Bari Weiss would like you to think of her as a bold defender of free speech standing up to cancel culture. But she seems to have a rather narrow view of what threats there are to free speech. You only have to head over to her twitter feed and see what her concerns are.
Please look at her twitter feed. Maybe I missed something.
Is she worried about state governments declaring books to be Critical Race Theory and banning them? No. See any comments about people burning Harry Potter books? Nope. Schools pulling books LGBTQ books? Nada.
What she is concerned about is the censorship of people like Joe Rogan, who still has a job and a platform and hundreds of millions of dollars. Rogans’s podcast is still there. You can still listen to it on Spotify. And Apple Podcasts. And Google Podcasts.
Somehow, the idea that entertainers would take a stand and refuse to do business with someone and be on the right side of history seems alien to Weiss. As if we didn’t have plenty of examples of that happening.
Sinatra deserves considerable credit for ending segregation in Nevada hotels and casinos. He and his Pack refused to patronize places that refused service to one of their own—Sammy Davis Jr.
Driftglass defines Shelter Culture:
organizational cultures which actively protect smarmy always-wrong hacks who definitely would have been sacked for incompetence long ago in any other enterprise.
And so I argue that Weiss is concerned not with opposition to censorship, but a full throated defense of shelter culture.
She is laser focused on defending the sheltering of people like her who are being criticized and facing consequences. How dare you tweet at someone like her that her shitty take is in fact, a shitty take. Now, that’s antisemitism.
Shaun said it best.
It is important to note that shelter culture does not extend to everyone. If you are a critic of Bari Weiss, she will gladly work to shut down your free speech.
Thanks to @bariweiss’s ‘Free Speech Should Only Exist For The Alt-Right’ campaign, security at Stanford is closing my Presentation to the public and limiting it to students/faculty. If you’d like to come and are not from Stanford, contact me and I’ll add you to guest list,” Valley wrote on Twitter.
Weiss lives by the single principle that all the worst people in the world use: Rules are for people like you to follow, rights are for people like me to invoke.