Fraidy-Cat Buzzfeed Reporter Joe Bernstein Won’t Debate His Lazy Smears Despite $6,500 Charity Offer


Last week, one of Buzzfeed’s four “senior technology reporters,” Joseph Bernstein, published a story about me and about the “nascent counterculture” everyone else already knows as cultural libertarianism but which is apparently new to Mr Bernstein and which he has re-christened “chanterculture.”

As happens so often these days, I was spoken of in the same breath as Donald Trump. But the assumption — that an emerging free speech movement online, which occasionally produces uncomfortable results for progressives, is A Bad Thing — is wrong. Needless to say, despite prominently associating me in his story with what he calls racism and sexism, Bernstein never bothered to get in touch.

In the spirit of Christmas, I waited until yesterday to politely challenge Mr Bernstein to a debate on the merits of what he calls “chanterculture.” I think cultural libertarianism and robust free speech is a force for good, you see, and a necessary reaction to the hand-wringing and language-policing that currently saturates the internet and the media.

Having openly written in the pages of Buzzfeed that “the sincerity of Yiannopoulos… can and should be questioned,” Mr Bernstein’s dismissal of my request was surprising. It was also cowardly. Herewith, for the digestion of the reader, my tweets on the subject. You’ll note two things. One, the extraordinary emergence of over $6,500 from a variety of sources, to be paid to a charity of Bernstein’s choice, if he agreed to have it out with me.

Two, his total silence after announcing that he refused to defend his own ideas — because he’d probably lose.

“BTFO,” as they say online.

As I mentioned, Mr Bernstein’s attempt at defining “chanterculture” appears to be lifted directed from these pages, where Allum Bokhari’s Rise of the Cultural Libertarians remains required reading. For the sake of a $6,500 donation to the charity of his choice, we hope that Mr Bernstein reads up on the movement he protests and accepts his inevitable defeat with grace. But I’m not holding my breath.

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