Libs of TikTok vs. The Regime
The Washington Post's targeting of the anonymous account is just the latest flare-up in a cultural, spiritual, and political war.
Writing in the New York Times on Friday, Jamelle Bouie—a far-left scribbler who has done as much as anyone to mainstream race radicalism in 2020s America—presents Richard Hofstadter’s numbskull analysis of “the function of the Great Inquisition of the 1950’s…[as] not anything so simply rational as to turn up spies or prevent espionage, or even to expose actual Communists, but to discharge resentments and frustrations, to punish, to satisfy enmities whose roots lay elsewhere than in the Communist issue itself.”
This misreading of history is then spun into a misreading of current affairs, whereby “the crusade against ‘critical race theory’ and the slanderous campaign against L.G.B.T.Q. educators and education” become “yet another witch hunt against those [whom conservatives] perceive as enemies of American society, using whatever state power they happen to have at their disposal.”
Bouie’s public confusion ran under the headline “Democrats, You Can’t Ignore the Culture Wars Any Longer.” He seems to think that the left, up to this point, has simply stayed above the fray, operating on the assumption “that Democrats can lose only if they engage this culture war, and that they’ll be on safer ground if they can deliver in Washington and run on their policy achievements without getting into the muck with Republicans.”
As Mr. Bouie surely knows, privilege is invisible to those who have it. The left has never had to wage the culture war with the same intensity as the right because the entirety of the American power structure is aligned in service of left-wing cultural interests.
Case in point: The Washington Post‘s recent hit piece on the previously anonymous Twitter account @LibsofTikTok and its now-doxed operator.
Libs of TikTok has become something of a sensation over the past year, with a simple strategy: repost clips of progressive extremists (many of them teachers) and let every would-be groomer hoist zimself with zer own petard. For the simple act of amplifying already public videos, the account received multiple suspensions from the notoriously partial overlords of Twitter. But Libs of TikTok saw tangible, positive results as well: multiple unfit public-school teachers disciplined or terminated for things they posted online which might have gone unnoticed but for Libs of TikTok’s intervention.
The account drew the attention of Taylor Lorenz, a middle-aged progressive activist and de facto TikTok publicist who identifies as “a columnist at The Washington Post covering technology and online culture.” On Tuesday, Lorenz published an expose of sorts on the viral Twitter phenomenon. Sourced exclusively by left-wing activists, including an LGBTQ program director for Media Matters and a media strategist for the ACLU, the piece unmasks the anonymous owner of the account and casts her as a key player in “the right-wing media outrage cycle.” Upon initial publication, the Post even included a link to the woman’s home address. (The link has now been removed, and WaPo senior managing editor Cameron Barr denies ever having published it—an easily disproven lie.)
This comes just weeks after Lorenz broke down on camera during an MSNBC segment on the online harassment of women under 35. (Why exactly Lorenz—who has lied about her age repeatedly but must be somewhere between 37 and 43—would be consulted on anything to do with women under 35 is a mystery.) Lorenz claimed to have suffered “severe PTSD” from the opposition to her controversial work, then broke into a tearless ugly-cry while continuing, “You feel like any little piece of information that gets out on you will be used by the worst people on the internet to destroy your life.”
In the wake of the Libs of TikTok doxing, many conservatives have accused Lorenz of hypocrisy. They’re not exactly wrong, but it’s worth asking what they think they’re going to accomplish by pointing it out. Taylor Lorenz is no more an impartial reporter than the Washington Post is an impartial outlet. Both are ideological enforcers in service of the liberal ruling class. (Literally: Let’s not forget that the Post is owned by Jeff Bezos.) Taylor Lorenz is not even pretending to just seek out the truth. If she were, she would have written a very different piece than the one published this week. It could not have been produced for any other purpose than the destruction of an enemy. She’s not a hypocrite; she’s an operator.
Anyone who hasn’t yet should look through the videos that sent Lorenz into attack mode. Some of them are downright sickening. The worst of them would prove the existence of demons to any unbeliever. They leave very little doubt that a radical sexual agenda is being pushed on the next generation of Americans, not just by the over-powered and disproportionately left-wing teachers to whom their rearing has been outsourced, but by the Big Tech censors, the Silicon Valley oligarchs, the mainstream media, higher academia, and the plurality of government bodies with any ability to act.
If there is one lesson to be taken from the Libs of TikTok debacle, it is this: Power matters. Taylor Lorenz has it. Her boss, Jeff Bezos, has plenty of it. And neither of them is afraid to use it to manufacture narratives, in effect to construct a new reality—the latter to distract from his plunder of the American economy, the former to distract from the fact that she’s pushing 50.
They are waging war, with all the considerable weaponry at their disposal. The answer is not to cry “foul” and hope that some long-buried sense of decency will surface and prevail. The answer is to win.