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Pretending Your Publication Doesn’t Have A Race Problem


Just what Twitter needs. Another bunch of liberals and lefties feuding with Glenn Greenwald.


Greenwald I fear may have responded to Erik Loomis’ post because this blog superficially fits Greenwald’s narrative of him and his outlet being unfairly attacked by “establishment” (i.e. white, straight, liberal) folks. While it is undoubtedly true that all of the bloggers here are predominantly white, and there are more men than women, we are all professionals in our fields but this is not a professional outlet. But if you’d like to take any of us up on the views about race we have espoused, then have at it. That is, of course, not what Greenwald has done.

Even so, the argument over who makes up the LGM ranks is a distraction from a much more important point: two of The Intercept‘s journalists of color are not respected by other journalists of color because of their writing about people of color. Maybe LGM is inconsequential (fair enough) but The Root is not. Just last week Jason Johnson, the political editor at the African American blog writes about both Lee Fang and Zaid Jilani in scathing fashion :

Does the fact that all of these men seem to be particularly caustic when writing about people like Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams and Samuel Sinyangwe while giving similar white politicians a pass make them a bunch of condescending, liberal, anti-black racists?

Just like the fact that Bluestein, Fang and Jilani have a history of attacking black campaign veterans, politicians and journalists doesn’t mean that they’re a bunch of smug, racist trolls.

You see, I can play the baseless innuendo game, too, but I’ve got receipts.



Whatever you think of the issues Jilani, Fang, and Johnson are debating the point is clear: Jilani and Fang have a complicated relationship with many writers on race issues. When I say The Intercept has a race problem because of these two writers, I’m not saying anything that other writers of color haven’t said. I’ll let them diagnose exactly what that problem is.

However, let me list the writers of color at The Intercept who I do like: Ali Gharib, Murtaza Hussein, and Mehdi Hassan. I also have a lot of respect for Jeremy Scahill. Glenn Greenwald I think is a very intelligent man and I admire his drive to question the norms of liberal ideology, but I often find him to be wrong.

Full disclosure, Zaid and I once did a video on war and video games (at my invitation) and I thought he was a chill guy with some great thoughts on representation in entertainment. We became Facebook friends and followed each other on Twitter. In the run up to the 2016 election he would accuse me of being part of some London academic imperialist elite (he shut up after I showed him a photo of the BDS stickers on the SOAS microwave) and then blocked me after I challenged his views on the KKK. I have friends in the biz who are friends with him and it doesn’t bother me. I’m not asking anyone to take sides. But I was disappointed.

I have never interacted with Lee Fang.

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