“Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web.” So begins a New York Times op-ed about an “alliance of heretics” of the alt-right who aren’t present in the “mainstream conversation.” The author gave this mayonnaise collective a platform in the Paper of Record then subtitled the op-ed, “Should we be listening?” All of which suggests nobody is listening to people with lucrative pundit careers who are very much in the mainstream conversation, getting profiled in The New York Times and elsewhere.
So let’s get the obvious statements out of the way. Well-to-do pundits with speaking tours and national platforms (like the New York freaking Times) are not being “silenced.” Being ignored by some instead of being paid handsomely by all to give PowerPoint presentations is not a First Amendment violation. Spreading white supremacist nonsense isn’t edgy, and lovingly propping up an outmoded status quo isn’t brave, unique, or intellectual. It’s boring. They’re boring.
Folks on Twitter reacted to the op-ed with a fitting amount of mockery:
People also took an opportunity to introduce some other renegades of the intellectual dark web:
Many people pointed out that having a huge platform like The New York Times isn’t very “dark web” of them:
Some people roasted the op-ed’s author, Bari Weiss:
And others pointed out some glaring omissions in the article or poked fun at some of the details or the people involved in it.
And others poked fun by making up fake quotes that aren’t much sillier than some of the real ones:
Some people were understandably perturbed about tired reactionary ideas being portrayed as “intellectual” and cool.
While others found this whole dark web disappointing:
Nonetheless, some people could still see how this intellectual dark web could be used for their own benefit: