July 24, 2021


The state of the media industry is such that journalists are now incentivized to be as effusive as possible in professing how emotionally unstable they are. Why? Because it’s a surefire way to bolster their pleas for a redress of various workplace or personal grievances. No longer are these psychological issues thought to be best dealt with in the privacy of a therapist’s office, or among trusted confidants. Instead, these journalists create a public spectacle, beckoning colleagues to flood their tweet threads and affirm unstinting support. When Taylor Lorenz of the New York Times recounted her own emotional turmoil stemming from allegedly “violent” online criticism, the International Women’s Media Foundation, an NGO devoted to “[recognizing] badass female journalists and photographers whose courage sets them apart,” issued a rousing statement in her defense.

Subsequently, these journalists’ union representation will rush to amplify their grievances by echoing the therapeutic trauma jargon, such as stating matter-of-factly that the workplace policy decisions at the Washington Post are not just ill-advised, poorly-conceived, or even unfair — but “harmful.” Obviously, this harm cannot be externally adjudicated because one’s harm must never be subject to contestation or (god forbid) falsification. So the logic goes, every person has the right to say they are harmed without ever having the legitimacy of that harm questioned, because to question the harm compounds the harm. The New York Times appears to be completely on board with this new harassment/harm framework. With results like these, it’s only rational that more and more journalists are employing therapeutic trauma jargon to advance their professional and social self-interest.

Read the whole thing. When the Times’ crybully staffers melted down over Tom Cotton’s op-ed last year, claiming en masse that “Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger,” I wonder if any long-serving Timesmen who reported from, oh, say, Fallujah or Kabul thought about such melodramatic rhetoric.

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