Friday, August 03, 2018


After it was announced that tech writer Sarah Jeong was joining the editorial board of The New York Times, right-wingers began circulating critical, snarky tweets she'd written about white people.

The Times defended Jeong, saying that she'd been under attack and was responding in kind, something she won't do in the future. Jeong provided examples:

The right was outraged -- but many conservatives don't want her fired. David French:
The Times is standing by its hire. Good. It’s time to end termination-by-Twitter and debate bad ideas head-on. (As for whether the Times and other elite outlets will display the same fortitude when a conservative is the target of online outrage, I’ll believe it when I see it.)
Ben Shapiro:
Should she have been fired? Nope. We’re living in an age of social media mobbing, and it’s got to stop if we’re ever going to have any semblance of a social fabric left – or if we’re ever going to engage in conversation like normal people without fear of firing every minute.... The New York Times knew what it was getting when it hired Jeong, and firing her would only encourage the kind of behavior we saw with regard to Kevin Williamson and James Gunn, among others.
Kevin Williamson:
If ... the Times is more or less satisfied with Jeong, then it should resist the social-media mob campaign to have her dismissed. It is up to institutions to hold the line against mass hysteria and the mob mentality of social media.... the New York Times [has] the resources and the standing to stand up to this kind of social-media scalp collecting: All [it needs] is the guts. I hope the Times has enough.
This comes off as high-minded. But there are other, less well-positioned right-wingers who also want Jeong to stay on, claiming a different reason:

Some of Cassano's examples:

I don't think the beliefs of French, Shapiro, Williamson, et al., are as different from these as they want you to believe. These folks also want to expand the playing field of acceptable discourse -- because expansion lets in many of the ugly things that the "respectable" right wants to say. If we were to open up the discourse enough, Ben Shapiro could go fully mainstream even after expressing opinions like this:

What the 4chan racists want is not exactly what French, Shapiro, Williamson, and like-minded others want. But there are more similarities than the latter want you to believe.

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