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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Quillette is yet again a disgrace to journalism

Columbia Journalism Review published a piece about the failure of Quillette to fact-check one of its stories. According to the piece, Right-wing publications launder an anti-journalist smear campaign by Jared Holt:
On May 15, Eoin Lenihan, a far-right social media user presented what he said were excerpts from a data set that proved prominent reporters who cover extremist movements were “closely associated” with antifascist activists. He identified himself as an online extremism researcher, despite having no association with any previously known organization that researches extremism. In reality, Lenihan was already an established right-wing troll, now blanket banned for “violating rules against managing multiple Twitter accounts for abusive purposes.”

Then continuing...
Lenihan tells CJR via email that his methodology consisted of labeling Twitter users as “highly connected” to Antifa if they had “8 or more connections” on Twitter to either accounts run by antifascist activists, or one professor at the University of Hong Kong. He also said he had provided “snippets” of his work to journalists to support his claims. “Those who received them were asked not to make them public as peer review demands exclusivity on publishing said data,” he told CJR. “Who received that information is, obviously, confidential.” Lenihan did not specify which peer-reviewed journal was considering his work for publication.
And finally he demonstrates what an absolute closed echo-chamber the rightwing media is, including Quillette:
But for conservative media, the endorsement of peers within its narrow confines is all the expertise necessary for publication. Quillette writer Andy Ngo, who called attention to Lenihan’s work on Twitter and whose work Lenihan cites in his article, insisted that the legitimacy of Lenihan’s findings was self-evident from Lenihan’s Twitter posts. Human Events publisher Will Chamberlain told CJR that it considered Quillette a “reputable outlet” and would not independently fact-check work appearing on its site when commenting on it “in broad terms.” CJR did not receive responses to emailed requests for comment from PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil, RT’s Margarita Simonyan, or Breitbart’s Allum Bokhari. It seems unlikely that anyone reading these publications will encounter the sort of media criticism that dogs the steps of reporters for mainstream news outlets.
There's a reason why Quillette publishes people like Johnny Anomaly, Colin Wright, Cathy Young, Lee Jussim, Helen Pluckrose, Andy Ngo. Bo Winegard, Ben Winegard, Razib Khan, biosocial criminologists and Steven Pinker. It's not journalism, it's a rightwing political project.

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