Reporting leads inexorably to violence, according to these activists
There is no objective definition of what is “newsworthy.”
Many media outlets thought it was bizarre and antiquated that Vice President Mike Pence at one point (and maybe still today) refused to have dinner alone with a woman who wasn’t Mrs. Pence, and gave their arrangement outsized coverage.
It’s actually a pretty common American attitude, but it was novel to the coastal elites who run newsrooms.
Less novel to those journalists, but newsworthy to outlets such as The College Fix, are the things that far-left professors say so freely in public and the classroom.
The American Association of University Professors has decided that such reporting is intended to threaten the careers and safety of academics, but the worst AAUP can probably do to our reporting is tell its members to ignore our interview requests.
The consequences for exposing the intersectional fault lines in a celebrated social movement, however, have been much steeper for one journalist.
Lesbians not allowed to support Israel
You might have seen recently that Chicago’s “Dyke March” was not especially hospitable for Jewish lesbians who publicly identified themselves as Jewish.
Gretchen Rachel Hammond, a reporter for local LGBT publication Windy City Times, made national news by revealing that three marchers were ejected because they were carrying “Jewish pride flags,” with the Star of David superimposed on the rainbow flag:
According to one of those individuals—A Wider Bridge Midwest Manager Laurel Grauer—she and her friends were approached a number of times in the park because they were holding the flag.
“It was a flag from my congregation which celebrates my queer, Jewish identity which I have done for over a decade marching in the Dyke March with the same flag,” she told Windy City Times.
She added that she lost count of the number of people who harassed her.
One Dyke March collective member, asked by Windy City Times for a response, said the women were told to leave because the flags “made people feel unsafe,” that the march was “anti-Zionist” and “pro-Palestinian.”
Hammond appears to have done a pretty thorough job reporting this story – she won an LGBT journalism award last year and donated a kidney to a reader – yet doesn’t lead with the Jewish controversy.
Congrats Gretchen Rachel Hammond for Windy City Times series on trans murders. Winner of Peter Lisagor Award pic.twitter.com/l9gSFsKaQt
— Windy City Times (@WindyCityTimes1) May 9, 2015
She doesn’t even mention the ejection for several paragraphs, below her reference to “a small group of Christian extremists” who showed up and were asked to leave.
But her accurate portrayal of an unflattering moment for LGBT unity appears to have ended her journalism career, at least for now.
The Algemeiner reports that Hammond has been moved to a sales role at the newspaper and that she’s under a gag order from the paper to not comment on it:
The Algemeiner approached Hammond after a reader pointed out that her role at the Windy City Times had been abruptly switched. The reader said in an email that Hammond’s reporting had been blamed by the march organizers for the ensuing controversy, and went on to express “disgust” and “outrage” that Hammond had “been bullied and attacked” by individuals associated with the march, sometimes in an “antisemitic” manner.
Tracy Baim — the publisher and executive editor of the Windy City Times — told The Algemeiner she could not discuss the specific charges around Hammond. …
Pressed on whether she stood by Hammond’s reporting of the Dyke March controversy specifically, Baim answered affirmatively. “I was the one who edited the story,” she added. Asked why Hammond had not filed a byline for the paper since June 28, Baim had no comment.
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) July 11, 2017
‘I was threatened with rape, with murder’
This certainly looks like the ascendant forces within the LGBT movement – anti-Israel, pro-Palestine – have used their clout to stifle diverse viewpoints and even reporting on those viewpoints.
As The Algemeiner notes, Hammond gave organizer Alexis Martinez an entire column to explain the organizers’ version of events and bitch at the Times, which “failed in its journalistic mission” because it didn’t hold a breaking story before organizers could spin it:
But, once you put that stuff out there, it’s like trying to put the shit back in the sausage. So, by the morning after the march, the Collective was being attacked on alt-Right sites without any feedback from us. It caught us off guard. I got literally hundreds of nasty stuff on social media—people saying they’re going to petition City Hall to not give us any permits. I was called “enemy number one of Jews in America.” “I know where you live.” “I’m coming after you.” I was threatened with rape, with murder.
Certainly sounds like how some professors have responded when their comments get noticed by people outside their own homogeneous sub-discipline, and then they blame journalists for considering it newsworthy.
Outrageous! Authoritarians police the narrative:"…Hammond’s reporting had been blamed by the march organizers for the ensuing controversy" https://t.co/5NPAEG4duV
— Bret Weinstein (@BretWeinstein) July 11, 2017
Keep in mind that the Dyke March is about far more than lesbian pride. As with everything intersectional, it takes one favored cause and requires everyone to sign on to every other favored cause:
Zionism is an inherently white-supremacist ideology. It is based on the premise that Jewish people have a God-given entitlement to the lands of historic Palestine and the surrounding areas. This ideology has been used to justify dozens of laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel, segregated road systems in the West Bank, and forced removal of Palestinian families from their homes in order to make way for Jewish-only housing, among other violent and discriminatory practices. We recognize that Zionism is not synonymous with Judaism, but instead represents an ideology that uses legacies of Jewish struggle to justify violence.
Are Dyke March organizers allowed to require their participants to abstain from promoting their Jewish identities in the context of Zionism? Certainly – that’s freedom of association.
Is it newsworthy when lesbians carrying Jewish pride flags are kicked out of a lesbian pride march? I’d say so.
Does it chill discussion of important social issues when interest groups seek vengeance on journalists? Of course.
Advocates for progressive social causes need to ask themselves if they really want to imitate President Trump by seeking to silence and bully media outlets that don’t regurgitate their talking points.