Bari Weiss on Bill Maher again

Bari Weiss was on Bill Maher before (see my post here), and now she’s back again talking about why she (a Leftist herself) has been so demonized by Leftists. Reader Diana MacPherson called my attention to Weiss’s second appearance, in which she analogizes her demonization with the story in Philip Roth’s The Human Stain. 

Part of her take on the Authoritarian Leftist’s attacks on her and others:

“What people are trying to do is taken even the most well intentioned and anodyne comment and intentionally torque it and then throw it out through the echo chamber of social media in order to ruin people’s reputations. And I think it’s very strange that we’re the most privileged people in human history, objectively, and yet people are spending all of their time on Earth hurling pixels at each other. I find it a very strange use of people’s time.”

She’s been attacked a lot lately, but on trivial grounds; she’s absolutely right that people aren’t going after her ideas, but trying to blacken her character. Nevertheless, she persists—and I’m glad.

You can hear another minute or so of Weiss on this video.


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink


    Learned this word here on WEIT!

    • BJ
      Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      It’s a very useful word.

      Obscure enough to be slightly impressive in conversation, but also brusquely trisyllabic, so one doesn’t sound like a pretentious twit when employing it.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink


        I’m looking for a word to take over my own concoction “Ritalin-soaked literature” – “anodyne” is close, closer than “innocuous”…

        I think!…

        • BJ
          Posted March 10, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

          Anodyne means innocuous in the sense of being tediously inoffensive (though whether that’s possible these days is a different conversation altogether!), rather than simply dull. Perhaps you’re looking for words like vapid, vacuous, insipid, or lifeless? Something to describe pablum?

          But I think your original formulation, at least for literature that is dull for being soaked in young adult/millenial clichés, is a very good one.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted March 10, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

            Thank you, it seems you get it!

            And yep, thought of those words too, “anodyne” still my favorite so far…

        • Kiwi Dave
          Posted March 10, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          ‘Ritalin-soaked literature’ is a great phrase, much more vivid and disdainful than ‘anodyne’.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted March 10, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

            Thank you thank you!

      • glen1davidson
        Posted March 10, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Well, it’s harmless.

        Glen Davidson

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted March 10, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          Yeah, “anodyne” is pretty anodyne, as recondite vocabulary goes. 🙂

      • Martin X
        Posted March 11, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        The goal of conversation isn’t to be “impressive”, it’s to communicate.

        “one doesn’t sound like a pretentious twit when employing it.”

        Untrue, in my view.

    • yazikus
      Posted March 10, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      She used it in her last Maher appearance as well. Good words are good.

    • Filippo
      Posted March 10, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Strikes me as a first or second cousin once-removed to “quotidian.”

      (Several years ago, a couple of NY Times reporters seemed to have a locutionary (a word? Why not?) minor fetish for “monumental.” I haven’t seen it used in the last few years. Same with Nicholas Kristof and his use of “career” as a verb, as opposed to “careen,” I gather. NYT reporters still liberally label something or someone in news articles as “unlikely” or “odd,” as if readers are unable to make their own such assessments.)

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted March 10, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink


        What I like about “anodyne” is how it captures a dampening down, an anaesthetizing process…

        As an aside, it’s amusing how “-dyne” and “-ano” is in there, I’ll have to look at the etymology…

      • Steve Pollard
        Posted March 10, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        “Careen” means to run a ship onshore in order to clean its hull. It is increasingly (mis)used instead of “career” as a verb. Maybe Kristol was using the latter in its original sense!

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted March 10, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          Verb: “careen” is the action of leaning a boat on side to work on the hull – it may be on the beach for months before you “careen” it. Or at least that’s the usage in Cornwall & Devon that I know.

          But also Verb. “Career”, “Careen”, are synonyms for a type of motion – although some say the two are slightly different. “Careen” from the action of tipping as one negotiates a corner.

      • Posted March 10, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Don’t think so regarding “quotidian”. That means boringly customary. I’d say the best synonym for “anodyne” is “soothing”.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    … in which she analogizes her demonization with the story in in Philip Roth’s The Human Stain.

    Does that make Maher the Alexander Portnoy? Keep that half-goy away from the Mounds bar wrappers and the cored apples and the calf’s liver! 🙂

  3. Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I like what I’ve heard from Bari Weiss so far but I’ve seen some tweets and posts that don’t like her position on the Israel/Palestine conflict. They accuse her of attempting to distance herself now from a supposedly sordid past. Here’s a post on the spat:

    They are accusing her of hypocrisy. She evidently was heavily involved in a campaign to deplatform Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from speaking at Columbia in September 2007. She is accused by some in being instrumental in the firing of Lisa Anderson, the professor who invited him to speak.

    I don’t know if this accusation has any foundation. Regardless, Bari Weiss certainly has the right to evolve her opinion.

    • Richard Sanderson
      Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Erm, Mondoweiss is akin to GlobalResearch or Infowars.

      Just saying.

    • BJ
      Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      I don’t know if any of the information in that link is true or not, but I will not be finding out. Mondoweiss is one of the most maliciously deceitful websites in existence, dripping with antisemitism and existing in part to propagate conspiracy theories about Jews and Israel. Unfortunately, it is also extremely popular with a good portion of the “progressive” crowd.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted March 10, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        In terms of popularity, Mondoweiss claims 3.5 million unique viewers per annum. By way of comparison, Breitbart claims 45 million unique viewers per month.

        • BJ
          Posted March 10, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

          It’s still 3.5 million too much 🙂

          Plus, at least when it comes to Jews and Israel, I doubt Breitbart can come close to matching Mondoweiss’ invidiousness and dishonesty.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Try reading this Paul. PCC[E] put it up in a post yesterday: THE SLIMING OF BARI WEISS by David French, National Review, March 8th 2018

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      I share my fellow commenters’ disdain for Mondoweiss, though not for the truth of any assertions contained therein. I see no problem with Weiss’s views perhaps having evolved — as long as she straightforwardly acknowledges them, rather than tries to cover them up.

    • Posted March 10, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Ok, let’s forget about Mondoweiss. You forced me to look further. I found Bari Weiss’ response to the controversy on Twitter: I scanned it and it seems Weiss comes out on top. She appears to be pro-Israel which of course some people are unhappy with. She seems to be consistently against bullying tactics. So no hypocrisy that I can see.

  4. glen1davidson
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Good, but “hurling pixels at each other”?

    Is that a big problem? Photos are the weapons?

    Anyway, the strained misrepresentations are not so strange if understood as power politics. Which they are.

    Glen Davidson

    • jaxkayaker
      Posted March 10, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      The words you read on the internet are also composed of pixels.

      • Posted March 10, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        Right. I also took that to be her meaning. Just stuff one reads on the internet.

      • glen1davidson
        Posted March 10, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        I read pixels on the screen, not the internet.

        Never hurled one, nor sent any.

        Glen Davidson

        • Craw
          Posted March 11, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

          This comment is what I call a credibility tanker.

  5. Posted March 10, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Weiss was also on MSNBC yesterday; and mentioned evolutionary biology, which I assume is a term that doesn’t get said that often on US media.


  6. Diana MacPherson
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I love her! She’s the kind of millennial I was used to working with. She’s kind of our hope for the future I think! If only I hadn’t had to wait until my 40s to have her confidence!

  7. Jon Gallant
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    The David French article referenced by Michael Fisher above is clarifying. It mentions that the latest defamation of Bari Weiss is led by Glenn Greenwald, that well known specialist in misrepresentation.
    [The charges of hypocrisy against her boil down to her having dared to criticize Columbia’s Middle East department when it made itself indistinguishable from Hamas.]

    Equating the most anodyne departure from the party line with “fascism” is, of course, an old story on the pop-Left. What interests me is the return of this 30s-40s cliché in a slightly new guise. This suggests that the Stalinist cast of mind is a psychological type, rather than an ideology. Call it stalinoia with a small s, a variant of narcissistic personality disorder which warrants an entry in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

    • Barney
      Posted March 10, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Saying a major university’s department was “indistinguishable from Hamas” is ridiculous. You just throw away any credibility with a comment like that.

      Here’s a link to the Greenwald article, so people do not have to rely on the notorious National Review:

      It’s notable the current editor of Deadspin, then the editor of the Columbia student newspaper, says Weiss is unfairly mischaracterising what she did.

      • dd
        Posted March 10, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        I just read the article you link to and encourage other commenters to do so as well.

        In no small part, because it’s easy to see that Greenwald can’t stomach her, but I am trying to get to specific reasons for his vehemence.

        Yes, the NYTimes appended an editor’s note, a correction, to the her article….but I was expecting alot more from Greenwald in terms of specifics. At any rate, that column still stands here it is:

        • dd
          Posted March 10, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          Just saw this where she discusses that NYTimes column that Greenwald brings up…

          • Posted March 11, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            I was disappointed when I tuned in to Maher to find that this was not the topic of Weiss’ appearance on the show.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Wow, boss, you really know how to cold-turkey us with the closed comments on Krauss.

    You got us scratchin’ and itchin’ and waitin’ to get the monkey off our backs with the next post.

    • yazikus
      Posted March 10, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      I imagine the Twitter responses will be enough for PCC(E). And in the spirit of not doing the ‘trial by social media’ that our host so greatly dislikes, I’ll just say that this:

      All women, whether in the atheist “movement” or not, deserve better than this. Women are not objects for someone’s one-sided sexual pleasure, but fellow humans with dignity, autonomy, and the right to be free of sexual predation. Any abrogation of that right should be strongly condemned. This should go without saying.

      is a good thing to say, even though it should go without saying.

    • Posted March 10, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      I would obviously appreciate it if people don’t discuss this issue on other posts. I will remove those comments, whatever they say, as they’re not going to be relevant to any other posts; so please humor me.

      • nicky
        Posted March 11, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

        Still a pity we’re not allowed to comment on Mr Krauss’ alleged exploits, but I do appreciate your motives.
        It would risk bringing down your website to low levels of flaming, trolling and insinuations, if I understand your motives correctly.

  9. dd
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    She is so sharp. Here is her full appearance and she starts around minute 32.

    • nicky
      Posted March 11, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      That video is not available here, but Yes, she’s sharp indeed!

  10. Posted March 10, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    This same thing has (is) happening to atheists who make the claim that organized religion does harm or that Islam is empirically worse to our species than Christianity. Other atheist have condemned these views, which is reasonable, but they begin to justify that anything Islamic, for example, cannot be criticized because maybe it poses a threat to a minority. This is very misguided and opposite of the very aims enlightenment is trying to obtain.

  11. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Bill was on fire last night. Starting with a terrific interview with Kathy Griffin and the persecution she’s faced since that infamous over the top anti-Trump selfie, then on to this brilliant interview with the definitely NOT Conservative Bari Weiss.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted March 10, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Yeah the Kathy Griffin stuff – Jesus! How can the president use the state to “decimate” her. Bad enough that word was used incorrectly but basically his son stated publically that they were going to destroy her then they put her on the Interpol list. How is that allowed?

  12. Diane G.
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 8:12 pm | Permalink


  13. Merilee
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 8:33 pm | Permalink


  14. Posted March 11, 2018 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    No doubt Weiss is correct about the mob dynamic that is social media. But I think she self-servingly downplayed and mischaracterized her tweet regarding figure skater Nagasu. Although it was a fairly innocent tweet, it was also stupid and, yes, slightly racist in that the only apparent reason she identified the skater as an immigrant was due to the skater’s Asian descent. If the skater had been born of Norwegian immigrant parents, there would likely have been no quotation from Hamilton regarding immigrants getting jobs done.

    • Posted March 11, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      I believe the measure that should be applied to Weiss’s Nagasu tweet is whether she had negative intent regarding the skater’s race or immigrant status. Clearly she was trying to make a positive statement. The fact that the skater was not an immigrant was just an innocent mistake.

      • Posted March 11, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        I agree it was innocent. But in the aftermath, she seems to willfully miss the point of the criticism, failing to understand that for minorities in the U.S., not being white often means having your status as an American questioned.

        I know she’s smarter than that, so what I sense is a bit of intellectual dishonesty at work.

        We are all flawed and we all have our subtle biases and prejudices. When many others point them out, it is good to be able to at least recognize that they may have a point.

        • Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          I think she is right to willfully miss their point. If she acknowledges she did anything more than make a simple, innocent mistake she is playing the detractors’ game and risking her reputation. One learns very quickly in social media not to feed the trolls.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted March 11, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink


      “Stupid” in the sense of stepping in a big pile of it on purpose. Boosterish is fine.

      I think she saw the eye shape or some phenotypic feature like that and jumped to a conclusion

      I did too when I saw the US snowboarder – in my head, for like 3 seconds – before learning more about her … her … descent… PUN INTENDED sorry couldn’t help it.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted March 11, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Boostering – cheerleading – celebrating

      • Posted March 11, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that’s all I am saying. She looked at Nagasu, saw an Asian phenotype and then made a dumb comment. Weiss claimed later that she knew the skater was born in California, which made her tweet not a matter of jumping to a conclusion, but just dumb and unnecessary. In other words, if she actually mistakenly thought Nagasu was born in Japan, her tweet would have made sense as a case of harmless boosterism for immigrants. So, my only beef with Weiss is that she’d rather point to the over-reaction from her critics than to cop to the possibility that her tweet exposed a mild case of prejudice.

  15. Posted March 12, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    One thing I’ve always somewhat disagreed with Glenn Greenwald and his mentor, Chomsky, about is the nature of hypocrisy – hypocrites can, in fact, be correct about the thing they are hypocritical about.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] via Bari Weiss on Bill Maher again — Why Evolution Is True […]

%d bloggers like this: