On Ben Collins and the scourge of opportunistic post-tragedy commentary
It’s maddening that we just went through this with the Georgia spa shooting in 2021. Within what felt like seconds, the narrative of an anti-Asian hate crime was made canon. Nevermind that it quickly became clear the shooter was a disturbed, self-loathing sex addict and the race(s) of his victims were incidental.
I’d say we’ve learned nothing, but that would imply that the media is *trying* to learn something, when it’s increasingly clear they are not interested in learning anything at all.
You wrote, "I think the right’s drag queen story hour moral panic is ridiculous, and that “groomer” discourse is disgusting and in some cases dangerous"
Perhaps there is moral panic on the Right, but there is an equal and opposite moral panic on the "Left"
People on the Right (and plenty in the middle) are in a "moral panic" about children being sexualized & groomed into sexual abuse by adults, while the Left is in a moral panic about drag queens being demonized.
I prefer the former panic to the latter one.
Also, be careful about the term "moral panic".
Queer Theorist Gayle Rubin considered opposition to adult/child sex a "moral panic", and wrote "no tactic for stirring up erotic hysteria has been as reliable as the appeal to protect children." Rubin endorsed NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Lover Association) which also accused those who opposed sexual contact between grown men & little boys of suffering from "moral panic". In the UK, the pedophile information exchange (PIE) claimed that those with an aversion to "intergenerational sex" also suffered from "moral panic".
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual ,Trans, & Intersex Association (ILGA) considers fears about adult /child sexual contact to be “moral panic”, and they endorse lowering the age of consent to 10.
A UK Academic, using postmodernism and Queer Theory as a framework, wrote in 2004 that opposition to adult/child sex was maintained by "a moral panic logic" and that children would benefit by being allowed to join "boy lover identity groups" https://docslib.org/doc/12583836/yuill-richard-alexander-2004-male-age-discrepant-intergenerational-sexualities-and-relationships
According to Wiktionary a moral panic is “A semi-spontaneous or media-generated mass movement based on the perception that an individual, group, community, or culture is dangerously deviant and poses a menace to society. A public outcry.”
Is concern about child sexual abuse a “media generated mass movement”?
Like millions of other people, I was raped as a child, so I didn’t need a “media generated mass movement” to believe pedophiles are dangerous or pose a menace to society.
The perception that many adults do groom children into sexual abuse is not even close to being false, and forgive me if I’m suspicious of those who passionately defend the right of hyper-sexualized drag queens to read storybooks to preschoolers. Why die on that hill??? It’s creepy.
Please try to redirect your concern for adult male drag queens to the children who do get groomed and raped every day.
Ben Collins might be eclipsing Michael Hobbes as the most annoying person on Twitter. I cannot for the life of me understand these guys who dedicate so much time to reassuring hyper-online liberals that yes, they truly are right about everything, and any opinions not held by blue-check Twitter are hateful misinformation .
Apparently, Ben didn't even do the 30 seconds of Googling needed to figure out that there's another gay bar in Colorado Springs where, presumably, LGBT people feel safe. https://www.instagram.com/icons_colorado/?hl=en
Of course this ignores there are other places that are LGBT friendly, even if the LGBT community isn't even their primary target. There's a Methodist church https://www.fumcprairie.org/lgbtq-inclusion , Unitarian Church https://asuuc.net/about-uus/ , a bunch of counseling services https://lgbtqcolorado.org/resources/ , etc. etc.
Watch the whole story get memory-holed on the left/mainstream media now that the shooter IDs as enbie
The entire Collins soliloquy was incoherent. Perhaps it's because I'm not on social media for the most part, but I couldn't even figure out what he was trying to strongarm other journalists into doing, or what he was castigating them for not doing. They are afraid of being the subject of Breitbart? What fucking journalist in liberal circles cares about that? The whole thing felt like gaslighting, like there's some dire fear in liberal journalism against LGBT-friendly coverage. And *this* guy covers "misinformation"? Is that a self-appointed position, or does someone actually trust him to pierce the veil of bullshit covering most stories to find even the facts, let alone some "truth"?
This is SOP for the gun debate, has been as long as I've been following it since the mid to late 90s or so. It's this weird little journalistic carve out where you'll never be fact checked outside of the conservative media ghetto that doesn't matter to these people, so they can be as outlandishly wrong as they want without consequences. I've long thought this practice was a strong contributing factor to conservative distrust of the media, truly blatant lies being reported and never corrected by all of the major media.
I am s beyond disgusted by “reporters” who prefer activism to actual journalism. Collins and his ilk are the reason I don’t trust mainstream news.
The fact that Jesse refuses (on "principle," I guess?) to use they/them pronouns just reveals the Calvinball rules — i.e. non-existent rules — that govern trans and non-binary identification.
Either self-ID is valid, or it is not. Either we respect everyone's stated gender identity, or we do not.
The entire problem with self-ID is that it is capricious and unverifiable. This fact does not change simply because Caitlyn Jenner does not commit horrific crimes and this person did.
In everyday life, it's fine to use preferred pronouns out of politeness, but in areas presumably dedicated to truth-finding, like journalism, let's at least have consistent rules. Otherwise, we cannot really discuss anything at all.
Thanks for saying this. I would be beyond irritated if I were gunned down at a gay club anywhere in the United States and some journalist tried to claim it was the only place I felt safe. Like, fuck off? Tons of gay people have felt safe MOST places in any sizeable U.S. city for well over a decade. It’s so infantilizing.
All those tweets are about TRANS, not gay & lesbian. We have same sex marriage in this country. There is no longer an overwhelming anti gay/lesbian sentiment in 2022.
People worried about medically transing minors are not anti LGB. In fact, those minors at risk of being transed are minors who may very well be LGB themselves.
It's infuriating to read that concern about T in women's/girls' sports, men in single-sex spaces, etc, is somehow equivalent to anti gay sentiment. It is not.
I read exactly one article about this shooting and gave up.
I went to a gay bar in Old Colorado City in the late 80s because it was the only bar in the area that didn’t care about ID.
That line about “the only place” was so absurdly false I immediately dismissed everything else as politically driven nonsense.
If they can’t get basic facts right what’s the point?
It's deeply weird to me how quickly these narratives harden into "fact." And scary. And frustrating.
Would it kill Millennial writers and commentators like Collins to learn the word "differently"?
This isn’t a gotcha I promise - I’m genuinely surprised by you intentionally misgendering Aldrich? Do you have any reason to disbelieve the filing saying they are NB? It’s not like we have a detailed life story of this person.
Jesse commenting on best journalistic practices is like me commenting on best baseball playing: all I know is what I see but much of what I say is naive or wrong, mostly because I don’t play the game, I don’t know how and why baseball players do what they do.
Same with Jesse. One way to tell Jesse is a bogus critic is his attack on a person’s character. In this case Ben Collins. Attacking character is gossip. The only basis for such gossip is that Collins does not act in a way satisfactory to Jesse Singal. That’s it. What other standard is applied? What professional or ethical code did Collins violate? I doubt Singal knows of such codes and how they apply.
Too bad people take him seriously.