Reading List – On Media

Surprise. The Villain So Far in ‘Harry & Meghan’ Is Not the Royal Family.

But settling into a comfortable new life with children in Montecito, Calif., has not seemingly eased the bitterness the couple feel, nor their determination to re-litigate past examples of mistreatment

The creator of Tony Robbins’ new doc says he ‘ran for the exit’ the first time he attended a Robbins event.

The award-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, also known for his cynicism, surprised Berlinger by reaching out to him and telling him that he admired his courage for going forward with an uplifting project he believed in, even though he predicted critics would harshly judge his decision to do so.

American Gigolo is no longer sexy.

It is difficult not to see the new American Gigolo as the latest absurd iteration of the media’s anxious, obsessive search for trauma, victimhood, and injury in what, until now, have been recognised as happier chapters in the American story. As Mike Hale has aptly put it in the New York Times, it “remakes an era-defining film for the current age of victimisation”.

These reporters’ use of phrases such as “online violence” and their invocation of “trauma” when discussing mean tweets capitalizes on the natural sympathy people feel for victims of real trauma and violence and turns it to the journalists’ own professional advantage. It’s a good trick, because it’s difficult to criticize these journalists without being oneself accused of compounding the claimed injury.
The writer Michael Tracey described the deployment of what he calls “therapeutic trauma jargon” in a recent issue of his Substack newsletter: “Obviously, this harm cannot be externally adjudicated because one’s harm must never be subject to contestation or (god forbid) falsification. So the logic goes, every person has the right to say they are harmed without ever having the legitimacy of that harm questioned, because to question the harm compounds the harm.”

These reporters’ use of phrases such as “online violence” and their invocation of “trauma” when discussing mean tweets capitalizes on the natural sympathy people feel for victims of real trauma and violence and turns it to the journalists’ own professional advantage. It’s a good trick, because it’s difficult to criticize these journalists without being oneself accused of compounding the claimed injury.
The writer Michael Tracey described the deployment of what he calls “therapeutic trauma jargon” in a recent issue of his Substack newsletter: “Obviously, this harm cannot be externally adjudicated because one’s harm must never be subject to contestation or (god forbid) falsification. So the logic goes, every person has the right to say they are harmed without ever having the legitimacy of that harm questioned, because to question the harm compounds the harm.”

WaPo Editor Admonishes Staff to ‘Treat Each Other With Respect and Kindness’ as Numerous Messy Feuds Play Out on Twitter. It Doesn’t Work.

Engaging in repeated and targeted public harassment of a colleague is neither a good look nor is it particularly effective. It turns the language of inclusivity into clout chasing and bullying. I don’t think this is appropriate…There is such a thing as challenging with compassion.”

Cancel Culture in 1832 Sounded Pretty Fierce

What I’d like to point out, in brief, is that while the technology is new, the phenomenon is not. The “tyranny of the majority” in public opinion — the way it enforces conformity and reprimands dissent — has been part of American life reaching back to the beginning. And there’s even a case to make that it is intrinsic to democracy and democratic life, an inescapable consequence of the leveling spirit.

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