How are the Substackers you despise able to beat you to every story?
You and Katie have been a true lifeline these past two-and-a-half years. You've done wonders for my mental health and made me feel a lot less alone in the world as a disillusioned liberal.
Keep up the great work, and I'll see you tomorrow night in Arlington.
I just want to add that you and Katie are quite funny and that's important so I am sure the good humor helps on the subscription front.
Serious question - why are cookie-cutter ideologues like Parker Molloy and Taylor Lorenz now trying to launch their own Substacks? How exactly will they differentiate themselves from the glut of spicy takes coming out of legacy media?
AND, we get better journalism for a pittance. I love win-win's. The Twitter era of censorship, both directly and self-administered, was the accelerant for what Yang calls the "Successor Ideology" that both led to and became a reaction to Trumpism. For the center to hold again, those authoritarian forces on either side need a counterfactual provided by these freelance journos
Brother has a story about my dad that’s relevant. I wasn’t there but it’s in line with something my dad would do.
A kid runs out from between two houses. A few seconds later five more kids come out, chasing the first. They catch up to him. Then they’re on him, kicking and punching. In a heartbeat, my dad crosses traffic, drives his truck up onto the sidewalk a few feet away, gets out and says “Five on one, huh?”
Picks one kid up by his shirt and just shouts in his face. Then he launches him several feet down the sidewalk. All the kids run away.
Dad gets back in his truck like nothing happened.
My brother says, “Wow, that was really scary.”
My dad says, “Eh, all you gotta do is grab one of ‘em by the fucking neck and the rest always run away.”
I think twitter mobs are the same way.
My thanks to you and Katie for being brave, Jesse. That said, I’m going to still post under a pseudonym until the climate gets a little healthier, but if I can pay $10 a month for free speech between here and BARPod I think that’s a pretty good deal.
I read the NYT religiously for over 30 years--every day! Today I read Jesse Singal religiously ;-) Seriously, I have lost all trust in the NYT, New York Magazine, Slate, Vox, etc. They bury the relevant facts if they don't fit the narrative. For example, "so-and-so was criticized for a racist comment" without ever mentioning that the "racist comment" was something like "there were riots during the George Floyd protests." Or JK Rowling is a "transphobe" but they never tell us why. I am ashamed to admit that two years ago I assumed all the Twitter attacks on Jesse and Katie had some basis, that they must have done something bad! I'm so glad I took the time to look up their work. The scales fell from my eyes. Thanks Jesse and Katie--we need your work!
Not giving a fuck really is a superpower.
You were the first I found when I happened on Substack, Jesse. I had stopped reading the news almost entirely, except for the Economist... and my brain needs more than one source, needs different opinions, but balanced and trustworthy. I do not want to read people who cater to my creed, but I want to read people whose bona fide and professional integrity I can respect, people who hold an even mind even on hot subjects. I found that here. It has made my disheartening a little better.
You will always have my heartfelt thanks for your work.
"...stopped caring about angry people on Twitter." That mantra is like Billy Batson saying, 'Shazam!"
I was one of the new Rittenhouse coverage subscribers! I'd been combing the newsletter for free content then figured I had to get behind the paywall because something about that situation was always off to me (I'm a grad student at a big university so that's pretty much my social circle). I tried doing my own research about it but that was really time consuming and I wasn't gaining much from trying to find out the truth since I'm not a practicing journalist. So yes, thanks for all that you two do.
Thanks for being brave and doing your jobs.
Here’s the money shot
*We’ve just stopped caring about angry people on Twitter*
As relatively inconsequential as it may be, I felt able start my newsletter only after quitting the leftishist bubble I’d occupied on Twitter. It’s been interesting to see who followed me there and now subscribe to Rarely Certain. They never spoke out on Twitter.
glad you guys are out there being the voice in the wilderness.
“ One of the biggest reasons people subscribe to my newsletter or my podcast or both is because they are turned off by the bland, predictable, and fact-challenged sanctimony so prevalent in media coverage of hot-button controversies.”
I think you’re selling yourself short here. I subscribe to writers, yourself included, because I like their writing, not because I dislike others’ writing. Have confidence in your work.
Jesse, I've been meaning to subscribe for a while because of your coverage of youth transition. I'm a parent of one such child, and your articles which carefully and methodically point out the flaws in various research (both coming from the "left" and from the "right") are absolutely fantastic. I feel like I am able to have much better conversations because I have access to this information and your nuanced explanations of all the statistics that I would absolutely not be able to understand independently.
I also hugely appreciate your honesty and your integrity. The fact that you are able to say promptly that you were wrong or inaccurate is perhaps a low bar for journalism, but it is so sorely needed right now. This era of stealth edits and asinine stubbornness in the face of reason is causing a total collapse of trust in journalists and news providers.
Keep doing what you're doing, independently and with Katie - you, and a few others, are helping me retain some hope for the future of journalism. Thank you.
Just don't ever let your audience decide what you write or how you right it. If you're afraid saying something against Trump or pro-choice might cost you a subscriber then you gotta say it. Cull all the thin skinned partisans on both sides so that you never end up feeling trapped by them.