Bullying of the LGBTQ community needs to end, and people like Glenn Greenwald and Christina Punshaw need to be called out for falsely accusing someone of doxxing. It is especially stunning (if such a feeling still exists in 2022) to watch Glenn Greenwald argue against press freedom now that his hateful Twitter friend running the widely read Libs of TikTok has been exposed as a Brooklyn realtor.
Journalist Taylor Lorenz wrote an informative article in The Washington Post exposing the anonymous right-wing troll account Libs of TikTok. It is a troll account that takes what liberals say out of context to make them look bad with hate-filled content on Twitter. However, it is vastly influential in the right-wing political arena.
“They re-post a steady stream of TikTok videos and social media posts, primarily from LGBTQ+ people, often including incendiary framing designed to generate outrage, wrote Lorenz in her article, “Videos shared from the account quickly find their way to the most influential names in right-wing media. The account has emerged as a powerful force on the Internet, shaping right-wing media, impacting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, and influencing millions by posting viral videos aimed at inciting outrage among the right.”
Even before the article came out, though, both Glenn Greenwald and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw blasted Lorenz’s article by falsely accusing Lorenz of doxxing the anonymous troll account. A lot of the ranting from Greenwald and Pushaw consisted of projection and hypocrisy.
The definition of doxing is the “search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the internet, typically with malicious intent.” You don’t see anything like that in Lorenz’s article. She informed us who is behind what the national “news agency” is doing to members of the LGBTQ community by twisting their videos out of context and sending them to high-profile right-wing influencers and people of power like Pushaw or even White nationalist leader Tucker Carlson on Fox.
That’s right. Chaya Raichik, who is behind the venomous Libs of TikTok account, actually hired a lawyer to register her Twitter handle @LibsofTikTok as a “news agency.”
Journalists have the first amendment right to go and ask for comments from people involved in their stories, especially when it’s about an anonymous troll bullying the LGBTQ community. There is no harm in publishing the name and even her religious background. As an orthodox Jew, I, a former Republican, can tell you that people of this faith are biased against the LGBTQ community, and mentioning this fact can help people understand where the hatred is coming from.
Enough of the fake outrage over journalists doing their job and informing the public just to cover up for hate.
Here is but one example of the hateful tweets Glenn Greenwald, who I used to think knew better, and Pushaw are defending:
throwback to when Libs of TikTok smeared a suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth as a "grooming organization."
they've deleted it since but here it is. what kids were they protecting here? pic.twitter.com/YVlZqL8oyT
— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) April 20, 2022
Twitter accounts promoting hate-filled and divisive narratives were a successful right-wing propaganda tactic back when I was a Republican, and conservatives would take what a Democrat said and put a spin around it. For example, when Hillary Clinton said, “What difference does it make?” about Benghazi, deceptively editing a short video of just those words made it seem like she didn’t care about the four Americans that died in the terror attack. Still, there was a whole paragraph to that soundbite that was ignored entirely in reality.
In closing, I am standing by the journalistic work of Taylor Lorenz because if you are going to put yourself out there as an anonymous account spreading homophobic hate to “own” the libs, then you should be called out for it. And we need to call out people like Glenn Greenwald who harasses and bullies journalists for doing their jobs. They must be protected so they can continue to inform us.
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Opinion columnist and Army veteran. Former MAGA, now a Biden voter.