In the latest example of two things being true at the same time, last week offered the contrast of Bari Weiss’s resignation letter from the New York Times and the administration’s totally out-of-line words and actions about the Portland protests (and more).
The letter is worth reading for at least two reasons: first, because it didn’t reach all the people it probably should have; second, it’s a well-written account of just how much our theoretically mainstream/objective/fact-based media have been warped by social media. (For what it’s worth, I generally agree with her conclusions about social media at face value — and I also believe that Twitter has become the world’s de facto editorial board. As a cultural institution, we can hope for better from the paper of record, but as a newspaper business, it’s hard to see how the NYT could avoid getting swept up in and along by larger digital-cultural trends.)
And as for Portland? Debating whether or not this is fascism is a little like debating collusion: we can argue the legal points as long and hard as we want, but the bigger point is that actions like this are typical of how this government behaves. If those aren’t the actions you want from government, it’s time to pick a new one.