Times to Turn the Other Cheek in the Culture War?

Some conservative commentators seem to be confused about the New York Times’ hiring this week of Sarah Jeong to sit on the newspaper’s editorial board.

I’m thinking in particular of NeverTrumpers who opine that this hiring and others like it are perfectly acceptable because media outlets may hire whomever they please. When that new hire does something on the job to merit termination, then show ’em the door.

Well, duh. Obviously. The question is not whether the leftist media can, but whether they should abet the normalization of societal scourges, such as racism or bigotry against a particular group (if the Left even believes that such racism can exist).

Conservative commentators who rushed to the Times’ defense this week don’t seem particularly bothered by this corrosive societal development. They assure us they’re aware of the Left’s hypocrisy and double standard on such matters. Nevertheless, they gravely intone, pointing this out—let alone demanding Jeong lose her prestigious new job before she’s even started—is boorish and injurious to the body politic.

Why? By applying an obtuse standard of moral equivalency, these commentators think that being outraged about racism and genocide jokes means you’re part of the problem with our civil discourse. This is an Orwellian judgment worthy of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who defines optimal “conversational health” as one where only progressive dialogue is permissible.

In consequence, these conservative commentators advise us to remain above the fray, and thus turn the other cheek—so the Leftist media can kick the other side of our butt. This is sound advice if you’re drumming up business for a proctologist. It isn’t so sound for a political movement. (See my colleague Karl Notturno’s take on this story.)

What, then, is causing these conservative commentators’ confusion?

First, they seem to believe the New York Times gives a rat’s rump what they think. I fear they do not. Nor, for that matter, likely do any of the leftist media outlets praising the Times for standing by the hire and defending Jeong’s past tweets with sundry progressive apologias for “making fun” of white people by wishing society would “cancel” their existence.

But perhaps I am mistaken. After all, where do leftist media outlets find token conservatives other than through a long litany of diatribes against their fellow conservatives and, if need be, against their own earlier works? Perhaps these conservative commentators’ defanged takes on Jeong’s tweets will lend them the recognition to someday barter the remnants of their political souls for a gilded cage at a legacy newspaper’s online petting zoo? Hey, we all have dreams . . .

But that is only one cause of their confusion. The other is that these conservative commentators think we give a rat’s rump that they condone the hiring.

In their minds, we are but a pretext to virtue signal their pundit class cohorts across the political spectrum. Just because they proffer us condescending, anile advice, they believe we actually think they’re talking to us and are grateful for their sagacity.

Like so much else, these commentators are sorely mistaken.

When a leftist media outlets seek to redefine and normalize racism, we know silence is not an option. We need to raise our voices to let our fellow Americans know what the Left is up to; and, we hope, to foster a consensus as to how to keep our republic free, prosperous and safe for all.

For, unlike our so-called conservative commentators, we are not “above the fray.” We are in the fray—and it’s where we’re needed.

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Photo Credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

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About Thaddeus G. McCotter

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003 to 2012 and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars, and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show" among sundry media appearances.