You should consider consulting with a lawyer about your chances of winning a defamation suit against GLAAD, Jesse. I'd be happy to contribute the money I offered to Brianna Wu's charity of choice in exchange for the imaginary receipts to a legal fund for you, and I imagine many others who offered money for that purpose would, too. I know you're still able to make a good living from your Substack and Patreon contributors, but think of what kind of message this smear is sending to less-established journalists who might otherwise want to write about these issues. And consider that if GLAAD and similar organizations continue smearing people who write thoughtfully about pediatric transition with impunity, they might start going after people in a less secure position. Also, thanks for mentioning that many desisters turn out to be LGB. It's ironic that GLAAD portrays people who convey concern about kids who would've otherwise been content as LGB people in their birth sex becoming lifelong medical patients as harming LGBTQ people.

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"It's ironic that GLAAD portrays people who convey concern about kids who would've otherwise been content as LGB people in their birth sex becoming lifelong medical patients as harming LGBTQ people." Completely agree--seems like the most sensible/moral approach is to only pursue drugs/surgery regimen as a last resort while helping people identify ways to be happy with who they are (never quite understood why the same people who spread memes about body positivity love to go after anyone who expressions a heterodox [in the context of twitter, at least] opinion about treatments for people experiencing gender dysphoria, esp children).

I myself am uncomfortable with some of the expectations and boundaries society sets around my gender (radioactive monster), but the best way for me to deal with it is to educate individuals I meet when they express surprise that I annihilate shitty opinions and not entire cities.

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My kid is grown, so my overt parenting days are over. But I've had a number of friends (a surprising number, actually) face the issue of having their natal daughters announce that they are trans.

Whenever I hear about their situations (most, to be honest, swiftly embrace the whole transition game; I grew up in a very liberal college town and many of my friends live in the most liberal enclaves in America), I wonder what my wife and I would have done.

I'm sure I'll be savaged for this, but in an ideal world where this could happen, I would take a leave of absence and take my questioning kid on a grand tour of ... well, wherever and whatever they might be interested in. Remove them from the insular social environment and restrict their access to online conversation about trans issues to a reasonable extent. Love them, enjoy their company, learn together, for a few months, even a year.

I cannot know, of course, but my suspicion is that for many, the obsession with specifically "trans" identities would recede, possibly leaving more space to discuss sexuality, individual differences and so on.

Is that crazy?

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No, you're not crazy. I do think gender dysphoria is real, and for some people with dysphoria, transitioning is the best option. But the sudden surge in teenage natal females is unprecedented, and the magnitude is so large that it raises concerns that many of those females aren't dysphoric in a lasting way. I think you're right that the online environment is unhealthy as well. Abigail Shrier discusses these issues in her book Irreversible Damage; it's worth a read if you'd like to learn more about them.

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I've heard of some parents doing exactly this, and their daughters lose interest in transitioning. I find the swift embrace of transition disturbing and really wonder how this will all look in ten years or so. The way that trans has become viewed as more of an identity than a medical phenomenon has really thwarted meaningful critique and investigation.

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Well said, Clay! I don't think a parent should be savaged for helping their child figure out who they are (and, if at the end of this your kid was still trans, I don't think you'd disown them)

The goal for many seems to have shifted from "help your child become healthy and well-adjusted" to "affirm trans identity!" And while afffirming trans identities CAN be part of helping your child become healthy and well-adjusted, I'm not sure it is an end goal in and of itself (unless one's got a religious view of the subject!)

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Yes, yes, yes, @ReplyKai(ju)! I should have made note of that important piece: Whatever the child becomes, that's fine. Let's just get him or her out of the hothouse of middle-school peer pressure.

When, by the way, did parents decide that 14-year-olds were super-capable of making momentous, life-altering decisions all on their own?

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Mar 23, 2021Liked by Jesse Singal

I’m a gay man in the heart of downtown Austin. I hear you and everybody in the community. Also I’m a scientist.

This is a critical argument that requires all voices. I’m making argument against the Calvinball rhetoric, not against this Substack!

That was my long preamble to my point... I grew up in the closet because I was afraid to come out and be a member of the LGBT community. Now Im afraid to be an outcast member of the community.

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Jesse, thank you for pushing back against this. It must be incredibly tiring, but so few people are in a position where they can do it, both in terms of their employment and psychological fortitude.

I know you don't want to sue anyone, and if you do, crazy people will ABSOLUTELY turn it into your being a bigot who's somehow insincere about free speech and not ruining people's careers. But it wouldn't be hypocritical or bigoted: defaming someone is serious, and it SHOULD hinder a journalist's career! And it would be such a perfect case; the facts are on your side, and your personality makes it difficult for anyone who isn't already brainwashed to construe you as anything other than a fair, compassionate person who is clearly progressive and in favor of robust civil rights and health care for trans people. You could donate any money to a gender clinic that does thorough work, or something.

I genuinely think it would help turn back to the tide if you sued. So many people, LGBT and otherwise, have been walking on eggshells in this culture of intimidation and defamation that psycho "trans rights activists" have enforced. Even sane, compassionate people who have been publicly trans forever get trashed by these insecure "activists." I genuinely think it's to your advantage that you're a cis guy, because when you're a queer person, it's REALLY HARD to risk having a target put on you by your own community. If you were to sue, even before ever WINNING anything, it would make a lot of LGBT people feel considerably safer to chime in with support and to openly dissent from the radical trans rights agenda, because there would be a VERY sympathetic point to rally around that's inclusive of non-radical, totally rational trans rights.

I'm as progressive as they come and I was so glad that Covington Catholic kid sued and won. I feel so desperately that the left needs to clean house for the good of society, but there's no disincentive for emotionally disturbed radicalism right now, and disordered people rarely snap out of it without hitting some kind of rock bottom. I hate even putting pressure on you because the whole thing would be such a stressful bitch of a task, but... if not you, then who? You're very well-positioned for it, is all I can say. Even the things they'll claim work against you work for you.

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Utterly maddening. I never even thought about this until years ago, when Ayaan Hirsi Ali ended up on the SPLC "Anti-Muslim Extremist" list, which was obviously completely absurd. Ever since I've been especially worried about "mission oriented" organizations and the damage they can do, everyone from SPLC to GLAAD to dog rescues.

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And that's not to say they can't do *good* as well, and frequently do, but there seems to be a gut feeling amongst people who broadly support the issues they are concerned with that they can ONLY do good. "SPLC is against hate, so anything they do MUST be good." It's kind of like BLM, where it's a statement and an actual movement with a platform (including past endorsement of the BDS movement, which has little to do with police violence in the US as far as I can tell).

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I know what you mean. Realizing that groups you've trusted to do good are also screwing up and perhaps abandoning their original mission can be destabilizing, and for this reason I think many do not want to look too closely.

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And critically, the ACLU is on the Wokish train, too.

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Few things are more terrifying to me than the ACLU's transformation over the last couple years.

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You run circles around these clowns.

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...which only makes the whole carnival of bullshit all the more infuriating.

All of my life, making sense was always the wisest and most powerful rhetorical choice at my disposal. Now, suddenly, a major portion of the left no longer gives a fuck about facts and actively denies them, substituting rage-smokescreens and punitive measures for rational engagement like the good little secular religious zealots they are.

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It is maddening. I think maybe I should take a break from the internet, but I find myself thinking way too often about how absurd the sex denialism bit is in particular. It makes creationism and QANON look reasonable. In the case of the former, we've only understood evolution and the age of the Earth recently; these things weren't always apparent to people. In the case of the latter (which is obviously an insane cult)... well, Jeffrey Epstein was real, and a lot of the wacky claims are at least somewhat unfalsifiable. It kind of makes sense how people get sucked in.

OTOH, the binary and immutable nature of sex has been self-evident to all human societies, hell it is self-evident to all mammals, since the beginning of time. It is so fundamental to our reality that it never needed to be argued. And suddenly huge swathes of people I know are so easily convinced that "well maybe it's complicated" "the binary is socially constructed" "what about all the human hermaphrodites??" etc. Just the flimsiest arguments (or arguments which don't at all say what these people think they say), having nothing whatsoever to do with the gender identity discussion anyway. So many people I know suddenly parroting takes that are so unmoored from reality... it's genuinely disconcerting.

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"I think maybe I should take a break from the internet"

I completely understand this psychological shuck-and-jive.

For over 20 years, I regularly wrote for running and fitness mags and was a senior writer for one of them (a masthead title, not a real job, buy whatever). Running being a sport with intrinsic guardrails -- if the times and distances are right and you were ahead, you prevail, etc. Any bullshitters -- course-cutters, ass-grabbers caught on camera at large road events -- were quickly derided to the sidelines.

You have probably heard of Caster Semenya, who is for sports purposes a dude whose testicles happen to be a few inches away from where they're usually found. She won gold medals in the Olympic 800 in 2012 and 2016, but in 2019 the sport's international governing body finally found the nerve to exclude her and other X,Y-DSD "women" (who in 2016 also took silver and bronze in the same event).

Last fall I finally got fed up with Wokish people, many of them younger and newcomers to both running and writing but plenty of them folks I'd known and respected for years, getting on the predictable train. I started blogging about it, someone ratted me out (I wasn't hiding it) and now I am a persona non grata in the industry. This is not a sob story -- I never made more than a fraction of my income in the endurance niche, and the SJWs can have the megs and websites they're beshitting to the fullest extent possible.

What infuriates me most -- right now, anyway; this is like rage Whack-a-Mole -- is the disregard for even a pretense at journalistic integrity.

Just last week, this one showed up.


You don't have to know anything about running to see that the author interviews a whole army of trans women, but the entire opposing argument is given as "Many supporters of these bills say they want to protect opportunities for girls and women in sports, including things like access to scholarships at colleges and provide fairness to female competitors" -- without any input, none, from that camp. And so girls' and women's sports are being purposefully degraded; it's part of zapping all power structures, and any gendered milieu like athletics qualifies. Also, trans girls can in fact compete if they like -- on the right fucking teams.

This one continues to normalize the term "white supremacy" -- the Wokish decided running had a white supremacy problem based on Ahmaud Arbery being murdered by two white non-runner shitkickers in an appalling but completely non-white-runners-driven crime.


I tirelessly shred this crap week after week, and while I expect nothing to change despite knowing most Americans agree with what I say -- and I point out a lot of lies as blatant as the ones Jesse chronicles, which is morally unambiguous and shouldn't depend on opinions -- I feel a certain relief establishing a record of it all. At some point -- I am counting on this -- people will realize they've been had by fascist wolves in the sheep's wool of oppression, and the tactics will stop working.

In terms of fleeing the Web, I face a paradox in that I got off Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to preserve what's left of my equanimity, but I rely on crap ejaculated onto those electronic jizzpads for much of my work.

Whew! That was a vent waiting to occur, for sure.

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I am female and was a somewhat serious competitive swimmer when younger. Have also dabbled in distance running though it's been a few years. I can only speak for endurance sports, but it is like... incredibly obvious that women cannot compete with men in any division, whether elite or amateur (post-puberty). I'm sure contact sports have their own set of reasons why it's incredibly obvious that sports need to be sex-segregated.

I haven't read RW in a few years so didn't realize they'd gone full-on sex denialism. And linking running culture to Arbery's death... jfc these people are demented. I could go off on a whole other rant about this but that sort of reminds me about the trope about parks / the outdoors being a "white" thing. So that basically people who are miserable enough that they don't want to go outdoors even though they can can shame other people who do (yeah I'm reading a lot into it); meanwhile, every time I visit a park or state park or national park or swimming hole I see an incredibly diverse group of people. Almost as if all humans and human societies have the capacity to value athletics and nature? And if certain communities aren't able to access it we should help them do so, because they'd probably value it too? Anyway, I digress...

My fiance' tells me to just be patient, that sports will eventually peak the population. (Women raped in prison will never get press coverage). I assumed this was true too, to some extent, so it is actually a little disappointing to see so many people credulously nodding their heads as all the goal-posts and language are shifted radically from the dogma of even a few years ago. I have expressed my thoughts on this previously to male colleagues, and they sort of just act surprised that I "care." I can see the wheels turning in their head, realizing that telling women to "just be nice" is wrong, but also thinking I should really "just be nice." Still, I am glad the conversation is being shifted into the public sphere more.

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"the trope about parks / the outdoors being a "white" thing

You rang?


"Why would you want to go into the backcountry, if in your mind it’s associated with lynching?”

Why indeed? And think of all the fuckin' bears!

This is literal insanity being unspooled conversationally. I'll steal a phrase from Jesse -- it's like they are mass-gaslighting society into accepting every overtly corrupt tenet.

One of my friends who fled the academic library scene, a lifelong uber-liberal when it comes to the standard issues of healthcare, education and things that actually matter, likes to taunt these people by reporting that whatever Native tribe is assigned a supposed claim to the land actually swiped it from a different tribe, and if he has to he'll pursue it anthropoligically all the way back to cave people dining on carrion. Hey, grab laughs when you can.

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lol. To be clear I see no issue with discussing the fact that global warming is likely to impact poor countries first/worst, or even to acknowledge that historical environmentalists were likely racist (I'm sure many of them were, to varying degrees). But the need to make everything connected to white supremacy these days, such that the imperative is on all of us to rectify the inherent white supremacy of the neighborhood jogging trail or whatever is ridiculous. And I am 100% sure it's counterproductive too.

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Re "It honestly seems as though they are taking their cues on this issue directly from Twitter and Tumblr..."

This, to me, is the root of not just Jesse's particular hell with the "trans-activist community" and its amen chorus among progressive journalism, but a much larger problem in society: People are not skeptical, they don't understand how to critically examine information, and, thanks to social media silo-ization, don't really care to. It's all about the team, baby, whether we're talking Team Left or Team Right.

I feel for Jesse on this. I don't know that I would be able to maintain any equanimity at all if I were being assaulted by liars for years.

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So everything Jesse said was correct. It doesn't matter. They've come for Jesse Singal and that will never end. It's pretty much the same as for everyone else "they've" come for. I can't identify "they," as it could be GLAAD, the SPLC, the staff of the NYT, one of any number of professional organizations, staff or faculty at a university, or anonymous posters at Twitter. The scurrilous claims are out there. Even if GLAAD removes their content, it exists elsewhere and others will repost it.

I'm convinced the cure is not to defend or explain. What good does that do? The only real cure is to sue the bastards. Do it often. Do it aggressively. It'll require help, and you'll probably have to associate yourself with some conservatives for support and money, as the Left has little fortitude to actually strike back (oh, you're /great/ at writing open letters).

If you're in university, a more neutral supporter is FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), which is doing the work the ACLU /used/ to do before in all but abandoned free-speech as a concern.

And you can win. Maajid Nawaz won a suit against the SPLC, one that actually included a public apology. The Convington kid won (though the settlement was not revealed and didn't include a public apology). Hell, after 10 years the National Review has apparently "won" against Michael Mann (whether he was libeled or not, the suit was basically brought to ruin the NR, one of the more respectable conservative sites).

The cancellers are strong and face few consequences. Once they do -- and realize they do -- there will be some change in the intellectual environment. Until then, Jesse is just as at-risk as the next victim.

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We posted at the same time, but our thoughts are so similar that you might wonder if I just copy-pasted from your comment.

Until Jesse is willing to use existing libel law in exactly the way it was designed to be used, he’s going to get trampled.

Everyone cites Hulk Hogan’s Thiel-funded suit against Gawker as a sinister moment in the death of adversarial journalism... but the reality is that most of us 1) want fearless adversarial journalism, and 2) don’t want to live in a world in which the world’s most popular websites can publish secret recordings of us having sex. The “news story” that sunk Gawker was disgusting, destructive, and illegal, and the fact that it destroyed a mini-media empire will serve, like the Richard Jewell case before it, as a memorable deterrent to the worst journalistic abuses.

By sticking up for himself—by coming for these monsters’ money—Jesse would be sticking up for all of us. It’s past time for him to do it.

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Mar 22, 2021Liked by Jesse Singal

All of the major LGBT organizations are horrible now, but this is unbelievable. Just wrote to GLAAD asking them to take your name off the list -- obviously, they won't care, but somebody might have to read it. As someone who's been out for 20 years, seeing what's happened to LGBT activism is totally depressing.

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Mar 22, 2021Liked by Jesse Singal

Jesse: I should be able to keep this short

Jesse: *writes 1883 words (not counting blockquotes)*

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I just want to say that I am so grateful to you for writing the piece in The Atlantic even though you knew that it would make you a target after the piece about Zucker. There are real conversations that need to be had about why there has been a huge spike in post puberty people with ovaries identifying as trans male within the left and within the LGBT community that is completely distinct from the oversimplified rhetoric coming out of the GOP and the Christian right. I very much admire you for taking so many risks to try and shed light on that conversation and for recognizing that detransitioners are overwhelmingly part of the LGBT community and deserve to have their concerns and insights heard without being seen to jump to any conclusions. I am a parent who was amenable to my child socially transitioning as a minor and did everything I could to support him in that transition, but who was unwilling to consent to medical transition on his behalf because I just thought it was too consequential a decision for me to make on his behalf and he did not appear sufficiently mature to make it on his own. He recently became a legal adult and has started on testosterone, and has learned that dealing with our medical system is a big pain -- I help him problem solve and provide advice, but I know that when you opt for a therapy that will make you a lifelong endocrinology patient, you are taking on some hassle that would really be invisible to most teens when their parents are still overseeing all their medical care. But like Jesse, I absolutely oppose legislation that would bar medical transition for minors, and I know that parents who are trying to parent their children from love and not fear are struggling with what the right decision should be and each situation is likely to be different. But parents and their children deserve to know about detransitioners and their experience to inform their decisions. And trying to keep us from knowing just makes us more suspicious of what the media is saying. So thank you -- I wish I could fix the way in which your work has been distorted, but I am grateful that I can support you by subscribing to your newsletter and your podcast with Katie.

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I enjoy your juxtaposition of long-outdated terms like "scuttlebutt" -- I mean, I'm older than you and I can assure you that one was on the endangered slang registry in the early 1980s -- and stories about the tweens who have apparently taken the reins, en masse, of every progressive organization with a solid reputation to uphold.

I look at it this way: The hunger of these flatulent fucks to ruin people has the silver lining of their doing it more or less immediately and in concert, making it easier to counter as needed as well as rendering each story part of an obvious hit job (at least when I'm Googling something, when I see a single narrative flying around about an otherwise respected voice, while it's plainly a hit-job of _some_ sort, my index of suspicion for it being a *slimy* hit job goes through the roof.

I hope you become the first Substack billionaire and use some of the cash to open a nationwide chain of transgender disco clubs. To that end, I told two friends about this site today alone.

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This is so analogous to the Maajid Nawaz vs SPLC case. They called him an anti-muslim bigot and didn't retract it until he sued them and won.

Like the SPLC, GLAAD are a resource that journalists and politicians turn to to quickly see who is reputable and who is beyond the pale, so their blasé labelling of people without evidence or even a logical coherence to what is offensive has to be fought. You can bet this will be the thing lazily referenced by anyone dumping on you, and carries a lot more gravitas than the stupid Jezebel article.

I can understand not wanting to sue and financially destroy some blowhards on twitter, but when this type or organization is wrongfully using institutional muscle against you you have to fight back or they will keep doing it to more and more people.

Imagine the power of a written apology and declaration that you are not a bigot from this organization, and the message it sends to all the other cretans who will casually accuse you of harassment for a quote retweet or a question that baseless accusations have consequences.

I signed up just to write this message because this infuriates me. Love the pod and your writing.

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The parallels between Jude Doyle and Sidney Powell are inescapable to me. Neither of them have even one iota of courage in their convictions. The moment he's faced with consequences, Doyle will be claiming that "no reasonable person would conclude" that these "were truly statements of fact."

Also worth noting is that it is legitimately societally important to force these fabulists to admit that, not only were they wrong, but they never really believed they were telling the truth.

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Mar 22, 2021Liked by Jesse Singal

I think there's a word missing from this sentence:

"In 21st century journalism, if you misrepresent someone and ask for a correction, that’s ‘harassment.’"

"and THEY ask for a correction" maybe?

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you are correct -- thank you

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It’s important to get the facts about yourself on record, and to call out these abuses and “errors” when they occur... but: are you also thinking at all about broader strategic goals?

The “post-truth” model of discourse is dominant now, so it doesn’t really matter whether any of what GLAAD, the Daily Dot, or your blue-check Twitter haters say about you is correct. GLAAD may modify a few phrases, but they won’t retract their claims in a way that restores your reputation. The conventional wisdom about you among respectable liberals will always be that you are a “transphobe,” a “stalker,” and a sleazy, lazy journalist. That impression cannot be fixed, ever. (Such is the power of slander and libel, especially when it’s directed against isolated figures who ask questions about official narratives.)

You can see for yourself that people are happy to continue libeling you long after you’ve shared incontrovertible proof of falsity and malice. Why is that? Because they know you won’t sue them, and that they stand a better chance of being socially and professionally rewarded for telling the lies than for telling the truth.

Brazenly lying on bigger and bigger platforms—the GLAAD list makes your status as a dangerous purveyor of hate almost official—is also a power play, and one that’s honestly pretty impressive. Nearly all of our political leaders and mass-media thought leaders have figured this out: shamelessly and stubbornly lying following repeated public corrections is an “alpha” move, and the impotent anger of the people who are libeled reduces their stature.

There are so many examples of this—many of which obviously involve Bush, Trump, and more recently Biden’s handlers in the Democratic party and in the media.

One example that comes to mind: when Joy Reid was revealed to have made, in the fairly recent past and as an adult, vile homophobic comments on her blog, she claimed that her various accounts had been hacked by people who had sensed that she would eventually be famous and wanted to bring her down by putting words into her mouth right in front of her, and that she had inexplicably left the hackers’ text on her blog for several years. If she had acknowledged that she’d made those comments and apologized, there’s a non-negligible chance that she would have lost her job (and in this case, she probably should have lost it—she said some awful things). But her willingness to tell a ludicrous lie, and then receive the protection of other media elites, ironically left her in better shape than she would have been in if she had never made the comments. We all see now that she is bulletproof, and that people who try to hold her to reasonable standards will be humiliated.

Another, more serious example is the successful years-long gaslighting of the Democratic electorate through the Russiagate scam. And of course, the entire Permawar was enabled by a concerted post-truth flex by Cheney, Rove, their Democratic cheerleaders, and a handful of well-placed reporters. Collectively, they unleashed hell on Earth—including the revival of torture—and they emerged from this wreckage strengthened rather than destroyed. One of the worst offenders is currently the US President.

GLAAD & Co. are playing a power game against you, and they’re winning. Nobody apart from Glenn Greenwald, a few other honorable holdovers from a previous era, and your readers and listeners (myself included), cares about “the record” or your attempts to set it straight.

It’s great (sincerely!) that you and Katie are earning a good living post-cancellation. But others in your situation are not nearly as intelligent, resourceful, and popular as you and Katie are. (Jack Smith IV, who comes to mind because I met him a few times, has been completely memory-holed, and has no professional future; his crime, if anyone remembers, is that he was allegedly a shouty boyfriend.) The people who are methodically destroying your reputation—the ADL, ACLU, and SPLC will presumably be the next groups to denounce you—are sharpening a tool that they will use to chill mildly dissenting speech and thought for decades to come.

The tl;dr version of my long, annoying comment is: do you have a plan B in mind? I don’t, and we need one.

Is “setting the record straight” working—for you, or indeed for any of us right now?

PS: As they say on social media (and—as they also say—“this, but ironically”): I’m sorry this is happening to you! You and Katie are both good reporters and seem like excellent human beings.

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And among many of the things I despise about the Wokish is their redefining "amplify" to mean "link to unacceptable content in a manner that demands harsh punishment.

I sometimes feel lost, and I do mean figuratively *lost*, at the various progressive orgs I respected or even revered until fairly recently but whose flaming bodies would never urinate on today unless I'd drunk kerosene: The ACLU, Planned Parenthood, GLAAD, shit, probably every left-leaning socially oriented org with letters.

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Someone on Twitter mentioned that Dr. Diane Ehrensaft was involved in the Repressed Memories Satanic Panic stuff from the 80s. I don't want to go re-listen to that episode to see if her name comes up at all. https://twitter.com/WakaFlaccusFlam/status/1374027214681997325

You wouldn't happen to know of a connection here, would you?

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They have added a note: "Calling her a "key driver" was probably an overstatement on my part, but she worked with alleged sex abuse victims from the Presidio case (never led to charges) and then wrote a paper on "institutional preschool sexual abuse...involv[ing] bizarre and frightening rituals."" and added a pdf of the related work: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwnI6PcRU44reWFBMGJKMFBuams/view

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Katie has mentioned Eherensaft's Satanic Panic involvement before on the podcast. I think the connection is fascinating.

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I would file suit for libel and an order forcing them to take it down.

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