Sunday, 19 August 2018

N.Y. Times Got Hoaxed? Comic Claims Authorship of “White Guilt” Letter

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It’s easy to fall victim to a spoof when your ideology itself is indistinguishable from satire. The New York Times may learn this the hard way after, if a hoaxing comedienne can be believed, it got trolled and rolled by her alleged authorship of the letter “How Can I Cure My White Guilt?"

Written under the pseudonym “Whitey,” the letter was a wholly ridiculous lamentation about how the author was pained by her own white privilege. “I’m riddled with shame. White shame,” she opened — and the Times not only ate it up; it licked that plate clean providing politically correct advice to the poor suffering Caucasian reader.

Since then, a foul-mouthed comedienne going under the name Titania McGrath has taken credit for the letter. As she tweeted Thursday:

whitey twitter

For the record, here’s what I wrote reporting on this story the day before, responding to the letter’s inane subject matter:

Wow, Sacha Baron Cohen, is that you? Are you punking via print now? American Thinker’s Monica Showalter emphasizes that Whitey’s letter isn’t a joke, but I’m not so sure. Commenters under Showalter’s piece suspect the Times of concocting the letter itself as a rhetorical device. While this is unlikely, it wouldn’t surprise me if a reader is using parody to make the Times look foolish; it’s a bit like how a woman years ago tricked the art world into thinking her toddler’s tomato-ketchup paintings were great art.

My suspicions were raised, mind you, not by the letter’s Through the Looking Glass quality; with leftism’s cultural ascendancy, truth today really has become stranger than fiction. But it just seemed too perfect in its lunacy.

This isn’t to say that McGrath, assuming she actually is the author, didn’t do a good job. Looking at her Twitter feed, she seems to aspire to be the third millennium’s Andy Kaufman, a comic who keeps one confused about when he is and isn’t serious to the point where, if he dies, his friends and relatives suspect it’s just another act.

Of course, we can’t be sure that a would-be Andy Kaufman is telling the truth, but as American Thinker’s Thomas Lifson wrote Friday, “I don’t know if the New York Times was hoaxed by a comedian pretending to be ridiculously PC about collective ‘white guilt,’ and it almost doesn’t matter. The fact that the New York Times published this op-ed is simultaneously horrifying and hilarious (‘horrifarious’ in the very useful neologism coined by talk show host Joe Getty).”

In reality, the Times’ issue isn’t that that it might have gotten trolled, but that leftism, its working “ideology” (it’s a process, really), is now often indistinguishable from satire. “Whitey’s” letter actually aligned perfectly with what’s now taught in many schools and colleges about the “problem of whiteness.” No one is stupid for having believed it was genuine — he’s stupid for believing white-privilege pap in the first place.

This is why McGrath, who seems perturbed that some Twitter respondents don’t believe her authorship claims, probably won’t get the exposure she’d like from her alleged hoax: Acting nutty in a nuthouse just doesn’t stand out. Abnormal is becoming today’s new normal — and the Times fits right in.

Speaking of which, Lifson closes his piece with the money line, “So far, no satirists have claimed credit for getting Sarah Jeong hired for the editorial board at the Times.” No, at that paper truth is stranger, and dumber, than fiction. You can’t trump its journalists with feigned insanity — they’ve got the real thing.

Photo: Manakin/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus

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