Our Propagandistic Press
White liberal academics can earn more in a day lecturing about their own “white privilege” than the median black household makes in three months, public records obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation and U.S. Census data show.
Left-wing academic Robin DiAngelo is renowned in social justice circles for crafting the “white privilege checklist” and for coining the term “white fragility.” Listening to her speak comes at a steep price.
DiAngelo, who is white, charged the University of Kentucky $12,000, not counting travel expenses, housing accommodations and meals, for a two-hour “Racial Justice Keynote and breakout session” in March, according to a copy of the speaking contract obtained by the DCNF through public records requests.
“Dr. DiAngelo’s schedule cannot accommodate phone calls related to services,” the contract states, instructing that all communications be sent via email or through DiAngelo’s assistant. “If phone calls are deemed necessary, they will be charged at a rate of $320 per hour.”
DiAngelo’s fee for the event was more than a quarter of the annual median income for black families which is just over $40,000, according to U.S. Census data.
I bet her fee has gone way up now that her book is so popular. If you missed Matt Taibbi’s evisceration of the book, look here. He writes that DiAngelo’s White Fragility “might be the dumbest book ever written. It makes The Art of the Deal read like Anna Karenina.”
I found out about DiAngelo’s speaker grift from this tweet by the left-wing journalist Jesse Singal:
Why in the name of God’s holy green earth does this have to fall on the Daily Caller to report?
“DiAngelo… charged the University of Kentucky $12,000” plus expenses for a two-hour training (backed by zero evidence). This doesn’t matter to people? https://t.co/BGnjcabFZJ
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) June 29, 2020
For the cost of these two hours of a training that has zero evidence behind it, and which likely makes race relations *worse* (if you have read DiAngelo’s book you will see why), UK could have just given one of Kentucky’s many poor kids a free year of college tuition. pic.twitter.com/fNeE1Ddux5
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) June 29, 2020
It has to fall to the Daily Caller to do this because mainstream journalistic institutions don’t care. DiAngelo serves the Narrative. Never mind that she’s making $6000 per hour to tell fellow white people that they’re racist. Kentucky state legislators ought to ask why this state-funded university is wasting taxpayer dollars on racist propaganda sessions.
Has anybody seen any journalism in a mainstream source (aside from Tucker Carlson’s show) that casts doubt on DiAngelo and her thesis? I spend my days scanning the major print and broadcast outlets, and every day for a while now, on the subject of race, most of them have been like Pravda and Izvestia covering May Day festivities. The uncritical nature of their coverage of Black Lives Matter and this extraordinary cultural moment has been something to behold. (N.B., I never look at the Wall Street Journal, which is paywalled.) If any of you have seen any major print or broadcast outlet who has devoted any serious coverage to critical takes on BLM, DiAngelo, and their lot, please post a link in the comments.
We have instead seen things like the NYT reporting uncritically on “antiracist” teenagers searching out objectionable social media comments by other teens, then doing their best to ruin those kids’ lives, and activists bullying a distinguished museum curator for indirectly suggesting that BLM activists might be pressing too far against art and statuary, and that art needs protection against the iconoclastic rage of the mob. The problem is not the Times reporting on these stories. The problem is that they do so uncritically. Read those stories and you will see no voices saying, “This is not a good idea.” I guess they believe, to borrow from a famous 1964 Barry Goldwater formulation, that extremism in defense of wokeness is no vice, and moderation in pursuit of social justice is no virtue.”
Anyway, it chapped my hide to read this op-ed in the Times today by Margaret Renkl, urging readers not to cancel their newspaper subscriptions. She starts by talking about an offensive ad the Nashville Tennessean ran, but then understandably canceled. Now people are talking about cancelling their subscriptions to that paper in protest of the fact that the ad was approved in the first place. She writes:
As the “first rough draft of history,” journalism will always be prone to mistakes, no matter how assiduously reporters and editors try to prevent them. But canceling your newspaper subscription because of one ad, no matter how hideous — or because of one deeply offensive headline, or one flagrantly dangerous op-ed — will not cure journalism of what ails it.
The only thing canceling your subscription to a newspaper will do is hasten the death of journalism itself. It will leave your community with even fewer full-time reporters to tell you what local leaders were up to while you weren’t paying attention. It will leave you with a far poorer understanding of the place where you live.
That “flagrantly dangerous op-ed” was that Tom Cotton one in the Times that cost James Bennet his job. As a matter of fact, I did cancel my Times subscription over Bennet’s forced resignation, and I’m not sorry I did it. The Bennet firing came as part of a progressive takeover of the newsroom, and the Times moving to abandon traditional journalism standards in favor of advocating a progressive narrative in its news pages (as distinct from its op-ed pages). It is not an accident that those two stories I mentioned do not question whether or not these commissar teenagers are right to witch-hunt their peers, or whether the Met curator might have a good point. This is why I canceled the Times: it has gone beyond liberal bias to flat-out advocacy journalism. They’re not even trying to be balanced.
I have no idea whether or not the Nashville paper is a fair and reliable source of news. If it is, then folks in the Nashville area should support it. I have never believed that a newspaper has an obligation never, ever to offend its readers. In fact, a newspaper that never challenges the biases of its readership is not doing its job. Nor is a readership that loses its cool over a single ad, headline, or story, and cancels the paper.
But come on. Judging by the things I’m most interested in — religion, culture, and social issues — if you depended on the national media to help you understand the country where we live, at least outside of coastal elite zones, you would be in bad shape. Why should people pay money to subsidize journalism from a viewpoint that tells them monotonously that they are terrible people who believe bad things, whose history is dung, whose ancestors were trash, and who pretty much deserve to lose?
This is the same mentality of masochistic liberals who think it’s a good investment to pay that grifter Robin DiAngelo $12,000 to come tell captive white people that they are irredeemable pieces of crap. If that’s the deformed beast that journalism has become, then starve the thing until it dies. If journalism is dying, then surely one of the reasons has to do with the fact that it falls to sites like the Daily Caller to report skeptically on the guru Robin DiAngelo. With regard to Black Lives Matter and adjacent figures, it’s like the press thinks its L’Osservatore Romano covering the papal court.
UPDATE: Perfectly said:
Newspapers want you to cancel everyone, except newspapers. https://t.co/vHGYKsBlwb
— Balaji S. Srinivasan (@balajis) June 29, 2020
I think I mentioned this the other day in this space — this tweet (now deleted) by the Global Opinions editor of the Washington Post, a second-generation black woman, the daughter of immigrants:
Could you imagine being a white female Post employee subordinate to such an open bigot against people like you? One of these days, somebody is going to have to bring a hostile workplace lawsuit against companies like the Washington Post. That’s the only way they will ever rein in this kind of racism. Until then, people like Karen Attiah will keep exploiting their privilege within woke workplaces.
UPDATE.2: OK, look. Brent Bozell couldn’t make this up:
UPDATE.3: Reader Coleman Glenn points to Washington Post book critic Carlos Lozada’s takedown of White Fragility two weeks ago. It’s quite a good piece, and I’m happy to share it with you all.