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‘Learn to Code’ and the Collapse of the Millennial SJW Clickbait Bubble

Posted on | January 25, 2019 | 1 Comment


If you don’t know what Iowahawk is mocking, this week has seen a wave of layoffs in Internet journalism, including Huffington Post:

The Huffington Post began laying off employees Thursday as part of its parent company Verizon Media Group’s corporate restructuring plans.
HuffPost employees started receiving calendar invitations to meet with human resources in the morning, according to HuffPost reporter Andy Campbell. Among the areas impacted was the opinion editorial team, which was eliminated, Deputy Opinion Editor Chloe Angyal reported.
Verizon is cutting about 800 jobs, or 7 percent of its media and advertising employees, as it reorganizes the troubled division. The wireless company had hoped to create an ad business that could compete with Google and Facebook. It spent roughly $10 billion buying up former Internet pioneers Yahoo and AOL. However, Verizon found benefits from integrating those two companies were less than expected. The company slashed the value of its media unit by nearly $5 billion in December. The new CEO of Verizon’s media division, Guru Gowrappan, informed employees of the layoffs in an email Wednesday. He says the division’s priorities will now include focusing on mobile and video products and stemming declines with desktop users.
According to Politico media reporter Michael Calderone, the number of unionized employees axed from the media company stands at 15 with more cuts scheduled to be announced.

Remember that AOL paid $315 million for Huffington Post in 2011. That was triple what HuffPo’s estimated valuation had been in 2009, and the unavoidable question was, “Why?” It appears, in retrospect, that AOL was trying enhance its brand, which paid off in 2015, when Verizon bought AOL for $4.4 billion. As we now see, however, Verizon vastly overestimated the value of the properties it was buying, e.g., Tumblr, part of the Yahoo deal, is now regarded as “effectively worthless”:

Tumblr has no justifying rationale as a business. It has never done anything but lose money. The billion-plus that Yahoo paid for Tumblr [in 2015] was a total loss. Now that Tumblr has been acquired by Verizon as part of its purchase of Yahoo, surely someone at Verizon headquarters must be looking at Tumblr and asking, “Why should we keep operating this toxic waste dump of bandwidth?”

Last month, Tumblr announced it would ban “adult content” in a bid to attract more advertising to the aforesaid toxic waste dump, which tells you that Verizon is increasingly desperate for revenue to offset the massive losses from its media properties. The layoffs at HuffPo are another indicator of this revenue squeeze, and the announcement of layoffs at BuzzFeed prompted talk of a “crisis” in digital news:

After a brutal year in the digital advertising space, after budgeting and strategic review and board meetings in January, BuzzFeed said it was cutting 15 percent of its staff (with pink slips to go to up to 400 people, according to one insider). Verizon said it was shedding 800 jobs in media — meaning AOL, Yahoo, Oath and HuffPost.
This follows other radical cuts by digital news organizations — the millennial news site Mic laid off its entire editorial staff last November before selling off its remaining assets, Refinery29 hacked 10 percent of its staff in October, and Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter trimmed 22 people this month as parent company Valence Media restructured its business operations.

It’s been a rough couple of years at BuzzFeed, which had already announced 100 layoffs in November 2017, “after the company missed revenue targets.” So they’ve lost roughly 25% of their staff since Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, but we are not supposed to connect these dots and surmise that their anti-Trump bias is part of BuzzFeed’s problem. (Can you say “get woke, go broke,” boys and girls?)

Ace of Spades notes that the laid-off BuzzFeeders do not enjoy being taunted with “learn to code,” which was what liberals kept telling coal miners who lost their jobs due to Obama-era energy regulations (which Trump repealed with a stroke of his pen, of course). Recall also that liberals have applauded efforts to “deplatform” and “demonetize” conservative sites, and cheered on advertising boycotts against Fox News and conservative talk-radio programs. So, yeah, “learn to code,” you BuzzFeed creeps and I especially mean you, Tyler Kingkade.


For those of you who don’t know who Tyler Kingkade is, for about five years, he was at HuffPo before joining BuzzFeed in 2016, and his “beat” was campus sexual assault. The “rape culture” hysteria that suddenly swept over university campuses in 2014 had few more enthusiastic cheerleaders than Tyler Kingkade, whose work I frequently encountered through Google searches while covering that phenomenon. Kingkade’s coverage was utterly one-sided, deriding any criticism of this witch-hunt climate as the work of misogynistic “men’s rights activists,” and completely ignoring the infringement of due-process rights under policies inspired by the Obama administration’s 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter.

Young men’s lives were being destroyed by false accusations — last time I checked, about 150 lawsuits had been filed by male students who said they had been falsely accused of sexual misconduct and denied fair treatment in campus kangaroo-court tribunals. Over and over again, those of us who paid attention to these cases read about young men who offered plausible arguments that they had targeted by vindictive ex-girlfriends, or because some girl they met at a party regretted their drunken hookups and, in many cases, the accused male student was denied the opportunity to present clear evidence supporting their innocence. (The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities by K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr. examines this phenomenon in depth.) With the backing of the Obama administration, feminists had incited a climate of sexual paranoia that encouraged these false accusations, a witch-hunt that culminated in the notorious 2014 gang-rape hoax at the University of Virginia. Even after it became apparent there were problems with Rolling Stone‘s story, however, Tyler Kingkade tried to prop up their narrative.



On Dec. 8, 2014, Kingkade reported that Emily Clark, a former roommate of false accuser Jackie Coakley, believed her story. The timing of this is crucial, if you’ll check the timeline of Rolling Stone‘s UVA hoax. “A Rape on Campus” was published online Nov. 19, the first serious questions about Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s reporting were raised by veteran journalist Richard Bradley on Nov. 24, and Reason‘s Robby Soave was among the first to suggest the story could be “a gigantic hoax.” By Dec. 5, after Washington Post reporter T. Reese Shapiro unearthed serious problems with Erdely’s reporting, Rolling Stone was forced to issue a statement acknowledging errors in their editorial judgment, especially their failure to contact any of the accused participants in the alleged rape. So by the time Kingkade published his Dec. 8 article about Emily Clark (“Jackie’s Roommate Insists Sexual Assault Account In Rolling Stone Is No Hoax”), the story was already well on its way to being completely debunked — a truth-finding process that Kingkade obviously tried to impede with his HuffPo article. Keep in mind that university President Teresa Sullivan had suspended social activities for all UVA fraternities, that the fraternity named in Erdely’s article was targeted for vandalism, and that a climate of fear had descended on the campus, with female students saying they were afraid to go out lest they become victims of sexual assault.

Real people were suffering real harm as a result of this hoax, and what did Tyler Kingkade do? He doubled-down on “rape culture” hysteria.



Good luck trying to find anything by Tyler Kingkade that acknowledges the known problems with the bogus “1-in-5” statistic used by activists to justify a federally enforced campus witch-hunt that cast suspicion on all male university students as complicit in “rape culture.” Even after Rolling Stone had been forced to shell out millions in damages, and Kingkade had left HuffPo for BuzzFeed, he continued pursuing the same theme of an “epidemic” of sexual assault on campuses, depicting Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as a villain for rolling back the clearly flawed policies resulting from the Obama-era “Dear Colleague” letter.

Well, BuzzFeed’s revenue projections missed the mark again and, in the new round of layoffs, somebody apparently did a cost-benefit analysis on the continued employment of a guy who’s been recycling the same narrative since 2014, and guess what? Learn to code, Tyler.




One Response to “‘Learn to Code’ and the Collapse of the Millennial SJW Clickbait Bubble”

  1. Links and Car Porn | Al Jahom's Final Word
    February 2nd, 2019 @ 2:54 am

    […] The Great clickbait monkey cull of 2019 isn’t over. This week it’s Vice. CNN wonder if, to their horror, Trump winning his war against the media. Wes Messamore, the journalist at CNN here, must be shitting in his little panties. […]