Toxic Brand: Jemele Hill Fails at ESPN and CNN

Toxic Brand: Jemele Hill Fails at ESPN and CNN

Less than a month after its launch, CNN+ is being shut down by annoyed network executives. However, failure is not a stranger for one of its putative stars, Jemele Hill.

Hill has been the very personification of failing upward since debuting on the national scene with ESPN as a columnist in 2006. She quickly began racking up suspensions, her first in 2008 when she tried to insert Adolph Hitler and racism into a column about the Boston Celtics.

From that time on, Hill began pushing the envelope more every year. With her notoriety as the wind at her back, Hill moved on to a podcast in which she routinely spoke about racism in sports, and she eventually hosted SportsCenter with Michael Smith in 2017.

Jemele Hill

Jemele Hill at the 2019 Festival (Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

A constant stream of suspensions came. She was suspended for calling President Trump a white supremacist — from which she never backed down — and then suspended again for stoking her growing social justice profile against ESPN’s orders.

Soon after that, ESPN bought her out of her contract. The truth is, for all her high noise ratio, Hill’s ratings on ESPN were always a bust. Indeed, SportsCenter’s ratings only took days to soar after Hill was ejected from the host’s seat.

After ESPN cut her in 2018, Hill found a soft landing at the left-wing publication, The Atlantic, where she became the magazine’s social justice writer. It isn’t exactly clear that her contributions have added any value to the publication, but she certainly ended up apologizing again and again.

Along the way, Hill became increasingly strident, angry, and vicious in her pronunciations about the racism she claims is endemic across the nation.

To name just a few examples:

  • In 2019 she alluded to assassination during Trump’s State of the Union speech.
  • In 2020 she said all Trump voters were racists.
  • In 2021 she said the national anthem is “white supremacist” and should be cut from sports.
  • Also, in 2021, she called the NFL racist for “blackballing” national anthem protester Colin Kaepernick.
  • And this year, she said black women should be “encouraged” by Will Smith’s act of violence during the 2022 Oscars broadcast.

There are dozens more examples just like this, of course.

All this culminated in her latest example of failing upward when CNN+ came knocking at her door in February and hired the Critical Race Theory-pushing activist to host one of its new shows.

But, like many of her other “new” opportunities, this one, too, seems to be short-lived. Though unusually short in this case. CNN+ hasn’t even made it past its first month, and already Warner Bros/Discovery executives are shutting the streaming service down.

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 30: A woman takes a photo of the CNN sign following an overnight demonstration over the Minneapolis death of George Floyd while in police custody on May 30, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Demonstrations are being held across the U.S. after George Floyd died in police custody …

(Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

Less than three weeks after its launch, it was reported that executives had shut down all external advertising for the service, and only 23 days after launch, executives were ready to shut it all down entirely. (Chris Wallace hardest hit.)

Meanwhile, it is unclear how much Hill has already pocketed for her latest failed venture. But it seems evident that the only reason CNN+ rushed to sign her up is that she makes noise, causes controversies, speaks out of turn, angers people, and espouses only the best of leftist, woke rhetoric. They hoped her distempered demeanor would get them noticed when she would inevitably say something ignorant and outrageous on the air.

She was hired with the hopes that some bomb or another that she would throw would become the toast of Twitter, and CNN+ would receive the praises of the perpetually aggrieved left. And she embodies that leftist mentality. That was her sole qualification.

But it wasn’t enough.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston, or Truth Social @WarnerToddHuston

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The Only Way To Fight Disinformation Is To Fight Political Censorship

The Only Way To Fight Disinformation Is To Fight Political Censorship

If outfits like the Aspen Institute’s “Commission on Information Disorder,” along with Big Tech’s faceless “fact-checkers,” ever get a total monopoly on dictating reality, the result will be a 24/7 mix of falsehoods with the occasional limited hangout to cover up their lies.

The icing on this fake cake is the use of conferences about disinformation, such as the recent stunt at the University of Chicago that served as cover for justifying political censorship. There former President Obama presented the perfect picture of psychological projection: a panel of propagandists accusing others of wrongthink.

The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum, for example, sought to censor the reality of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal by announcing she didn’t find it “interesting.” See how that works? Truth depends upon how our elites personally feel about what should be true.

But it gets much worse, because political censorship creates deep dysfunction in society. In fact, the surest way to kill a democracy is to practice political censorship under the guise of protecting society from disinformation.

Censorship causes disinformation. It’s the grandaddy of disinformation, not a solution to it. The sooner everyone recognizes this obvious fact, the better off we’ll be.

Whenever a self-anointed elite sets up a Ministry of Truth, the link between censorship and disinformation becomes clear. Before long, they invent reality and punish anyone who expresses a different viewpoint.

So, it’s no small irony that those who claim to be protecting “democracy” from disinformation are the biggest promoters of disinformation and greatest destroyers of real democracy. Their dependence on censorship obstructs the circulation of facts. It prevents any worthwhile exchange of ideas.

Unchecked Censorship Isolates People

Consider what happens if a society is only permitted one propagandistic narrative while all other ideas and information are silenced. People start self-censoring to avoid social rejection. The result is a form of imposed mental isolation. Severely isolated people tend to lose touch with reality. The resulting conformity also perpetuates the censorship.

This is unnatural and dangerous because human beings depend on others to verify what’s real. People weren’t able to verify reality in Nazi Germany, during Joseph Stalin’s Reign of Terror, or during Mao Zedong’s brutal Cultural Revolution. All were societies in the grip of mass hysteria because of ruthless censorship to protect a narrative.

As psychiatrist Joost Meerloo noted in his book “The Rape of the Mind,” no matter how well-meaning political censorship might be, it creates dangerous conformity of thought: “the presence of minority ideas, acceptable or not, is one of the ways in which we protect ourselves against the creeping growth of conformist majority thinking.”

The only way we can strengthen ourselves against such contagion is through real freedom of speech that allows fully open discussion and debate. However, if we’re confined by Big Tech to a relentless echo chamber and punished for expressing different thoughts, we’ll just keep getting more and more disinformation.

In fact, we are now drowning in the distortions produced by “fact-checkers.” Take, for example, narratives that promote the gender confusion and sexualization of children. Public school teachers routinely post TikTok videos of themselves spewing forth their gender confusion. And if someone calls out Disney for its open grooming of children, Twitter suspends them.

If we never push back against such absurdities, we ultimately end up in a state of mass delusion, each of us a cell in a deluded hive mind, obedient to commands about what to say, how to act, and what to think. To get an idea of what that looks like in a population, check out this clip from North Korea:

Censorship-Invoked Social Contagion Is Real

One of the most telling incidents of censorship over the past year was YouTube and Twitter’s take-down of virologist and vaccine inventor Dr. Robert Malone, claiming he was “spreading misinformation”—i.e., spreading a second opinion—about Covid vaccines and treatments.

But big tech saw an even bigger threat in Malone’s discussion of Mattias Desmet’s study of Mass Formation Psychosis (MFP) on Joe Rogan’s popular podcast. This is a big reason Spotify was under pressure to de-platform Rogan entirely. Open discussion of such things would erode the illusions big media and big tech so doggedly prop up.

Malone explained how a propaganda-saturated population can end up in a state of mass hypnosis that renders people incapable of seeing reality. He described Desmet’s theory about how social isolation, a high level of discontent, and a strong sense of free-floating anxiety are keys to the development of this psychosis.

The anxiety is so painful that it causes people to cling, trancelike, to any narrative that seems to offer stability. Once all other views are censored, people become so invested in the narrative that they cannot consider any alternative views. They will even mob anyone who endangers the narrative. This phenomenon was prevalent in the German population under Nazism. Their obedience to the propaganda rendered them incapable of understanding any opposing narrative.

Mass psychosis should not sound farfetched. There’s nothing new about it. Hundreds of instances of mass hysteria are documented. In the 19th century, Scottish journalist Charles MacKay wrote up a whole catalog of them. In 2015 medical sociologist Robert Bartholomew co-authored a compendium of popular delusions or “mass sociogenic illness.”

Most past incidents of mass hysteria have been confined to geographic regions, such as the witch trials in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts. But with the internet accessible and addictive in the 2020s, the possibility of mass delusion on a global scale is upon us. Censorship—in the name of protecting “democracy” from disinformation—is the key to creating it.

Propagandists Guard Their Illusions Like Magicians

By definition, propaganda aims to psychologically affect people and change their attitudes. So our social survival depends upon becoming aware of such phenomena. Building self-awareness about our vulnerability to crowd psychology would serve as a sort of psychological vaccine.

Of course elites do not want us even entertaining the possibility that we can be manipulated or vulnerable to social and psychological pressures. Propagandists are illusionists by nature. If their illusion falls apart, then the game is over for them. This is why they depend so heavily on the slur “conspiracy theorist” to distract us from the truth and from their use of censorship to cut us off from other ideas.

The late Nobel laureate Doris Lessing spoke against the dangers of social conformity and censorship in 1986. She noted there was a great body of knowledge that was continuing to be built about the laws of crowd psychology and social contagion. It was odd that we weren’t applying this knowledge to improve our lives.

Lessing concluded that no government in the world would willingly help its citizens resist group pressures and learn to think independently. We have to do it ourselves. Fast forward to the twenty-first century, and it sure looks like the keepers of this secret knowledge use it as a means of social control.

No sane person would want to live inside the boxes that the censors who claim to be fighting disinformation are building around us. If we want to escape this Twilight Zone existence, we must destroy that canard and insist on real freedom of speech everywhere.


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Anne Applebaum Doesn’t Think Hunter Biden Peddling Foreign Access To His Now-President Father Is ‘Interesting’

Anne Applebaum Doesn’t Think Hunter Biden Peddling Foreign Access To His Now-President Father Is ‘Interesting’

The only thing worse than a lazy journalist is an incurious one.

And the only thing worse than an incurious journalist is one who is both lazy and incurious. See: the Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum.

Applebaum, a supposed disinformation expert, is unconcerned that the corporate press conspired during the 2020 election to censor legitimate news reports suggesting President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, may have leveraged his father’s political clout to line the family’s pockets.

The censorship incident is unremarkable, she says, because the alleged Biden corruption is itself unremarkable.

Applebaum’s comments came during an appearance at the ironically titled “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference in Chicago. An attendee, University of Chicago student Daniel Schmidt, confronted Applebaum with her initial thoughts on the New York Post’s election-year scoop detailing the existence of a laptop, which reportedly belonged to Hunter Biden, and possibly incriminating documents and emails pertaining to the younger Biden’s overseas business activities. One such email purports to show Biden introduced his father, then the vice president, “to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company.”

At the time, Applebaum remarked, “Those who live outside the Fox News bubble and intend to remain there do not, of course, need to learn any of this stuff.”

She was not alone in reflexively downplaying the laptop story. In fact, the broader press at the time falsely characterized the New York Post’s exclusive coverage as “Russian disinformation.” The New York Times this year confirmed the authenticity of the Biden emails.

In Chicago, Schmidt referenced a Media Research Center survey that shows 17 percent of polled Biden voters would have changed their vote had they been aware of various Biden-related scandals, including the laptop, which the press actively dismissed.

He concluded, “Do you think the media acted inappropriately when they instantly dismissed Hunter Biden’s laptop as ‘Russian disinformation’? What can be learned from that and ensuring that what we label as disinformation is truly disinformation and not reality?”

Applebaum managed somehow to give a worse response than her initial reaction in 2020.

“My problem with Hunter Biden’s laptop is I think totally irrelevant,” she said. “I mean it’s not whether it’s disinformation or I mean I don’t think the – Hunter Biden’s business relationships have anything to do with who should be president of the United States.”

She added, “So, I didn’t – I don’t find it to be interesting. I mean that would be my problem with that as a major news story.”

Applebaum’s answer raises several difficult questions.

First, is she under the impression the laptop story involves only Hunter Biden?

Is she not aware that emails and related documents suggest Hunter Biden may serve (or may have served) as a bagman for his father, leveraging the Biden name to funnel cash into the family’s coffers? Does she not see the news value in documents suggesting the president’s son may have used his father’s position in the federal government to enrich both himself and other family members?

Does she not see the news value in the fact Hunter Biden’s overseas business activities, which may lead all the way back to the president, are under FBI investigation?

Does she not see the news value in the corporate press backtracking on its bogus “Russian disinformation” consensus?

One would think a speaker at the “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference would find all of this incredibly interesting.

What, exactly, does Applebaum, a supposed expert on disinformation and democracy, find “interesting”? Let’s review some of her previous headlines:

“Tucker Carlson is stirring up hatred of America.”

“The MyPillow guy really could destroy democracy.”

“Laura Ingraham’s descent into despair.”

Uh-huh.

On Wednesday, CBS News reported at least 150 transactions involving either Hunter or James Biden’s global business affairs were flagged as concerning by U.S. banks for further review.

I’d say that’s pretty interesting relevant even.


T. Becket Adams is the program director of the National Journalism Center, a former Washington Examiner senior commentary writer, and a former “S.E. Cupp Unfiltered” contributor, with bylines in RealClearPolitics, Business Insider, and Mediaite.

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How Twitter Contributed To David French’s Destruction Of His Own Character

How Twitter Contributed To David French’s Destruction Of His Own Character

Incentives matter. We all know this, but it’s curious how little serious discourse there is about what those incentives are encouraging us to do.

We seem fine ignoring the fact that the incentive structure of Instagram trains young women to sexualize themselves for “likes” from strangers. Often it’s effectively training wheels for OnlyFans, and many parents let tweens use it largely without question or oversight.

Twitter reduces empathy, understanding, and nuance, while turbocharging the rewards for conflict and extremism. The obvious danger is being simply accepted with a shrug. 

Each of these incentives, if aligned, can merge into an overwhelming force that pulls some or even most of us down a path that we didn’t expect and perhaps should even avoid. The effect of destructive incentives dragging someone into bad behavior can be found in the increasingly unseemly (and most likely unwitting) behavior of a once-respected writer and man: David French.

French is a lawyer who previously ran the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a campus free speech advocacy and litigation group, and served as a military lawyer in Iraq. Not long ago, he was a middle-tier Never Trump writer for National Review. But he’s managed to elevate himself to much higher visibility by becoming perhaps the most extreme conservative critic of conservative evangelicals who supported Donald Trump. 

After an online feud triggered by Sohrab Ahmari’s “Against David French-ism” piece in First Things, French ended up getting caught in a flywheel in which more extreme rhetoric gets him more attention, which then draws more attacks, which leads him in turn to even more extreme rhetoric. 

Going After White Evangelical Trump Supporters

Today, that flywheel has taken him to the point where he attacks other people’s character in the strongest possible terms, using words like “cruel,” “vicious,” “deceitful,” and “indefensible.” A white evangelical himself, he recently claimed that America has “become more just” as “white Protestant power has waned.”

He describes evangelical Trump supporters the way he might once have talked about Islamic terrorists abroad, as potential national security threats. He says, “The hardcore Trump evangelical base threatens our constitutional rule of law.” He tweets, “The evidence that January 6th was a Christian insurrection just grows and grows and grows. Combatting this perversion of the Gospel has to be a top priority. It’s not just heresy, it’s an active threat to the peace and security of the nation.”

It’s not clear where he goes from here, but French has certainly profited from this so far. His name is now on many people’s lips. He drives a lot of online conversation. And he’s been rewarded with a recent elevation from purely conservative media to the Atlantic.

It’s unlikely French sat down one day and decided to reinvent himself into one of the most hysterically hostile critics of American evangelicals, or that he concocted an explicit strategy of using extreme rhetoric to boost his profile. But that’s where the perverse incentives of our society carried him. 

Mobilizing Victimhood

Even more disturbing, with victim status as a prime currency in today’s society, French has also gone down the dark path of vicarious victimhood. Owing to French’s public status, one of his family members has been a target for horrific online abuse.

After these attacks started, rather than take steps to protect this person, French repeatedly posted information about him or her over multiple years, including this person’s full name (including middle name), relationship to him, even a picture and other personal info, and the specific characteristics that draw the abuse in the first place.

The attacks on this family member have allowed French to play the victim and parlay that into hard-for-conservatives-to-get mainstream press appearances. It got him on NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.” It helped him get a major feature article in the Atlantic.

In these media appearances, French once again repeated all the identifying details of this family member that would draw still more abuse. In fact, it was in the Atlantic article that he even posted this family member’s full name, including middle name. 

Social media is by its nature somewhat ephemeral. Even if the vile tweets about French’s family member somehow survived getting deleted for violating hate speech rules, they would have quickly been buried deep in the archives. But articles in major publications are something else entirely.

French’s major media writings and interviews are now permanent memorials for this family member to find later, rendering these vicious attacks indelible in a way social media never could. Imagine what this family member will find when googling his or her own name. Consider this: would anyone outside the dark corners of the internet have ever known about these tweets without French bringing them up himself? 

I have no reason to believe French doesn’t love this family member. But the very nature of our sick society’s incentives turned French into that person’s victimizer, something he has probably never stepped back from the fray long enough to recognize. 

Down the Dark Rabbit Hole

Too many people have already badly harmed themselves or their loved ones by getting sucked into the vortex by our society’s sick incentives. While none of us can completely escape their effects, let us be careful lest they take us to a place we never imagined ourselves going.

As for French, I hope he’s able to detach himself from the flywheel he’s stuck in. I hear privately from people who admire him and basically agree with his position on Trump that he’s now going too far. If he keeps going, he may well self-destruct. 

Above all, David, if you’re reading this, please stop talking and writing about your family member, and tell your friends like David Brooks to stop writing about this person as well. Hate and vilify me as much as you want, but please think about what you’ve been doing to someone you love so much and take a step back from the brink.

Descent into evil is a permanent threat to everyone in a fallen world. Even the best struggle to maintain virtue and avoid temptations and the perverse incentives of modern society. And today’s social and professional incentives can push us all, not just French, in this direction if we aren’t careful.


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The Atlantic Ridiculed for Warning Nuclear War Would ‘Wreck’ Climate

The Atlantic Ridiculed for Warning Nuclear War Would ‘Wreck’ Climate

A nuclear war would be disastrous for the earth’s climate, according to a recent piece in the Atlantic that drew harsh criticism for its focus on the harms posed to the environment by a potential nuclear exchange resulting from the current conflict in Ukraine.

The Wednesday essay, titled “On Top of Everything Else, Nuclear War Would Be a Climate Problem,” was penned by Atlantic staff writer Robinson Meyer and began by noting climate change is often associated with energy policy.

“When we talk about what causes climate change, we usually talk about oil and gas, coal and cars, and—just generally—energy policy. There’s a good reason for this,” he wrote, adding the “more fossil fuels you burn, the worse climate change gets.” 

Consequently, Meyer explains he spent much time “covering the Trump administration’s attempt to weaken the country’s fuel-economy standards.” 

“It was an awful policy, one that would have led to more oil consumption for decades to come,” he wrote. “If pressed, I would have said that it had a single-digit-percentage chance of creating an uninhabitable climate system.”

However, the author says, energy is not the sole domain that “has a direct bearing on whether we have a livable climate or not,” but “foreign policy—specifically, nuclear war” does too.

“Since Russia invaded Ukraine two weeks ago, that threat has become a lot more real,” he wrote. 

He then warned of imposing a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine, claiming it would lead to an open war between the U.S. and Russia, with a likely chance of a nuclear exchange that would ultimately prove disastrous for the climate.

“And it would be worse for the climate than any energy policy that Donald Trump ever proposed,” he wrote.

“If you are worried about rapid, catastrophic changes to the planet’s climate, then you must be worried about nuclear war,” he added. “That is because, on top of killing tens of millions of people, even a relatively ‘minor’ exchange of nuclear weapons would wreck the planet’s climate in enormous and long-lasting ways.”

Meyer, who is also the cofounder of the magazine’s COVID Tracking Project, calls on readers to imagine the detonation of a megaton nuke that would “sear and blister” the flesh of those within several miles of the blast.

A detonation of a bomb that size would, within about a four-mile radius, produce winds equal to those in a Category 5 hurricane, immediately flattening buildings, knocking down power lines, and triggering gas leaks. Anyone within seven miles of the detonation would suffer third-degree burns, the kind that sear and blister flesh. These conditions—and note that I have left out the organ-destroying effects of radiation—would rapidly turn an eight-mile blast radius into a zone of total human misery. 

Only at that moment, however, would the “climate consequences truly begin,” he claimed, as he warned of large wildfires.

Citing a 2007 study that estimated if a hundred small nuclear weapons were detonated, direct fatalities due to smoke and fire would be “comparable to those worldwide in World War II,” the author warned clouds would carry large amounts of resulting soot and ash high into the atmosphere:

All this carbon would transform the climate, shielding it from the sun’s heat. Within months, the planet’s average temperature would fall by more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit; some amount of this cooling would persist for more than a decade. But far from reversing climate change, this cooling would be destabilizing. It would reduce global precipitation by about 10 percent, inducing global drought conditions. 

According to Meyer, the growing season in parts of North America and Europe would be shortened by up to 20 days which would “prompt a global food crisis the world hasn’t seen in modern times.” 

MAHLOW, GERMANY - JULY 29: A combine harvests rye at a field near Mahlow on July 29, 2008 near Berlin, Germany. Hot weather has dried fields and farmers across Germany are harvesting their wheat and rye. Rising fuel costs and worldwide demand for biofuel crops has meant food prices are at a record high. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A combine harvests rye. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

In a larger conflict, he wrote, “the oceans would become less bountiful; the photosynthesizing plankton that form the basis of the marine food chain would become 5 to 15 percent less productive,” and in the case of a U.S.-Russia war, “fishers worldwide would see their catches decline by nearly 30 percent.”

The Associated Press

A herring boat off the coast of South Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Though the planet would get cooler, the resulting nuclear winter “would not reverse the effect of what we might morbidly call ‘traditional’ human-caused climate change,” he added.

He also expressed concern over a declining of “ocean acidification” and the destruction of a good portion of the ozone layer in the wake of such a conflict. 

“The layer of smoke in the atmosphere would destroy as much as 75 percent of the ozone layer,” he wrote, which would harm humans through entering ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Not only humans would be affected, he added, but higher UV rates would endanger “plants and animals otherwise untouched by the global carnage.”

Admitting that people “don’t tend to think of nuclear war as a climate problem” nowadays, Meyer claimed that concerns over such dangers “were part of how modern climate change achieved political prominence in the first place.”

He also warned that aside from any direct effects of the bombs, the “full effect” of such detonations could be worse. 

“If several years of gasoline- and diesel-fueled conventional military operations followed the global destruction, then the permanent consequences for the climate system would be even worse,” he wrote. 

Such would also be the case if, following the event, society attempted to rebuild “by undertaking a fossil-powered reconstruction,” which the author admits is highly likely.

“The ruins of our postwar society would be poorer, and fossil reserves are the easiest energy sources to locate,” he explained. “Renewables, wind turbines, and other decarbonization technology, meanwhile, require secure factories, highly educated engineers, and complicated global networks of trade and exchange.” 

Noting that all those things depend on a peaceful atmosphere, Meyers concluded, “Solving climate change is a luxury of a planet at peace with itself.”

In response, many took to Twitter to ridicule the essay.

“The Atlantic is going to put my @TheBabylonBee writers out of a job pretty quick here,” wrote Babylon Bee editor-in-chief Kyle Mann. “We just can’t compete with satire this good.”

“The elitist Left has gone truly insane,” wrote radio host Buck Sexton. “That’s not hyperbole, it’s an observation.”

“Of course a nuclear war would kill tens of millions but it never occurred to me that it wouldn’t be so good for the climate,” wrote media contributor Joel M. Petlin. “Brilliant!”

“Maybe we should try to avoid a nuclear war, just like the @TheAtlantic should avoid publishing silly articles,” he added.

“Environmentalism is petty bourgeois radicalism,” wrote actor Travis Wester.

“It will also be a major step back in addressing trans rights and heteronormative white supremacy,” wrote Reclaim party leader Laurence Fox.

“Next from the Atlantic: ‘A nuclear war wipes out all life on planet earth, women and people of color hurt the most,’” wrote political consultant Ryan James Girdusky.

“We truly live in the dumbest period of human history,” wrote Chris Curtis, head of political polling at Opinium Research.

“Is this seriously the only way that you think you can get your readership to care about the deaths of tens of millions of people?” a Twitter user asked.

“Ok NOW I’m convinced nuclear war is bad,” quipped another.

“It’d kill tens of millions of people but – far more importantly – it’d be disastrous for climate change!!!!” another wrote sarcastically.

“If you write a headline and it sounds like one from The Babylon Bee or The Onion, maybe ya shouldn’t publish it,” wrote another user.

“I wasn’t worried about nuclear war before. I certainly am now,” a Twitter user wrote. “Also make sure you wear your mask inside a fallout shelter.”

“It’s reassuring … since there’s a climate angle, @POTUS will take the prospect of nuclear war seriously,” wrote another user.

“Tens of millions of people wasn’t the deal breaker…climate change tho…this must end now!” another Twitter user wrote.

The essay comes as the climate change agenda continues to be the focus of many on the left, to the exclusion of urgent and fundamental issues currently facing the country.

On Tuesday, Former California Governor Jerry Brown urged the U.S. not to expand domestic oil and gas production to help in the crisis triggered by the ongoing Russian war because climate change is like a war that will kill people over a long period of time.

On Monday, former director of the United Nations Population Division Joseph Chamie called for a halt to America’s population growth in order to address the “climate emergency.”

Last week, climate czar John Kerry told an informal U.N. Security Council meeting that President Joe Biden is committed to increasing U.S. funding to developing countries by upwards of $10 billion annually to help combat the “climate crisis.”

Kerry, worried the Russian invasion of Ukraine would divert the world’s attention from the fight against climate change, also expressed hope that Russian President Vladimir Putin would “stay on track” in the fight against climate change despite the conflict in Ukraine.

In December, renowned climate activist Michael E. Mann claimed denials of “climate change” are “deadlier” than denials of the science behind COVID-19, as he called for social media companies to censor those who disagree with his views on global warming science, effectively removing “climate denial” content in the same way “COVID denial” content is suppressed online.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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‘270 Doctors’ Called Out Joe Rogan – But Vast Majority Not Medical Doctors

‘270 Doctors’ Called Out Joe Rogan – But Vast Majority Not Medical Doctors

‘270 Doctors’ Called Out Joe Rogan – But Vast Majority Of Authors, Signatories Are Not Medical Doctors

By Jordan Schachtel via The Dossier

Are you seeing all of those blaring corporate press headlines targeting Joe Rogan this weekend, reporting on a letter from “270 doctors,” which described the famous podcaster as a “menace to public health”? Well, it turns out that the real arbiters of misinformation are the individuals behind the letter itself, and they are being helped along by a corrupt corporate media that is misreporting the credentials of its signatories.

It was first reported by Rolling Stone, with a story titled, “Doctors Demand Spotify Puts an End to Covid Lies on ‘Joe Rogan Experience’”

Yes, the media and Big Tech want to create the image of a hundreds-strong coalition of medical doctors who are genuinely concerned about Joe Rogan’s conversations on his massive platform.

Twitter even got in on the propaganda campaign against Rogan, adding this “medical experts” letter to their curated headlines section.

Well, I reviewed this open letter, and it turns out that only around 100 of the 270+ signatories to the letter are people with qualified medical degrees. And a large chunk of that 100 or so medical doctors are MDs employed at universities who are not in fact practitioners of medicine.

Yet part of the letter reads:

As physicians, we bear the arduous weight of a pandemic that has stretched our medical systems to their limits and only stands to be exacerbated by the anti-vaccination sentiment woven into this and other episodes of Rogan’s podcast.”

Paradoxically, the disseminators of this petition are guilty of the very misinformation label that they’ve attached to Rogan. In fact, neither of the two reported co authors of the letter — Jessica Rivera and Ben Rein — possess medical degrees. Rivera holds a master’s degree and Rein is a PhD academic who researches psychiatry.

The letter denouncing Joe Rogan and pressuring Spotify to censor his speech has all kinds of random signatories. By my count, the letter is signed by over 50 PhD academics, around 60 college professors, 29 nurses, 10 students, 4 medical residents, and even a handful of… science podcasters.

The letter, which uses the word misinformation nine times in five paragraphs, concludes with a call for Spotify to censor Rogan as part of a policy to “moderate misinformation on the platform.”

Notably, there is no information on who or what group is behind the creation and circulation of the open letter. Rivera, the reported lead author of the letter, is associated with the far-left Rockefeller Foundation and The Atlantic, and she is a CNN contributor.

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(TLB) published this article as by Jordan Schachtel via The Dossier with our appreciation for this perspective.

Header featured image (edited) credit: Joe Rogan/mmajunkie.usatoday.com

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Mask Study on Schoolchildren is Exposed as Fake

Mask Study on Schoolchildren is Exposed as Fake

Mask Study on Schoolchildren is Exposed as Fake

The CDC Director Gets Brutal Reality Check

Becker News

Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been at the forefront of the senseless agenda to push masks on schoolchildren in America – whether they need them or not.

Now, even The Atlantic has had enough and is calling out CDC Director Walensky for misleading the public, even if it is in a tamer manner than is required. Unfortunately, it provides very poor evidence to support its claims in the opening of its article. We will briefly address that before getting into the story’s debunking of the director’s claims.

“The debate over child masking in schools boiled over again this fall, even above its ongoing high simmer,” the article begins. “The approval in late October of COVID-19 vaccines for 5-to-11-year-olds was for many public-health experts an indication that mask mandates could finally be lifted. Yet with cases on the rise in much of the country, along with anxiety regarding the Omicron variant, other experts and some politicians have warned that plans to pull back on the policy should be put on hold.”

So, “anxiety” has nothing to do with science. The Omicron variant has been compared to a Common Cold coronavirus and it is even doubtful whether or not it is responsible for the loss of one life in the United States. The effects of the variant have been described as “generally mild” for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups (this may be due to the prevalence of “natural immunity”).

“Scientists generally agree that, according to the research literature, wearing masks can help protect people from the coronavirus, but the precise extent of that protection, particularly in schools, remains unknown—and it might be very small,” the article goes on.

This is incorrect. It is once again the shoddy “appeal to consensus” that does not constitute actual science. Science entails falsifying claims. There are a variety of “masks” and they have different characteristics. As OSHA has stated, neither cloth masks nor surgical masks are designed to protect wearers from airborne pathogens, particularly respiratory viruses. The confidence intervals for the efficacy of cloth masks and surgical masks to slow the spread of respiratory viruses are poor. N95 masks fare only slightly better.

(Recently, the usual suspects accidentally admitted this in response to the Omicron surge: CNN’s fanatical zero-Covid doctor Leanna Wen rightly called cloth masks “facial decorations” while sociopathically touting universal N95 masks.)

“What data do exist have been interpreted into guidance in many different ways,” the article goes on. “The World Health Organization, for example, does not recommend masks for children under age 6. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recommends against the use of masks for any children in primary school.”

We are getting closer to reality now: Children are not at statistical risk from Covid-19. Full stop. The survival rate of healthy children is on the order of 99.99995% (the infection survival rate overall is at least 99.995%). Covid deaths are one percent of annual deaths for those under age 18.

“Seen in this context, the CDC has taken an especially aggressive stance, recommending that all kids 2 and older should be masked in school,” the article notes. “The agency has argued for this policy amid an atmosphere of persistent backlash and skepticism, but on September 26, its director, Rochelle Walensky, marched out a stunning new statistic: Speaking as a guest on CBS’s Face the Nation, she cited a study published two days earlier, which looked at data from about 1,000 public schools in Arizona. The ones that didn’t have mask mandates, she said, were 3.5 times as likely to experience COVID outbreaks as the ones that did.”

Of course, this is patently false, and The Atlantic article usefully explains why:

But the Arizona study at the center of the CDC’s back-to-school blitz turns out to have been profoundly misleading. “You can’t learn anything about the effects of school mask mandates from this study,” Jonathan Ketcham, a public-health economist at Arizona State University, told me. His view echoed the assessment of eight other experts who reviewed the research, and with whom I spoke for this article. Masks may well help prevent the spread of COVID, some of these experts told me, and there may well be contexts in which they should be required in schools. But the data being touted by the CDC—which showed a dramatic more-than-tripling of risk for unmasked students—ought to be excluded from this debate. The Arizona study’s lead authors stand by their work, and so does the CDC. But the critics were forthright in their harsh assessments. Noah Haber, an interdisciplinary scientist and a co-author of a systematic review of COVID-19 mitigation policies, called the research “so unreliable that it probably should not have been entered into the public discourse.”

This is not the only study cited by Walensky in support of masking students, but it’s among the most important, having been deployed repeatedly to justify a policy affecting millions of children—and having been widely covered in the press. The agency’s decision to trumpet the study’s dubious findings, and subsequent lack of transparency, raise questions about its commitment to science-guided policy.

The article goes on to show that not only is the study “misleading,” it is based on outright lies. Read on:

The Arizona study, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, looked at school-associated outbreaks in Maricopa and Pima Counties, comparing rates across schools with and without mask mandates for students and staff. “The school year starts very early in Arizona, in mid-July, so we had the advantage of being able to get an early look at data,” one of the lead authors, J. Mac McCullough, told The New York Times. The early look revealed that just 16 outbreaks had occurred among the 210 schools that had a mask mandate in place from the start of classes, versus 113 among the 480 schools that had no mandates at all. According to McCullough and his colleagues, this amounted to a 3.5-fold increase in incidence of outbreaks for the no-mandate schools.

Yet the study’s methodology and data set appear to have significant flaws. The trouble begins with the opening lines of the paper, where the authors say they evaluated the association between school mask policies and school-associated COVID-19 outbreaks “during July 15–August 31, 2021.” After reviewing school calendars and speaking with several school administrators in Maricopa and Pima Counties, I found that only a small proportion of the schools in the study were open at any point during July. Some didn’t begin class until August 10; others were open from July 19 or July 21. That means students in the latter group of schools had twice as much time—six weeks instead of three weeks—in which to develop a COVID outbreak.

“Ketcham said that a comparison of median start dates is insufficient,” the article notes. “If schools with mask mandates had fewer school days during the study,” Ketcham told the author, “that alone could explain the difference in outbreaks.”

The Atlantic article goes on to cite a Bangladesh study, but doesn’t note that it has also been shredded. Dr. Scott Atlas in September rightly criticized the study:

One, in people defining Covid as symptoms plus anti-bodies, there is no evidence that cloth masks have any impact, no significant impact with cloth masks for people who have Covid as defined by Covid symptoms with antibody documentation. So cloth masks are worthless according to this study.

The second part is the surgical mask study. And the surgical mask study shows that there is from my reading here about an 11% decrease in individuals having symptomatic Covid with antibodies. 11%. And basically only older people. So what this shows you after all is said and done is it confirms that cloth masks are worthless. It shows – if you take the data at face value – a very minimal impact, 11%, decrease in symptomatic cases in mask usage by the village.

And so, you know, of all the clamoring for something desperately to show that masks work, this is what I would call extremely weak tea. In fact, it confirms the reason why we have seen all over the world and in the United States that mask usage by the population does not significantly stop the spread of the virus.

It’s being oversold, but people are desperate to find some pebble somewhere that shows masks work.

Dr. Atlas was far from the only critic. Here was Professor Francois Balloux:

Nick Hudson, chairman of Pandata.org (PANDA), shared a post by Substack writer el gato malo titled, “bangladesh mask study: do not believe the hype,” calling it “sound commentary.”

This was the criticism of el gato malo:

To claim that masks caused any given variance in outcome, you need to isolate masks as a variable. They didn’t. This was a whole panoply of interventions, signage, hectoring, nudges, payments, and psychological games. It had hundreds of known effects and who knows how many unknown ones.

We have zero idea what’s being measured and even some of those variables that were measured showed high correlation and thus pose confounds. when you’re upending village life, claiming one aspect made the difference becomes statistically impossible. the system becomes hopelessly multivariate and cross-confounded.

The authors admit it themselves (and oddly do not seem to grasp that this invalidates their own mask claims)

Dr. Martin Kulldorf also shared his scrutiny of the study:

Even more devastating to the masking for kids argument, surgical masks were only shown to have had marginal efficacy for those over age 50:

The Atlantic article additionally refers to the widely cited Georgia study on masking children in schools, which purportedly showed that “COVID was 37 percent lower in schools where staff were required to wear masks, and 21 percent lower in schools where that rule applied to kids.” it notes, crucially, although this does not appear to register with scientifically illiterate people, that the results were statistically insignificant, and even the authors noted that the data “cannot be used to infer causal relationships.”

On the other side of the coin, a study that did not get much traction in the mainstream media showed that schools in Florida saw no statistically significant difference between mask mandated ones and unmandated ones. This was from the October press release:

New COVID-19 cases for children ages 5-17 – the vast majority of the school-aged population – have decreased 79% in the month of September, in the 54 Florida counties where school districts have no masking policy or are following state law by honoring the parental opt-out rule.

For comparison, COVID-19 cases for children 5-17 in the 13 districts that imposed forced-masking in schools have decreased 77%, on average.

That would be no significant difference. Strikingly, if you examine this chart of the United States, you can see the 29 states where there are exactly zero reported Covid-related deaths:

Then if you compare this chart with one that shows school masking policies in the U.S., you may find it no surprise that masking does not seem to make any significant difference preventing Covid-related mortality among children.

The fact of that matter is that there never was sound science to force little children to wear masks in school for as long as eight hours a day. The CDC went searching for the science to justify its political decision that was made in response to teacher’s unions.

Now that there is a childhood mental health crisis being exacerbated by the cruel and pointless school mask policies, it is time to actually listen to the science, instead of trying to make the science listen to our politicians.

_________

Also from Becker News

CDC Reversed Its Guidance & Forced Children to Wear Masks Because of Collusion with Teacher’s Unions

*********

(TLB) published this article from Becker News as compiled and written by Kyle Becker

Header featured image (edited) credit: CDC Director Walensky/Twitter grab

Emphasis added by (TLB) editors

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The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)

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Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.

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Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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David French Is Completely Wrong About How COVID Affects Masculinity

David French Is Completely Wrong About How COVID Affects Masculinity

An “obsession with masculinity” allegedly characterizes the American right — and David French is obsessed with it. He’s so obsessed with it, in fact, that he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to tweet about it even if it meant putting his scientific ignorance about COVID-19 on full display.

French’s most recent attack on the right’s so-called masculinity obsession came in response to an interview between Fox News’s Tucker Carlson and former British politician Nigel Farage. According to French, the duo’s discussion of how COVID-19 “weakened” Boris Johnson “as a man” was “nuts on its own terms and further evidence that a very, very weird obsession with masculinity is part and parcel of the new right.”

“Somebody who knows [Boris Johnson] told me … that getting COVID emasculated him. It changed him. It feminized him. It weakened him as a man,” Carlson said to Farage. “The virus itself — this is true — does tend to take away the life force in some people, I notice. I mean, it does feminize people. No one ever says that, but it’s true.”

French decided to dunk, and not only did he slip into one of his habitual blunders whereby he tends to view every argument of his political opponents through the lens of the 45th president’s personality — more on that later — but his characterization of the conversation as “nuts” was scientifically wrong.

One study from the Taylor and Francis Group in September 2020 found that COVID-19 lowers men’s testosterone levels. While reports had already indicated that COVID patients with low testosterone fared worse on average than those with higher levels, this study was the first to show that the Wuhan virus itself actually depletes levels of the hormone.

“In our study, the mean total testosterone decreased, as the severity of the COVID-19 increased. The mean total testosterone level was significantly lower in the ICU group than in the asymptomatic group,” according to the findings as recorded in Science Daily. “The patients who died, had significantly lower mean total testosterone than the patients who were alive.”

Additionally, more than 65 percent of the 46 male patients who were asymptomatic (of 232 total males) experienced a loss of libido.

This research wasn’t an outlier. It was replicated in a study by the National Institutes of Health, the government agency that employs Anthony Fauci, which found that patients with COVID-19 had “significantly lower levels” of testosterone than members of the healthy control group. Furthermore, low testosterone was “associated with higher risk of ICU admission and death outcomes … after accounting for clinical and laboratory parameters.”

Health researchers have theorized that the testosterone component of COVID-19 outcomes could explain why hospitals experienced such a high volume of virus-stricken male patients.

In other words, scientific research pretty clearly indicates a close relationship between coronavirus infection and the depletion of a pivotal hormone to men’s sex drive, physical strength, and physique. Low testosterone can cause erectile dysfunction, fatigue, weight gain, and depression — the kinds of things that cause men to be “emasculated” or “weakened,” as Carlson put it.

Perhaps French wasn’t aware of these studies when he called the exchange “nuts.” Or perhaps he chose to ignore them so he could pull Trump and the supporters French finds so distasteful into the conversation — because that’s what he did when he shifted gears to the “new right.” In the same Twitter thread, French then shared an article he wrote last week as part of his new gig contributing to The Atlantic: “The New Right’s Strange and Dangerous Cult of Toughness.”

In it, French speaks from his soapbox about the “emerging culture of the right — a culture that idolizes a twisted version of ‘toughness’ as the highest ideal and despises a false version of ‘weakness’ as the lowest vice.”

“What makes the claims of toughness and weakness especially curious and dangerous,” French claims, “is the way in which they’re tied to the person of Donald Trump.” This is the lens French applied to the Carlson clip, linking to the article as “more on the new right’s obsession with twisted forms of toughness.”

Carlson’s comments weren’t about Trump, though, and they weren’t about abstract toughness. His comments were about the weakening of Boris Johnson as a direct result of his rough bout with COVID, and they were true and scientific. French is still just too hung up on his Trumpian political opponents to recognize that when he diagnoses their “obsession with masculinity,” he really just reveals his own obsession: them.

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