Revolver News has been vindicated once again.
Matthew Rosenberg has been one of The New York Times’ leading reporters on January 6 and its aftermath. On the one-year anniversary of the Capitol incursion, he was co-author of an article titled “The Next Big Lies: Jan. 6 Was No Big Deal, or a Left-Wing Plot.”
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But it turns out that for Rosenberg, it was all fake, a bogus narrative pushed by his neurotic colleagues and pushed onto a credulous public. That was confirmed by the latest scoop from Project Veritas:
Rosenberg flatly ridiculed the idea that any reporters “feared for their lives” on January 6, saying the entire incident was more funny and stupid than terrifying.
“You could tell how much fun we had on January 6th,” he said. “I know, I know. I’m supposed to be traumatized. But like all these colleagues who were in the building, and they’re young and are like, ‘Oh my God, it was so scary.’ I’m like, ‘F— off.’”
Rosenberg also acknowledged that, just as Revolver first argued a year ago, there were “a ton of FBI informants” among the Capitol intruders.
Dunking on Rosenberg’s embarrassing dishonesty is fun, of course. But the story here isn’t just about Times reporters writing stories they don’t believe. This story is also about the decay inside the Times.
Rosenberg is 47 years old, with twenty-five years of experience as a reporter. He spent a decade and a half as a foreign correspondent, including several years in Kabul. That is not to say he is infallible, but he has real experience working in actually dangerous parts of the world.
So, it means something that Rosenberg thinks the dominant culture at the Times is a joke. He mocks the dweebs, hysterics, and dead weight diversity hires who are traumatized by January 6. But Rosenberg also has a plum job at America’s most elite newspaper, and he knows that if he doesn’t want to end up like his old colleague Donald McNeil then he has to play ball. And so, he uses his considerable writing and reporting talents to bolster and defend a lie.
Yet as bad as that is, Rosenberg is better then what is coming up below him. Rosenberg tries to fit some real reporting into the lies he is forced to tell. Younger reporters, though, really do believe the lies.
To be at The New York Times in 2022, one must either be a coward and a liar, or a willing dupe. But it’s also not just The New York Times. This pattern happens all over. No doubt, the exact same dynamic exists at The Washington Post.
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This shift is even happening at left-wing non-profits. At the ACLU, veterans who really believed in the group’s old free speech absolutism have been depressed and appalled by younger radicals’ shift toward censorship and tyranny.
It was supposed to be the celebration of a grand career, as the American Civil Liberties Union presented a prestigious award to the longtime lawyer David Goldberger. He had argued one of its most famous cases, defending the free speech rights of Nazis in the 1970s to march in Skokie, Ill., home to many Holocaust survivors.
Mr. Goldberger, now 79, adored the A.C.L.U. But at his celebratory luncheon in 2017, he listened to one speaker after another and felt a growing unease.
A law professor argued that the free speech rights of the far right were not worthy of defense by the A.C.L.U. and that Black people experienced offensive speech far more viscerally than white allies. In the hallway outside, an A.C.L.U. official argued it was perfectly legitimate for his lawyers to decline to defend hate speech.
… “I got the sense it was more important for A.C.L.U. staff to identify with clients and progressive causes than to stand on principle,” [Goldberger] said in a recent interview. “Liberals are leaving the First Amendment behind.” [NYT]
This transcends journalism and left-wing activism, though. At law firms, tech companies, in universities, and in government bureaucracies, competence is increasingly secondary to ideology, and even the most effective employee can be destroyed for an ideological offense. Why is the U.S. military led by a man who lost to the Taliban, but affirms the importance of transgender soldiers and reading about “white rage?” Because even in the military, conformity trumps effectiveness. The first value is willingness to go along with the lies of the system — a deference that requires either slavishness or stupidity.
The more society is predicated on increasingly ridiculous lies, the greater the premium one must pay in stupidity or slavishness to rise within society. And the greater the premiums that must be paid, the more society itself decays.
For some, the solution is to go deep undercover, try to say quiet, submit to the occasional humiliation, and try to rise to the top to change the system from within. We wish all such people luck (sort of), but in all likelihood this simply won’t work. Surviving via cowardice and silence only breeds more cowardice and silence.
To revitalize America, the solution is not spending decades trying in vain to reform rotten institutions, hoping you can claw your way to the top. The solution is to create new, parallel institutions where talented young people who are neither slaves nor idiots can thrive. This won’t just be better for the young people themselves. It will also accelerate the collapse of the corrupt system itself, as it is stripped of the handful of competent people who “keep the lights on,” metaphorically or literally.