Sunday, March 14, 2021

Journalism Is Publishing What Someone Else Doesn't Want Reported, The Rest Is Public Relations....,

greenwald |  As it turns out, we did not have to wait long for the initiation of the censorship campaign aimed at Substack. It has arrived. And amazingly, the trigger for it was my criticism of the work of a front-page New York Times reporter which, as I wrote yesterday, is — like all criticisms of journalists in Good Standing and Decent Liberal Society — being recast as “abuse” and “harassment” and “violence” in order to justify the banning and outlawing of that criticism.

A long-time tech reporter at BuzzFeed who was fired by that outlet in June for serial plagiarism, Ryan Broderick, wrote an article on Wednesday night warning that Substack is now dangerously providing a platform to a “cadre of writers” which, in addition to me, includes such societal menaces as “Bari Weiss, Andrew Sullivan, Jesse Singal, and, I’d argue, Slate Star Codex writer Scott Alexander Siskind.” He darkly notes: “There are more.” This group of writers, he says, is “focusing on culture war Twitter drama about being ‘canceled’ and trans people in bathrooms and woke college students.”

Broderick detailed how he had carefully reviewed a prior article of mine, one that examined the emergence of “tattletale culture” in the country’s largest corporate media outlets, to determine — like the good little diligent junior-high hall monitor that he is — whether it ran afoul of Substack’s terms of service rules against “doxing” and “harassment.”

That article of mine was devoted to a critique of the prevailing journalistic practices at the most powerful and influential media corporations on the planet: The New York Times, CNN, and NBC News. But to Broderick, whether that article should be banned on the grounds of harassment is a close call. While reluctantly conceding that I did not “dox” anyone, he called the article “a vicious screed” and said that the danger signs from my critiques of corporate journalists are clear: “online harassment is a constantly evolving process of boundary testing.” He lamented that Substack’s terms of service are too permissive (“One thing that worried me was how simplistic their definition of harassment was”) and insisted that Substack is soon going to have to step in and put a stop to this:

Right now most of the abuse being carried out by this group is confined to Twitter, but it stands to reason that it will eventually spill over to Substack. And dealing with people like Greenwald is going to be much harder to moderate than your average troll.

[Please permit me to pause here just a moment and marvel at the towering irony that a journalist who spent years at BuzzFeed doing absolutely nothing of value and then got fired for serial plagiarism (again: he got fired for ethical breaches by BuzzFeed) is now, with a straight face, holding himself out as the Guardian and Defender of Real Journalism. Even more amazingly, he believes he is fulfilling that role by demanding that I — not a journalist but just a “troll” who is the enemy of Real Journalism despite having more impactful scoops and journalism awards and, as I detailed yesterday, resulting persecution campaigns from governments than all of these petulant fragile babies combined — be silenced in the name of saving journalism and protecting real reporters like him and his friends from harassment].

In case Broderick’s article was not explicit enough in his demand that Substack start censoring me and others, he took to Twitter to promote his article, where he made that even clearer. He described his article this way: “I wrote about the attacks against @TaylorLorenz and the growing community of right-wing culture warriors and TERFs that are using Substack to network and organize.”