With Vindictive Poise:
Spencer J. Quinn
Dealing with the Mainstream Media
In 2009, Ann Coulter gave a wonderfully civil interview to the New York Times, which was predictably entitled “And Now, a Moment of Civil Discourse With Ann Coulter.” The topic was her upcoming debate with liberal comedian and talk show host Bill Maher. She did not speak with her reporter, and instead answered his questions IN ALL CAPS in an email. Like a good Elvis Costello song, the tone of the interview could not have been more pleasant . . . on the surface. Dig a little deeper, however, at you soon realize that it was not so nice.
Of course, Coulter got in a lot of her trademark snark. For example, when the Times reporter asked if her debate with Maher would “foster more bipartisanship in the new Obama era,” Coulter responded:
YOU SEEM TO BE UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT OF “DEBATE.” THE IDEA, SINCE AROUND THE TIME OF, OH SAY, ARISTOLE, IS TO DERIVE TRUTH. I DO NOT BELIEVE THE POINT OF THE LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATES, FOR EXAMPLE, WAS TO “FOSTER MORE BIPARTISANSHIP.”
Then, when asked if her debate with a comedian would provide “an opportunity to laugh at the current state of our politics,” Coulter quipped, “NO, THAT’S A NANCY PELOSI PRESS CONFERENCE YOU’RE THINKING OF.”
But how the interview ended was truly remarkable. When the reporter asked if she spoke for a conservative movement, Coulter effectively told the editors of the New York Times to F—k Off and Die. Here’s what she really said:
I THINK I SPEAK FOR ALL AMERICANS WHO THINK NEWSPAPER EDITORS WHO PRINT THE DETAILS OF TOP-SECRET ANTI-TERRORIST INTELLIGENCE GATHERING PROGRAMS ON PAGE ONE IN WARTIME SHOULD BE EXECUTED FOR TREASON.
That about says it all, doesn’t it?
So, you see, the article’s title was a wee tad sarcastic. After getting spanked like an errant child by Ms. Coulter, it was really the only way the Times could hit her back, lame as it was. So this got me thinking of how people on the Alt Right should deal with the mainstream media. With the Alt Right now snowballing itself into popular consciousness, dealing with the mainstream media is something we’re going to have to get used to whether we like it or not. And this is a good thing. I mean, we don’t want to remain on the fringes of society forever, do we?
Since the Trump candidacy, the most visible proponents of the Alt Right (Jared Taylor and Peter Brimelow, for example) have been giving sober and thoughtful interviews to the press. In nearly all cases that I have seen, these two have been taking what I would call the Naive approach to the media. They answer all questions posed to them earnestly. They argue forcefully and logically their pro-white and anti-immigration platforms. And they appear as pleasant and disarming as possible.
I can’t fault them for this, and I am grateful that someone is out there outlining White Nationalism 101 or Race-Realism for Dummies for the masses when dealing with the mainstream media. At the same time, however, I can’t help but wonder if this makes us seem like rubes. The mainstream media hates us and will always frame us in a negative light no matter what we do. So perhaps Ann Coulter’s FOAD approach would actually be more effective in pushing our ideas? Yes, I am aware that Coulter is not strictly Alt Right. But the mainstream media despises her as much as they do us, so I believe the Alt Right would be well served in studying and perhaps emulating Ann Coulter’s treatment of the media. Yes, we don’t want to Johnny Rotten ourselves and take the FOAD approach too literally. If we are too hostile, we won’t get interviews at all. Instead, we should look to twist the knife of embarrassment into their soft bellies as often as humanly possible. That will certainly depress the popular enthusiasm for their positions, while ipso facto increasing ours.
Of course, Coulter had the benefit of bashing a journalist over email where he couldn’t bash her back in real time. The more exposure the Alt Right gets, however, the more our leaders are going to have to interact with journalists in real time, where they can and will bash us. And they won’t wait for us to do it first.
So what is the media’s reasoning behind their hatred of us? If we can codify their logic, perhaps then we find ways to use this very logic against them, which would certainly embarrass them. I imagine a logician would describe the mainstream media’s arguments like so:
Premise 1.1: All anti-racists are good people.
Premise 1.2: I am an anti-racist.
Conclusion 1: I am good.
* * *
Premise 2.1: All people who expose racism are righteous.
Premise 2.2: I am a person who exposes racism.
Conclusion 2: I am righteous.
A logician would certainly consider these arguments deductively valid even though the first premise for each argument is patently false. In both cases, the conclusions can only be true if the premises are also true. Thus these arguments are valid but not sound. Soundness depends on the truth of the premises and the conclusion, and this is where the Alt Right and the mainstream tend to disagree. We say premises x.1 are false and the mainstream media says they are true.
How to get to the bottom of this? Not through anecdotal or historical data (as useful as these may be), but through scientific research and scientific research only. And that’s fine. If the Left wishes to make it as difficult as possible to slaughter their sacred cows, we can still do it. We just need the science. The downside of this is that science is difficult. The upside, however, is that it is irrefutable. But like Al Gore, the mainstream media believes the science is settled, and so, while the jury is still out, they proceed from the following arguments:
Premise 3.1: All enlightened people believe only what is scientifically proven.
Premise 3.2: Race differences in intelligence and temperament are not scientifically proven.
Conclusion 3: Enlightened people do not believe in race differences in intelligence and temperament.
* * *
Premise 4.1: All people who do not believe in race differences in intelligence and temperament are enlightened
Premise 4.2: I do not believe in race differences in intelligence and temperament.
Conclusion 4: I am enlightened.
Again, the logic here is deductively valid. But the arguments are not sound because they contain false premises. Nevertheless, these arguments explicitly or implicitly prop up virtually everything the mainstream media does when race is concerned.
Just look at conclusions 1, 2, and 4. Journalists wish to prove that they are good, righteous, and enlightened. That’s how they remain popular with their audiences and get promotions from their bosses. Furthermore, by demonstrating how the Alt Right does not satisfy premises 1.2, 2.2, and 4.2, they wish to prove how the Alt Right is not good, righteous, and enlightened. This, of course, makes mainstream journalists look good in comparison.
Some mainstream journalists are more honest than others, of course, but until we have achieved victory in the culture wars and make Alt Right ideology acceptable again, we must assume that mainstream journalists are operating from this logical playbook at least to some extent while interviewing us.
They’re not giving us a platform upon which to express our views and perhaps win converts. They are giving us a noose in which we can hang ourselves. So when the Jared Taylors of the world take the Naive approach when fielding questions from a mainstream journalists, they are playing into their hands. They are giving them the opportunity and the narcissistic satisfaction to say, “Look! Taylor violates our premises! He’s neither good, righteous, nor enlightened. Unlike me!”
We should also remember that whether what Taylor says is true or logical in its own right is, of course, irrelevant to the conclusions drawn by the journalists who only have hostile intentions toward him to begin with. Ann Coulter seems to understand this, and therefore gives mainstream journalists and editors all the respect they deserve. It’s time the Alt Right does the same.
To do this, the best approach would be to turn whatever questions journalists ask back towards them in such a way that to answer would only cause them to violate one of their own premises. We would have to be quick about it too. Nothing is more terrifying in chess than spending 25 minutes agonizing over a move only to watch your opponent respond immediately and smack the clock with vindictive poise.
Here are a list of questions which support the premises so important for the worldview of mainstream journalists. We must answer these questions quickly and with vindictive poise:
Q: Why put parentheses around Jewish writers?
A: Why single out whites when we try to be nationalistic?
This question tempts us to violate premise 1.2, but the response tempts the questioner to violate it as well.
Q: Do you support ethnic cleansing?
A: Do you mean the way the way the blacks did it in Detroit? Or perhaps the way the Hispanics did it in East LA?
This question tempts us to violate premise 2.2, but the response tempts the questioner to violate it as well.
Q: Do you believe that whites are smarter than blacks?
A: Do you believe that you’re smarter than the IQ tests and the SAT, the GRE, the MCAT, the LSAT, and every other psychometric measure we have?
This question tempts us to call into premise 3.2, but the response tempts the questioner to do the same.
Q: Don’t you think that the poor academic performance of blacks is the result of historic and systemic racism against black people?
A: Don’t you think that the poor performance of whites in the NBA is the result of historic and systemic racism against white people?
This question tempts us to violate premise 4.2, but the response tempts the questioner to violate it as well.
Here are a few others along the same lines.
Q: Why do you think it’s bad that white people will become a minority in America?
A: Why do you think it’s good that white people will become a minority in America?
Q: Isn’t it racist against non-whites to oppose non-white immigration?
A: Isn’t it equally racist against whites to support non-white immigration?
Q: Why are you against blacks and whites marrying and having children?
A: Why are you in favor of white people having fewer white children?
Q: Recently, a member of the Alt Right led a crowd in a cheer in which crowd members gave Nazi salutes. Do you approve of that?
A: Prior to that, gangs of Antifa thugs physically attacked and harassed members of this Alt Right crowd. Do you approve of that?
Q: Recently, a member of the Alt Right accused another member of the Alt Right of being an undercover government agent. What do you have to say about that?
A: Prior to that, Wikileaks showed how high profile members of the media were acting as undercover government agents. What do you have to say about that?
Q: Why do you think the Alt Right is hated?
A: Why do you think Gallup polls show that trust in the media has declined to all time lows?
Stupid journalists will forget their questions and focus on ours, thus playing directly into our hands. If this happens, we can use their logic to show how not good, not righteous, and not enlightened these people really are (while at the same time attributing all three of these qualities to the Alt Right). For example, if a stupid journalist responds to our first question by saying something like, “I single out white nationalists because white nationalists are racists,” we can respond correctly that that statement, in and of itself, is racist. If the stupid journalist persists by citing all the bad things white nationalists have done in the past, we can respond with all the bad things black or Asian nationalists have done in the past (for example, atrocities committed by Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda or by imperial Japan). Ultimately, we will force the stupid journalist into the position of admitting his racism against whites or quitting the field. Either way, it will be checkmate or resignation, and no observer will see it as anything else. Win-win for the Alt Right.
Intelligent journalists, however, won’t take the bait, and instead will accuse us of dodging the question. Answering a question with another question, they’ll say, is not a valid answer. We should respond that it most certainly is because the answer to the second question will invariably be identical to the answer to the first. This is why the second questions mimic the first questions in syntactic structure.
Now, compare the FOAD approach taken by the first response (“Why single out whites when we try to be nationalistic?”) to the Naive approach that many on Alt Right have already taken when speaking with mainstream journalists. A Naive response could, for example, use arguments found in Kevin MacDonald’s Culture of Critique to justify the parentheses around the names of Jewish writers, and, in so doing, effectively cast aspersions on Jewish people. This is exactly how the mainstream journalists want us to respond. As stated above, it gives them the opportunity to make themselves seem good, righteous, and enlightened while making the Alt Right seem the opposite of these things, all based on the logical edifice described above. This would constitute a win for the mainstream, and it does not matter in the least if the Naive arguments are indeed sound.
Remember, the saying goes, “Everyone loves a winner,” not “Everyone loves a person who makes sound arguments.” I believe that the FOAD approach to the mainstream media, when properly targeted against the premises behind conclusions 1 through 4 above, will help members of the Alt Right to “win” any encounter they have with mainstream journalists. And that can only produce tangible returns for the Alt Right.
If a mainstream journalist ever become frustrated by our tactics and decides to lob ad hominems or in any way gets personal during an interview, then we should get personal back. We should start asking the journalist specific questions such as the following:
“Did you go to J School?”
“Where did you go to J School?”
“Did you graduate from J School?”
“Did you take any classes on journalistic ethics in J school?”
“Did you pass those classes on journalistic ethics when you were at J school?”
“Do you remember anything from those classes on journalistic ethics when you were at J school?”
“If so, then why are you not exhibiting any journalistic ethics during this interview?”
I don’t know if anyone has ever taken this tack when dealing with mainstream journalists. But I would love it if someone were to try. It would certainly be giving them all the respect they deserve.
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