1 hr 13 min

Bari Weiss On Saving Liberalism From Right And Left The Dishcast with Andrew Sullivan

    • Politics

Bari was an opinion editor at the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times before leaving to create her own op-ed page on Substack, “Common Sense.” She’s also the author of How to Fight Anti-Semitism, and for some reason one of the most reviled figures on Left Twitter, despite being one of the most gifted editors of her generation. We talk groomers and culture war desperation and the amnesia of recent triumphs.

This was a joint podcast, and you’ll be able to hear a somewhat longer version of the discussion next week on Bari’s pod, “Honestly.” You can listen to our version right away in the audio player embedded above, or right below it you can click “Listen in podcast app,” which will connect you to the Dishcast feed. For two clips — on wokeness enabling the far right, and on the agonizing choice when it comes to gender theory in schools — head over to our YouTube page.

New transcript just dropped: my conversation with John McWhorter, which is still our most downloaded episode on the Dishcast. We get into his latest book, Woke Racism, and how the successor ideology hurts black kids:

First up in Dishcast feedback this week, a “brief note of appreciation from a longtime reader and subscriber”:

I’ve been following the Dish since the inception of the blogosphere, and your Substack is a welcome addition to my intellectual life, especially the podcasts, which seem to get better and better. The last two — with Nicholas Christakis and Jonathan Haidt — have been especially wonderful. (I’ve also benefited considerably from Johann Hari’s excellent new book, which has largely taken me off social media). There are episodes that have annoyed me (e.g. the one with Anne Applebaum), but I listen because I don’t want to be part of an echo chamber.

Speaking of the Haidt pod, a listener dug up a gem from my favorite philosopher:

I appreciated the episode and Haidt’s recent piece in the Atlantic that invokes the Tower of Babel. The essay you mentioned by Oakeshott on Babel was not, as you worried, easily found, but it’s nonetheless attached:

The Haidt episode “sparked many new thoughts” from this listener:

The word “proportion” was mentioned in passing, but I think that word is crucial to understanding the real dysfunction wrought by social media. We have lost all sense of proportion in this post-Babel world. Whether it’s the trans debate — a conversation that really only affects one percent of the population — or CRT in schools, it’s difficult to talk about these heated culture-war topics while holding them in proportion to the real problems facing our society.

The power (or fear) of going viral on Twitter makes proportion impossible, which is one of the reasons why journalism is in such a bad place. Because nuance and context are hard, journalists and media figures — particularly cable news anchors — appear to be simply unequipped to deliver information in a way that holds these things in balance.

Consider the Hunter laptop story. Why was this story “buried” by the media? Was it a conspiracy in which corporate elite journalists just didn’t want Hunter Biden to look bad? Or, more likely, do they intuitively understand that in the post-Babel world, they don’t have the skills and tools to talk about this story, which may not have been the biggest of deals but also didn’t look great in the lead up to a pivotal election? They didn’t want “But her emails” 2.0 — another viral story that had no sense of proportion. Most people couldn’t even tell you what, exactly, was corrupt about Clinton’s emails; they just knew they existed because that’s all anyone talked about, and since it was all anyone was talking about, it must be bad, bad, bad!

The media simply doesn’t know how to function from a place of nuance; it can’t communicate information in a way that holds that information in proportion to its relevance, context, and importance. Is this the

Bari was an opinion editor at the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times before leaving to create her own op-ed page on Substack, “Common Sense.” She’s also the author of How to Fight Anti-Semitism, and for some reason one of the most reviled figures on Left Twitter, despite being one of the most gifted editors of her generation. We talk groomers and culture war desperation and the amnesia of recent triumphs.

This was a joint podcast, and you’ll be able to hear a somewhat longer version of the discussion next week on Bari’s pod, “Honestly.” You can listen to our version right away in the audio player embedded above, or right below it you can click “Listen in podcast app,” which will connect you to the Dishcast feed. For two clips — on wokeness enabling the far right, and on the agonizing choice when it comes to gender theory in schools — head over to our YouTube page.

New transcript just dropped: my conversation with John McWhorter, which is still our most downloaded episode on the Dishcast. We get into his latest book, Woke Racism, and how the successor ideology hurts black kids:

First up in Dishcast feedback this week, a “brief note of appreciation from a longtime reader and subscriber”:

I’ve been following the Dish since the inception of the blogosphere, and your Substack is a welcome addition to my intellectual life, especially the podcasts, which seem to get better and better. The last two — with Nicholas Christakis and Jonathan Haidt — have been especially wonderful. (I’ve also benefited considerably from Johann Hari’s excellent new book, which has largely taken me off social media). There are episodes that have annoyed me (e.g. the one with Anne Applebaum), but I listen because I don’t want to be part of an echo chamber.

Speaking of the Haidt pod, a listener dug up a gem from my favorite philosopher:

I appreciated the episode and Haidt’s recent piece in the Atlantic that invokes the Tower of Babel. The essay you mentioned by Oakeshott on Babel was not, as you worried, easily found, but it’s nonetheless attached:

The Haidt episode “sparked many new thoughts” from this listener:

The word “proportion” was mentioned in passing, but I think that word is crucial to understanding the real dysfunction wrought by social media. We have lost all sense of proportion in this post-Babel world. Whether it’s the trans debate — a conversation that really only affects one percent of the population — or CRT in schools, it’s difficult to talk about these heated culture-war topics while holding them in proportion to the real problems facing our society.

The power (or fear) of going viral on Twitter makes proportion impossible, which is one of the reasons why journalism is in such a bad place. Because nuance and context are hard, journalists and media figures — particularly cable news anchors — appear to be simply unequipped to deliver information in a way that holds these things in balance.

Consider the Hunter laptop story. Why was this story “buried” by the media? Was it a conspiracy in which corporate elite journalists just didn’t want Hunter Biden to look bad? Or, more likely, do they intuitively understand that in the post-Babel world, they don’t have the skills and tools to talk about this story, which may not have been the biggest of deals but also didn’t look great in the lead up to a pivotal election? They didn’t want “But her emails” 2.0 — another viral story that had no sense of proportion. Most people couldn’t even tell you what, exactly, was corrupt about Clinton’s emails; they just knew they existed because that’s all anyone talked about, and since it was all anyone was talking about, it must be bad, bad, bad!

The media simply doesn’t know how to function from a place of nuance; it can’t communicate information in a way that holds that information in proportion to its relevance, context, and importance. Is this the

1 hr 13 min