The Other McCain

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Taylor Lorenz Is a Dangerous Sociopath

Posted on | April 3, 2022 | Comments Off on Taylor Lorenz Is a Dangerous Sociopath

Remember the acronym DARVO? It stands for “Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender,” a pattern of behavior first described by psychologist Jennifer Freyd particularly dealing with sex offenders whose response to being apprehended for their crimes followed this script: First, to deny the accusation, then to attack the person confronting them with charges of wrongdoing and then to portray themselves as the real victim in an unjust conspiracy against themselves. The cops, the district attorney, the judge — everybody’s out to get them, see? And they’re completely innocent! The accusations are false, the accusers are liars, and as to a motive for why everybody would just make this stuff up, well, his ex-wife wants more child support, the sheriff wants to get reelected, etc.

At the heart of the DARVO response is the sociopath’s arrogant belief in his own ability to deceive others, which is accompanied by a tendency toward self-pity and blame-shifting. The sociopath is irresponsible, refusing to acknowledge that the negative consequences of his harmful behavior are valid and just. In his egocentric worldview, anything bad that happens to him is always wrong, no matter how clear it is that he is to blame for these bad outcomes. Having had the misfortune of dealing with a notorious sociopath, I could go down a long list of examples of this DARVO behavioral tendency. Sociopaths are selfish, dishonest and cruel, taking pleasure in inflicting harm on others, but when they are confronted with evidence of their wrongdoing, suddenly they adopt the role of the victim, and expect others to view them sympathetically. Which brings us to the case of Washington Post writer Taylor Lorenz.

Notice the shrewd political spin here. You might think (if you believed Taylor Lorenz) that all the “online harassment” directed at her is the result of “right wing smear campaigns.” Clearly, what she is trying to do is to rally Team Progressive to her defense, without anyone pausing to ask why it is that so many people hate Taylor Lorenz. After all, about 90% of what she does is covering teenagers on TikTok and other social-media “influencers” the way People magazine covers Hollywood celebrities.

The ‘Journalistic Tattletale’ Racket

How is it that the queen of TikTok gossip came to this ridiculous pose of being the victim of “right wing” harassment? The answer involves Glenn Greenwald who, whatever you say about his current populist tendencies, is certainly not “right wing” in any meaningful sense of the word. There was a time, less than 10 years ago, when I would have been happy to see the U.S. government apprehend Greenwald and send him to federal prison, considering his enthusiastic support of Bradley Manning and other such renegade anti-American leakers, hackers, etc. The strange evolutions of political discourse have had the effect of putting Greenwald on “my” side — especially as an adversary of the “Deep State” and Silicon Valley oligarchy — but that doesn’t make him an apostle of Burke and Kirk, let alone Calvin and Knox. However, politics is a team sport, and we should be grateful to everyone willing to help “our” side, so I will refrain from any criticism of Glenn Greenwald, but my point here is that he is definitely not “right wing.” At any rate, in February 2021, Greenwald called out Taylor Lorenz for her role as “journalistic tattletale” after she “falsely and very publicly accused Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Marc Andreessen of having used the ‘slur’ word ‘retarded’ during a discussion about the Reddit/GameStop uprising.” Lorenz was cited as one example of what Greenwald identified as a current media trend:

Just as the NSA is obsessed with ensuring there be no place on earth where humans can communicate free of their spying eyes and ears, these journalistic hall monitors cannot abide the idea that there can be any place on the internet where people are free to speak in ways they do not approve. Like some creepy informant for a state security apparatus, they spend their days trolling the depths of chat rooms and 4Chan bulletin boards and sub-Reddit threads and private communications apps to find anyone — influential or obscure — who is saying something they believe should be forbidden, and then use the corporate megaphones they did not build and could not have built but have been handed in order to silence and destroy anyone who dissents from the orthodoxies of their corporate managers or challenges their information hegemony.
Oliver Darcy has built his CNN career by sitting around with Brian Stelter petulantly pointing to people breaking the rules on social media and demanding tech executives make the rule-breakers disappear. The little crew of tattletale millennials assembled by NBC — who refer to their twerpy work with the self-glorifying title of “working in the disinformation space”: as intrepid and hazardous as exposing corruption by repressive regimes or reporting from war zones — spend their dreary days scrolling through 4Chan boards to expose the offensive memes and bad words used by transgressive adolescents; they then pat themselves on the back for confronting dangerous power centers, even when it is nothing more trivial and bullying than doxxing the identities of powerless, obscure citizens.

Do you see why it is not “right wing” to be concerned about this? The idea that it is a proper and necessary role for journalists to act as snoops and snitches, eavesdropping on other people’s private conversations to see if they’re using politically incorrect slang, is 180-degrees opposite of what I was taught as a journalism student. It’s the kind of behavior that led to Trump calling the media “the enemy of the people.”

If Andreessen used a “slur” in talking about Reddit, so what? It is a fact that a popular slogan of the sub-Reddit that fought the GameStop battle is “Long live the retard revolution!” Were there any mentally impaired people listening in on the conversation who might have been offended by Andreessen’s use of this “slur”? Was anyone actually harmed by this?

As it turned out, however, it actually wasn’t Andreessen who used this word in the discussion on the Clubhouse app:

Numerous Clubhouse participants, including Kmele Foster, immediately documented that Lorenz had lied. The moderator of the discussion, Nait Jones, said that “Marc never used that word.” What actually happened was that Felicia Horowitz, a different participant in the discussion, had “explained that the Redditors call themselves ‘retard revolution’” and that was the only mention of that word.
Rather than apologizing and retracting, Lorenz thanked Jones for “clarifying,” and then emphasized how hurtful it is to use that word. She deleted the original tweet without comment, and then — with the smear fully realized — locked her account.

What did I tell you about sociopaths? Selfish, dishonest and cruel.

Having sought to inflict reputational damage on Marc Andreessen, and then being called out for this attempted libel, Taylor Lorenz dishonestly tried to pretend otherwise, then sought to hide her wrongdoing and protect herself from consequences by locking down her Twitter account.

If you read the entirety of Greenwald’s Feb. 7, 2021, Substack article — and you definitely should — you’ll see that he was calling attention to this incident as an example of a pattern of behavior by young journalists: Instead of taking on what Greenwald calls “real power centers,” instead they engage in what he calls “this penny-ante, trivial bullshit — tattling, hall monitoring, speech policing.” Indeed, the Thought Police are everywhere, and many of them pretend to be doing “journalism.”

Criticism = ‘Harasssment’

What must it be like, living in an egocentric universe where everything revolves around the personal drama of Taylor Lorenz? She basically threw an online pity party with herself as guest of honor, inviting everyone to feel sorry for her plight as a victim of misogynistic right-wing harassment. After all, Tucker Carlson had mentioned her!

“You see this attitude everywhere all of a sudden, the most powerful people claiming to be powerless. Taylor Lorenz, for example, writes for The New York Times. She’s at the very top of journalism’s repulsive little food chain. Lorenz is far younger than prominent New York Times reporters used to be. She’s also much less talented. You’d think Taylor Lorenz would be grateful for the remarkable good luck that she’s had. But no, she’s not. Just this morning, she tweeted this quote for International Women’s Day: ‘Please consider supporting women enduring online harassment. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the harassment and smear campaign I’ve had to endure over the past year has destroyed my life.’ Hmm. Destroyed her life? Really? By most people’s standards, Taylor Lorenz would seem to have a pretty good life, one of the best lives in the country, in fact. Lots of people are suffering right now, but no one’s suffering quite as much as Taylor Lorenz is suffering. People have criticized her opinions on the Internet and it destroyed her life.”
— Tucker Carlson, March 9, 2021

This 175-word reference to Taylor Lorenz was part of a much longer opening monologue to Carlson’s program, inspired by the Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Carlson went from point to point — beginning with these whiny British royals, proceeding to Hillary Clinton, and so on — to highlight the trend of wealthy and powerful people claiming to be oppressed victims of injustice.

As might have been predicted, however, the journalism community went bonkers, declaring that Carlson had “attacked” Lorenz. Where does it come from, this belief that no journalist should ever be criticized? Who wrote this rule book, with its secret codicil, “Taylor Lorenz can say anything she wants on Twitter, and nobody is allowed to criticize her”?

Weird, I’ve been a journalist since 1986, and nobody ever told me I was exempt from criticism. Maybe that secret codicil doesn’t apply to me or maybe what we’re witnessing here is something else I’ve noticed about sociopaths, namely their uncanny ability to recruit enablers to assist them in their wicked schemes. The sociopath is a natural-born con man and, as P.T. Barnum said, there’s a sucker born every minute. Sociopaths have a sort of radar that allows them to spot gullible people who can be easily manipulated, and once ensnared by the con man’s deception, these suckers never seem to get wise to the game. So it is with all of Taylor Lorenz’s fangirls and fanboys in journalism, who seem to have fallen hook, line and sinker for her self-dramatizing victimhood narrative.

Since she was “attacked” last year by Carlson, Taylor Lorenz has gone from the New York Times to the Washington Post, but she’s still peddling the same journalistic product, and still claiming that people saying mean things on Twitter have destroyed her life. MSNBC last week featured her on a segment in which she claimed to have “severe PTSD”:

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) first came to public attention in reference to Vietnam combat veterans. If we are to believe Taylor Lorenz, people saying mean things about her on Twitter is exactly like getting ambushed by the Vietcong, dodging mortar shells and machine-gun fire in the jungle, watching your buddies bleed to death.

Mean tweets are the siege of Khe Sanh in the Tet Offensive, in terms of the psychological trauma inflicted on survivors like Taylor Lorenz.

Or so we are expected to believe, by the media enablers eager to help Taylor Lorenz keep running this victimhood scam that’s become her stock in trade. Glenn Greenwald is having none of that:

It is almost impossible to envision a single individual in whom power, privilege and elite prerogative reside more abundantly than Taylor Lorenz. Using the metrics of elite liberal culture, the word “privilege” was practically invented for her: a rich straight white woman from a wealthy family raised in Greenwich, Connecticut and educated in actual Swiss boarding schools who now writes about people’s lives, often casually destroying those lives, on the front pages of the most powerful East Coast newspapers on the planet. And yet, in the eyes of her fellow media and political elites, there is virtually no person more victimized, more deserving of your sympathy and attention, more vulnerable, marginalized and abused than she.
That is because . . . Taylor Lorenz must sometimes hear criticisms of her work and her views. Virtually alone among journalists . . . Lorenz hears criticisms of her work, sometimes in the form of very angry and even profane or threatening tweets from anonymous people online. This not only means that she deserves your sympathy and concern but, more importantly, that you should heap scorn and recrimination on those who criticize her work because they are responsible for the trauma she endures. Most of all, you must never criticize her publicly for fear of what you might unleash against her. . . .
The NBC segment has to be watched in its entirety to be believed. Though the emotional performances are moving and spectacular — no denying that — it is important not to let your tears drown out the actual point they are making. It is a quite sinister and insidious lesson they are preaching. When powerful media elites receive mean and abusive tweets from anonymous and random people on Twitter, it is not the fault of those sending those tweets but rather the fault of anyone criticizing their work and their journalism. The only moral conclusion is clear: one should refrain from criticizing employees of media corporations lest one be responsible for unleashing traumatizing abuse at them.

This demand for protection — the idea that Taylor Lorenz is a victim of injustice — can only be understood as part of a DARVO response. Nowhere in all the mainstream media’s coverage of the so-called “harassment” directed at Lorenz does one ever find any useful description of what she has done over the years to attract criticism of her work. Her original claim to fame (or, at least, the first time anyone on the “right wing” paid attention to her) was when Lorenz doxxed the teenage daughters of conservative blogger Pamela Geller. Considering that Geller has long been a target of Islamic terrorists — two ISIS gunmen tried to kill her in Texas in 2015, the same year another Muslim was shot by police after threatening to behead her — what was the point of doxxing Geller’s teenage daughters? Are we just supposed to ignore this in the context of Taylor Lorenz claiming to be a traumatized victim?

But her media enablers don’t even acknowledge Lorenz’s malicious history, and instead expect their audience to nod sympathetically as Lorenz boohoos on camera about how she’s suffering from PTSD, just like your uncle who spent five years as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton. The possibility that Taylor Lorenz is a bad person — well, this never occurs to anybody in the liberal media, the same way none of them ever questioned the veracity of the Steele Dossier, or doubted Michael Avenatti’s honesty.

There’s a sucker born every minute and nowadays most of them are working in the media. They get angry with anyone who points this out.

(Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!



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