I’m actually not so sure our views on the media are as different as you might think. Your concern over them selling “partisan coverage as objective reporting” is kind of making the same point I was making with my vaccination example. The media should drop the pretense that they are unbiased and just report the facts, and if the facts paint one side in a negative light, then so be it.
Like you, I don’t have a problem with Shapiro embracing the conservative label. I don’t mind bias. When I complain to people about FOX News, by far the most common rebuttal I get is the assertion that CNN and MSNBC are equally as biased, and they’re trying to sell themselves like they aren’t.
But my problem with FOX isn’t that they are biased. It’s that they lie. I expect to encounter spin when I tune in to CNN and MSNBC. FOX does more than spin. They fabricate. You yourself have acknowledged the level of delusion you’ll find there.
Which is why I have to disagree with your likening Lemon and Maddow to Hannity. Yes, Lemon and Maddow apply spin to their reporting. They present it as objective and unbiased when it isn’t, and I wish they wouldn’t. But Hannity is a straight-up liar. Lemon and Maddow trade in truth viewed through a partisan lens. Hannity trades in fiction.
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Regarding character attacks, getting offended, and apologies.
There is a disturbing trend among a subset of progressives who will attempt to destroy a person’s entire career just because that person said something that was found offensive. If I may indulge in a No-True-Scotsman fallacy, I question whether these people should even be called liberals at all. Because that behavior is fascist and authoritarian, and liberals are supposed to be the antithesis of authoritarianism. For me, freedom of speech is still the highest ideal of liberalism. No one has the right not to be offended.
So yes, I agree with your assessment of the Lindsay Shepherd case. It’s appalling. (If you’re interested in my opinions on Peterson himself, I recently elaborated on them here.)
Censorship should never be the response to speech you disagree with. Such speech should always be countered with an argument of your own.
There are countless other examples. One you may or may not be familiar with is what’s going on in the YA book community. Harassment campaigns against authors whose books were deemed offensive have led to at least two YA writers canceling upcoming books. In many of these cases, the offending content is entirely innocuous — one writer was accused of racism simply because her book had depictions of slavery. There seems to be no rational explanation for the outrage other than (1) professional rivalries, (2) petty people getting off on a power trip, or (3) people reveling in victimhood.
But I want to stress that this behavior is only coming from a subset of progressives. Usually younger generations. And as alarming as the trend is, I would not judge all progressives by it any more than I would judge all conservatives for the fact that there are literal Nazis marching at Donald Trump rallies.
It’s also worth pointing out that conservatives also engage in this behavior from time to time. It was conservatives who orchestrated the campaign which got James Gunn fired from Disney.
I again agree about Sam Harris. I admire his refusal to apologize. People who have inadvertently invoked the ire of the outrage machine too often will capitulate and issue an apology, and it’s almost solely done out of fear, as a stop-gap measure to protect their careers from being derailed. But I don’t think it’s necessary. That’s the thing about the outrage machine — give it a week or two and they will have moved on to another target. The best thing you can do if caught in that situation is to weather the storm.
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Regarding unconditional support of women. I should clarify my position.
Any woman who is struggling with sexism or discrimination of any kind, whether it’s harassment in the workplace or inequality of treatment or pay, or having their opinions belittled or being “mansplained” to — these women do deserve our full support in dealing with that unfair treatment, regardless of their political affiliation or ideas or opinions on any subject.
But I don’t see how that means their ideas and opinions themselves should go unchallenged.
As you say, we should treat women as humans first, and not reduce them to their chromosomes. Not challenging a woman on her political opinions solely because she’s a woman — that is reducing her to her chromosomes.
Let’s rope your point about Nancy Pelosi back into this.
If it is absurd to label any criticism of Nancy Pelosi’s ideas as sexist, then isn’t it also absurd to label any criticism of Nancy Pelosi’s ideas as unfeminist?
Now, that doesn’t mean that all women should have to vote for the women’s rights candidate, nor should every gay person have to vote for the gay rights candidate. I’m not saying they should be single-issue voters. But at the same time, I do think it’s okay to challenge them on their stance, and hear out their justifications.