Voldemort Wouldn’t Say It Either
I’m going to try my hand at a regular submission schedule to discuss a hodgepodge of semi-related news items that I see each week that catch and – at least briefly – hold my attention long enough to generate some reflection and reaction… and maybe not in that order. I begin this inaugural essay with the NY Times. Now, I was tempted to call it the failing New York Times because I knew that there is no better allusion at filtering out those who actually need to hear what I say the most (but will heed it the least). I don’t really believe (unfortunately) that the Times is failing and I want this post to resonate with Truth. Don’t get me wrong, the Times isn’t crushing it revenue-wise, but the fact that it even exists as a going concern bothers me. I’ll come back to the “why” of that in a bit, but let me get to the most recent cause célèbre at the Gray Lady that has drawn my ire: the sacking of 45-year veteran reporter Don MacNeil for use of the word-that-can-never-ever-be-spoken…
There. Let’s get that out of the way. If you can still read these words then presumably your brain has realized by now that you aren’t dead for your eyes having seen those letters above or – perhaps even worse yet? – sounding them out in your head! (You RACIST!! You pronounced it in your mind!)
For the unaware, National Review has a pretty good recap of the whole mess. MacNeil’s four-part defense was either linked or in the comments here and it’s not an unfair TL/DR summary to describe it as follows: old school, union democrat finds out that the newer, younger, more progressive wing has no use for his old ass anymore… (and that they are also vindictive, petty liars who take glee in screaming RACISM!! as loudly as they can for as long as it continues to have power). That MacNeil’s editors and management at the Times are quislings, complete gutless cowards, is an easy takeaway, but that’s just the surface skim of what’s really going on.
Let me admit that there’s no small measure of schadenfreude for me in watching the NYT implode before my eyes. (My schadenfreude is out to here and harder than Chinese arithmetic, as the old racist joke goes. Although, is it really racist to lean on a stereotype that Chinese are good at something… like math??) I’ve seen some comments by folks of a more conservative bent that MacNeil is only reaping what he sowed and so good riddance. And I must confess to not shedding many tears (okay, any tears, at all) over MacNeil’s sacking for essentially the same reasons. i.e. Even if MacNeil hasn’t participated in any cancel culture activism himself, the folks who put bread on his table have been front and center in destroying anyone who stands against the progressive narrative, from printing campus rape lies all the way back to Walter Duranty and the Holodomor, you won’t find much sympathy from me for even the tech beat guy at that commie rag finally getting his red pill the hard way. Maybe that’s unfair, maybe not – I’ll ask for you to withhold judgment until you get to the end of this piece.
But a closer look at what happened to MacNeil does give me pause.
First, a little play-by-play for those who didn’t follow it closely because the details really matter in MacNeil’s case. Some Lefty-rag – this time it was that paragon of journalistic integrity, the Daily Beast – wrote a shitty, one-sided hit job rehashing a years-old incident in which MacNeil is alleged to have used The Word That May Not Be Spoken (by white people) <GASP> IN FRONT OF ACTUAL F**KING CHILDREN!!! Now, before anyone gets the vapors, let me add some note benes: it is not alleged that MacNeil actually called someone N-WORD or directed the slur at, well, anyone. At all. As it turns out, the incident had previously been investigated by the Times, right after it happened, allegedly when some parents raised concerns about the event. But what is critical about the incident is that MacNeil was only repeating The Word that a STUDENT had used. (If you think it all sounds like a setup, you’re on my team.) MacNeil was on an overseas trip in Peru and a student recounted how her two teenage girlfriends, one Jewish and the other black – (not an accident on the punctuation, btw) – would insult each other using racial slurs; as in, the black girl called her Jewess friend a “kike” or “hebe” or other like insults. (I mean, really, who hasn’t?) In response to which, the Jewish girl would call her black friend… (oh no, not again) – a N…Nu…Nu…NO, YOU’RE NIGGARDLY. (Okay, just kidding, that’s not what she actually said).
Anyway…the girl on the bus who told this story to MacNeil asked whether he thought this was racism or not. And MacNeil, perhaps not clear on who said what, committed the most grievous sin of: asking for clarification about who used the word… by USING THE F**KING N-WORD!!!
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Again, let me say that under normal circumstances, I would take great pleasure in the fact that the Times has turned into a real life version one of Python’s quirkier bits from Holy Grail. I really would… but these aren’t normal circumstances.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
– Martin Niemoller, Lutheran pastor and concentration camp survivor
Niemoller is a pretty interesting chap. He was a German U-Boat commander during the First World War and later became a Lutheran pastor. He was also originally an enthusiastic supporter of Der Fuhrer’s Reich… until he found out that churches would be subservient to the State and that he and other pastors were having their phones tapped and being surveilled. His outspoken opposition eventually landed him in concentration camps for the last 7 years of the Nazi regime. Afterwards he uttered this famous quote in varying forms in speeches he made. Niemoller wrote a book about what he viewed as the complicity of all Germans in the horrors of the Nazi regime because of the populace’s unwillingness to stand against what they knew were the horrific acts of their government. I don’t believe in collective guilt and while I think Niemoller has a valid and trenchant point to make about government’s relationship to the people it claims to represent, he’s both wrong and right.
He’s wrong to ascribe collective guilt to an entire people simply because their government did terrible things. Guilt is an entirely individual matter, as a matter of logic, legality, and morality. Groups are not “guilty” of something collectively unless all members of the group have willingly and knowingly participated, aided, or abetted the horror the group has perpetrated. I don’t want to get bogged down in a discussion of the law around accomplices, conspiracy, or principle theories of liability, which have become so focused on minutiae that the entire area of personal responsibility in the law has been rendered meaningless. I see this same error when people discuss China, as well, as if every Chinese personally approved and supported their government’s actions. Indeed, it might be noted that one of the defining aspects of socialism its replacement of individual responsibility with only collective “group” responsibility, with the relevant “groups” being defined by the expediency of the moment that ruling class needs in order to demonize an enemy or elevate a “friend,” although it is telling how much there is of the former and how the latter is only used as an aid to carrying out the former. If this seems confusing in the abstract, consider the riots of the past summer when cities burned while mainstream politicians elevated one group – POCs in the new lingua sociala – but only as a cudgel against whites, never as a standalone act to lift up those historical out-groups.
Now one might reasonably ask what this has to do with the Times and Don MacNeil’s firing, so let me be explicit: if the mob can get to MacNeil, they can get to you. In fact, I would go a step further and say that it’s only a matter of time before they do get to you. Sounds alarmist and crazy, you say? Please allow me to “refresh your recollection,” as trial lawyers are wont to say.
Emmanuel Cafferty was an employee at San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). One day he was driving his truck and some activist – doing what he could for the party – and snapped a picture of Cafferty with his hand hanging out the window in traffic. To my eyes, it looks like the picture caught Cafferty just as he was trying to flick a sticky booger off of his finger. To the activist, however, Cafferty – a Mexican American – was flashing the “white power” gesture. SDGE got wind of it through social media and Cafferty was fired.
Though Cafferty appears to be making an entirely different gesture in the grainy photo, the image soon made its way back to his employer at San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). The company fired him after a few days of deliberation, claiming it “took appropriate action.” …
“I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to get over this, but to lose your dream job for playing with your fingers, that’s a hard pill to swallow,” Cafferty told a local NBC affiliate.
Contacted by local reporters, the man who captured the image – who has not been identified – admits he may have gotten “spun up” with emotion and misjudged the incident, adding that he never intended for Cafferty to be fired. He has since deleted his Twitter account altogether…
Now, let me repeat what I said before: if the Times woke mob can get to Don MacNeil, a forty-five year employee, and they can get to Emmanuel Cafferty (an obviously non-white guy) for a completely bullshit accusation, based on him hanging his hand out the window, then the fact that it hasn’t happened to you or someone close to you (YET) is simply a matter of happenstance. You can only hide from the mob for so long.
I’ve written here before about my brush with cancel culture after my friend was forced to sell his company because he made the mistake of taking a shot at the IHME’s claim of being able to model “systemic racism.” He mockingly Tweeted something to the effect that given the IHME’s ineptitude in modeling COVID-19 that there efforts would likely produce a race war. His life was ruined in a matter of weeks and guess who was front and center in helping destroy him? The New York Times.
The Commie Rag Cometh
My first encounter with the NY Times was in 1985, when I moved to Ozone Park, Queens, the summer before my junior year of high school. I don’t think I had ever read a single word of the Times before I fell in love with an upper middle-class girl from Flushing whose dad was a Hah-vahd man. He was a psychologist and successful enough to occasionally appear on the local NPR affiliate whenever they needed some talking head to speak on matters psychological. My girlfriend was obsessive about the Times crossword puzzle and I enjoyed trying to help out. The Paper of Record was considered holy writ in her house, the final word on all matters of public consumption; and I, the child of broke, blue-collar parents, was so desirous of entering that world, I bought the Times’ mystique in toto.
Way leads onto way, as Frost noted, and Fate destined me for the military. In 2003, the Jayson Blair affair happened. By then, I had long since left the ambit of the NYT’s bubble of self-importance. I remember reading about it at the time and thinking that if Blair could manufacture multiple stories out of whole cloth over a prolonged period, what did it say about the reliability of other pieces at the Times? Out of curiosity – and because the internet existed – I opened that Pandora’s Box and started digging in on the Times’ history. It didn’t take me too long to realize that the entire mystique around the NYT as the “paper of record” was manufactured. It was all fugazi, as they liked to say in the neighborhoods where I grew up.
Any serious look at the NY Times’ history, and the numerous scandals and “affairs” of which it has been a part, will reveal that the Gray Lady has long had a statist bent to it – regardless of whether it was owned by Republicans or a Democrats. The original press release gives more than a hint of what was to come.
We shall be Conservative, in all cases where we think Conservatism essential to the public good;—and we shall be Radical in everything which may seem to us to require radical treatment and radical reform. We do not believe that everything in Society is either exactly right or exactly wrong;—what is good we desire to preserve and improve;—what is evil, to exterminate, or reform. 
As an example, the original owners were (1) a Republican (cir. 1850) politician, Henry Jarvis Raymond, and a banker, George Jones. Early investors included the founder of Wells Fargo Bank (Edwin B. Morgan) and a former Whig Representative of the U.S. House of Representatives, pre-17th Amendment. Here is what I love about the Times: their telling of the history surrounding their original owner’s actions during New York City’s Civil War Draft Riots of 1863.
Mobs riot in New York to protest the draft; more than 100 killed. The Times, pro-Union and anti-slavery, is a leading target. Its Park Row building is defended by Raymond and others with rifles and a Gatling gun; mobs attack the Tribune building instead. 
It’s beautiful, really. Now let me add some context that make it an abject lesson in propaganda, a veritable rewriting of history – a Times specialty, as it turns out. First, for filing in the Irony-So-Big-You-Could-Choke-On-It bin: Mr. Raymond was, in deed and in word, an ardent antislavery man from the North…he is also known by many historians as “The godFather of the Republican Party.” And that doesn’t mean like Mario Puzo’s GodFather. Raymond essentially founded the “party of Lincoln.” If history were being more accurate, it would be the “party of Jarvis Raymond.” Except that he later got thrown out of the Party because he was so over-the-top. He supported more punishment of the South after the Civil War. And his great claim to fame was that he during the draft riots that he gunned down his own fellow New Yorkers who were “mostly peacefully protesting” the notion that the federal government could conscript them and force them to fight and die in the fedgov’s war. That was a very real concern animating the riots. It was not well-established in 1863 that the FedGov could conscript you, a New Yorker, for a War between “the Union” – located in some buildings in Washington, DC – and “the South” – located someplace you were unlikely to ever go to or even cared about.
So, of course, the current Times’ version focuses more on the fact that it was lower class whites – typically Irish – who were none too happy with the fact that (a) rich white people could buy their way out of service by paying for a substitute for the then-unreachable fee of $2000; and (b) the Irish knew that free blacks represented a huge threat to their section of the labor market – unskilled manual labor. In fact, one of the greatest American stories ever told (and greatest books published in American English), Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave, contains the archetypical anecdote about this subject. Douglass tells the reader that the worst beating he ever endured was not from his original Virginia plantation owner, nor from the Baltimore couple to whom he was loaned out: no, the worst beating Douglass ever endured was from dockworkers in Baltimore who were incensed because Douglass was working as a shipwright because he could do the job at least as well as the dockworkers, but he had to (and would willingly) accept significantly lower wages. The dockworkers’ concerns were reflected across a swath of blue-collar labor interests: free blacks represented a potential tidal wave of cheap, domestic immigrant labor that would precipitate a “race to the bottom.” Thus did minimum wage become a plank of the Democratic party, when trade unions were essential to the party’s survival. (Sound at all familiar yet, pendejo? Insert quote about history not repeating, but rhyming.)
Interestingly, having worked for exactly $0.00 for most of his life, Douglas knew that getting even a small portion of his hard-earned labor, which his arrangement with his new, lazy Baltimore owner afforded him, meant he was now earning his own money. Concomitantly, Mr. Douglass’s understanding of the value of his hard work and the ignominy of having to hand over a portion of his wages to that man who had done nothing to earn them, made him not only impervious to, but outwardly dismissive of, a socialist speaker’s claims to brotherhood with the plight of Douglass’ people.
In November 1848 a socialist activist gave a speech at the 13th annual meeting of the Rhode Island Anti-Slavery Society. “Mr. Ingliss” began his remarks well enough, reported the abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, who was present to give a speech of his own that day, “but strangely enough went on in an effort to show that wages slavery is as bad as chattel slavery.“*
Douglass soon became infuriated with the socialist speaker. “The attempts to place holding property in the soil—on the same footing as holding property in man, was most lame and impotent,” Douglass declared. “And the wonder is that anyone could listen with patience to such arrant nonsense.”
Frederick Douglass heard a lot of arrant nonsense from American socialists in those days. That’s because most socialists thought the anti-slavery movement had its priorities all wrong. As the left-wing historian Carl Guarneri once put it, most antebellum socialists “were hostile or at least indifferent to the abolitionist appeal because they believed that it diverted attention from the serious problems facing northern workers with the onset of industrial capitalism.” The true path to social reform, the socialists said, was the path of anti-capitalism. 
*Yes, kids, well-to-do, white, progressive socialists having been lecturing even actual, honest-to-God slaves about how ‘working for a living is literally slavery, OMG!!’ since even before slavery ended. It’s been their schtick for always.
The “Paper of Record” may have changed ownership in the late 1800’s, but the state-fellating ideology never did. The current complete bullshittery by the New York Times isn’t new; it’s exactly what that fishwrap has always been. The NY Times has always been an organ and advocate for government control of the deplorables; it’s the one consistent theme in its entire history. It should be no surprise that the NY Times is aligned with its sources at the government agencies who are now spying on the deplorables; and of course the Times was against those same agencies when the Times didn’t believe those agencies were ideologically aligned with the Times.
Notice that the Wiki entry on NY Times screwups doesn’t even include Walter Duranty’s lies on behalf of the Stalin regime regarding the Holodomor, nor the Times refusal to rescind the Pulitzer prize given to Duranty, an award named for the owner of the rival New York Tribune, I feel obligated to note: you know, the place that Raymond chased the rioters off to with his Holy Machine-Gun of Righteousness… That Shall Not Be Owned By The Rubes. Let me jot down a few more: the reporting on the stolen documents from Los Alamos that landed Wen Ho Lee in jail; the Valerie Plame Affair; the 1619 Project; the naming of Steven Hatfill as a suspect in the anthrax letter attacks (impugning an innocent person, yet again! This seems to be an NYT specialty, by the way); and NY Times v. Sullivan, the famous case in which the NY Times was sued for defamation and managed to get the Supreme Court to change hundreds of years of the common law of defamation – by raising the legal standard of proof – in order to protect the NY Times!
The sacking of Don MacNeil, Bari Weiss, et al, and the the hiring of racists like Sarah Jeong, and that harridan Nikole Hannah Jones, is all par for the course. The issues haven’t changed, all that has happened is that the players on the field are wearing different logos and colors. The NY Times has (for decades) managed to carve out a market as an announcer to the game, by offering a steady diet of socialist “equality” pablum for urban, upper middle-class whites who see themselves as the bulwark against all that icky racism out there – in flyover country – where there’s no civilization or culture. A Times subscription has become as much a social signal as it is for being a purveyor of facts or memorializing the “public record,” but it desperately needs the claim of being the “paper of record” in order to control the narrative in service to its fellow travelers. What Don MacNeil and Bari Weiss and other naifs at the NYT never understood was that their genuine belief as reporters in truly liberal notions of reason, objective truth, facts, etc., was always at odds with the Times’ servitude to an ideology. It just happened that for a certain period of time, MacNeil et al were able to coexist within the NY Times ecosystem until the gaze of Sauron finally landed on them.
That’s how the purges always begin.