Sunday, August 30, 2020

What's so great about Andrew Sullivan

Yes to Matthew Yglesias's response to Kate Antonova's smear, which misspells Yglesias. [UPDATE: The tweet has been deleted, but Antonova essentially said that Andrew Sullivan, Matthew Yglesias, David Brooks, and Steven Pinker shouldn't be published because their writing adds nothing of value.]

My old post about Andrew Sullivan.

Sullivan, Yglesias, Brooks, and Pinker are all great. I've disagreed with all of them at times, but their writing does add value to the world. For instance, I blogged this and this by Brooks, this and this by Yglesias, and this and this by Pinker.

Also, lol at the hair-splitting of: I don't want these writers to be canceled — I just want them to be stopped from getting published anywhere ever again! Reminds me of that old joke: "We're not lost — we just don't know where we are!"


dbp said...

I don't think Kate Antonova is right, but I also don't think she is splitting hairs either.

The idea of "cancelling" is to censor anyone who says something wrong/evil, because such ideas are actively harmful. This is not a concept I happen to agree with, but it is distinct from wanting certain writers to stop getting published because they are unoriginal and banal.

I also don't think that the selected writers are this, or that any publisher should give a damn about Kate Antonova's opinion. Publishers ought to print what they think their readers will find interesting, which would tend to exclude boring ones.

John Althouse Cohen said...

She didn't just say she finds those writers "unoriginal and banal." She broadly smeared them and said their writing has never added anything of value to the world and never will again. Publicly calling them out and asking all publishers to refuse to ever publish those writers again is asking for them to be canceled. It's clear that her tweet doesn't fully explain her reasons for wanting them to be canceled, and I don't think we should simply take her statement at face value. (Why did she choose that group of writers, of all people?)

daskol said...

Taibbi is the most interesting of the lot of them, and the most dangerous as a sharp and mostly honest lefty.

daskol said...

She chose that group of writers because they all have some currency across the ideological spectrum, and because they are to varying degrees not entirely steeped in orthodoxy or respectful of the progressive narrative. They ought not be published because that's easier and safer than trying to argue with them.

dbp said...

"(Why did she choose that group of writers, of all people?)"

IMHO if she's so lacking in discernment to really believe that, then she's simply stupid and there's no point in overthinking it. The more likely possibility is that she is lying about the quality of their work so that she can cancel it for (supposedly) quality reasons and not just because she doesn't like what they are saying.