Featured Post

PZ Myers dissects evolutionary psychology: brief, sharp and fabulous

I admit I LOL'd at the part about lighting up "like a Christmas tree." WATCH AND LEARN all IDWs!

The Brian Ferguson Interview

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Judd Legum vs. the Bari-verse

Like virtually everybody in the media, Judd Legum (in his Popular Info column entitled "The Real Cancel Culture") gives Bari Weiss too much respect, treating her as a good-faith journalist who just happens to end up on the same side of every issue as far-right extremist Republican political operative Christopher Rufo and far-right media like The Free Beacon:

NPR didn't follow the script. Rufo and The Free Press were both involved in the successful effort to oust various Ivy League presidents. Those efforts included allegations that they were captive to the far-left, insufficiently concerned about anti-semitism, and engaged in various "scandals" exposed by Rufo and others. When Claudine Gay resigned as Harvard's president based mostly on the allegations published in another right-wing outlet, The Free Beacon, Weiss said she was "green with envy." 

But instead of capitulating to The Free Press and Rufo's pressure campaign, NPR defended its CEO and its journalism and moved on. 

That's when Rufo escalated his attacks on Maher.

I think there's reason to believe that the entire "NPR is too woke" brouhaha is a coordinated attack, dreamed up - or "workshopped" - and deployed by Bari Weiss and her long-time IDW allies like the extreme loser Peter Boghossian. I think the NPR attack plan is a more-successfully funded version of the far-right media campaign attempt described in the New Yorker exposé of the right-wing grift organization FAIR

Chen and Boghossian had workshopped a pitch to the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, for a project to create “a modern-day Death Star” to wage “ideological warfare” on the “enemies of modernity”; their plan involved writing co√∂rdinated op-eds and promoting anti-woke content, but it was rejected. Weiss and her friends also sought advice from Niall Ferguson, a historian at the Hoover Institution, about the best way forward.

Boghossian and Weiss have been allies since at least 2018.

I have a Google alert set for "Uri Berliner" so I'm aware that even though his charges against NPR are no longer headline news in most of the media, it's still a big story in the right-wing media network. And the underlying goal is, and has always been, ever since it was likely "workshopped" by Peter Boghossian or some similar far-right grifting ghoul, to defund public radio.

And again, I don't believe that there are as many paying subscribers as claimed for Weiss's The Free Press (which is staffed almost entirely by far-rightwingers and kooks) nor as many for far-right Substacks as claimed, because it would be far too easy to fake paying subscribers through the subscription infrastructures of the Free Press and Substack, so they could launder the money possibly coming in from far-right plutocrat monsters like Harlan "sugar daddy" Crow, Charles Koch, Peter Thiel and Marc Andreessen

All to make it look like their far-right views are more popular than they actually are.

And since they could do it, I firmly believe they would do it.

There should be audits of all media outlets funded by far-right plutocrats.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Another bashing in the Bari-verse

And the roll continues.

Last week the Washington Post bashed the recently released book, "Morning After the Revolution," by Nellie Bowles, the oafish right-wing grifter wife of equally oafish right-wing grifter Bari Weiss.

Now here comes the New Yorker: Nellie Bowles's Failed Provocations by Molly Fischer.

My absolute favorite description of Bowles's work in the piece: "incuriousity."
The book just reflects, unexamined, an experience—hers—of being caught in the online slipstream. “The transition from Black Lives Matter to Trans Lives Matter was seamless,” she writes. “The movement simply pivoted: The conversation about racism was now about transphobia. Done! Go!” Maybe this was how it felt scrolling through Instagram at the time; on the page, it reads as incuriosity, even credulity. Surely a book premised on a united and overpowering new movement ought to offer some account of how the people, the institutions, and the ideas it encompasses came into concert. Lacking that, the main thing that B.L.M., pediatric gender clinics, and San Francisco nimbys appear to have in common is that they began to vex Bowles around the same time.
But I am disappointed in the credulity of Molly Fischer - she seems to believe that just because Bowles likes to compare herself to Joan Didion, Bowles is also a Serious Writer, albeit not a very good one.

Nellie Bowles is working for Bari Weiss (like Weiss's sister Suzy) whose media property "The Free Press" is simply a method of promoting right-wing beliefs, likely funded by right-wing ghouls like Supreme Court corrupter Harlan Crow.

The New Yorker revealed the Weiss-Crow connection, less than a year ago:
But it was Weiss, more than anyone else, who was clearly the group’s big draw. She brought in a half-million-dollar donation from Harlan Crow, a Texas real-estate developer who, ProPublica recently reported, paid for years of undisclosed vacations and private-jet travel for the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. 
Bowles is a right-wing political operative, plain and simple, which is why, apart from her lack of talent as a writer, her book doesn't wonder about the people targeted as the enemy. This passage from Fischer's piece says it all:

It is difficult, though, to see Bowles’s subjects as more than caricatures when her descriptions of them are so generic. She writes that Seattle’s sixtysomething mayor has “hair perfectly blown out into the helmet that’s popular for successful women of that age.” Protesters in their teens and early twenties, meanwhile, possess “that coiled squirrely energy men have then.” At such moments, Bowles is not identifying and describing types; she is gesturing toward them, relying on readers to supply a portrait they already have in mind.

Well of course Bowles is "relying on readers to supply a portrait they already have in mind." That's how political propaganda works. Why would Bowles spend her time thinking about and describing individual human beings? That's not what her audience or her funders want.

And it should never be forgotten how extreme Bowles is - she promoted the psychopathic Libs of TikTok a couple of years ago:
Another week and another funny investigative report from Libs of TikTok, this time about a Portland lesbian bar, Doc Marie’s, that closed a week after opening...
Bowles links to the Libs of TikTok Substack and to "our friends" the grifting goons Jesse Singal and Katie Herzog, who also link to Libs of TikTok. 

Imagine being a committed supporter of Hillary Clinton in 2016, as Bowles apparently was, to, in a mere six years, publicly expressing your admiration for the humor of an extremist right-wing, gay-bashing soulless monster like Chaya Raichik. 

That's the corrupting power of far-right plutocrat money in action.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Quillette author gently criticizes Bari Weiss in the Daily Beast

Bari Weiss has been part of the IDW
since the beginning. Quillette founder
Claire Lehmann celebrates Weiss partying
with long-time Koch-funded grifters


Well I am on a roll with Bari Weiss lately.

I was glad to see Weiss receiving some criticism in the Daily Beast in an article entitled Is Bari Weiss Embarrassed by the Intellectual Dark Web

But I thought there were some glaring omissions in the article - no mention of what was a pretty big bombshell only a year ago - Weiss's sugar baby status as fund recipient of Supreme Court corrupter Harlan Crow

And although the Bari Weiss article about the "renegades" of the Intellectual Dark Web mentions Quillette as the "publication most associated with this (IDW) movement" the Daily Beast article does not mention Quillette once.

Then I realized the name of the author was familiar - ah yes the same Matt Johnson who has written for Quillette - and surprise surprise, Johnson's connection to Quillette is not mentioned in his Daily Beast bio, leading to this question: 

Is Matt Johnson embarrassed by Quillette?

Johnson has written fifteen articles for Quillette so far, the most recent in March of this year. Including a softball  interview with Steven Pinker - that's the only kind of interview anybody associated with Quillette would conduct. 

Johnson gives the impression that Weiss was at one time an outside (albeit sympathetic) observer of the IDW - but she's always been a member of the gang, which is why she is now so tight with far-right racist plutocrats associated with the IDW, including Peter Thiel. Weiss could be seen partying with IDW types a month after her renegades article ran.

Johnson has written for the equally right-wing garbage magazine Areo. And he adores misogynist Islamaphobe Christopher Hitchens. What an ass. 

Really it's kind of a miracle that Johnson has written anything against Weiss no matter how mild - but maybe this is an indication that the Quillette branch of the IDW is mad at Weiss for stealing their thunder - and maybe some plutocrat funding - by creating "The Free Press," the Bari Weiss version of Quillette.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

The Washington Post slams Bari Weiss's grifter wife

 Nellie Bowles, wife of Bari Weiss, is like Bari a talentless right-wing political hack, superbly detailed by a review by Becca Rothfield in the Washington Post:

Then, she fell in love with former Times opinion editor and writer Bari Weiss, to whom she is now married. Bowles grandiosely characterizes Weiss as a “known liberal dissident,” as if she were a renegade in a Soviet prison — not a canny businesswoman who left the Times vocally but voluntarily in 2020 so as to earn a purported $800,000 from an aggrieved newsletter the following year.

In the gulag that is life after the New York Times, the pair founded the Free Press, an outlet that designates itself as a stronghold of “fierce independence” and that specializes in sneering at the alleged excesses of progressivism. (“Camping Out at Columbia’s Communist Coachella,” reads a representative headline about a student protest that has since been disbanded by swarms of police in full riot gear — not the sort of characters usually in attendance at a music festival.) With Weiss’s help, Bowles suggests, she abandoned her youthful follies and entered true adulthood.

Hers is a familiar narrative, and one for which there is an eager audience. Publications like the Free Press, which boasts 77,000 paid subscribers, often publish confessionals in which newly minted centrists detail their conversions. Books abound with such stories, too. In a recent screed about the pitfalls of the sexual revolution, self-proclaimed “reactionary feminist” Mary Harrington explains that she pivoted rightward after a bout of hedonistic philandering in her 20s; the conservative commentator Sohrab Ahmari, in a 2021 memoir, admits that he arrived at college convinced of the wisdom of liberalism, only to be disillusioned as he came of age.

For the record, I don't believe the Free Press has 77K paid subscribers. I think it has 77K paid accounts some of which are underwritten by Bari Weiss's right-wing racist sugar daddies. Much like Substack. And until I see an audit of the accounts of the Free Press (or Substack) that proves otherwise, I will maintain that position.

Nellie Bowles revealed her true, hideous colors when she praised the psychopathic stochastic terrorist Libs of TikTok. A piece of smug right-wing hackery is no more than I would expect from that truly awful human being.

And where would a friend of the Intellectual Dark Web be without raging self-pity in spite of having an incredibly lucrative but also incredibly easy plutocrat-funded grift?

What mass movement — massive by design and definition — has no ridiculous constituents? Certainly not the movement of brave “free thinkers” who liken the harsh feedback they receive online to public humiliations in Maoist China, as Bowles does at length.

Hack grifter ghouls, funded to make the world a more hateful place.

Blog Archive