Taylor’ Lorenz published an article in The Washington Post this week in which she outed the owner of the infamous “Libs of TikTok” Twitter account.
However you feel about the content of Libs of TikTok - and we certainly find it objectionable - the biography of the person behind it would only be newsworthy if they were a particularly extreme character with a documented history of illicit or illegal behavior. For example, if the person had been successfully sued for defamation in the past, this would make her identity relevant to the story, because we would have reason to believe that perhaps she is fabricating some of the content on her account. If she had been indicted for inciting racial violence, this would out her as a particularly odious and perhaps even criminally malevolent actor.
As it turns out, the creator of Libs of TikTok is an unremarkable Brooklyn real estate agent with not much in her background that differentiates her from a mainstream conservative Republican. According to the article, she’s skeptical of the 2020 election results, she minimized the impact of Covid, and she feels the January 6 riot wasn’t as violent as many BLM protests. However you feel about those opinions, there’s no denying that they aren’t particularly beyond the pale in conservative circles.
Now, one can certainly argue that extreme views have been mainstreamed in the Republican Party, and so to identify this way makes one a sort of “de facto” extremist if you will. But this would mean that roughly 40% of the country can be categorized this way, which invites the question, if this particular character’s biography warrants this kind of high profile scrutiny, whose doesn’t?
Then consider Lorenz’ own history of shoddy journalism, from pressing minors for quotes in her stories without approval from their parents to falsely alleging that entrepeneur Marc Andreessen used a slur in a Clubhouse chat. Also remember that just weeks ago, Lorenz appeared in an NBC segment in which she cried on the air about the harmful effects of online harassment supposedly resulting from critiques of her work:
Given all of this, she’s an especially dubious source of moral authority and journalistic integrity to be authoring a story doxxing the owner of an anonymous Twitter account.
We read and react to her article in our latest podcast. Click the player below to hear our full conversation, and subscribe to our podcast on any major podcast player.
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