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The Anti-Rural, Divisive LA Times Get Schooled
“The media are less a window on reality, than a stage on which officials and journalists perform self-scripted, self-serving fictions.”
― Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy
Turns out last week’s post/rant about the LA Times apparently only covered one of a series of columns of a series called Rebuild|Reborn.
They’re all authored by Erika D. Smith, who in her bio describes herself as “a columnist for the Los Angeles Times writing about the diversity of people and places across California,” and Anita Chabria whose Twitter bio describes her as “California columnist for the @latimes, covering how policy and politics affects real people.” Francine Orr is credited for capturing the photographs for each piece.
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It’s difficult to tell who wrote exactly what but there’s a grotesque amount of hypocrisy in the emphasized phrases above in the author’s bios. I’ll cut to the chase, both are a part of the Woke Elite. The journalism profession as of late seldom lets anybody else in and neither does the LA Times. Few people cover this better than Batya Ungar-Sargon.
Jason Fordney, who writes for the California Energy Markets newsletter was also not amused by not just one but all entire series of Rebuild | Reburn. Last week, he penned a level-headed rebuttal with much needed pushback towards the scolding anointed “journalists” called, “LA Times Questions Whether Rural Northern Californians Should Exist.”
Jason did not mince words, some excerpts below.
The series of articles in the LA Times by Erika D. Smith and Anita Chabria, in my opinion, makes sweeping generalizations about rural Northern California residents and includes not-so-subtle hints that they are the wrong type of people living in the wrong place, and something needs to be done.
Among the suggestions are that communities not be rebuilt after being destroyed in wildfires (because of the cost to Southern California taxpayers); that climate deniers, racists and anti-government extremists disproportionately dwell here; and that people living here are placing undue strain on Southern Californians, like the approximately 12.5 million people who live in the Los Angeles metropolitan area (about 20,000 people live in Plumas County, where Greenville is; Nevada County, where I live, has about 103,000 residents, according to U.S. Census records).
He sees what I saw!
Most egregious in this coverage is the constant usage of the term "us" by LA Times journalists in these pieces (referring to people that don't live in Northern California), as if rural Northern Californians are somehow not part of the rest of society.
He also caught the use of “us,” which is a well-known way to divide people. (Recall I noted their use of “we” as an authoritarian tactic)
It didn't take one piece on climate and extremism in NorCal very long to loop in "MAGA Republicanism"; "antisemitism"; "anti-governmental cowboy ethos"; the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol; political violence in Charlottesville, Virginia; "German Nazism"; the El Paso, Texas mass shooter; the Buffalo, New York mass shooter; "white Christianity"; and of course, Adolf Hitler.
He also correctly noted the Orange Man/ associated (and associated by iron law of woke projection) boogeymen living rent-free in the heads of the columnists.
Also, self-sufficiency and "living off the land" are apparently gateways to Nazism: "[E]xtremism has exploited the ideal of living off the land, and how it could take deeper root among those who believe they enjoy an inherent right to natural resources. Adolf Hitler made 'blood and soil' the slogan of German Nazism, romanticizing an agrarian life fueled by white Christianity under attack from outsiders."
Wow. Just wow. All this from a few visits to a burned-out town in the Sierra Nevada.
Fordney caught onto this too. It’s a long jump from homesteading and “Little House on the Prairie” types to full blown “blood and soil” identitiatians. The fact the “journalists” even made this type of jump says far more about them than it does about anything else.
Do anti-government types live in this area? Yes. Do lots of other types of people live here? Yes, including an influx of San Franciscans after the COVID-19 pandemic freed them from horrible commutes, traffic, extensive homelessness, pollution and other miseries of urban life. I have always joked that you can find a Proud Boy drinking beer next to a man in a dress in a bar in Grass Valley, and for the most part, people get along great. Maybe that's because they recognize that not everybody needs to hold the same beliefs, and don't view those that hold different perspectives on government and come from rural backgrounds as somehow dangerous.
He also notes the presence of anti-government types. Indeed they do exist, nevermind they also exist in cities and are often encouraged by the elites in the city to ruin it at the expense of everyone else. (Antifa, anyone?) Fordney also correctly notes the presence of mostly remote workers who fled areas of the state such as LA which were not only closed completely off to most people during the COVID pandemic but saw record surges in crime rates during and afterward.
We can’t forget that the LA Times often encourages their readers to go out and “explore” the outdoors which encourages their readers to seek the areas they so demonize. Within the past few years, many areas considered a low-grade secret to locals and savvy people who know how to do things such as drive a 4x4 and use a paper map have been filled with outdoors neophites following the LA Times’ work along with the posts from thousands of “influencers” who post exact directions on how to access these areas. And just who helps out these folks when they need help? Not the LA Times.
It’s also true that people from various backgrounds can actually get along - provided they aren’t being agitated by divisive people, left or right, who use identity to discriminate and divide. In CA, it’s primarily the identarian left, who dominate culture, schools, and government who do this. Nearly everybody else just wants to be left alone.
But the message from the LA Times is clear here: This is about "us" and "them," and maybe these people should not be allowed to resettle after their electric utility burns down their home. These articles appear to mingle political and social belief systems into the calculation of whether rural people living here should be able to continue to do so, and appoint urban people as the judges.
Forndey sees it too.
Los Angeles has many well-known issues, such as approximately 50,000 homeless people, water supply concerns, and its own vulnerability to climate change as a coastal city. Is anybody taking a look at the racial, political and cultural makeup of the people that live in climate-affected areas in LA, passing judgment on whether they should be supported by "the rest of us" and making suggestive generalizations such as that they are racists, extremists, Nazis and insurrectionists? Perhaps a similar analysis will be applied by the LA Times to the people of Florida currently being clobbered by Hurricane Ian? If San Francisco is destroyed by fire again, as happened in 1851, should it not be rebuilt? What kind of people live there, anyway (apparently, that matters when making these decisions)?
Some on the urban elite coasts are already on record suggesting Florida not get rebuilt.
Hell, I knew a few who gleamed at the fact large parts of Texas were left without power for several days in February 2021 during a winter storm. These folks all call themselves “progressive“ too.
And speaking of LA, when will the journalists in that city entertain the lived experiences of those who left the state, in particular their illustrious city?
But when it comes to urban journalists from Los Angeles journeying out to the Sierras to question whether people should be able to exist there, anything is fair game, it seems.
"It's hard to explain just how much some people in rural California dislike and distrust the rest of us," reads the lede to one LA times piece.
So, remember, LA Times readers, rural Northern Californians aren't "us" anyway. Maybe we should just send 'em to the cities.
It’s actually not hard to explain. Those who treat others with snobbery, scorn, cluster b abuse tactics, etc, such as what the two LA Times columnists did here are going to not find themselves terribly liked and trusted by others.
Few Californians push back at the Woke Elite. The Woke Elite dominate the media, cultural, educational, and governmental institutions in California so when pushed, those who disagree with the positions of the Woke Elite are slurred with every name in the book - racist, sexist, transphobic, climate (change) denier, etc. all of which can lead to severe reputational harm. This is a feature, not a bug of the ideology. Pushback is easy in concept as their beliefs can be easily debunked, but difficult in practice, due to the potential downside of not having anybody support those who push back for fear of reputational slander onto themselves. For those who have not been in abusive relationships or don’t know how to properly set boundaries, it’s easy to get bullied around by many of the Woke, who most certainly have a Cluster B personality disorder of some type. Those paralyzed by this belief system often, under the right circumstances, do leave it though.
And to the LA Times in general: there’s no such thing as “leadership” from Newsom. He’s not going to date or sleep with any of ya’ll @ the LA Times. Also there’s no such thing as “leading with science.”