Atlantic Wire can’t get enough of John Derbyshire. On April 6, Elspeth Reeve wondered why he had not yet been fired for his Takimag.com essay of just the day before, and complained that he is the test case for showing “how racist you can be and still get published by people who consider themselves intellectuals.” I don’t know if the editors of National Review consider themselves “intellectuals,” but the implication is that anything to their Right should not even make a pretense of intelligence or a concern for facts. Poor Miss Reeve. She has the entire Internet before her, yet doesn’t seem to have dipped more than half a toe into it.
Today, she is back at Atlantic Wire, with some of the laziest journalism I have seen in a long time. In a piece with the awkward title, “Here Are the Racists Sad to See Derbyshire Go,” she tells us that “white supremacists are rallying to John Derbyshire’s side, but not without reservations.” Whence this insight? She briefly quotes from my article about Mr. Derbyshire, but most of her column consists of selective quotes from among the hundreds of reader comments about Mr. Derbyshire at AmRen.com, and at FreeRepublic.com.
We and FreeRepublic are apparently the gold standard for taking the temperature of the “white supremacists.” This is news to us, just as it must be to FreeRepublic. As even Miss Reeve’s commenters have explained to her, most AmRen readers consider the evidence overwhelming that North Asians and Ashkenazi Jews have higher IQs than gentile whites. I wonder just what she thinks a “white supremacist” might be.
Miss Reeve also confessed herself baffled as to why anyone would refer to blacks as “Holder’s people,” but once again, her readers are better informed than she. A commenter explained that it is because Eric Holder, attorney general of the United States and therefore presumably the top legal officer for all Americans, refers to blacks as “my people.”
Miss Reeve noted that I had referred to the double standard that means people can say all manner of rude things about whites without fear of punishment while Mr. Derbyshire is out the door for a few home truths about blacks. One of my examples of rude things said about whites was Noel Ignatiev’s famous call to “abolish the white race,” but Miss Reeves had never heard of that. She complained that I had not cited a reference, implying that I must have made up the quote. Poor Miss Reeve; never heard of Google, I suppose.
In its day, Atlantic had a well deserved reputation for well researched journalism and careful fact-checking. Real writers such as James Fallows still write for the magazine but it must have fallen on awfully hard times if it must settle for obvious second-raters such as Elspeth Reeve.