Saturday, May 16, 2020

Professors call out NY Times for censorship

Pamela Paresky, Jonathan Haidt, Nadine Strossen, and Steven Pinker write in Politico:
a recent course of action by the New York Times is cause for alarm.

On December 27, 2019, the Times published a column by their opinion journalist Bret Stephens, “The Secrets of Jewish Genius,” and the ensuing controversy led to an extraordinary response by the editors.

Stephens took up the question of why Ashkenazi Jews are statistically overrepresented in intellectual and creative fields. This disparity has been documented for many years, such as in the 1995 book Jews and the New American Scene by the eminent sociologists Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab. In his Times column, Stephens cited statistics from a more recent peer-reviewed academic paper, coauthored by an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. Though the authors of that paper advanced a genetic hypothesis for the overrepresentation, arguing that Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average IQ of any ethnic group because of inherited traits, Stephens did not take up that argument. In fact, his essay quickly set it aside and argued that the real roots of Jewish achievement are culturally and historically engendered habits of mind.

Nonetheless, the column incited a furious and ad hominem response. Detractors discovered that one of the authors of the paper Stephens had cited went on to express racist views, and falsely claimed that Stephens himself had advanced ideas that were “genetic” (he did not), “racist” (he made no remarks about any race) and “eugenicist” (alluding to the discredited political movement to improve the human species by selective breeding, which was not remotely related to anything Stephens wrote). ...

The Times’ handling of this column sets three pernicious precedents for American journalism.

I mentioned the original column last year, as well as the subsequent editorial redaction.

I am not sure if all of these authors and publications are Jewish. It appears that most of them are.

While I agree that the NY Times retraction is deplorable, and that its explanation was dishonest, the criticism is still a little strange.

The critics are also eager to dismiss a legitimate scholar as being racist, and to show off liberal credentials. It says:
First, while we cannot know what drove the editors’ decision, the outward appearance is that they surrendered to an outrage mob, in the process giving an imprimatur of legitimacy to the false and ad hominem attacks against Stephens.
No, that is not the problem.

The NY Times prints lies about Pres. Trump everyday. The outrage mob does not induce the paper to tell the truth about Trump. These critics are giving giving an imprimatur of legitimacy to the false and ad hominem attacks against Henry Harpending.

I think this whole story is about how to best reinforce certain Jewish ideologies. Stephens accidentally revealed some truths about Jewish beliefs, and his employer and others must rush to obscure the truth and help him out.

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