For those of you who missed it, the left-wing media flared up like a bad rash Wednesday. The cause? An Atlantic report outing an ex-Daily Caller staffer as a previous contributor to a site (Radix Journal) owned by Richard Spencer, purported leader of the so-called “alt-right.” I say “purported,” because there is no official leader of an ideology. And I say “so-called,” because “alt-right” is a bit of an ambiguous distinction. I’ll leave it up to you to determine the veracity and meaning of the terms.
Regardless, the Left lost its mind.
In the uproar, they did what they do best: conflate. Take, for example, The Washington Post’s write-up of the Daily Caller ordeal.
Media critic Erik Wemple describes, “The postings (on Radix) brim with hatred, as [The Atlantic writer Rosie Gray] excavates in her story.”
The following is slice of Gray’s article:
The pseudonymous Michael McGregor posts frequently expressed racist antiblack views. In a post on protests in Baltimore after Freddie Gray died of a spinal-cord injury while in police custody in 2015, [the former Daily Caller employee] wrote: “Cops are now the preferred scapegoats for the sole reason that they are the symbols of a justice system Blacks hate, a justice system Blacks want undermined for their benefit. However, this justice system has to be harsh on Blacks in order to preserve stability and a measure of safety in a multiracial state. The current campaign against tough policing, if successful, would effectively turn any city with a large percentage of Blacks into a third world hellhole.”
Okay…that’s certainly rather strident commentary on black Americans. “White nationalist” doesn’t seem an ill-fitting label.
However, Wemple goes on to suggest that the above brand of racism — in the form of “polite bigotry” — has triumphed at The Daily Caller, courtesy of the same writer. One example given is the opinion piece “Erasing the America Where Columbus is a Hero.” Here are a few of the editorial’s more race-oriented snippets:
It’s strangely appropriate that Columbus Day follows a week of assigning blame on white masculinity for the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
We still know very little about Stephen Paddock and why he decided murder dozens of people at a country music concert in Las Vegas. With no obvious motive, leftist journalists and academics have taken to blaming the violence on “white supremacy” or “white rage.”
Apparently a white man shooting at a lot of white people is somehow a reflection of the nefarious influence of white supremacy on our society.
That leads us to the one of the (allegedly) worst white guys in history, Christopher Columbus. The holiday dedicated to him is the most controversial in America, with its critics seeing it as a celebration of a genocidal maniac.
The preference for Indigenous Peoples’ Day over Columbus Day is fitting with the times we live in. When public discourse over the Las Vegas shooting is dominated by talk of white supremacy and white privilege is a popularly believed notion, it’s certain that we don’t want to celebrate holidays honoring European conquerors.
The new American identity is one that is primarily negative. The roots of our nation are inherently rotten. Our history is one of genocide and slavery. The flag and national anthem represent white supremacy. White people, which includes all members of the Constitutional Convention, have always been a blight on this land.
Does that sound like the mad ravings of a white supremacist, or a collection of at-least-somewhat reasonable observations?
The Post, typical of the Left, is using someone on the Right’s shady past to implicate not only that person, but conservatism in general. It’s blending generally agreed-upon error with debatable ideas. This tactic is not only tired, but shameful. The other side of the political aisle often blurs lines between “wrong” and “conservative,” confusing the issues along with the audience.
Another easy example is Vox’s story on Ben Shapiro and his recent Sunday Show guest, The League star Mark Duplass.
After Duplass’s appearance, the actor posted a now-deleted gracious tweet:
Fellow liberals: If you are interested at all in “crossing the aisle” you should consider following @benshapiro. I don’t agree with him on much but he’s a genuine person who once helped me for no other reason than to be nice. He doesn’t bend the truth. His intentions are good.
In response, many on the Left attacked Duplass, excoriating Shapiro and calling him things he is not, which caused an utter retreat:
— Mark Duplass (@MarkDuplass) July 19, 2018
In its portrayal of Shapiro as an evil figure, Vox characterized the host, in part, thusly:
He has a much longer history of saying reprehensible things. I’m not using “reprehensible” as a synonym for “conservative;” I’m talking about things that are frankly too offensive or too ignorant to be acceptable in polite company:
- Penning a column warning against the evils of “militant gay English” courses at universities
- Calling President Obama a “philosophical fascist”
- Saying transgender people suffer from “mental illness” in an interview
Do those notions sound “reprehensible?” Are they so unacceptable that they may never be uttered in polite company?? Vox is taking subjective, socially or politically conservative or traditional opinions and re-categorizing them as morally unallowable. The writer is so far Left that he can’t even identify anything as conservative. To him, it seems, there are only two sides: leftist, and evil. He is, in fact, doing the very thing he claims not to be.
For those of you concerned about the “militant gay English” point, here are the first few paragraphs of Shapiro’s article at issue:
Picture this: Your son goes to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. The day before fall session begins, Billy tells you that he wants to major in English. It’s not the most useful major, you think, but then again, it could be worse. So Billy returns to school with your blessing.
After finals, Billy comes home for vacation. You ask him what he learned this quarter. “I learned how to be gay,” he answers. A stunned silence. “Yeah, I took English 317, Literature and Culture.”
“You learned how to be gay in an English course?”
“Sure. The title of the course was ‘How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation.’ It fit my schedule. And by the way, there’s this guy named Jim I met. I know you’ll love him like … well … another son.
Such a scenario may sound far-fetched. It shouldn’t. “How to be Gay” is a real course at the University of Michigan. The course description states: “This course will examine the general topic of the role that initiation plays in the formation of gay male identity … In particular, we will examine a number of cultural artifacts and activities that seem to play a prominent role in learning how to be gay: (including) camp, diva-worship, drag, muscle culture, taste, style and political activism.”
Am I defending any of Shapiro’s (or The Daily Caller’s) ideas? No. I don’t have to. My point is simply this:
Conservatives can’t allow the Left to conflate truly racist ravings with a desire to hold America — and, to some degree, its foundation — as something worth existing in the world. The Right must fight the Left’s categorization of anything with which they disagree as objectively morally unacceptable.
We can’t let the lines be blurred. To that end, we must condemn wrong ideas and wrong attitudes, while standing up for those things which we believe to be right — those ideas which must not be wrongly attached to others deserving of disposal.
And as we do this, we should also give the same courtesy to our political foes; the Left isn’t the only side which conflates evildoing with — according to one’s perception — wrong thinking.
Instead of drowning in rhetoric from media staff irrationally raging against the other side, how about we all try to be guided by the Staff of Truth?
I’m Alex Parker; that’s what I want, and that’s what I think.
For a less somber end to this article, I’ll leave you with Daily Caller co-founder and Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s hilarious response to Vox penman Erik Wemple’s request for comment about the ex-employee (who left TDC in June, long before Wednesday’s Atlantic story saw the light of day):
You are a dishonest hack and also kind of an idiot, but since you asked, I’d never heard of any of this until Rosie’s piece.
Please print my entire quote. Also, please consider another profession. I realize you’re deep into middle age but it’s not too late. You’re not suited to this.