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Channel 4 News Meltdown

newmanProfessor Jordan Peterson is something of a bête noire to the regressive left. He is the most public intellectual opponent to the entire philosophical underpinning of the regressive left. He is also an extremely compelling speaker who is able to support his arguments.  He was recently in the UK and was interviewed by Cathy Newman on C4 News. To call Newman's performance unprofessional would be kind. She was appalling. 

She constantly interrupted - but that was the least of the problems. She continually misrepresented and distorted what he had just said seconds ago, she employed logical fallacies so often I lost count and she generally abandoned all pretence of journalistic integrity and basic honesty in debate.  I hope she is able to look back at her performance and feel ashamed - if not she is so far up her own ideological backside that she is a lost cause.

I'm not going to bother dissecting the interview and pointing out the fallacies and misrepresentations. This will no doubt be done by others far better than me, and I don't think it would be a good use of my time. Anyone who watches the interview and doesn't see a problem is, I suspect, already supping deeply from the regressive ideological cup.

For those with a strong stomach, or who enjoy watching this sort of thing...the entire interview is below. As an exercise, you might like to count the number of times Newman incorrectly tells Peterson what he is really saying. Also, watch for Newman switching from statistical to anecdotal narrative on several occasions (ie it is clearly understood that when Peterson refers to 'women' in general terms, he is talking statistically, yet Newman immediately responds with 'you can't generalise' or 'I know someone who isn't......).

Edit : As was entirely predictable (from numerous previous similar examples) there has been a concerted effort to shift the entire narrative to one of victimhood.  Channel 4 have announced that Newman has been subjected to abuse and threats on social media. Well, duh. Anyone poking their head above any parapet will receive abuse and threats on social media. This is something whilst probably regrettable is not to be taken seriously. To the best of my knowledge the number of threats on social media that have later translated into some sort of physical action is zero.  Whilst I certainly condemn this sort of personal abuse, particularly threats of violence - not least because it allows the victim an easy way to ignore their bad behaviour and switch the story to one where they are the victim, as we see here -  it is something which has been around for a long time and something which sensible people learn to take with a pinch of salt. It is easy to block people sending this sort of garbage and, for extreme cases, it is relatively simply to get Twitter or Facebook to take action against the offender.  So we are now asked to sympathise with Newman because of the abuse directed her way by various sad people, rather than criticise her professional integrity and lack of journalistic skill.

As for the reaction in the mainstream press - entirely predictable. Most papers feature the abuse as the main story and then go on to insert attacks on Peterson later in the article. Most commonly, they point to the 'fact' that he has a following amongst the far right or 'alt-right'. I don't actually know whether that is true or not, but the implication - that Peterson is himself a member of the far right, or that his views in general are sympathetic to the far right, is definitively nonsense. Peterson regularly criticises the right and no fair observer who is familiar with his output (rather than just scanning it for certain words and phrases) could possibly label him as far right.  This is essentially an ad-hominem fallacy.  One could, for example, point out that Taylor Swift is, apparently, much beloved of many on the far right. Does that mean, or even imply, that the songstress is herself a Nazi?  The suggestion is readily seen to be ridiculous.

I have not seen any genuine criticism of Peterson's points in the articles I read in the popular UK press (in the Guardian and Daily Mail) which is, itself, quite telling. The Spectator was the only place I found an article that showed at least a modicum of scepticism regarding the victim narrative.  When one's opponents have to rely on ad-hominem in lieu of genuine criticism, one can be fairly sure one is on to something.
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