Media must stop misrepresenting the views of Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson is a clinical psychologist and YouTube sensation who has garnered 1.4 million subscribers on his personal pages with videos that gathered over 200 million cumulative views. His recent book, 12 Rules for Life, is a best-seller.
The New York Times published an article about Peterson that was headlined “Custodian of the Patriarchy.” NBC Nightly News ran an interview with Peterson called “Favorite Figure Of The Alt-Right” and covered his fame as an “Alt-Right Intellectual.” New York Magazine’s latest article was titled “The Left’s Contempt for Jordan Peterson Is Perfectly Rational.”
These criticisms sound like they could be hurled at Alex Jones or Richard Spencer but instead are aimed at a Canadian college professor. Yet, “respected” publications continue to hurl false assertions about his activism with no evidence for their claims.
The media’s behavior is quite embarrassing and discouraging. For starters, the “alt-right” is a white nationalist movement whose supporters consist mostly of radical racial collectivists. Most, if not all, of Peterson’s 300 YouTube lectures make it clear that he identifies as a classic liberal whose focus is on individualism. Collectivist and individualist ideals are simply not in line with one another.
Now, it’s not like all of these famous publications pulled their headlines and ideas out of thin air, but they most certainly pulled details out of context to paint their “alt-right” picture.
Peterson has made some comments about politics but not as a defender of the “alt-right.” Peterson has made the case on more than one occasion that he is strongly opposed to identity politics and finds them rather dangerous.
“Anybody who plays identity politics is playing a bad game I don’t care whether they’re playing it on the left or the right,” Peterson said in an NBC interview with Lester Holt. The same news outlet called him an “alt-right intellectual.”
While he admits that the “alt-right” engages in a sort of nasty politicking, his concern is that the radical left engages in it far more often, and thus are more influential than the “alt-right.” He points to the humanities and universities as evidence that the far-left has more reach than the far-right, which he argues should warrant more concern.
In a recent panel debate in Toronto about political correctness, academic Michael Dyson repeatedly called Peterson a “mean white man.” This sort of identity politics on the left is exactly what Peterson was arguing against.
Just because he is opposed to the radical left does not automatically make him an ally of the “alt-right.”
The New York Times tried to paint Peterson as a “Custodian of the Patriarchy” when they took his sentiments out of context while he was explained how societies have evolved into monogamous worshipping places that enforce monogamy through institutions such as marriage.
Another cute jab was that Peterson endorses the gender pay gap when he tried to explain the differences between the types of work that men and women take on and how that might possibly account for the wage disparity.
Despite having some thoughts on political correctness and identity politics, most of Peterson’s content is psychological with the utmost focus on individualism. There has yet to be an article from one of the major news corporations that articulates one of Peterson’s positions accurately and gives it a valid criticism. There also aren’t any members of the radical right that praise him as their champion.
Just because his “get your act together” message happens to resonate with men more than women does not make Peterson a “Custodian of the Patriarchy” or an “alt-right” darling.
It is sad to see but news outlets’ misrepresentation of Peterson is a clear example of why mainstream journalism is dying in this country and being taunted as “fake news.”