How journalists – yes, journalists – want to shut down reporting on child transition.
Five years ago when I wrote “We All Live On Campus Now,” I noted how illiberal practices that originated in elite colleges — bullying, ostracism, public condemnation, speech shutdowns, purges of dissenters — were becoming common in every sphere of life, super-charged by social media. From 2020 on, that dynamic has intensified, especially in journalism, with the media purges of 2020 lifted straight from the campus woke playbook.
And this week, we saw another campus maneuver: an open letter from a thousand or so New York Times contributors, accusing the NYT of “follow[ing] the lead of far-right hate groups” in its coverage of transgender issues. Other campus tactics: a loud demo outside; alliance between insiders and outsider activists; public shaming of named journalists; accusations that the NYT is a “workplace made hostile by bias” (the now-familiar HR gambit); and non-negotiable demands for even more hiring solely on the basis of identity and ideology.
It’s an echo of Evergreen and Yale and Middlebury and Reed. The ploys are repeated because they work and there’s no downside. And almost all the university presidents caved. They held meetings and meetings; they apologized; they appeased; they conceded core liberal principles of free speech and dissent; they terminated dissident faculty; they equivocated and collaborated in the pursuit of “diversity” and then “equity.” In a word, they were pathetic.
And in the summer of 2020, when campus tactics invaded newsrooms, and writers and editors were purged for committing journalism that violated the orthodoxies of social justice, we saw a similar collapse of nerve.
Categories: Media, Sexuality and the State
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