What a terrible indictment of the times we live in

Oh this again,  or rather, still. Always. Never not. Woman interviews an idol of the right, woman is target of a torrent of abuse. The woman is Cathy Newman of Channel 4 (the UK one), the idol of the right is Jordan Peterson.

Ben de Pear, the editor of Channel 4 News, said Newman had been subjected to “vicious misogynistic abuse”. Having to calling in security specialists was a “terrible indictment of the times we live in”, he said.

Newman interviewed the psychologist, Jordan Peterson, about gender on Tuesday. A video of the full 30-minute interview has been watched more than 1.6m times on the Channel 4 News YouTube page and has attracted more than 36,000 comments.

I’ve watched a bit of it. She challenges some of his claims, as interviewers sometimes do.

The combative Channel 4 interview led to praise for Peterson and criticism for Newman on some right-leaning sites. James Delingpole, a Breitbart columnist, said the interview marked a “pivotal victory in the culture wars” and that the “weaknesses of the regressive left have never been more cruelly or damningly expose”. Douglas Murray in the Spectator said: “I don’t think I have ever witnessed an interview that is more catastrophic for the interviewer.”

Newman has faced a wave of abuse and threats online, including on Twitter. There is no suggestion that Peterson, Delingpole or Murray are behind the threats or instigated them.

Are they, I wonder, doing anything to try to discourage them? Are they bothering to say they don’t admire fans who instigate waves of abuse and threats? Are they taking a moment to say that disagreeing with Cathy Newman need not entail abuse and threats?

De Pear said on Twitter on Friday: “Our Channel 4 News on-screen journalists expect to be held to account for their journalism but the level of vicious misogynistic abuse, nastiness, and threat to Cathy Newman is an unacceptable response to a robust and engaging debate with Jordan Peterson.

“Such is the scale of threat we are having to get security specialists in to carry out an analysis. I will not hesitate to get the police involved if necessary. What a terrible indictment of the times we live in.”

Newman retweeted De Pear’s posts. In response to Murray’s column – in which he said Newman should get Channel 4 to remove the video from the internet because of how “catastrophic” it was – she said earlier in the week: “Always grateful for advice from Douglas Murray but I won’t be suing or taking out a super-injunction. I thoroughly enjoyed my bout with Jordan Peterson as did hundreds of thousands of our viewers. Viva feminism, viva free speech. Stay tuned Douglas.”

Cue the abuse and threats.

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