David Thompson
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August 17, 2015

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sH2

Debate on media bias has biased moderator shock.

David

Panel on media bias has biased moderator shock.

Mr Koretzky did seem determined to derail attempts to mention the political motives of the people whose behaviour was so egregious, at least in the sections I watched. He kept asking the GamerGate side of the aisle what “we” - i.e., the mainstream media - could do to be less biased and irresponsible when covering such issues. But when any of panellists began to answer with an example of bias or credulity and its political aspect, or mentioned the role of doctrinaire activists and the unquestioning acceptance of their claims and gender politics, Koretzky tried to shut them down.

Needless to say, it’s difficult to offer much in the way of useful advice if you aren’t allowed to illustrate the specifics of the problem you’re trying to address. If you aren’t allowed to illustrate how the preferred narrative of the “social justice” warriors has often been accepted uncritically and internalised and propagated by much of the media, with many journalists regarding themselves as fellow activists, a key aspect of the saga is rendered baffling, inexplicable.

[ Edited. ]

Rafi

"There was even a problem with The Guardian."

Even?

David

Even?

Quite.

In the example linked above, the journalist Martin Robbins used GamerGate’s alleged “racism and sexism,” which he didn’t even attempt to substantiate, as the pointed climax of his article, its supposedly damning punchline. Mr Robbins is, it seems, happy to propagate his ignorance (or wilful distortion) in the Guardian and New Statesman. And when challenged on his assumptions and corrected on points of fact, Robbins chose not to engage with his critics. Instead, he sneered at them and took the avalanche of rebuttal as a validation of his own righteousness and daring.

Which sounds like exactly the kind of attitude the GamerGate panel were trying to talk about.

Jonathan

Just watched the edited version. The younger journalists on the panel seemed reasonable enough but how sincere they were was hard to judge. Mike Koretzky was, I think, too concerned with looking tough on those bad GamerGaters. Still, kudos to him for organising the event as I imagine it could cost him professionally. Maybe the bomb threat will open his eyes a bit.

mojo

Nope. Don't give FF#1 about the poor gamers and the horny "journalists". Nay, not even about the possibe CORRUPTION reigning in the key gamer news demographic!

R. Sherman

The journalists in question do not wish to have a discussion. Rather, they wish to give a sermon, following which, there is an altar call where everyone parades forward weeping and confesses his sins against social justice.

David

Don’t give FF#1 about the poor gamers and the horny “journalists”.

I’m by no means a gamer, don’t read gaming journalism, and I didn’t follow the initial complaints of media cronyism, so there’s a limit to what I can say. What caught my eye, though, was the subsequent distortion and bias of much of the mainstream media – not just the gaming press - and the credulous acceptance (or deliberate indulgence) of self-styled activists. Not least by journalists who regard themselves as activists too. You don’t have to be interested in gaming to appreciate the attempt to push back against a misleading media narrative and the hacks and scolds who propagate it.

Civilis

Nope. Don't give FF#1 about the poor gamers and the horny "journalists". Nay, not even about the possibe CORRUPTION reigning in the key gamer news demographic!

[Insert overused Martin Niemöller quote here]

I keep seeing different groups... video gamers, sci-fi fans, science enthusiasts, stand-up comics... individually noting just how bad the environment has become for themselves, but not willing to politicize their own cause by teaming up against their common foe.

Jonathan

Somewhat related, an interesting column at Steve Sailer

Jonathan

Try again dammit: Steve Sailer

Adiabat

I’ve been lurking here for years, as well as following Gamergate for the past year. To be fair to Koretzky he did a decent job throughout the day considering the circumstances. The issue was that he wanted to discuss ways journalists can cover online stories in future, while everyone else doesn’t see why it’s so hard. Journalists just have to put the effort in to research what they are writing about, and leave the activism out of their work.

The problem wasn’t that the mainstream media didn’t cover Gamergate, it was that they just pushed the narrative of one side (the one accused of being unethical), effectively lying about it without even trying to get feedback from both sides of the controversy. If they even tried to do their jobs properly it probably wouldn’t have blown up.

Early on a leaked email from the Head of Technology at the Guardian showed them working with games journalists to create the misleading narrative: http://theralphretort.com/internal-email-shows-guardian-mind-made-gamergate/, so even if you care about nothing else about all this at least it’s shown thousands of people just how bad the agenda-pushing is at the Guardian.

David

Link fixed.

dicentra

Don't miss this gem: https://twitter.com/JessicaValenti/status/629479000684019713

David

Don’t miss this gem

She bathes in male tears, apparently.

Also, this.

mojo

Ka-lee-forn-ya, heere I come...

"... more than half of the $297 million given to schools so far has gone to consultants and energy auditors. The board created to oversee the project and submit annual progress reports to the Legislature has never met..."

R. Sherman

And in the corner opposite Ms. Valenti, we have these ladies at the University of Alabama. I think we all know who wins that fight.

David

Journalists just have to put the effort in to research what they are writing about, and leave the activism out of their work.

Writing in the Irish Times, Donald Clarke reluctantly mentions the Airplay event bomb threat, but only to set up his disdain for “this GamerGate nonsense” as a “right-wing pressure group” with a “right-wing ethos.” He’s positively choking on the terrible right-wing-ness of it all. “Right-wing” being a synonym for All That Is Evil In The World™. Though I suspect this would be news to quite a few of GamerGate’s participants, which include people of just about every political leaning, every shade of human skin, and, yes, disabled lesbians.

Perhaps Mr Clarke means they’re not overly fond of what Christina Hoff Sommers calls “cultural authoritarians,” of any political stripe, which seems a more plausible catch-all label. And insofar as GamerGate’s more prominent defenders currently include people who write for “right-wing” publications, perhaps that says something about their opposite numbers.

In fact, Mr Clarke is so busy tutting and disdaining, he doesn’t have time to entertain the actual complaints, often made by female gamers, of ideological intrusion, and media cronyism and bias (which of course was accepted as a justified grievance by the other journalists on the Airplay panel, and which Mr Clarke waves aside as “supposed,” “imagined,” etc). He does, however, find time, several times, to tell us that disliking doctrinaire feminist scolds is a very bad thing.

Mr Clarke has previously referred to “the admirable Laurie Penny,” which perhaps gives some indication of his own leanings and general credulity.

Joan

the actual complaints, often made by female gamers,

That. (The video.) :-)

David

That. (The video.)

Yes, the ladies do a decent job of challenging the presenter’s assumptions. Jennie Bharaj, for instance, mentions how the dogmatic ravings of “social justice” scolds do not appeal to, or speak for, a vast majority of female gamers. You’ll note, however, that the Huffington Post interviewer, Ricky Camilleri, seems somewhat on side with the aforementioned scolds and thinks that GamerGate needs to “extricate itself from criticising feminism.” Just as Mr Clarke thinks that criticising feminism, any feminism, is an obvious sign of wickedness.

Which, again, rather illustrates one of the points GamerGaters make.

Adiabat

Also, this.

Catcalling has always been a self-correcting problem that eventually goes away on its own. It shouldn’t have needed Valenti getting older and losing her looks for her to see that. Maybe they’re onto something with the whole “can’t see your own privilege” thing… /s

People complaining about it always makes me think of rich people complaining about what a burden being obscenely wealthy is.

Just as Mr Clarke thinks that criticising feminism, any feminism, is an obvious sign of wickedness.

I don’t know how these people can look at the Matt Taylor “sexist shirt” thing, or the Tim Hunt debacle and not come to the conclusion that there is a problem with modern feminism. Yet even the slightest suggestion that there might be a problem that’s worth looking into and these people go absolutely rabid.

David

It shouldn’t have needed Valenti getting older and losing her looks for her to see that.

Ouch. But yes, her logic, such as it is, is often hard to follow.

Ms Valenti has repeatedly bemoaned the fact that attractive women will sometimes be looked at appreciatively while in public - say, on public transport. This she regards as “sexist,” oppressive, an invasion of space, etc. “This is what happens when your body is seen as public property,” said she. (Attractive men who find themselves being ogled in a similar fashion don’t seem to concern her.) Despite this disapproval of what she considers patriarchal and improper, she famously tweeted her own casual violation of a male tube passenger’s space and privacy, having peered at length over his shoulder to read the contents of his phone. Such that she could announce, apparently with great confidence, that her fellow passenger wasn’t following any female Twitter accounts.

This she denounced as “passive sexism.”

Patrick Brown

Adiabat: "I don’t know how these people can look at the Matt Taylor “sexist shirt” thing, or the Tim Hunt debacle and not come to the conclusion that there is a problem with modern feminism."

Even Julie Bindel came to that conclusion. What does it say about modern feminism when she's the voice of reason?

Spiny Norman

R.Sherman,

...we have these ladies at the University of Alabama.

Were they trying to recruit women to their sorority, or men? Damn. That looked like a Playboy Magazine video from the 1980s, something like Girls of the Southeast Conference, or some such.

David

Reason’s Cathy Young gives her account of the GamerGate panel here.

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