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The Brian Ferguson Interview

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Best title of the year: why Quillette sucks

 At Boing Boing: Why Quillette sucks

Lehmann's clueless vulgarity was such that even right-wingers cringed at her tweets. The New York Times' Jamelle Bouie, certainly not among them, remarked that it'd been a while since he'd seen "Twitter unite against a single person like it has united against the Australian caliper magazine lady."

She did have a defender, though, in the form of commentator Dave Rubin, who (while careful to distance himself from her) suggested that she should sue someone who had called her website, Quillette, a "white supremacist blog". While Rubin's proposal is legally illiterate, it did strike me that the casual invocation of "supremacist" obscures what Quillette's all about, the culture that eats its strategy for breakfast. It's not just the distinction hinted at by Bouie, between the Calipers racists and the Hoods racists, but the peculiar culture of self-serious, middle-class, constantly sneering Britishy media people who think things are just absurd.

I'll note here that Jamelle Bouie was instrumental in preventing Razib Khan, race pseudo-science hawker and friend of Claire Lehmann from getting a gig at the NYTimes by publicizing Khan's race statements - and Bouie linked to my personal blog which had a post from 2013 which presented quotes from the first incarnation of Khan's Gene Expression web site.

I mentioned this later on Twitter, while criticizing racist Bo Winegard and his promotion of race science, and Claire Lehmann had a meltdown, although, as is her habit, she wasn't concerned with accuracy - I never said I got Khan fired.

Which ties into another aspect of the Boing Boing piece:

The "intellectual dark web" of free-speech absolutists, as it was self-defeatingly named, is a regular source of legal threats and covert (if perhaps naive) support of authoritarian personalities and institutions. The "censorship" they complain of often amounts to mere criticism, experienced by their giant egos as injury. But the formal state-backed censorship they threaten to use themselves is all too real. Lehmann herself once threatened to sue someone for "defaming" Quillette because it's "going to be fun".

I wrote about Lehmann's threatened lawsuit, mentioned above, in a two-parter: How conservative and white supremacist is Quillette?

I don't know if I buy the emphasis on a British/Commonwealth point of view the article has. The Intellectual Dark Web, closely tied to Quillette, is mostly Americans.

The most important journalism concerning Quillette has yet to be written, which is the article examining, in depth, who funds Quillette.