For the decent things that Twitter can sometimes be good for, it is nevertheless inherently poisonous in the same way that a firearm is inherently dangerous: the moment you pick it up with the intent to use it, you’re engaging in risky behavior that can result in the destruction of another human being.
Conservative columnist Denise (DC) McAllister learned that over the weekend.
A week or so ago, McAllister was already subject to ridicule over saying, on Twitter, that the television program The View “…seems to me to be a roundtable of delusional mental midgets ricocheting ignorance and lack of emotional regulation.” Meghan McCain, who is on The View, replied with, “You were at my wedding, Denise.” For reasons known only to fans of Meghan McCain, this became a popular meme. It’s possible that McAllister was invited to McCain’s wedding because McCain was marrying Ben Domenech, the co-founder of The Federalist, a website McAllister wrote for.
On Friday, March 29, McAllister tweeted, “Trying to talk to my husband while Carolina is playing. He looks at me and says, ‘Woman, you know better than this. The game is on.’ He’s right. I slipped. Commercial comes on. I fetch him a beer. He grabs me. Deep kisses. Patience and timing, ladies. That’s the lesson.”
Yashar Ali, a left-wing journalist, felt the need to tweet this in response:
“He’s right. I slipped.”
Oh Denise ☹️ pic.twitter.com/8cWlcGPtUm
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 31, 2019
Why he tweeted this is anybody’s guess. Whatever you think of McAllister’s domestic arrangement, Ali made fun of it and her, so McAllister tweeted back by saying, “Oh so sad. @yashar is lost. He does’t know his purpose as a man. He doesn’t know his purpose as a human being. He doesn’t know his purpose as an Individual. So he wallows and tries to find himself in another man’s asshole. Sad.”
She went on in a similar vein with other tweets. For this she was roundly criticized by blue checkmark-bearing Twitter users from the left and the right. It got so bad that she deleted the tweets and even apologized, but by then it was too late. She’d already been fired by The Federalist and The Daily Wire. The mob destroyed her. It’s what Twitter mobs do.
Here’s a broader context.
- Clearly there was friction between McAllister and The Federalist from the You were at my wedding, Denise meme. It was unwise of McAllister to make a blanket statement about the hosts of The View if only because the boss’s wife is on there and you don’t talk shit about the boss’s wife. Even if the boss’s wife’s greatest accomplishment is being born into a wealthy political family. So it’s no surprise that The Federalist would find an easy excuse to can McAllister. Which is a shame, because by firing McAllister now, they’ve caved to the mob. They’ve tarnished their brand. Better to have fired her right after tweeting about The View: that would have been more honest.
- Yashar Ali, a left-wing journalist, achieved some notoriety recently when an NBC staffer tried to get him to hold off on a story on behalf of the DNC. He tweeted out the experience, which did wonders for his career: the story exposes everything the right has been saying about journalism for decades, and conservative commentators have been feting him and marveling at his courage and honesty. “He’s on their side, but he’s one of the good ones.” Considering the deserved drubbing that the now-shameful trade of journalism has earned over the last several years, I’m not surprised that Ali tweeted out his story with the NBC/DNC shill; it’s tailor-made to boost his career and give him cred on the side he’s been trying to destroy. “Rommel may have been with the Germans, but he was a good WWII general.” Great. But he was on the other side, and if you’re fighting a war, you destroy the enemy. You don’t admire him. He’d become the Flavor of the Month among the conservative blue checks and their fans on Twitter, so any attack on Ali must be foiled. Until he publishes something else to attack the right. But for now we love him and you leave him alone because he did that one good thing that time out of the goodness of his heart.
- I’m not going to pretend that I understand DC McAllister’s marriage. I suspect it works for her. When she puts exchanges with her husband like the one above out there and uses them as teachable moments for other women, she’s opening herself up to ridicule. Combined with the You were at my wedding, Denise meme, I imagine that she was feeling a bit raw. So she fired back at Yashar Ali. He mocked her domestic arrangement, so she mocked his domestic arrangement. For everyone so upset by what she said, please describe the exact temperature burn she should have used to fight back so she wouldn’t be roundly attacked by people she probably thought were on her side. How should she have reacted to not get fired by The Daily Wire and The Federalist? Should she have sat back and taken it? Why? Would you have?
- Like it or not, McAllister’s attack on Yashar Ali reflects the feelings of many people on the right, the vast majority of whom don’t have blue checkmarks next to their names on Twitter. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m not saying it’s nice, I’m merely saying that it’s a mode of thinking that’s far less unusual than anyone would like to admit. The online right’s embrace of prominent gay conservatives is troubling to many. Not because they hate gay people, but because they see it as a tacit acceptance of a lifestyle their faith abhors. This is not a view I share, but it is a view, and it’s there, and it’s a factor.
Despite McAllister being swarmed by a Twitter mob that he had a hand in creating, Ali had to tweet this out to maintain his Victim Status:
I was bullied for being Iranian as a kid. But I never felt ashamed of my ethnicity. I came out on 8/17/2001 & while it hasn’t always been easy, I have always been proud of who I am. I’m Iranian, gay, and Catholic. Perhaps an odd combo, but I wouldn’t change who I am for the world pic.twitter.com/xGPzoDzM13
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 31, 2019
This is why the right will lose the Culture War. They will lose and they will be humiliated and they’ve earned the L because they are far more interested in knifing their own soldiers in the back than getting on the field. As admirable as they think Ali is now, he’s still going to stick it to them every chance he gets because he’s on the field and they aren’t.