I’ve been thinking about the Portland event yesterday. The one being “documented" by the thirstiest people in new media. The one serving up delicious Patreon bait. The one offering itself as a propagandizable atrocity exhibition—a “shape-as-you-wish” template for partisan rancor.
My conclusion, as someone who occupies a portion of the new media space, and as someone who tries hard to be guided by argument and evidence rather than tribal commitments, is that there are more bad actors in new media than I previously thought possible. And they're multiplying.
The main reason for this is simple. It pays to be a hyperpartisan goon. The masses clamor for their antecedently held views to be fed back to them, and they are willing to pay—in money and follows—for that sweet, sweet supply.
I wish I could tell you that the allure to do media this way is overstated. But I've experienced the temptation myself. I’ve felt the magnetic pull of journalistically commodifying outrage.
The money and influence are there, just waiting to be had—it merely takes a willingness to understand one’s editorial burden as reinforcing narratives rather than enriching the discourse.
Yesterday, the Canadian new media outfit @TPostMillennial, ostensibly a conservative counterpart to left-of-center Canadian media, was repurposed as a @MrAndyNgo amplifier feed. Video after video tweeting out happenings in that famous Canadian city...Portland, Oregon.
@TPostMillennial @MrAndyNgo My brothers and sisters, this is the site that described @MrAndyNgo as a "renowned" and "celebrated journalist." What a time to be in media. thepostmillennial.com/breaking-renow…
@TPostMillennial @MrAndyNgo The problem is these people, @MrAndyNgo being their shining exemplar, are constitutionally incapable of covering events objectively. Not only do they lack the requisite willingness to evaluate evidence dispassionately, but they are part of a system that *rewards* this deficiency.
@TPostMillennial @MrAndyNgo It’s frustrating to admit this, but for all the good it’s done, the disintermediation of journalism has paved the way to a Grifter’s Paradise. The structural incentives to shitdocument your way into fame are enormous. Who could resist them?
@TPostMillennial @MrAndyNgo Just look at the way Ngo framed this story versus what the reality is. People who think “but it’s video; he can’t lie about it” need to email me their bank account number immediately because hooboy do I have the opportunity of a lifetime for you
@TPostMillennial @MrAndyNgo The job of a journalist, of an editor, of a publication, is to enrich people’s understanding of the world. @RogueNotary is absolutely right that the way people *fail* at this is more subtle than you think.
@TPostMillennial @MrAndyNgo @RogueNotary This is what journalistic failure looks like: deploying disproportionate resources and energy to cover an event whose importance to society is zero. Actually, it's less than zero—it’s got negative value, because it displaces from the conversation items whose importance is real.
@TPostMillennial @MrAndyNgo @RogueNotary So, the problem here isn’t simply that Ngo and his ilk superimpose onto their coverage narrative frames that unjustifiably flatter their own side. That would be bad enough. But it’s also that the event itself has negative value as an item of coverage. The opportunity cost is real
@TPostMillennial @MrAndyNgo @RogueNotary As my colleague @NGrossman81 said yesterday, if you still trust people like @AndyNgo, it’s because you want to believe.

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More from @bernybelvedere

19 Nov
Can’t stop laughing Image
Tracey: “How, precisely, will your argumentative strategy unfold? Walk me through the steps.”

<Barnes ghosts Tracey to go trick or treating with his bros>

Tracey: “Well, you’ve got an important message to share with the American people, so buddy, YOU’RE BOOKED”
Thought my follow-up tweet in this thread made it plain what I was laughing at but I guess not.

The funniest aspect of this for me had to do with the way Twitter formatted the procession of tweets. ImageImage
Read 5 tweets
18 Nov
I understand the concerns about academic fields uncritically adopting boutique progressivist buzzfare. But the dimensions of race and class are absolutely germane to the broader inquiry into “public health.” ImageImageImage
Smart “anti-SJW” people should drop people like Lindsay just like smart “SJW” people should drop people like DiAngelo. They are enemies of nuance. The world is too complex for them.
Like you, but at a far lower level of recognition, I'm a discourse curator. I have a newsletter I'm about to relaunch on this very theme. I run a site in which I try to sift good commentary from bad.

Read 11 tweets
17 Nov
a lib's dream: changing vote totals on dominion election software, accessed exclusively via Hunter's laptop, stored on Hillary's private server.
a lib's nightmare: patriotic poll watchers bursting through the door with a warrant that's really just a realDonaldTrump tweet that says "you're fired"
a lib's revenge: memorizing all 98,999 pages of obama's first eleven memoirs so that no one can plagiarize him without consequence
Read 5 tweets
17 Nov
yooooo how do you do fellow kids I just dropped a PHAT FLEET go check it out haha parents r so lame, party at tanner's so hit me up l8er
haha here's my dweeb grandma trying to access my latest FLEET
here are my boyz basically sayin, ‘yo, Belvy, you a real one with these FLEETS’
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov
Something I haven't touted as much, though I want to now, is @ArcDigi's commitment to publishing *historical* columns. Our main focus is on current events. But this world did not poof into existence five minutes ago—so history will continue to be a key offering in Arc's lineup.
Here's a piece we just published by @NathGAlexander on the controversy surrounding a work called "Black Athena," which takes us to ancient Greece, Africa, and to investigating whether retrofitting our concepts of race represents unjustified anachronism.

Here's a piece we published a few days ago by @LDBurnett on the effects that a shift in publishing models in earlier centuries had on the world of literature, and on the fortunes of writers. She then ties it in to a shift we might be seeing today.

Read 10 tweets
16 Nov
Hope the history books record that, after the vaccine announcements, the president was radiating with fully earned acclaim for his heroic efforts to just exist as scientists independently saved our tails.
Also, I'm sure the "historians" will waste no time crediting Trump now that he's warmly suggested they're not true chroniclers of the past by putting their research field in quote marks.
Read 4 tweets

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