was likely more). Most involved groups of reporters and staffers demanding the firing or reprimand of colleagues who’d made politically “problematic” editorial or social media decisions.

The New York Times, the InterceptVox, the Philadelphia Inquirier, Variety,and others saw challenges to management.

Probably the most disturbing story involved Intercept writer Lee Fang, one of a fast-shrinking number of young reporters actually skilled in investigative journalism. Fang’s work in the area of campaign finance especially has led to concrete impact, including a record fine to a conservative Super PAC: few young reporters have done more to combat corruption.

Taibbi gives several examples of careers ruined by a movement now eating itself. It was only a matter of time before some of the true believers engaged in enough introspection to see how harmful leftism is not just on media or culture, but for the individuals sacrificed to a movement completely out of control.

 

 
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