The News

Harper’s Letter

“If you’re a big enough writer where you can have Harper’s ask you to sign the world’s dumbest letter, your free speech isn’t in danger of being stifled. This is the first time in American history that people apart from the monied New York and Washington elite have had the chance to get their voices heard, and the Harper’s signatories are freaking out over the fact that people are being mean to them on twitter. So embarrassing. Journalism is dying. There are a forever dwindling number of outlets that pay a living wage and these multimillionaires aren’t even trying to build new institutions for fearless young writers. They’re out here whining in the most old-guard prestige outlet left. F— them all.”

“Perhaps the long fight to democratize the power arrangements in these fields did not catch the attention of the letter’s signatories because all of them already have secure and prominent positions and therefore do not have to worry about such earthbound problems? Anyone who has spent the last several years reading the work of Bari Weiss (a signatory) or David Brooks (a signatory) or Jesse Singal (a signatory) or Mark Lilla (a signatory) will be able to fill in the rest of the dreary text. It is the standard issue argument for ‘free speech’ as wielded only by those who already have power. As always, the power that these people already possess is completely invisible to them, while each and every slight that they suffer amounts to an assault upon the noble ideal of freedom.”

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