Today's Liberal News

Helen Lewis

The Intersectionality of Hate

“The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.”These are not the words of the teenager who walked into a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday to hunt down Black Americans, although they might as well be. These are the words of Tom Buchanan, a rich, repugnant character in the 1925 novel The Great Gatsby.

The Abortion Debate Is Suddenly About ‘People,’ Not ‘Women’

Say what you like about the ACLU; it knows how to get people talking. But not necessarily in terms favorable to the ACLU. Late last month, the civil-liberties organization was revealed to have ghostwritten Amber Heard’s contentious Washington Post op-ed about suffering from domestic violence; the article was timed to coincide with the release of her film Aquaman.

Among Europe’s Ex-Royals

Photographs by Jelka von LangenOne peculiarity of European aristocrats is that their names pile up, like snowdrifts. It’s lunchtime in Tirana, the capital of Albania, and I am about to meet Leka Anwar Zog Reza Baudouin Msiziwe Zogu, crown prince of the Albanians.The Albanian royal residence is easy to miss, tucked away on a quiet side street behind the national art museum.

Of Course Putin Is Being Canceled

Perhaps the time has come for Vladimir Putin to go on Joe Rogan’s podcast, because Russia has been canceled. Following the invasion of Ukraine, governments and companies around the world have distanced themselves from Russia and its citizens. “The West is not just trying to surround Russia with a new Iron Curtain,” its director of the Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergey Naryshkin, said last week.

‘In the Name of God, Go’

“In the name of God, go!”If you wanted to choose a quotation to wound Boris Johnson—a man who wrote a biography of Winston Churchill as a coded advertisement for his own virtues—then this would be it. When Johnson’s fellow Conservative David Davis stood up in Parliament today and said these words, he must have intended them to be a fatal blow. Davis was not comparing the prime minister to his hero Churchill.

Two Years Is Long Enough

I got my COVID-19 booster shot last week, on the first day I was eligible. My shot was delayed because I caught COVID in early December, an experience that was low-key grim: two days of shotgun sneezing, no taste or smell for a week, and a constant fatigue that didn’t abate until the holidays. I was very glad to face the coronavirus with two Pfizer doses already in my arm, and even more grateful that my parents and 91 percent of Britons in their age group are triple-jabbed.

What Happened When Facebook Became Boomerbook

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that Facebook is only 17 years old: If it were a person, it could drive but not drink. If Facebook were a person, it would also be fabulously wealthy, incredibly successful, and exhaustingly argumentative. And it probably wouldn’t use Facebook.The disclosures in The Wall Street Journal’s “Facebook Files,” leaked by a whistleblower named Frances Haugen, are incendiary.

The Man Loves the Extra Publicity

The Met Gala is a barometer of fashion. Not in the boring “What is the hemline of the moment?” sense, but on a grander scale. This benefit dinner is pure spectacle, an event that exists only to be photographed, a sequined media mirage. Look at the pictures from the after-parties and you’ll see that many guests change out of their red-carpet looks as soon as humanly possible. These are clothes for posing in, not wearing. They are statements.

I’ve Hit My Climate Tipping Point

Last summer the temperature in London, where I live, climbed above 37 degrees Celsius—or 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It was hotter outside my body than it was inside it. To someone raised under the sodden, used-tissue skies of Britain, that felt like an offense against nature. Everywhere I went, I felt the same constricting, breathless sensation. The heat was like a prison; I had been sentenced to 100 degrees.

‘The Revelation Was That I Was the Problem’

Genetically, Xand and Chris van Tulleken are clones. Yet the 42-year-old twins do not look identical, because Xand is more than 30 pounds heavier than Chris. That is the biggest weight difference recorded in the long-running twin study at King’s College London.The van Tullekens live in London. They argue about food—specifically, how much Xand eats—all the time. They are also both medical doctors, and they present British television shows on health and diet.

‘The Revelation Was That I Was the Problem’

Genetically, Xand and Chris van Tulleken are clones. Yet the 42-year-old twins do not look identical, because Xand is more than 30 pounds heavier than Chris. That is the biggest weight difference recorded in the long-running twin study at King’s College London.The van Tullekens live in London. They argue about food—specifically, how much Xand eats—all the time. They are also both medical doctors, and they present British television shows on health and diet.

American–Style Grievance Politics Comes to British TV

In the months leading up to the launch of Great Britain’s newest television channel, GB News, its backers insisted that it wouldn’t be a British version of Fox News. They were right in one way: Fox is a slick product with fancy studios and whizzy graphics. By contrast, when GB News went on the air Sunday night, it looked as though it had been filmed in an abandoned strip club—all dark walls and neon lights—and suffered from poorly synchronized sound.

On Substack, You Can Never Go Too Far

Normal people—with regular lives and real jobs—have soap operas and reality shows. People who are Extremely Online have Substack.Over the past few months, the PR travails of the newsletter start-up have become a reliable source of media gossip. Jude Doyle is leaving! Grace Lavery has joined! Oh man, Matt Yglesias shouldn’t have taken that advance; he’d have made far more money purely from subscriptions! Perhaps those names don’t mean anything to you.

The Problem Is Facebook

Back to you, Zuck. Facebook’s oversight board earlier today declined to act as a human shield for the social network. Asked to rule on the suspension of Donald Trump’s account in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot, it passed the ultimate decision back to Facebook.For now, Trump’s suspension stays in place. But the board has given Facebook six months to “reexamine the arbitrary penalty it imposed on January 7 and decide the appropriate penalty.

Scotland’s Feminist Schism

Ask people for adjectives to describe Nicola Sturgeon and the same few words tend to crop up: poised, perfectionist, regal. Sturgeon has been Scotland’s first minister for six and a half years, leading its devolved government, and she utterly dominates its political scene.

Prince Philip, a Man of His Time

Like other members of the British Royal Family, Prince Philip’s reputation is now defined by his portrayal in The Crown: a stern father, a reluctant consort, a man’s man who struggled to play second fiddle to his wife. It could be worse.The Queen’s husband has died two months short of his 100th birthday, and his death inevitably invites comparisons between the world he was born into and the one he has left behind.

It’s Time to Lift the Female Lockdown

“Dear Sarah,” read the note left on the makeshift memorial, “we are so sorry. You did nothing wrong.” It was just after 5 p.m., an hour from sunset, on March 13 and women were already beginning to gather at the park in Clapham, South London, to remember Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman kidnapped from the capital’s streets on March 3. Her body was found a week later in a woodland 50 miles away, in a builder’s bag, and had to be identified from dental records.

The Identity Hoaxers

The confession, when it came, did not hold back. “For the better part of my adult life, every move I’ve made, every relationship I’ve formed, has been rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies,” read the Medium post. It was published in September under the name of Jessica A. Krug, a George Washington University professor specializing in Black history.

Meghan and Harry Go to War

After the trial separation, here comes the messy divorce. And a vital question: Who gets custody of the narrative?It has been less than a month since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle finalized their split from the British Royal Family, renouncing their patronages and honorary appointments as well as their income. The fallout between the couple and Buckingham Palace has been painful and public.

What Happened to Jordan Peterson?

Illustration by Vanessa Saba; photos by Rene Johnston; Chris Williamson; Getty
This article was published online on March 2, 2021.One day in early 2020, Jordan B. Peterson rose from the dead. The Canadian academic, then 57, had been placed in a nine-day coma by doctors in a Russian clinic, after becoming addicted to benzodiazepines, a class of drug that includes Xanax and Valium.

Where Are the Iconic COVID-19 Images?

A tennis ball covered in spikes. That’s all we’ve got. More than a year has passed since the first reports of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus, and its most memorable visual signifier is a stylized illustration of the virus itself. That spiky ball floats in the background of explanatory graphics and charts, or looms eerily behind the heads of television anchors delivering yet more somber news. When I think of COVID-19, that’s what I see.

The Crown’s Majestic Untruths

The Crown is not a documentary. The presence of actors is a strong clue; the members of the Royal Family wish they were this good-looking. Do viewers need to be warned about this? One British politician thinks so. “It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that,” the Conservative culture minister, Oliver Dowden, said this week.

The Rare Sight of a Political Reckoning

These days, it is rare that a piece of political news can make your jaw drop. But the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from Britain’s Labour Party lit up social media—and my phone—like a fireworks display.Until April, Corbyn was the leader of Britain’s main opposition party. (He stood down less than four months after leading Labour to a thumping general-election defeat last year.) The man who replaced him, former lawyer Keir Starmer, supported the punishment.

How Capitalism Drives Cancel Culture

Tumbrels are rattling through the streets of the internet. Over the past few years, online-led social movements have deposed gropers, exposed bullies—and, sometimes, ruined the lives of the innocent. Commentators warn of “mob justice,” while activists exult in their newfound power to change the world.Both groups are right, and wrong.

How J. K. Rowling Became Voldemort

It has taken two decades, but I am finally ready to admit that I was the world’s most annoying teenager. My parents are Catholic, and I used to delight in peppering them with trollish questions, preferably several hours into a long car journey. “Why does the Mass service refer to God as ‘he’ and ‘father’?” was a favorite.