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Do I have come right flat out and tell you everything?

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Bari Weiss might be a fourth-rate public intellectual, but she is an absolutely world-class grifter:

Weiss and the other founders recruited an informal board of advisers—a mix of podcasters, journalists, academics, and lawyers. Among them were the media personality Megyn Kelly, the writer Andrew Sullivan, and the anti-critical-race-theory activist Christopher Rufo. In some circles, these people are celebrities: Angel Eduardo, who later joined the staff as the director of messaging and editorial, described one adviser, Daryl Davis, a Black musician known for persuading white nationalists to leave the Ku Klux Klan, as “my Obi-Wan.”

Wow, a diverse array of thinkers ranging all the way from fascist to amateur race scientist to falangist!

Their muse? The Smith College rapping librarian:

The group brought Bartning into the fold. As they brainstormed ideas for a new venture together, they were inspired by Jodi Shaw, a former Smith College librarian and administrator who had made a viral video calling out her employer. (“Stop demanding that I admit to ‘white privilege,’ ” Shaw had said, using air quotes for the term, “and work on my so-called implicit bias as a condition of my continued employment.”) They tried and failed to recruit a hundred other people to make similar videos. Bartning also toyed with having Shaw help him build a Web site called the Honest Dish, a kind of alternative to the Drudge Report, but ended up scrapping that project, too.

The big money?

But it was Weiss, more than anyone else, who was clearly the group’s big draw. She brought in a half-million-dollar donation from Harlan Crow, a Texas real-estate developer who, ProPublica recently reported, paid for years of undisclosed vacations and private-jet travel for the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Suzy Edelman, another donor, who gave fair a million dollars in 2021, wrote in an e-mail to Weiss, “It’s your courage that inspired me to join the movement—not just to reform what’s been captured, but to build new, wonderful things.” I know Weiss a little bit—we’ve hung out in professional settings a few times over the years. When fair was founded, she had just left the New York Times in a very public way, and she was focussed on launching new organizations. “I think we are in a moment of profound change in American life, in which many old institutions are crumbling or have lost trust,” she told me recently.

The punchline?

Even Weiss, whose name and connections helped fair to get started, quietly pulled back. In June, 2021, she had done a Webinar with Davis, another advisory-board member, charging fair a fee of ten thousand dollars. Afterward, “I was, like, ‘This is just too soft for me,’ ” she told a couple of the organization’s top leaders. “fair is not the way that I communicate. It feels false to me—not false in a malicious way, just not straightforward in the way it speaks. And, frankly, not muscular enough.”

So Bari backed off of her Crow-funded reactionary non-profit because it wasn’t anti-trans enough, but got herself a ten grand no-work job on the way out the door. Absolutely exquisite. Wherever there’s someone complaining about WOKENESS, Bari will be there, clearing a healthy profit on the deal.

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