Jordan Peterson and the left-wing smear machine

Jordan Peterson and the left-wing smear machine, by John Sexton.

We saw this left-wing smear machine in action just a few days ago. I highlighted an example from a debate in Toronto where Michael Dyson claimed Peterson was an example of white privilege and then called him a “mean, mad, white man” when Peterson dared to object. And that was only one of several possible examples I could have pointed to from that debate.

Here’s another example. Writer Michelle Goldberg accused Peterson of saying women “shouldn’t be allowed to wear make-up” at work. When he denied that, she told the audience he’d said it in an interview with Vice and told the audience to Google it. But if you Google it, you’ll find that in the full interview Peterson says explicitly, “I’m not saying that women shouldn’t do it and I’m not saying that it should be banned.” The video below contains video of both events. Could Michelle Goldberg have looked this up on her own? Probably so. So why didn’t she do that before rolling out this attack in a debate?

Peterson doesn’t get a fair shake from the left because the goal is not to engage with him but to make him appear so toxic that no one will be willing to engage with him.

The classic in this genre is the now infamous “interview” of Peterson by Cathy Newman. I’m putting the word interview in quotes because this isn’t really an investigation of ideas, it’s a series of increasingly silly attacks designed to convince viewers that Peterson is toxic and/or irrational.

Carol Horton is correct. The left isn’t listening to Jordan Peterson, they’re just trying to destroy him as efficiently and quickly as possible. That dynamic says a lot about the left, none of it very good. Kudos to Horton for having the courage to stand up to the mob. …

I wish I could say I was optimistic about Peterson’s chances, but I’ve seen the left’s scorched-earth playbook in action before and it usually succeeds. Throw enough garbage at the wall and eventually, a few bits stick. Those become all the excuse a compliant media needs to silence the target. Frankly, it’s a credit to Peterson’s quick wit that he’s survived as long as he has given both the degree to which he’s willing to challenge the left’s assumptions and the firepower they are deploying against him.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific