The Sarah Jeong affair: more defense of her racism

UPDATE: Jeong’s history of racist tweets goes way back and can be seen by following the thread on the tweet below. Her excuse that she was simply reponding to harassers can no longer stand.

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One of the most disgusting spectacles on the Internet this week—besides the continuing Presidency of Donald Trump, which should be placed under a circus tent—is the way Leftists have come to the defense of Sarah Jeong, the newly named head tech writer for the New York Times who had a history of anti-white racist statements on Twitter. HuffPost, and Slate have already defended her, not even admitting that she had anything to apologize for. You can find other defenses of Jeong at various websites that purport to be progressive, including a new piece on Vox arguing that her words aren’t racist, and a similar piece on Splinter. Even Ed Yong, whom I used to respect, has come to Jeong’s defense by retweeting a defense:

Here’s a typical mushbrained defense of the right of people of color to be racist, written by Zack Beauchamp at Vox.  Here Beauchamp is arguing against the view that Jeon was serious in what she said:

To anyone who’s even passingly familiar with the way the social justice left talks, this is just clearly untrue. “White people” is a shorthand in these communities, one that’s used to capture the way that many whites still act in clueless and/or racist ways. It’s typically used satirically and hyperbolically to emphasize how white people continue to benefit (even unknowingly) from their skin color, or to point out the ways in which a power structure that favors white people continues to exist.

What a mendacious and tortuous defense! It’s right out of the pages of Orwell’s 1984. This is the nadir of progressivism, an assertion of the Left’s right to be racist because “white people” really means “the power structure is white and some members of it do racist things.” And really, in what respect was Sarah Jeong, a privileged Asian woman, oppressed and powerless? She’s a well known writer and will have even more power when she becomes an editor at the Times. She claims that she got a couple of nasty tweets, and those justified her tirade, but I’ve seen only two of them (I myself have gotten more!), and no evidence that every one of her racist tweets was a response to a troll. Finally, the way to respond to hate tweets is not to evince racism and bigotry. The hypocrisy was was compounded by the Times‘s keeping Jeong on but firing a white woman, Quinn Norton, who also had a history of odious tweets.

It has not escaped my notice that the Right has made a huge pile of hay from the Left’s defense of Jeong, calling out the Times, properly, for hypocrisy. If the Left could do anything that would push people into the Trump camp, it would be to defend a racist when Lefists are supposed to be anti-racist. This makes us look like big time hypocrites, and you can see the evidence by the crowing at the National Review, Fox News, and many other right-wing sites. The fact is that most Americans define racism as bigotry against a race, not as the social-justice way in which only white people can be racist. To most Americans not infected with extreme identity politics, tweets like these from Jeong look like simple racism:

“Dumbass fucking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.”

“Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins.”

“oh man it’s sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men”

If those are “jokes,” as some of Jeong’s defenders claim, they’re not very funny.

A lonely attack on Jeong’s racism, with which I agree, was given by Andrew Sullivan in New York Magazine (click on screenshot below). But even Sullivan has been attacked for his criticism (e.g. here and here). It makes my stomach curdle to see the way the Left truckles and grovels to the Control Left, to the point of attacking those who call out racists.

Anyway, I’ll put a few of Sullivan’s quotes below in case you don’t want to read his whole piece. (If it goes behind a paywall, as Sullivan’s columns are wont to do, just write me for a copy.)

Let me add first that I’ve had public beefs with Sullivan in the past, most notably over his defense of religion, but this time he’s on the money. And I don’t think it’s because I’ve moved toward the Right. He’s moved leftwards, and the Left has moved towards insanity.

Sullivan begins by highlighting the new definition of racism:

But the alternative view — that of today’s political left — is that Jeong definitionally cannot be racist, because she’s both a woman and a racial minority. Racism against whites, in this neo-Marxist view, just “isn’t a thing” — just as misandry literally cannot exist at all. And this is because, in this paradigm, racism has nothing to do with a person’s willingness to pre-judge people by the color of their skin, or to make broad, ugly generalizations about whole groups of people, based on hoary stereotypes. Rather, racism is entirely institutional and systemic, a function of power, and therefore it can only be expressed by the powerful — i.e., primarily white, straight men. For a nonwhite female, like Sarah Jeong, it is simply impossible. In the religion of social constructionism, Jeong, by virtue of being an Asian woman, is one of the elect, incapable of the sin of racism or group prejudice. All she is doing is resisting whiteness and maleness, which indeed require resistance every second of the day.

As for the defense that Jeong was justified in being racist because she was responding to trolls, Sullivan isn’t buying it:

Let me explain why I think this is the purest of bullshit. If you want to respond to trolls by trolling them, you respond to them directly. You don’t post slurs about an entire race of people (the overwhelming majority of whom are not trolls) on an open-forum website like Twitter. And these racist tweets were not just a function of one sudden exasperated vent at a harasser; they continued for two years. Another tweet from 2016 has her exclaiming: “fuck white women lol.”

None of this excuses the behavior of the online hordes that are seeking her head. When media companies give in to those mobs, they are just feeding a voracious beast. It’s worth noting, however, that Jeong has a long record of cheering online mobs when they target people she dislikes. “Is there anything more tedious than media navel-gazing over ‘outrage mobs’?” she tweeted earlier this year.

And I don’t think the New York Times should fire her — in part because they largely share her views on race, gender, and oppression. Their entire hiring and editorial process is based on them. In their mind, Jeong was merely caught defending herself. As Vox writer Zack Beauchamp put it: “A lot of people on the internet today [are] confusing the expressive way antiracists and minorities talk about ‘white people’ with actual race-based hatred, for some unfathomable reason.” I have to say that word “expressive” made me chuckle out loud. (But would Beauchamp, I wonder, feel the same way if anti-racists talked about Jews in the same manner Jeong talks about whites? Aren’t Jews included in the category of whites?)

Finally, Sullivan has noticed, as have many, that this kind of mindless demonization of whites reflects—and may result from—what’s going on today in American colleges:

Yes, we all live on campus now. The neo-Marxist analysis of society, in which we are all mere appendages of various groups of oppressors and oppressed, and in which the oppressed definitionally cannot be at fault, is now the governing philosophy of almost all liberal media. That’s how the Washington Post can provide a platform for raw misandry, and the New York Times can hire and defend someone who expresses racial hatred. The great thing about being in the social justice movement is how liberating it can feel to give voice to incendiary, satisfying bigotry — and know that you’re still on the right side of history.

No amount of intellectual gyrations can make racism acceptable to a true progressive. For racism is simply demonizing entire groups or imputing invidious traits to them, and it’s wrong, regardless of whether those groups be blacks, Hispanics, women, Jews, or whites.

Now, two questions. First, should Jeong had been fired? Sullivan, as you can see above, doesn’t think so. Neither does Quinn Norton, who was fired by the Times for odious tweets:

Nor does First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza, who argues that Jeong and the Times shouldn’t even have apologized for her hate-filled racism:

Well, yes, I think that Jeong and the paper should have apologized. As for her being fired, I don’t much care. It’s up to the Times to make that decision, and I don’t think Jeong will be tweeting racist hatred any longer. Still, it’s hypocritical for the paper to have fired Quinn Norton but not Jeong.

Second, was the Times catering to Twitter mobs by apologizing, and would they have caved even more by firing Jeong? None of us want social media pile-ons to determine people’s fate. But sometimes the Internet is right, and when they are, appropriate action should be taken. Jeong should be dealt with not because people are baying for her blood, but because they called attention to an odious aspect of her past that the paper didn’t know. (Actually, I don’t know if they were aware of it beforehand.)

The rule for progressives should be simple: demonizing entire groups of people based on ethnicity or gender, and imputing to those groups nasty characteristics, is wrong. It’s divisive and it foments hatred. It is not good for society. And as our President and his minions proceed to do just that, it’s up to us to fight it, not to excuse other people’s bigotry because they aren’t white. To do that is just going along with the Right as well as making it more likely that they’ll continue to have power in our country.

 

183 Comments

  1. DrBryon
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    This affair, your first quotation, highlight for me my primary criticism of the progressive Left and the SJW: There is no conception that there is a justice that will apply to all people. It’s not a case of ending discrimination against minorities, but of changing the power structure so that whites (and I hate using that term) are the ones to be discriminated against. If you replace “white people” in your first quote with the n-word, and the rest of the occurances of “white” with black, it would be an outrageous statement. There is no concept of equality, though.

  2. Randy Bessinger
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Totally agree. I started to watch a defense of her tweets on TV and turned it off. A defense of her just hands the opposition the keys to the city.

  3. eric
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I don’t think Jeong will be tweeting racist hatred any longer.

    I guess we will see. I’m in the ‘don’t fire her’ camp but I would personally see additional racist comments from this point forward as cause for firing.

    But if all these defenders really believe what they’re claiming, she shouldn’t stop since according to them (and her), she’s not doing anything wrong. Stopping would be a tacit admission of past error.

    Most amusing will be the inevitable Orwellian responses from some of her defenders – people who over the last week claimed that she was unimpeachably right to make the comments, now saying she is unimpeachably right to stop making the comments.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      But if all these defenders really believe what they’re claiming, she shouldn’t stop since according to them (and her), she’s not doing anything wrong. Stopping would be a tacit admission of past error.

      I agree; the Beauchamp defence suggests she *could* tweet in a similar way again, and it *wouldn’t* be racist. So stopping is a tacit admission of past moral failure.

      The NYT position, OTOH, is a little ambiguous. They said they didn’t ‘condone’ her behaviour, which would normally suggest they thought her tweets *were* morally wrong. But they also said that her ‘approach only served to feed the vitriol’, which is a *prudential* reason for not behaving that way, rather than a *moral* one.

      So it would be helpful if the Times were a bit clearer about their judgement of her tweets.

  4. J. Quinton
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Jeong’s tweets were just jokes, but it’s understandable why everyone misunderstood them. Because it’s impossible for Korean people to be funny. It’s ok, I’m not white so it’s not racist for me to say that.

    • Martin X
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      How do you know they were “just jokes”?

      Lots of people retreat to the “just joking” defense after saying something terrible, but jokes reveal a lot of how people actually think.

      • Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Read an implied “/s” at the end of Quinton’s comment.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        I think J. Quinton was joking, but it’s no surprise you didn’t get it, since people who are from wherever J. Quinton is from just aren’t funny.

  5. shelleywatsonburch
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I could not agree more with your position. This is such an embarrassing display, I find it shocking. Although nothing should shock me anymore. The Control Left isn’t arguing for equality, or fairness, or kindness, or humanism. They are demanding blind allegiance to a cause that is exactly what they pretend to oppose. It’s like a cult. No one is thinking, they are all mesmerized by their own self-congratulation. I think these are dangerous opinions, and could set our social fabric back many decades.

  6. Derec Avery
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    “(If it goes behind a paywall, as Sullivan’s columns are wont to do, just write me for a copy.)”

    Or you might consider using an archiving service to archive the article and then also posting the link to that copy in your posts.

    Like this:

    http://archive.fo/hyulZ

    That way the article should always be available though it won’t archive the comments. But at least the article itself will be preserved and will be available to those who would like to read it.

    Note: I am in no way affiliated with archive.fo but simply use their free service at times to archive articles that I feel need to be preserved.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Thanks; I didn’t know you could do that. And note that Derec has archived Sullivan’s piece.

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I can tell you this story got a lot of coverage on the actual TV this morning, particularly on the CNN morning shows. I did not pay attention to all of it but they were taking polls for and against firing her and all the background. So lots of coverage throughout the media.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      What was the sentiment amoung the CNN viewers?

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        It was pretty much against her…

        • Mark Sturtevant
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          A-Hah! I knew that CNN viewers were pretty much the same as those who follow Breitbart and Fox News!

  8. Eric Grobler
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I recently saw an interview with an ex Baader Meinhof member who explained that their crusade against the German establishement were motivated by their disgust with their ex-nazi parents many of whom were rich capitalists.
    While in prison he suddenly came to the shock realization that he was just like his father – he killed innocent people in the name of a fanatical cause.

    I think many of the alt-left unconsiously become just as racist as the racists they despise.

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    One of the most disgusting spectacles on the Internet this week—besides the continuing Presidency of Donald Trump …

    Dude took off after LeBron James (who just opened a school for at-risk kids in his hometown of Akron OH) and CNN’s Don Lemon on twitter last night. Loves to slander him some black folk with the “low IQ” slur. Same shit he pulled during his “birther” days against Barack Obama, questioning how he got into Columbia and Harvard Law. Anybody here ever seen the Donald’s transcripts from Fordham or Penn — or any other proof to back up his claims he’s, like, a really smart guy?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      I don’t have any of that but a guy this morning on MSNBC I think, said the only reason he got into Penn was they felt sorry for him because his brother died.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        That and a yooge pile of daddy’s money will do it every time.

    • BJ
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      But he was just responding to people who criticized him! All of Donald Trump’s tweets aren’t his fault; they’re the fault of the people who make him feel sad 😦

      /s obviously

  10. Historian
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    The notion that a person of one race or group cannot be racist against another group that has more power is a perversion of that word. In its original form the word racist denoted a certain attitude or belief. It has now been conflated with the concept that it means attitude combined with power over the group that the racist doesn’t like. Hence, it is definitionally impossible for a person of an oppressed group to be racist in regard to the dominant group. The adoption of this latter view by supporters of the oppressed is counterproductive. It will gain them few supporters from those of the majority group that sympathize with them. The correct thing to say is “yes, some members of the minority group have expressed racist thoughts and may actually be racists in that they hate members of the dominant group just because they belong to that group. This is wrong and should not be condoned. Still, it must be understand that attitudes such as these have grown out of frustration in being oppressed for centuries, which is a fact. When the minority perceives that racist oppression by the majority is being alleviated, such attitudes are likely to greatly diminish.” I believe this attitude conforms to reality, the latter of which is growing in ever shorter supply these days. It is simply easier to spout simplistic slogans. In an age of ever shortening attention spans, divisive sloganeering is likely to grow, e.g. the press is the enemy of the people or minority members cannot be racists, which is not healthy for democracy or the truth.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      As J. Quinton suggested on one of the other threads, we could just give them “racist” and thus deprive them of their gotcha. We could describe Jeong’s tweets accurately without using the word “racist”: She’s guilty of racial bigotry; she’s unfairly slandered an entire group of people, most of whom are against racism; her comments are full of hate; etc.

  11. Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I guess if her tweets were “just jokes”, the tweets attacking her could have been just jokes too.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Don’t go all Derrida on us now!

  12. FB
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    People like Sarah Jeong should ask themselves: is it okay for kids to say things like “dumbass fucking white people”.

    It’s much worse when an adult does it.

  13. Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I know nothing of Ed Yong but many Twitter users claim that their retweets do not indicate agreement with the sentiment of the original tweet. They often say this on their Twitter home page though Ed Yong doesn’t.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      I think Ed is sympathetic based on what I know of his writings and tweets.

  14. Jacob
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I think Sullivan is mistaking the argument that “racism is about power” for the argument that “satire or humor is about power”. Racism, as both an emotion and a social practice, is “colorblind”. Anyone can be a target or a source of racism. But to call Jeong a racist is to take her tweets at face value. Instead, she appears to be engaging in satire (not just in crude jokes), and satire can be used to attack pre-existing power structures, belief systems, and various pieties of the majority. For example, a joke about the way in which white people have entrenched themselves in power would resonate more than the same jokes about black people because the former has a basis in reality. Even taking an argument levied against her by her critics and attackers and substituting white people may be an example. This type of humor is not new. It has existed for decades. The humor may not have been very good, but her critics don’t seem to be making that argument. Instead, they appear to be taking her tweets at face value.

    • Jacob
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      I should also hasten to say that I believe some of her tweets are over the top and add nothing of value. I also have no particular opinion on whether or not she should have been fired. But part of Sullivan’s argument seems to be incorrect to me for the reasons stated.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      I’ve read her tweets several times and I fail to see them as humor. By that, I am not saying that they aren’t funny but I don’t believe Jeong was making jokes. If, as she claims, these tweets are responses to being attacked, they really aren’t the right kind of jokes. I believe her tweets were intended to be taken at face value.

      • Jacob
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        The satire comes from the fact that she is criticizing race-based tropes. Her tweets about white friends and white genes would be very obvious examples. Even the tweets about rice would fit into that genre. On the other hand, it’s debatable whether her tweets that are just meant to be cruel and mean are really all that effective. Their only purpose appears to be counter-trolling. Her digs at cultural appropriation don’t really resonate me with either since I don’t believe that’s a problem (unless the appropriation itself is based on racial tropes).

        • Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

          Even if you buy that her intent was humor, which I do not, what kind of intelligence does this show? Here is someone who is, or wants to be, a journalist and a tech guru! She should have known better. If, as others have pointed out, her racist tweets went out over a period of several years, it is even worse. She can’t claim that they were made in the heat of the moment. She had plenty of time to reflect after each tweet battle. She should not be given the Times job based solely on her bad judgement.

        • mikeyc
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          Not buying this for a minute. Counter trolling? Jokes? Satire?

          Not a chance. She’s a racist bigot who thought she could act like one with impunity. Now her hate is coming back to hound her (as it should) and she and her apologists are scrambling to justify the unjustifiable.

          Outside of the true believers and anti-white racists, no one is buying it. There are also hordes of virtue signalers who twist their ethics into pretzels to pretend they don’t see the vile racism in her tweets.

          This is, in a small way, the way the left dies. It is moribund already, clinging to this kind of idiocy will only hasten their irrelevancy and it will take generations to recover. In only a few short years we’ve lost a great deal.

        • BJ
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          Go through all of these tweets and see if it changes your view: https://twitter.com/nickmon1112/status/1025437806775226368

          There is apparently far more than what we have seen.

          • Jacob
            Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            This is a response to all three messages above:

            Given the amount of subtext embedded in those tweets, I do in fact believe it does require some level of intelligence to make them. For example, as Andrew Prokop points out, one of her tweets was a response to Sullivan on the race/IQ controversy. https://twitter.com/awprokop/status/1025484876278112261 No, it’s not a substitute for an intelligent argument, nor does it need to be. There is a certain value in hyperbole if it exposes the absurdity of someone’s arguments or beliefs, as long as it can be backed it up with one’s own reasoning. The point isn’t to be “funny”; it’s to skewer other peoples’ beliefs in a caustic and pointed manner.

            And yes, I am aware of the sheer preponderance of tweets about white people. But one couldn’t possibly take most of these tweets at face value. “Some of my best friends are white people” is such an obvious rejoinder to a common racist trope about having minority friends. In another tweet she seems to be skewering the argument that minorities have created their own problems and need to be saved from themselves. Most of her other tweets appear to be critical of other aspects of racism in the US: the double standard between whites and everyone else, the tendency to associate minority culture with negative stereotypes (or at least value those cultures less), and the fragility of many whites when it comes to issues of race. You can debate whether her tweets are an effective example of that genre, but it appears to me that the subtext of most of her tweets is criticism of (what she perceives as) racist attitudes and power structures in the US, as evinced by the people she is responding to.

            • mikeyc
              Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

              Nope. Still not buying it. Someone yesterday (?) posted a series of her tweets with the targets of her hate switched to either “blacks” or “Jews”. Try it yourself, Jacob. Read the enormous number of hate tweets that we now know she spewed but switch “white” for “black” or any other “oppressed” group. Then tell us again about how it is only satire and hyperbolic jokes.

              I’ll also note that upon reading some of those Twitter threads (never doing that again, I tell you want –>there be dragons) she wasn’t always responding to trolls sometimes they were responding to HER. Often it is unclear who is responding to whom (I hates Twitter) but sometimes it isn’t.

              • Jacob
                Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

                That’s not how the parody works. You can’t turn it around and say “Some of my best friends are black people” because that’s the racist trope she is skewering. In fact, the tweet “Some of my best friends are white people” can’t be understood without first understanding the original context. I may grant you that some of the more crude insults do cross a line, but most of her tweets do not appear to be in that vein.

              • mikeyc
                Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

                Enjoy that pretzel, Jacob.

            • Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

              That Lester Maddox, what a card! You didn’t take his speeches at face value did you?!

        • eric
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          As Jerry mentioned in the very first post, we can grant her the “its satire” or “its a joke” defense and it’s still the case that if you substituted “black” for “white” in those satirical comments, they’d still be grounds for complaint.

          It’s really not about whether she was serious or joking, even jokes like this would not be acceptable by liberals if they targeted pretty much any other group. So why tolerate them when they target this group?

      • Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        I don’t see them as facetious, either.

        But even if they were, the SJW maxim sez Intent Isn’t Magic™.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      They went on for a long time, without any hint of irony, or “kidding!”. I know of no indication that she was joking at the time. All the excuses came after the fact.
      So if she was joking, it was extraordinary poor judgement to carry on the charade for so long without even a wink. I mean, she is working for the New Whitey Times after all (and I am kidding!!).

    • Taz
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      What humor was there in her demand that Andrew Sullivan never be hired again, or in her reveling in the rage mobbing of Tim Hunt?

      Should the Times fire her? I don’t know, but it seems clear she’s a spiteful asshole. I wouldn’t want to work with her.

  15. Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    It’s worth pointing out the sheer scale of her “white people” tweets. See here for an account of them.

    The idea that is was just an occasional and sarcastic retort to trolls is not tenable.

    • DrBryon
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      And in no way explains the anti-police tweets.

      • Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        And by “not tenable” we should infer “just a bald faced lie”.

  16. Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Andrew Sullivan really writes and thinks well. I agree with everything he says here.

    I am particularly saddened that, as Sullivan reminds us, Jeong’s way of thinking is not at all confined to the college campus. I hope that Democrats running for office sufficiently distance themselves from it. Hillary Clinton obviously didn’t say anything like “White people are bullshit!” but she did wallow in identity politics. In order to win, she needed to be seen as a politician with good ideas that just happens to be female, a case that she failed to make.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      If only Hillary hadn’t misspoke when she meant to say “basket of adorables”.

      • Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        It was a mistake for Hillary to say that but she was just being honest and wasn’t wrong. People that would vote for a game show host who clearly lies with virtually every breath aren’t people I would want to “meet in the middle.” I understand where they are coming from and refuse to go there.

      • Diane G
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:20 am | Permalink

        Lol!

      • Jackson
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Wow…basket of adorables…

  17. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    But sometimes the Internet is right …

    Yes, in the same sense an inoperable timepiece is semi-diurnally correct. 🙂

  18. Historian
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    The vociferous defense of Sarah Jeong by some and the equally strong condemnation by other is one example is an example of American society coming apart. The emergence of Trump and his zombie-like cult is the best example. American society is analogous to a volcano that has been simmering for decades and then one day explodes in a violent eruption that results in death and destruction for miles around it. Trump has blown off the American volcano. For about the last 30 years, large swathes of Americans have been nursing grievances, whether justified or not, often expressed in individual acts, some extreme as in the case of the Oklahoma City bombers, others less so in the case of Jeong’s tweets. Now, Trump’s divisiveness has accelerated the consolidation of individuals into groups as vehicles for expression of their discontent. Such groups have formed on the left and the right, with the latter being more dangerous because of their benefactors in the White House and Congress. The center in the political spectrum is contracting as people are becoming to hold in contempt their political rivals. This polarization creates instability, which can lead to ultimate chaos and disintegration of a society that can function in a manner to serve all its citizens. Whether this polarization has gone beyond the point of no return is an open question. At the moment, the future does not look promising.

    So, the Jeong incident is but one of many we see on a daily basis. Pundits and political scientists have commented on the erosion of democratic norms. This means that for a democracy to survive, the populace must share certain values, often unstated. These values, such as belief in compromise, respect for your opponents, and adherence to the rule of low, are more important than the laws themselves that are written on paper. All societies face periods of instability. All too often what results is extreme violence before something else emerges. Such was the case with American Civil War, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, and the rise of Hitler in Germany. No person can no predict whether American society will avoid a similar cataclysm.

  19. BJ
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Lest anyone believe these BS excuses, it turns out Jeong has made far more anti-white and anti-men tweets than we thought, over a far longer period: https://twitter.com/nickmon1112/status/1025437806775226368

    Here is how she’s talked about her new colleagues at the Times: https://twitter.com/redsteeze/status/1025354199574433798

    And here is her reveling in Tim Hunt being fired for something he never did because of a coordinated campaign of social media and establishment media harassment and fabrication: https://twitter.com/sarahjeong/status/610135250845327360

    But now her job is threatened (well, apparently not) for things she actually did do and, even more ironically, she says that the negativity of social media made her do it. If that’s an excuse, then clearly her ideological opponents can be excused too.

    • BJ
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      This whole situation is an excellent demonstration of how people like Jeong are not only not at all oppressed or marginalized, but actually can martial the forces of the biggest news publications and personalities to shield their privilege, no matter how odious their actions. Jeong is one of the most privileged people around: attended Harvard and Yale, is begin given the role of editor at one of the biggest and most important media institutions in the world, and able to say and do whatever she wants not only without repercussions, but with an apparently impenetrable wall of defense around her. Sarah Jeong holds the position of power here, both socially and in terms of class.

  20. Steve Gerrard
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    She is yet another foul-mouthed Internet troll, who, for those few not already aware of it, are a dime-a-dozen. I have no intention of ever reading anything she writes, fancy job title not withstanding. I would think the NYT would care about the maturity of their editorial staff, but evidently I am wrong about that.

    • Diane G
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:36 am | Permalink

      Exactly. WTH did the Times ever hire her in the first place?

  21. DrBryon
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Either the NYT didn’t do much checking when they hired her, or they did, and found her opinions unobjectionable. Not a great day for the Gray Lady.

  22. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Sarah Jeong’s racist tweets were not “jokes.” They were, however, quite clearly intended as rhetorical hyperbole — not that that justifies them in any sense.

    • mikeyc
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Would you say the same thing about Trump’s tweets?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Sure, if Trump knew WTF “rhetorical hyperbole” was. The Donald certainly employs hype — hell, he seems incapable of doing otherwise; everything for him is either the absolute best (if its his) or the absolute worst (if it’s anyone else’s), with no grey scale between the two — but I’ve seen no evidence he’s capable of employing it for anything other than marketing and the pejorative labeling of his enemies.

        • mikeyc
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          He’s an imbecile to be sure, though I suspect much of the time he knows he’s being hyperbolic. But how can you tell when he isn’t? How can you tell when Jeong is being rhetorically hyperbolic and is not just base racist? Just as with Trump’s tweets, must we parse every one of Jeong’s for hyperbolic rhetoric before we conclude she’s nothing more than a garden-variety race hater?

          (btw I note and agree with your no justification clause)

    • Steve Gerrard
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure that is the first time I have heard “Dumbass fucking white people” described as “rhetorical hyperbole.” Lol.

  23. Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I also wonder about her tech expertise. From her writings that I have seen she has more of a social media expertise.

  24. tubby
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Maybe she’s the perfect professional and her racism won’t come out on the job. Or she’s going to drive talent from the NYT with it, which maybe the NYT will see as a win-win. They become ‘pure’ and competing news outlets get access to the tech writers who were run off.

  25. Martin X
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    I’ve criticized her defenders on Twitter, and what saddens me that almost all of the likes I’ve received have been from MAGA people.

    • mikeyc
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      This is the end game.

      From the Sullivan article Dr. PCCe linked;

      ” What many don’t seem to understand is that their view of racism isn’t shared by the public at large, and that the defense of it by institutions like the New York Times will only serve to deepen the kind of resentment that gave us Trump.”

      • Historian
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        This will incident will undoubtedly increase the resentment of the Trump voters. But, these people would never abandon Trump no matter what. So, the depth of their resentment is irrelevant in terms of how they will vote. The question is whether other voters more inclined to vote against Trump will now swing towards him. It is hard to say for sure, but I thing the effect will be minimal. First, the incident will likely be all but forgotten. Second, to the extent the issue is alive by then, the Democratic candidate will surely criticize Leong’s statements. In fact, all Democratic candidates for any positions will disassociate themselves from Leong and the hard left if they have any sense.

        The Leong incident will certainly not help Democrats, but in the wider scheme of things, its political impact will be a mere blip.

        • mikeyc
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

          You’re right that in the big picture this is just another leftist racist blowup and when something else shiny comes along the public’s attention will be diverted. In fact, it’s already happened (LeBron insult).

          But Democrats and the Left are whistling past the graveyard when they ignore the undertow of resentment this kind of thing brews. Despite all the bleating and mental gymnastics, no one is buying her defense. That her defenders are, in the minds of most Americans, the very people that constitute the Democratic party ought to give those of us who dread more years of the Trumpists in power real cause to worry. Especially since the Trump presidency itself is a symptom of the very thing.

          • Historian
            Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

            I would need evidence to accept your statement that in the minds of most people the Leong defenders constitute the Democratic Party. Among Trump voters, you are probably correct. But, as I noted above, since they would never change their minds about Trump, politically speaking their views of this incident are irrelevant.

            As for the rest of the electorate, which is the majority and mostly Democrats, I doubt that they see the Leong defenders as representing them. Again, this is why I think the incident will have little political impact.

            Your mention of Trump’s twitter attack on LeBron James is significant. His unhinged rant is likely to gain Democrats 10 times more votes than they will lose by the Leong incident. Thanks, Trump.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

              His white-nationalist base lurves when Trump mocks colored folk in his tweets, especially when he plays into the “low IQ” trope. Hits ’em in the sweet spot.

          • Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            But Democrats and the Left are whistling past the graveyard when they ignore the undertow of resentment this kind of thing brews.

            QFT.

            They’re also still clueless that the reason most people voted for trump was a visceral reaction to exactly this sort of vile hatred against whites, men, and sundry deplorables.

            • Historian
              Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

              No, most Trump voters did not vote for him because of the largely fictitious hatred of minorities for white people. They voted for him because they saw slipping away a country where white people dominated, a condition they wished to save. In 2016 they momentarily plugged the dike, but demographics are working against them. They will nurse their grievances and wonder what happened to the 1950s.

              There is no evidence that the vast majority of minorities hate white people. If anything the opposite is true. The sad part is that the Jeong incident provides the right wing a symbol to gin up their base. The foolish Joeng is a gift to the right wing that will not stop giving.

              • Posted August 5, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

                Did the trump voters tell you this, or did you just employ your mind-reading skills?

        • Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          This Leong incident is, as you say, a mere blip but there are lots of other incidents that collectively are used to characterize the Left. Sometimes we even hear Dem politicians use some of these phrases (“power structure”, “colonialism”, etc.). It reminds independents of what they hate about the Left. This, exacerbated by Russian meddling, was what lost Hillary Clinton the election.

          • Angel
            Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            So what’s wrong with bringing up “power stritures” and “Colonialism “, please enlighten me,

            • Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

              Those phrases are all about looking backward, assessing blame, analyzing history, etc. This is best left to historians, sociologists, intellectuals, and the like, not politicians. Such views may be valid in these contexts but are divisive in their nature.

              Obama realized this and avoided playing the race card as much as possible, though of course his opposition continues to claim otherwise. Rather than run as the first black President, which of course he was, he ran on hope and platforms everyone should care about: health care, war, terrorism, the budget, etc. Though black voters were obviously motivated by his candidacy, he scrupulously avoided mentioning them. Black people often complain that Obama didn’t do enough for them but, if he had, I suspect he would not have won.

              Hillary Clinton didn’t seem to understand this lesson. Sure, she had forward-looking policies but she couldn’t resist wallowing in the admiration of women and other identity politics groups. They were clearly in her corner but acknowledging it openly was her undoing.

              Women’s rights, black rights, etc. are all worthwhile causes which I support but when a political candidate bases their agenda significantly on them, the rest of the voters think that they are being left out.

          • Historian
            Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            As I’ve replied to Ken B below, the Democratic strategy should not be aimed at winning over independents, who tend to lean Republican in any case. The Party’s resources should be expended to increase turnout.

            • Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

              I think it needs both. The number of voters claiming to be independent is bigger now than anytime in recent history. This is partly due to Trump. Some of the would-be Republicans who are disgusted by Trump are now calling themselves independents.

              • Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

                Actually, most of the increase in independents over the past 10 years has been drawn from the ranks of Democrats.

              • Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

                Even better! Trump has undoubtedly driven them back toward the Dems. I can’t imagine many so-called independents are moving toward Trump and the GOP right now. Perhaps if they are of Russian descent but otherwise no.

              • Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

                Trump has undoubtedly driven them back toward the Dems.

                I wish, but that’s not the case.

                A profound misunderstanding exists among the Left as to why most people voted for and continue to support trump. As Eric Weinstein put it, they didn’t really like him or think he’d be make a great president — he was simply “the murder weapon”.

            • Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

              “[T]he Democratic strategy should not be aimed at winning over independents, who tend to lean Republican in any case. The Party’s resources should be expended to increase turnout.”

              It’s about 30/40/30 GOP/IND/DEM now. You’d need impossibly high turnout from your base to counterbalance your proposed abandonment of the Indy vote. Further, the things that (in theory) would increase the base’s turnout will only drive away even greater number of potential independent voters. It’s a death spiral.

              The Dems should seriously be asking themselves why they are losing independents, and consider whether pandering to the party’s extremist wing is a better winning strategy than returning to its populist ideals with messages & proposals that appeal to a broad range of Americans.

              • Historian
                Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

                No, the idea is to increase turnout from those people who have not voted at all. This amounts to about 50% of the electorate. In other words, the goal of the Democrats should be to expand their base in addition to getting to vote those people who voted Democratic in the past. It would be nice to get the votes of the so-called independents, but they are not crucial.

              • Posted August 5, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

                the idea is to increase turnout from those people who have not voted at all.

                And what is the new magic formula that will achieve that for the first time ever?

                Wouldn’t it just be easier to stop alienating vast swathes of likely voters?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

                The most recent party registration statistics I’ve seen (for the 31 states that have party registration) are Dems 40%, GOP 29%, Ind. 28%, and 2% “other.”

                Trump has sky-high approval ratings (of about 88%) among registered Republicans, but has shed significant support among the other groups since his election.

              • Historian
                Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

                The Five Thirty Eight site aggregates polls. As of today, 47.7% percent of the public supports Democrats as opposed to 39.9% for Republicans in whom they support for Congress. I guess the Democrats are failing to alienate independents. They have to work harder. Maybe we can get a picture of Nancy Pelosi hugging Sarah Jeong. Yeah, that’s it; that will turn things around.

        • Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          It’s not the Trump voters you need to worry about. It’s people like me. I thought Trump the worst candidate the GOP ever nominated and refused to support him. I might have supported several of the others and I supported Romney. Now I feel I am being driven to support him, because his opponents are even worse. That should scare everyone who hates Trump as I am a typical example of a large slice of the undecided.

          • Historian
            Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

            Sure Democrats would like your vote, but the votes of people such as yourself are not crucial. If you think the Democratic candidate, whomever that may be, will be worse than Trump based on incidents such as the Jeong affair, then by all means vote for Trump. Democrats, with the proper strategy, can win without the votes of so-called independents who lean Republican such as yourself since you supported Romney. You do not state whether you voted for Clinton or Trump.

            The MIT election lab has analyzed the 2016 election. It notes that the percentage of black voters in 2016 compared to 2012 declined precipitously (see figure 3). It also states: “However, more recent research suggests that voters in national elections are more likely to be Republican and to oppose redistributive social policies than non-voters. Differences between voters and non-voters on other issues such as foreign policy are much less pronounced. “

            All this adds up to the conclusion that the Democratic strategy should be to increase turnout. The bulk of the Party’s resources should be used to that end. This would be much more productive than exerting an effort to changing the minds of folks such as yourself.

            https://electionlab.mit.edu/research/voter-turnout

            • Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

              Reading must not be your strong suit since I was quite explicit I did not support Trump. Voting for is supporting, ergo one can correctly infer I did not vote for Trump.

            • Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

              Given that American elections have notoriously low voter turnout, increasing voter turnout is obviously key for all sides. Trump realizes this and is expecting to have rallies 5 times a week closer to November. The Dems should have some rallies. Obviously they shouldn’t be like Trump’s but that is really the point. The mid-terms are statewide and local affairs by their nature. Something is needed to tell a national story to complement them. Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are doing something like this but it needs to be bigger and involve others.

              • Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

                ” Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are doing something like this but it needs to be bigger and involve others.”

                I was a registered Dem for most of my adult life, and have voted almost exclusively democratic. Were Ocasio-Cortez to run for office in my district, I would definitely vote for whoever ran against her, regardless of party affiliation.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

                There are many issues on which I disagree with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (or at least on which I believe I do; her views have yet to be fully explicated). But I would gladly make common cause with her against the white-nationalist wing of the Republican Party — or against the pusillanimous establishment Republicans who’ve cravenly allowed Donald Trump and his band of white-nationalist to hijack their Party.

            • Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

              “… the votes of people such as yourself are not crucial.”

              Hillary lost by 44,292 votes in PA, 22,748 in WI, and 10,704 in MI.

              • Historian
                Posted August 4, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

                So far in 2018 the Democratic turnout in special elections has been spectacular, sometimes flipping Trump districts by 10% to 20%. So, as of now, the votes of people like you are not crucial.

        • Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          I’d like to think this is a mere blip, but to me it seems to be a kind of turning point: the point where people clearly realize that the Control-Left really does hold a double standard of morality.

          • Diane G
            Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:05 am | Permalink

            Were that to turn out to be the case (and I’m not as optimistic as you are) it would be a huge boon to the Dem’s chances of coming to their senses and stopping the bleeding. Knowing the left, though, I predict only further fratricide.

            Both Clinton (Bill) and Obama pissed off a number of leftist absolutists by being too centrist and too willing to compromise on occasion; notably both were not only elected but reelected. Let’s hope we find a candidate with similar political wiles.

        • Diane G
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 2:46 am | Permalink

          “The Leong incident will certainly not help Democrats, but in the wider scheme of things, its political impact will be a mere blip.”

          One hopes, but I can’t help but fear that the democratic candidates are going to visit campuses and find themselves trying to placate the Leong-style SJW’s there and run aground on the reef of PC-ness.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      That is because, now, the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Need we wonder who is the rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem?

        • CAS
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

          Trump 2020!

    • BJ
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      The sad thing is that proves that the intelligentsia will say and do anything to defend their own for things for which they would pillory those on the other side, and after whom they would send social media mobs and coordinate media campaigns against . It demonstrates that their defenses of Jeong and those like her are based not on principle, but on tribalism and protecting their own, no matter how odious. Once again, this rhetoric they allow and then defend gives ever more reason and ammunition to Trump supporters. Tribalism is trumping reason on both sides.

      • Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        It proves (again) Trump is right about the media.

        • Historian
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          Of course you’re right. Clearly, the mainstream media is the enemy of the people. Their only goal is to foster a left wing takeover of the government. This is why Sean Hannity is the only journalist that I can trust for truthful, objective news. It was a crime that the media forced out of office that faithful steward of the environment, Scott Pruitt. We should also insist that Trump end the Mueller investigation immediately. This witch hunt, egged on by the liberal media, is nothing more than a relentless effort of the liberals to slur our great president, who has told even fewer lies than Abe Lincoln. Damn the media. I wish I could have been at the Trump rally where the woman gave the finger to a CNN reporter. I would have given him two fingers.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            Convinced me. #MAGA

            Now, emergency, everybody to get from street.

          • BJ
            Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            This is an awful lot of irrelevant information in an attempt to rebut something. Trump is right about the media, but only in the sense that it is, indeed, biased. But there’s media that’s biased for Trump, and media that is biased against Trump. At the end of the day, the issue is that people who just want factual information presented objectively really have nowhere to turn on either side. All media today appears to be driven by some agenda. Whether it’s Fox News or MSNBC, the NYT or the Washington Times, Gizmodo Media Corp. or Breitbart, there’s no longer any such thing as media that just wants to report the news, and that hurts our democracy and the public’s ability to be properly informed.

            What I will say in favor of the Right’s position is that it seems the Left side of the media is the one that has social power — the kind of power that allows for the destruction of careers of ideological opponents, and the protection of careers for allies. The Right currently has governmental power, but the left has social/institutional power, and neither of these are good things.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

              Trump’s primary problem is that reality has a strong anti-Trump bias.

              I’ve watched a fair amount of the prime-time lineups of the major cable news networks, including Fox News, since Donald Trump descended his gilded escalator into our presidential politics. There’s really no equivalency between what Fox does and what the other networks do.

              The evening hosts on MSNBC, and to an extent CNN, are engaged in opinion journalism — even crossing over into advocacy journalism at times. They gleefully flog bad news about Trump. But they never knowingly misrepresent the underlying facts, and when they get it wrong, they own up to it and apologize.

              Not so, Fox News. Since Trump’s election, it’s become state propaganda tv, merrily playing along with Trump’s myriad lies and delusions and attacking his opponents with wild-eyed “deep-state” conspiracy theories.

              Hell, Fox has never really functioned as a “news” network; it’s an “inspired by actual events!” longform fictional narrative, replete with recurrent themes and continuing, episodic storylines in which righteous old white folk are beset on all sides by bumptious minorities and the iniquities of Evil Leftists (with occasional subplots tossed in concerning lone, courageous persons of color willing to risk the wrath of their own kind and their liberal masters to speak out on behalf of the righteousness of old white folk). The only journalistic “rule” Fox follows is the one it gleaned from professional wrestling: never break kayfabe.

              • BJ
                Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

                I strongly disagree with your characterization of MSNBC. They may not lie as much as Fox News, but, as someone who hears them for several hours every time I’m with my parents, I can tell you that they definitely do lie about things, prevaricate, and leave out crucial context so a story or situation looks to the viewer completely different than what it is. CNN rarely fabricates, but they do prevaricate and leave out crucial context when it suits them. Just as important, both networks report on stories that fit their narratives, while ignoring stories that are about the same exact subject but would hurt the narrative they’re pushing. At the end of the day, it’s all dishonesty, it’s all intentional, and it’s all for an agenda; it’s just a matter of degrees. And it only seems to be getting worse.

              • Diane G
                Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:24 am | Permalink

                “… and it’s all for an agenda…”

                Yes, but that agenda may not be what you think it is. I’d call it “survival.” Sadly, traditional objective journalism is about as popular as the flu. Even partisan journalism walks a tight line between profitability and extinction. Priority #1 is to attract eyes/ears. If the majority of people want to tune in to only the sort of “news” that comports with their particular leanings, that’s the kinda news we’re gonna get.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

                @BJ — can you cite an example where an evening host on MSNBC has made a knowing misrepresentation of material fact?

                It’s one thing to emphasize one story while ignoring another — that’s the essence of advocacy journalism. It’s quite another knowingly and blatantly to lie about the underlying facts, the way Donald Trump and his propagandists on Fox News do.

                False equivalencies undermine a free press.

            • Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

              This is nonsense. I mostly watch CNN and NBC News and all I see is respect for the truth. Sure, they make an occasional mistake but (a) I don’t see any willful distortion of the truth and (b) they correct their mistakes once they’re discovered.

              I understand that these outlets are biased against Trump. But how are they supposed to cover policies like separation of children from their parents at the border, to name just one example, without appearing to be against it? Do you think they should pretend to be neutral? Is that what you would consider your ideal news service?

              Let’s flip the question. In your mind, what would the ideal news service really look like when covering Trump?

  26. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Personally, however vile I’ve found it to be, I’ve never advocated for anyone to lose a job over private speech — speech that didn’t occur at, or directly pertain to, their place of work. But, then, nobody’s ever asked me to run a Fortune 500 company, or any other company beyond a tiny law office, so, per Wittgenstein’s proposition #7, I should probably STFU about that one.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Her tweets should be considered public speech, just as Trump’s are, and should have been especially relevant to the NYT’s hiring of a supposed technology expert. And surely ALL Jeong’s previous writings, tweets included, are relevant to her hiring into a journalist position.

      My guess is that NYT made a miscalculation. They thought that hiring an Asian woman into the position was a huge win regardless of her Twitter history. Perhaps now, not so much.

      • Diane G
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:27 am | Permalink

        Yeah, and I’d bet that, behind the scenes, at least a few execs are madly trying to figure out how they could possibly get rid of her without further riling a hornets’ nest.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      That is how I feel too. Even in the McCarthy era communists could keep their jobs, mostly. That’s a good thing.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        The Hollywood 10 and others blacklisted during the Red Scare might beg to differ about keeping their jobs. That would include a lotta people who were never actual Communists, or who were no longer communists in the 1950s, but who went to a CPUSA meeting or two in the Thirties, at the height of the Great Depression, when it looked like capitalism was failing.

    • Taz
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Firing is one thing, but I really have to question the judgement of anyone who would hire this person after seeing these tweets. The Times claims to have known all about them. If nothing else, they indicate a toxic personality.

      • Diane G
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:31 am | Permalink

        Exactly. This is what happens when the old Gray Lady tries to morph into the woker-than-thou organ.

  27. JB
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    What do you think would be the result if a group of minority assailants drove to a wealthy mostly-white neighborhood and killed 20 or 30 people indiscriminately because they hated white people?

    Most Americans would denounce this crime, but I strongly suspect that many self-hating whites in the Control Left would express sympathy for the perpetrators. They would explain that it was an expression of the suffering induced by racial oppression.

    I know this sounds insane, but I’ll bet I’m right. Heck, Charlie Hebdo was almost this exact thing.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      You’re absolutely right.

      It does sound insane.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      As Nick Cohen characterized it, “Kill us, we deserve it.”

    • Jonathan Dore
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:24 am | Permalink

      Yes, the Charlie Hebdo massacre provoked exactly that response. That’s what made it clear that there was literally no outrage Islamists could perform that would make some otherwise sane people cease to see them as powerless victims whose actions must always be excused.

    • Diane G
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:34 am | Permalink

      I’d put my money on a ton of oppression apologists claiming extenuating if not exculpating circumstances.

      • JB
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 5:34 am | Permalink

        I guess MLK’s dream is dead to those on the far left: he was unwoke and blind to the incurable racism of white people. Hoping for equality is not even the goal anymore… the only “right thing” to do is endlessly propitiate oppressed people while confessing on your white knees that you are a sinner, born broken and begging for redemption…

        … hmm, sounds familiar.

  28. Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    The usual excuse for racism among Japanese Americans is that they are owed a free pass because of internment during WWII.

    On the other hand the experience of Jews in WWII means they should be held to a higher standard because it was some kind of ‘learning opportunity.’

    • mikeyc
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Jeong is Korean-American

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Iceberg, Goldberg. Whatevs.

        • Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          Variations on a theme … 😉

        • Diane G
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:36 am | Permalink

          Lol, haven’t heard that one for a while. 😀

      • Taz
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Against whom the Japanese were incredibly racist during WWII.

        Ah, the circle of life!

  29. Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to say that the earlier tweets dug up by Nick Monroe seem pretty tame, at least those I read. “White folks can’t cook rice” is on par with “White guys can’t jump.”

    She seems to have gone downhill from there.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      FYI, I use a rice cooker as does every Asian friend I know.

    • mikeyc
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      True and some are actually funny, but it establishes a pattern of hate that goes way back.

      • Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Well, at least a pattern of excessive focus on race.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Maybe the problem is kids today no longer play “the Dozens.” That taught ya a thick skin. (Although, even in my neighborhood, mothers were off limits — no “yo mama so …” wisecracks; they weren’t considered sporting.)

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Obvs, you don’t understand how hurtful it is to wypipo to be told they can’t jump or can’t dance, or that they walk with their ass cheeks squeezed together too tightly.

      • tubby
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Or told they smell like wet dogs.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          I dunno, I kinda like the smell of wet dog — or at least the smell of my springer spaniel when he’s wet.

          • tubby
            Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

            Before or after bathing him?

          • Diane G
            Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:41 am | Permalink

            Aw, you have a springer spaniel. 🙂

  30. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I think it is fair to say that racism from white people toward minorities more harmful than racism from minorities toward white people. But both are still racism.

    • mikeyc
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Yes in general that’s true, but again I’ll note Sullivan’s warning about deepening “…the kind of resentment that gave us Trump”. That seems pretty damn harmful to me.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Quantify that assertion.

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        It does not seem to be the same in terms of damage that it does to the recipients. It is still racism. Still wrong. Should still be called out. But the Ctrl left are right on one thing which is that these sorts of comments directed at white people from marginalized people does not disempower white people. It does do some harm (gives the right wing something to crow about; gives white racists and excuse). But overall it is considerably less harm.
        Here, watch this. [Flicks something small off of a shoulder]. There, I just got rid of all the bad feels that I had about Jeong’s racist tweets.

        • Diane G
          Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:44 am | Permalink

          Great reply.

        • Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          Sure, I don’t feel much personal pain from Jeong’s tweets either. We white males are still on top for now. However, the damage done by her tweets is the continuation of racial tensions in the US and the failure to help fix the problem. As many have noted, racism breeds more racism. The only way racism is going to be solved is by breaking the cycle. Jeong’s tweets, on the other hand, reinforce racism.

        • Posted August 5, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          “It does not seem” is supposition, not quantification.

          Define “disempowerment” and show a causal link from racism to it.

          What I hear you saying is, minorities are constitutionally less able to weather criticism than whites. The soft bigotry of low exceptions.

  31. Jon Gallant
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    It is clear enough that Ms. Jeong is a typical case of communication by Twitter, which is to say a twit. More exactly, a twit parroting clichés of her social environment, or, as her Vox defender puts it so nicely, “the way the social justice left talks”.

    Our host and Andrew Sullivan are right to be concerned about the normalization of this way of talking. As George Orwell pointed out, pop-Left clichés crowd out thought and “will construct your sentences for you — even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent — and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.”
    [“Politics and the English Language”, 1946]

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      You do realize ol’ George was a Socialist, right — that he fought with the POUM (the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification) on Republican side in the Spanish Civil War and everything?

      Learned some hard lessons there about the perfidy of Stalinist, he did, but that was about as “pop-Left” as you could get in those days (outside of maybe the Abraham Lincoln Brigade).

      As he said years later in “Why I Write”:

      “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.”

      • Jon Gallant
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        “that was about as “pop-Left” as you could get in those days”. Precisely. Apologetics for the USSR and its doings was the pop-Left of the 30s/40s, and exactly what Orwell wrote against, and finally satirized brilliantly.
        His basic principle was anti-bullshit, and I submit that he would have had a field day with today’s pop-Left.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          So you’re cool with Democratic Socialism and the anti-Stalinist Left? Good to know.

  32. Steve Gerrard
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    The problem to me is not so much that she is racist, but rather that posting “Dumbass fucking white people” reflects a profound lack of interesting articulate insight. Anybody can come up with that sort of phrase, and there are more than enough who do. What we need, what the NYT editorial board needs, is writers with something more to say than a typical teenager has.

  33. eric
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m starting to see the ultimate irony emerge from all this. Just as otherwise relatively decent people who grew up in the sexist 70s (plus minus a decade) are harangued out of public office for their admittedly unacceptable sexual behavior, the millennials are going to be harangued out of public office for their future-judged unacceptable ctrl-left tweet trails. The pattern repeats; we grow up with our own times’ biases and -isms (whatever they may be), the next generation grows out of them, sees the past behavior as unacceptable, and slowly puts their elders out to pasture as embarrassing dinosaurs.

    Only with the internet, the pace of the cycle is accelerating. My grandparents made it to their 70s before we really found their racism intolerable. The altering of cultural acceptance around sexist behavior is catching people down to their 50s and 40s. Meanwhile the ctrl-left movement is still going strong, while social rejection of it is starting to form and catching people in their 30s.

    • JezGrove
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      That rings very true – well put!

      • Diane G
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 3:52 am | Permalink

        I thought so too. And hopefully the pattern predicts that SJW-ism will meet its demise sooner rather than later.

  34. Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    “Dumbass fucking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.”

    “Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins.”

    “oh man it’s sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men”

    These are about people. These quotes can’t be rationalized away as shorthand for a power structure.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Further, why would “white people” being shorthand for societal problems make it ok? Can we badmouth “black people” if we explain that “black people” is shorthand for societal problems?

  35. Jimbo
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Fire her. Here’s a litmus test: if it was discovered that a white male editor at The Times had a 2 year history of racist, sexist tweets against asian women, does anyone think he would have a prayer of keeping his job? No way.

    Fight firing with firing.

    One more: what would The Times do if her tweets used racist slurs against black women? Please, someone defend how that is not racist. The “power” argument is surely a force multiplier of racism but is not definitional.

  36. Jimbo
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Let me be as charitable as possible to Jeong: I get her humor and she’s flipping the script to use irony to mock the implicitly race-deaf comments of white people to illustrate their inherent biases. It’s analogous to the comedian Dave Chappelle who can be very funny mocking the absurdity of stereotypical white people…and all races laugh.

    Except that I would deem such cavalier (and funny) attitudes toward race as probably disqualifying for the NYT editor job. Neither Chapelle nor Jeong get the job because such behavior is appropriate in a comedy club but a huge liability at work.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Actually it is a liability at her new job. What white guy will give her an interview? Only the foolish ones.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      But Chappelle’s send-ups of stereotypical white behavior are actually clever send-ups of funny behavior. Jeong’s “jokes” are just mean-spirited insults. “Fucking white people on the internet”. That’s nothing like what Chappelle does.

      • Jimbo
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        I agree! As I said, I was straining to be maximally charitable to Jeong (not Chappelle) looking beyond just the tweet you show but others that she posted. She’s no Chappelle, her tweets may attempt comedy but ultimately fail that test which means she’s simply racist, and unlike many here, I’m advocating she be fired.

  37. Posted August 4, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Just in case anyone (outside USA) hasn’t seen it (couldn’t find the link in the comments. https://www.dailywire.com/news/34021/left-wing-rage-mob-comes-after-andrew-sullivan-ben-shapiro
    Sullivan is dead right – I also suspect that there is a big cultural guilt component to all this – it’s happening in Oz too.

    • Rich Sanderson
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      …and the UK, too.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:10 am | Permalink

      Good article – thanks.

  38. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Would that the ctrl-left and the alt-right would take their fight into the back alley and leave the rest of us out of the crossfire.
    But as they continue to use blunderbuss’s as weapon of choice, the rest of us are jeopardized.

    • Posted August 4, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps the winner in 2020 will be the party that most effectively disowns their respective radical fringe. I am ready to do my part in disowning the Ctrl-Left. They make me sick.

      • Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        Is it a pipe dream to hope that reasonable people in the center could form an entirely new party?

        • Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

          Yes, it is. It’s not impossible but where is the leadership going to come from? We are perhaps only a year and a half from when presidential candidates have to start lining up to run in 2020. Who do you see is going to run that might have the clout to make a serious run?

          • Posted August 5, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            For 2020, it would have to be someone like Bloomberg. Long term, it’s high time sensible people start exploring other options to the two legacy parties.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted August 4, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        P.S. Because Hillary C is so mercurial in her allegedly centrist positions, I like to refer to her as the Shift-Middle. 🙂

      • Diane G
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 4:00 am | Permalink

        For the first time since…forever…I’m thinking the preeminence of the Iowa caucus might not be such a bad thing after all..

  39. Pw
    Posted August 4, 2018 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    This whole discussion reminds me of an incident from one of my undergraduate classes 2 semesters ago. We were discussing colonialism in Africa and an African American student thought it important to loudly exclaim “white people are evil” in the middle of class. Not European policy, not those specific white people, no all white people are evil. The reaction from the white teacher “oh, I know….. *bland consoling noises*”. I don’t know what I feel more intensely sadness or anger.

    • BJ
      Posted August 4, 2018 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      Of course, most of those slaves that the Europeans and Americans brought over from Africa weren’t stolen, but were bought from the kings and warlords who had been selling their people among the countries in their own continent for centuries. In fact, it was the Europeans (and, in particular, the British who started it) who ended that slave trade, and the only places slavery like that still continues is in some places in Africa and the Middle East.

      The point is: when it comes to history, everybody was/is evil. Skin color and region has nothing to do with it.

      • Posted August 5, 2018 at 1:15 am | Permalink

        BJ – thank you for the first honest and sensible comment on the slave issue I’ve seen in years .. the trope is that America was the big evil slave country and (maybe Britain) – which is total BS. (it doesn’t in anyway excuse the Slave Trade) – but humans have been engaged in active slavery probably for many thousands of years – even some ants practice slavery – think of the opening lines of the Odessy. And it wasn’t always blacks who copped it – quite a number of European coastal communities were raided for slaves as well. At the moment we are lucky – as we have slaves in a can – gasoline – when that runs out .. we may go back to slavery.

  40. David Howard
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    In the past, Sarah was writing for a more fringe publication where her opinions and tweets had little impact on the readers. Now she is writing for the mainstream in the area of tech. Tech and tech-gaming has more than its share of white males whether as users or company execs. There is the potential for major tech to simply not invite her to expos and events fearing controversy and for users to chose to not read her column. What happens to a writer who has publicly disparaged her main intended audience as well as those who provide information and content is irrelevence.

  41. CAS
    Posted August 5, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Generally, I don’t think people should be fired for twitter comments like those made by Jeong. However, in this sort of very public case, firing her would send an inhibiting message to those who work to further divide us. For the good of the country, fire her!

    • Posted August 5, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      I don’t think the NYT should fire Jeong for her racist tweets per se but because they make her particularly unqualified for the job. In general, companies should not fire people for demonstrated racism that occurred before their hiring. However, it should disqualify them for certain jobs. In this case, someone whose job is to report on social media, among other things, must have proficiency in that area.

      • eric
        Posted August 5, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        In general, companies should not fire people for demonstrated racism that occurred before their hiring.

        I don’t think they should necessarily fire her for past tweets either. But I don’t think they’ll have long to wait to have a cause. And if I’m wrong, and she keeps her Tech articles professional (because in theory she’s the tech writer, not any sort of social commentator), fine by me.

  42. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if this has been posted before, my apologies if it has (there are far too many comments for me to catch up).

    I was following another thread on another site which was discussing racism. An assertion was made that coloured people cannot be racist. I posted the OED definition of racism.

    This link was the response. We really are in wonderland (or is it through the looking glass, I can never remember). What gets me is the condemnation of the OED as only being an opinion when this whole piece is just an opinion.

    View story at Medium.com

  43. Posted August 9, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    No point in logical contortions. Sarah Jeong lacks the professionalism, maturity and objectivity to work at the Times. The longer they defend her, the less credibility they have.


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