Robinson and Weiss

 

Sounds like a law firm, doesn’t it, or perhaps the title of an Andrew Klavan novel?

Peter Robinson’s recent Uncommon Knowledge interview with Bari Weiss was a delight, and I recommend it to everyone. Ms. Weiss is intelligent, articulate, and, I think, wise beyond her years. I hope she maintains her commitment to the free and open discussion of even contentious and unpopular ideas.

Though it’s trivial, I disagree with Bari and Peter about Caryn Elaine “Whoopi Goldberg” Johnson’s recent comments regarding the Holocaust. I  don’t think it was an anodyne gaffe. I think what Goldberg was doing is what the racism-obsessed do: attempting to define real racism (what I suppose she might call “racism racism”) as specifically white-people-abusing-black-people, and nothing else. That kind of thing makes it easy to excuse, for example, the disproportionate abuse of Asian Americans by Black Americans. (I think she’s kind of racist about racism, as are most of the woke left.)

More significantly, I think Ms. Weiss falls victim to a misconception common on the left regarding the makeup of the American political spectrum: that the “far right” and the “far left” are more or less symmetric. In reality, I think the “far right” is relatively insignificant, more a bogeyman invoked to frighten the gullible and assert a distracting whataboutism than a meaningful social force. In contrast, the “far left” dominates our institutions and is openly active at the highest levels of our government.

Bari’s own experience, as she describes it, hints at this. She left the Wall Street Journal, where she says she was perceived as quite liberal, because she objected to what she saw as an editorial embrace of candidate Trump, an alignment she thought was insufficiently critical of the candidate and with which she didn’t wish to participate. Fair enough.

But she left the New York Times because it was an intolerant and increasingly hostile environment. Her coworkers were openly antagonistic to her, as she described in the now-famous letter she sent to that newspaper’s management. If she was mistreated at the right-leaning Wall Street Journal, she doesn’t mention it; that she was mistreated at the left-leaning New York Times is a matter of public record.

I suspect her own professional experience is a more accurate reflection of the political divide in America than is her current perception of that divide. It is certainly more reflective of my own sense of that divide.

In any case, though she is a liberal and I am a conservative, I respect her aggressive stance in support of free speech and consider her an ally. Freedom to debate the issues — all the issues — is the first and most important freedom to be secured: all the rest hang on that. I will continue to subscribe to her newsletter as long as she remains true to that defense of free speech and open inquiry.

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  1. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Henry Racette:

    More significantly, I think Ms. Weiss falls victim to a misconception common on the left regarding the makeup of the American political spectrum: that the “far right” and the “far left” are more or less symmetric. In reality, I think the “far right” is relatively insignificant, more a bogeyman invoked to frighten the gullible and assert a distracting whataboutism than a meaningful social force. In contrast, the “far left” dominates our institutions and is openly active at the highest levels of our government.

    Bari’s own experience, as she describes it, hints at this. She left the Wall Street Journal, where she says she was perceived as quite liberal, because she objected to what she saw as an editorial embrace of candidate Trump, an alignment she thought was insufficiently critical of the candidate and with which she didn’t wish to participate. Fair enough.

    But she left the New York Times because it was an intolerant and increasingly hostile environment. Her coworkers were openly antagonistic to her, as she described in the now-famous letter she sent to that newspaper’s management. If she was mistreated at the right-leaning Wall Street Journal, she doesn’t mention it; that she was mistreated at the left-leaning New York Times is a matter of public record.

    Good observation.

    But what is the far right?  Regarding alt-right or far right, if there is a difference, I don’t count nazis or any socialist organizations — or for that matter, organizations built around racism — to be on the far right, or to be right of much of anything.  I consider myself, as a pacific Christian Constitutionalist, to be about as far right as the right goes.

    What is the far right?

    • #1
  2. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Henry Racette:

    More significantly, I think Ms. Weiss falls victim to a misconception common on the left regarding the makeup of the American political spectrum: that the “far right” and the “far left” are more or less symmetric. In reality, I think the “far right” is relatively insignificant, more a bogeyman invoked to frighten the gullible and assert a distracting whataboutism than a meaningful social force. In contrast, the “far left” dominates our institutions and is openly active at the highest levels of our government.

    Bari’s own experience, as she describes it, hints at this. She left the Wall Street Journal, where she says she was perceived as quite liberal, because she objected to what she saw as an editorial embrace of candidate Trump, an alignment she thought was insufficiently critical of the candidate and with which she didn’t wish to participate. Fair enough.

    But she left the New York Times because it was an intolerant and increasingly hostile environment. Her coworkers were openly antagonistic to her, as she described in the now-famous letter she sent to that newspaper’s management. If she was mistreated at the right-leaning Wall Street Journal, she doesn’t mention it; that she was mistreated at the left-leaning New York Times is a matter of public record.

    Good observation.

    But what is the far right? Regarding alt-right or far right, if there is a difference, I don’t count nazis or any socialist organizations — or for that matter, organizations built around racism — to be on the far right, or to be right of much of anything. I consider myself, as a pacific Christian Constitutionalist, to be about as far right as the right goes.

    What is the far right?

    Many people seem to confuse what is actually far left, with far right. 

    • #2
  3. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Henry Racette:

    More significantly, I think Ms. Weiss falls victim to a misconception common on the left regarding the makeup of the American political spectrum: that the “far right” and the “far left” are more or less symmetric. In reality, I think the “far right” is relatively insignificant, more a bogeyman invoked to frighten the gullible and assert a distracting whataboutism than a meaningful social force. In contrast, the “far left” dominates our institutions and is openly active at the highest levels of our government.

    Bari’s own experience, as she describes it, hints at this. She left the Wall Street Journal, where she says she was perceived as quite liberal, because she objected to what she saw as an editorial embrace of candidate Trump, an alignment she thought was insufficiently critical of the candidate and with which she didn’t wish to participate. Fair enough.

    But she left the New York Times because it was an intolerant and increasingly hostile environment. Her coworkers were openly antagonistic to her, as she described in the now-famous letter she sent to that newspaper’s management. If she was mistreated at the right-leaning Wall Street Journal, she doesn’t mention it; that she was mistreated at the left-leaning New York Times is a matter of public record.

    Good observation.

    But what is the far right? Regarding alt-right or far right, if there is a difference, I don’t count nazis or any socialist organizations — or for that matter, organizations built around racism — to be on the far right, or to be right of much of anything. I consider myself, as a pacific Christian Constitutionalist, to be about as far right as the right goes.

    What is the far right?

    Many people seem to confuse what is actually far left, with far right.

    Right.

    • #3
  4. James Hageman Coolidge
    James Hageman
    @JamesHageman

    The asymmetry is real.

    • #4
  5. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Even anarchy isn’t on the right.  Though it often is philosophically thought to be, in practice it’s always a red herring, a socialist means to a tyrannical end.  And I think even true anarchists allow for enough law to enforce adjudication of contracts as a common good; they just want less law.

    Yes, the asymmetry is real.

    • #5
  6. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    I’ve enjoyed her podcast for a while now, but I found part of the most recent episode disturbing (re the 2020 election).  Enough so that I started a separate conversation about it.  I will admit that I sometimes skip an episode – such as her interview with Liz Cheney.

    • #6
  7. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Even anarchy isn’t on the right. Though it often is philosophically thought to be, in practice it’s always a red herring, a socialist means to a tyrannical end. And I think even true anarchists allow for enough law to enforce adjudication of contracts as a common good; they just want less law.

    Yes, the asymmetry is real.

    I had a HS teacher (many moons ago) state that describing the political spectrum as left and right was incorrect.  In his terms it is actually a circle and when the far left and far right travel far enough they both end up at anarchy.  I’m sure there are holes in that premise, but it made some sense to me.  I’m with Jonah Goldberg (back in his saner days), however, in that nazis were not of the right – it was called “National Socialist” for a reason.

    • #7
  8. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    The Great Adventure (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Even anarchy isn’t on the right. Though it often is philosophically thought to be, in practice it’s always a red herring, a socialist means to a tyrannical end. And I think even true anarchists allow for enough law to enforce adjudication of contracts as a common good; they just want less law.

    Yes, the asymmetry is real.

    I had a HS teacher (many moons ago) state that describing the political spectrum as left and right was incorrect. In his terms it is actually a circle and when the far left and far right travel far enough they both end up at anarchy. I’m sure there are holes in that premise, but it made some sense to me. I’m with Jonah Goldberg (back in his saner days), however, in that nazis were not of the right – it was called “National Socialist” for a reason.

    Yes, I have his book, someplace.  The trouble with anarchy is it’s not really a form of government, so it’s neither right nor left.  Theoretically if rightward is less and less government, then I suppose anarchy in the farthest right you can get.  But the right is also conservative practice, which raises the question: what exactly are we conserving?

    And your teacher probably thought nazis were on the far right.

    • #8
  9. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Great Adventure (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Even anarchy isn’t on the right. Though it often is philosophically thought to be, in practice it’s always a red herring, a socialist means to a tyrannical end. And I think even true anarchists allow for enough law to enforce adjudication of contracts as a common good; they just want less law.

    Yes, the asymmetry is real.

    I had a HS teacher (many moons ago) state that describing the political spectrum as left and right was incorrect. In his terms it is actually a circle and when the far left and far right travel far enough they both end up at anarchy. I’m sure there are holes in that premise, but it made some sense to me. I’m with Jonah Goldberg (back in his saner days), however, in that nazis were not of the right – it was called “National Socialist” for a reason.

    Yes, I have his book, someplace. The trouble with anarchy is it’s not really a form of government, so it’s neither right nor left. Theoretically if rightward is less and less government, then I suppose anarchy in the farthest right you can get. But the right is also conservative practice, which raises the question: what exactly are we conserving?

    And your teacher probably thought nazis were on the far right.

    Yeah, he probably did.  Considering it was at least 4.5 decades ago, however, I don’t remember for sure.  I don’t even remember which teacher it was!

    • #9
  10. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    Am I the only one that notices that Uncommon Knowledge has become much less prominent on the National Review website?  I haven’t noticed any of the episodes popping on the main page for quite some time, and when I searched for “uncommon” it showed some of the episode results, but only one so far in 2022.  The recent interview with Weiss did not show (one from approx a year ago did).  I also saw a recent one with Andrew Roberts on his book “The Last King of America”, I believe recommended by someone here in Ricochet, but it did not show up in the search either.

    I find Peter Robinson’s interviewing methods to be exceptional and interesting.  If NR is pushing him away, that does not reflect well on them.

    • #10
  11. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    The Great Adventure (View Comment):

    Am I the only one that notices that Uncommon Knowledge has become much less prominent on the National Review website? I haven’t noticed any of the episodes popping on the main page for quite some time, and when I searched for “uncommon” it showed some of the episode results, but only one so far in 2022. The recent interview with Weiss did not show (one from approx a year ago did). I also saw a recent one with Andrew Roberts on his book “The Last King of America”, I believe recommended by someone here in Ricochet, but it did not show up in the search either.

    I find Peter Robinson’s interviewing methods to be exceptional and interesting. If NR is pushing him away, that does not reflect well on them.

    Every episode of Uncommon Knowledge is posted on NR on The Corner, but yes, it rolls off the front page of The Corner pretty fast.

    The truth is, we post the show there mostly out of habit and a nod to the fact that Peter and Uncommon Knowledge were the handpicked successor to Firing Line by WFB himself.

    Our  primary distribution platform is YouTube and we get 97% of our views there. The shows are also posted here on the Main Feed. 

    • #11
  12. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    The Great Adventure (View Comment):

    Am I the only one that notices that Uncommon Knowledge has become much less prominent on the National Review website? I haven’t noticed any of the episodes popping on the main page for quite some time, and when I searched for “uncommon” it showed some of the episode results, but only one so far in 2022. The recent interview with Weiss did not show (one from approx a year ago did). I also saw a recent one with Andrew Roberts on his book “The Last King of America”, I believe recommended by someone here in Ricochet, but it did not show up in the search either.

    I find Peter Robinson’s interviewing methods to be exceptional and interesting. If NR is pushing him away, that does not reflect well on them.

    Every episode of Uncommon Knowledge is posted on NR on The Corner, but yes, it rolls off the front page of The Corner pretty fast.

    The truth is, we post the show there mostly out of habit and a nod to the fact that Peter and Uncommon Knowledge were the handpicked successor to Firing Line by WFB himself.

    Our primary distribution platform is YouTube and we get 97% of our views there. The shows are also posted here on the Main Feed.

    Thanks for the response.  I just found it rather curious that it seems very difficult to find on NR.  I may be missing something, but going into “Podcasts” or “Videos” doesn’t seem to pull them up.  At least I know where to find them though!

    Appreciate the work here!

    • #12
  13. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    I’ve enjoyed her podcast for a while now, but I found part of the most recent episode disturbing (re the 2020 election). Enough so that I started a separate conversation about it. I will admit that I sometimes skip an episode – such as her interview with Liz Cheney.

    I have been enjoying Bari Weiss’s episodes since hearing her on Uncommon Knowledge.  After reading this comment, I went back and listened to her interview of Liz Cheney, which was excellent.

    • #13
  14. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    I was very pleased to hear a person of the left make so much common sense.  She’s very smart and  young and will continue to grow and learn. Let’s hope she doesn’t have to stop growing to expand her new businesses.

    • #14
  15. SteveSc Member
    SteveSc
    @SteveSc

    I find myself reading Bari Weiss,  Matt Taibbi, Andrew Sullivan, and Glenn Greenwald more and more these days.  I don’t see eye to eye with them on a lot of things, but from the interviews and what I’ve read of them, they report what they find, not what they want.

    • #15
  16. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    I’ve enjoyed her podcast for a while now, but I found part of the most recent episode disturbing (re the 2020 election). Enough so that I started a separate conversation about it. I will admit that I sometimes skip an episode – such as her interview with Liz Cheney.

    I also skipped that one. As much as I appreciate Ms. Weiss, I wasn’t willing to put myself through the experience of listening to Ms. Cheney.

    Incidentally, Ms. Weiss recorded a monologue recently that is simply beautiful. It sounds like a passionate defense of Ukraine and its current leader, but it evolves into something much deeper, an eloquently patriotic call for more strength and bravery here at home to preserve the heart and soul of America and her founding. I think Bari is exactly right in her characterization of America as a uniquely great country, a country founded on principles that need to be re-embraced and vigorously defended.

    It’s a rousing call for normal Americans to rise up against the forces of wokeness and identitarian division and reclaim our country. I expect to quote portions of it in another post soon, but here it is for those interested in listening.

    Things Worth Fighting For

    Strongly recommended.

    • #16
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