Don’t read this if you don’t know about the I.D.W. Here is a link to the article of Bari Weiss.
“Journalism is dead”, “The media is so biased now”, “Fake News”. You would think that this kind of ranting is from Trump supporters. But no, this is from “members” of the Intellectual Dark Web. And I don’t know what is intellectual about this. The fun part is that the public figures spreading these ideas are also selling you their own kind of journalism in exchange. But they are different — aka better -, they are not journalists. In today’s era that makes them more believable somehow. And according to them, they are the ones you need to listen to. When in fact they are just as biased as the media they criticize. There should be a line between promoting your different ideas and criticizing a whole group in order to bring traffic to your own work. They’re “fighting for” free speech, they hate group identity, but they accuse the whole group of journalists for what some of them say.
The People always cared more about an opinionated journalism than a balanced account of issues. After all, Ben Franklin used his fake characters in his own newspaper to spread a different kind of information. And the new influencers of the Dark Web play on this knowledge. They are the ones who intensively use twitter, have their own podcast, website or Youtube Channel, and market themselves as being balanced, rational and focusing on the better point. When in fact, they just speak about common sense ideas but ‘forgetting’ to take the context into account. Handpicking certain issues, just like “journalism” does, is full of bias too. Alas, it’s enough to draw supporters from every sides of the spectrum who are fed up with the increase extremism of the left, the racism of the far right and the political correctness of everybody else.
Of course the “mainstream media” is not perfect. It’s true that many of the influencers of the Ideologically biased left attack whoever doesn’t accept their ideas. But a few bad apples shouldn’t lead to a judgement of the whole apple tree. Anti-journalism is trendy though. Trump spreads it every day. Extremist ideas are becoming mainstream ideas. Progressives and conservatives are fighting against the freedom of the other side to “gain” theirs. It’s not difficult to understand why these influencers are getting traction now. Bari Weiss acknowledged the existence of the I.D.W. but many of the I.D.W. are part of the I.B.W., the Ideologically Biased Web, and that includes Trump and many main stream journalists or left thinkers. Many of the members of the I.D.W use the same rhetoric as Trump and are thought of being Intellectuals. Sadly, they are as biased as the other outlets, and bring million of followers to their platforms. The only reasons they are not considered mainstream is the fact that they don’t appear on the TV that nobody under 60 watches anymore.
I agree with them that the members of the ideologically biased left are every where on the mainstream medias. And they are fuelling the departure of many from this kind of medium. The over reaction of the left on most issues nowadays makes it easy for the influencers of the I.D.W to get better ratings. When the mainstream media and many public figures report that Trump said “immigrants are animals”, they are purposefully misleading us to keep the outrage going. Trump never said that exactly, and the Influencers of the I.D.W rushed at the occasion to remind their base – and potential financiers – that the media is crooked. Is it wrong to misquote Trump to prove a point? Of course. But if these influencers were genuinely trying to educate the people, and have a “Battle of Ideas” – cf Dave Rubin – they would say that the media is wrong, but Trump’s rhetoric has always been racist. Playing Catcha is for children, not for people calling themselves freethinkers. Trump has had bigoted language in the past about immigrants. Context is as important as semantic. I know balance is hard, but you can’t cry at the bias of the “leftist media” just for the sake of it. Unless you are purposefully biased too.
Another example. Israel shot down 60 Palestinians earlier this month. The left cries instantly and says that Israel is horrible and that they massacred innocent people. The right just enjoys seeing the Embassy moving to Jerusalem. But the influencers of the I.D.W, playing their base, instantly attack the left for their biased reaction using common sense like “Hamas is bad”,” Israel needs to defend itself”, “Hamas and PA could do better”, etc. I mean who are they kidding? Fighting on semantic about a protest is not bringing anything to actually solve the issue. On Bill Maher, Bari Weiss, said “Let’s not fall for a trap that is being set by a theocratic authoritarian group that is sending women and children to be human shield”. For real? Whether or not all were from Hamas, whether or not Israel was right to shoot them down, can’t we use this “opportunity” to talk about the fact that Palestinians suffer and that Israel is overstepping in many ways? Is the past really that easy to forget or ignore? Before Israel was born they had Zionist terrorists too. They were fighting the occupation of the English in similar ways than Hamas is fighting the Israel occupation – according to the UN – today. Go read about Lehi and Irgun. Guess who said that? “Ye shall blot them out to the last man.” A leader of Lehi and a future Israeli Prime Minister. Israel has all the right in the world to exist but they have all the duty in the world to understand the fate of their neighbors because they went through the same phase. Israel today is a fairly good democracy (but not the only one there even if Dave Rubin doesn’t know about Lebanon), why couldn’t this be true of a Palestinian State 50 years after its conception?
All these influencers talk about treating people at “the individual level”, not at the “group level”. Once again, just common sense. But common sense without context. I agree that every individual should treat any other individual without having preconceived ideas about who they are. But as I said in my previous blog, let’s not forget that politics have treated people differently because of what group (race, gender, sexual identity, etc.) they were a part of. We cannot start from a clean slate just because now we think we are better than our ancestors. Inequalities still exist because of the politics of the past and the lack of interest of the present majority group. They are impacting some groups more than others and this is why we need policies to balance that. These I.D.W influencers are all against Identity Politics and groupthink. But they still attack journalism as if it were a group. They still attack the left as if it were a group. They emphasize that men and women are part of different groups.
The “Battle of Ideas” that Dave Rubin is talking about is not really happening. The leftist influencers will react stupidly on something that is not to fight over and the “freethinkers” of the I.D.W. will use exactly all the potential ideas that can create that kind of backlash. Battle of headlines I’d say. Bari Weiss uses an example about Sam Harris saying that some cultures are superior than others. And then some creepy scientist tells him that she might understand a culture that blinds every third child. That’s insane, but I would like to remind people that most boys in the US are still circumcised for no other reason than customs and tradition. And most girls have their ears pierced to put some weird artefacts in it. All cultures might not be equal but all cultures have stupid rituals.
The most important member of the I.B.W. is Jordan Peterson, making around $80,000 per month through Patreon. Here is an example of what he says. Dave Rubin tweeted this:
That’s what they do in the I.B.W.. Using a connoted term to express a common sense idea; our society rewards monogamy. Nothing controversial about that. But they make it one on purpose, helped by the stupid left influencers who are attacking the idea just because who said it. The worst part is that the fans in the audience think that they just heard someone who was brave and had innovative ideas. So they’re gonna defend him on twitter, where the leftists are going to fight them, when in fact they all live in that society which they all unconsciously support. Where is the battle of ideas? But let’s play his own game. He became famous for not willing to be forced to use alternative gender pronouns. I understand that he doesn’t want to be forced to do anything but isn’t grammar some kind of politically correct way of thinking enforced by society too? Having to call him a “he” isn’t enforced grammar? What about we start calling him a “she” because we are for “independent thinking”?
The thing is that they “figured out how to monetize social justice warriors” – cf Jordan Peterson. Their followers are drinking what they say as if they were Gurus. These “intellectuals” are selling you a dream in a fast paced dialogue when they could do it in a one sentence reality. They are just like televangelists – telintellectuals? -. A televangelist will tell you the most common sense thing: “you can be happy”. But he needs a two hour long vigorous speech and add Jesus in it. An influencer of the I.D.W will tell you that “you can be rational” in a two hour long vigorous speech and adding “the mainstream left hates that”. You think you’re being Red Pilled when in fact you’re being White Rabited.
The more the extremist left hates them, the more they get attention from people who do not know where to set themselves in this changing landscape. The political landscape is getting manipulated by extremists on the left and on the right. And these influencers whether mainstream or from the I.D.W. are using this opportunity to manipulate the disoriented ones. They use the same tactics as Trump to bring attention to themselves. They market themselves as being in no tribes, just like him. They target the mainstream media, just like him. They want the public to hear their sides of the stories, just like him. They are dangerous. Some in the I.D.W. are freethinkers having great conversations, others are ideologues trying to spread their bigoted ideology, some are profiteers, just following the trend and making money out of the 2 first ones.
In the end, journalists are the ones who put their life at risk to bring us the development of a war. They are the ones who investigate cases that the powerful think they could get out of. They are the ones who bring us informations about what’s happening in our backyard as well as on the other side of the globe. There is a reason why the freedom of the press is inscribed in the first amendment. Just like the free speech that defend the members of the I.D.W. There can’t be a real Press if it’s not a free press.
We should all agree that if you attack journalism as a whole, you’re not an intellectual. Whether you’re Elon Musk, Donald Trump or Ben Shapiro.