Quillette

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Quillette
Quillette.png
Editor-in-chiefClaire Lehmann
Senior editor, LondonJamie Palmer
Canadian editor, TorontoJonathan Kay
Associate editor, LondonToby Young
European Editor, StockholmPaulina Neuding
Staff writersHelen Dale
Debra W. Soh
Jeffrey Tayler[1][2]
CategoriesPolitics, culture, sciences, and technology[3]
PublisherClaire Lehmann
FounderClaire Lehmann
Year founded2015; 4 years ago (2015)
CountryAustralia
Based inSydney, Australia
LanguageEnglish
Websitequillette.com

Quillette (/kwɪˈlɛt/) is an online magazine founded by Australian journalist Claire Lehmann. The publication has a primary focus on science, technology, news, culture, and politics. It is associated with the "intellectual dark web".[3][4]

Etymology[edit]

Quillette is named after the French word for a withy cutting planted so that it takes root—used here as a metaphor for an essay.[5]

History[edit]

Quillette was launched in October 2015 in Sydney, Australia, by Claire Lehmann.[6] The website drew significant public attention on 7 August 2017 after publishing the responses of four scientists (Lee Jussim, David P. Schmitt, Geoffrey Miller and Debra W. Soh)[7] to James Damore's controversial memo "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber".[8][9][10] The website was temporarily shut down by a DDoS attack following publication of the piece.[11][12]

In 2018 Quillette said that they were funded mostly by contributions from readers via Patreon, and a small part (less than 5%) of the revenue came from Amazon affiliates and other advertisers.[13]

In August 2019, the magazine published a hoax piece titled "DSA Is Doomed", and then quickly retracted it after being alerted to evidence indicating it was a hoax.[14][15][16] Democratic socialist magazine Jacobin reported that "Quillette was not only negligent in their fact-checking of [the hoaxer's] fabrication, they actually embellished his story with their own ideological fables."[17] Quillette's editor-in-chief Claire Lehmann has denied the accusations of embellishment.[18] She took full responsibility for the hoax having been published, and promised to "strengthen" the magazine's processes.[19]

According to its editor Jonathan Kay, Quillette publishes people who are "canceled" but restricted to those who were accused of less serious things.[20]

Podcasts[edit]

Quillette Podcast
Quillette Podcast.png
Presentation
Hosted byQuillette Staff
GenreScience, technology, news, culture, politics
UpdatesWeekly
LengthVariable
Production
ProductionClaire Lehmann
No. of episodes61
Publication
Original releaseNovember 8, 2018; 13 months ago (November 8, 2018) – present

Quillette publishes an eponymous podcast that began in 2018.

There is also a loosely-associated[according to whom?] podcast called Wrongspeak, which launched in May 2018 and is hosted by Quillette associate editor Jonathan Kay and Debra W. Soh. Wrongspeak is about "the things we believe to be true but cannot say".[21][22]

Topics on these podcasts have included psychological differences between men and women, freedom of speech on campus, racism, gender dysphoria in children, Libertarianism, Conservatism, Classical liberalism, Brexit, Boris Johnson, and American politics and culture. Notable guests have included Jordan Peterson, Coleman Hughes, James Damore, Lindsay Shepherd, Susan Bradley, Ed the Sock, Adrienne Batra, Steven Pinker, Bill Kristol, Michael Shermer, Matthew Goodwin, Irshad Manji, Sir Roger Scruton, Claire Fox, Francis Fukuyama, Peter Boghossian, Douglas Murray, Brian C. Kalt, and David Frum.[23][24][25]

In May 2018, The Stranger praised Wrongspeak for its willingness to engage with difficult topics.[22]

Reception and ideology[edit]

In an interview with Psychology Today, Quillette founder Claire Lehmann said the magazine provides "an alternative to the blank slate view... very common in left-leaning media."[26] Bari Weiss has called Claire Lehmann a member of the intellectual dark web.[27][28]

In 2016, Jerry Coyne compared it to the Slate website, "but more serious, more intellectual, and without any Regressive Leftism".[29] In an article for The Outline, writer Gaby Del Valle classifies Quillette as "libertarian-leaning", "academia-focused" and "a hub for reactionary thought."[30] In the Seattle newspaper, The Stranger, Katie Herzog writes that it has won praise "from both Steven Pinker and Richard Dawkins" adding that "most of the contributors are academics but the site reads more like a well researched opinion section than an academic journal."[22][31][32] In an opinion piece for USA Today, columnist Cathy Young describes Quillette as "libertarian-leaning".[8] Articles in Vice and PJ Media describe Quillette as a libertarian publication.[33][34]

Writing for The Guardian, Jason Wilson describes Quillette as "a website obsessed with the alleged war on free speech on campus".[35] Writing for The Washington Post, Aaron Hanlon describes Quillette as a "magazine obsessed with the evils of 'critical theory' and postmodernism".[36] Writing for New York's column The Daily Intelligencer Andrew Sullivan describes Quillette as "refreshingly heterodox".[37] In a piece for Slate, Daniel Engber suggested that while some of its output was "excellent and interesting", the average Quillette story "is dogmatic, repetitious, and a bore". He wrote that it describes "even modest harms inflicted via groupthink—e.g., dropped theater projects, flagging book sales, condemnatory tweets—as 'serious adversity'", arguing that various authors in Quillette engage in the same victim mentality that they attempt to criticize.[29] In a Daily Beast article, Alex Leo described Quillette as "a site that fancies itself intellectually contrarian but mostly publishes right-wing talking points couched in grievance politics".[38]

In May 2019, Quillette published an editorial by Eoin Lenihan,[39][40] a blogger, internet troll under the pseudonym Progdad,[41] who had conducted a study which purportedly showed extensive ties between journalists who cover far-right activism and anti-fascists. Lenihan was "an established right-wing troll",[39][41] was later banned by Twitter for managing multiple accounts for abusive purposes.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Who We Are". Quillette. June 27, 2018. Archived from the original on October 2, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "About". Quillette. Archived from the original on October 2, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Lester, Amelia. "The Voice of the 'Intellectual Dark Web': Claire Lehmann's online magazine, Quillette, prides itself on publishing 'dangerous' ideas other outlets won't touch. How far is it willing to go?". Politico Magazine (November/December 2018). ISSN 2381-1595.
  4. ^ Beauchamp, Zack (July 3, 2019). "The assault on conservative journalist Andy Ngo, explained". Vox. Archived from the original on August 7, 2019. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  5. ^ Lehmann, Claire (July 7, 2018). "From the Editor". Quillette. Archived from the original on October 1, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018. In French, a synonym for quillette is bouture d’osier, which is a type of wood off-cutting used to grow new trees. An off-cutting planted in the ground that grows into a tree — this seemed to me a great metaphor for an essay.
  6. ^ Duke, Jennifer (May 1, 2019). "'Huge gap in the market': the local publisher winning where others won't tread". The Sydney Morning-Herald. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  7. ^ "The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond". Quillette. August 7, 2017. Archived from the original on August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Young, Cathy (August 8, 2017). "Googler fired for diversity memo had legit points on gender". USA Today. Archived from the original on August 8, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  9. ^ Brooks, David (August 11, 2017). "Sundar Pichai Should Resign as Google's C.E.O." The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 11, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  10. ^ Shermer, Michael (September 2017). "The Unfortunate Fallout of Campus Postmodernism: The roots of the current campus madness". Scientific American. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0917-90. PMID 28813389. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  11. ^ Airaksinen, Toni (August 9, 2017). "Libertarian Site Suffers DDoS Attack After Supporting Google Worker". PJ Media. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017. Quillette Magazine, a small but respected libertarian publication based in Australia, suffered a DDoS attack Tuesday after publishing an article supportive of James Damore, the fired Google memo writer.
  12. ^ Leef, George (August 11, 2017). "Ideas (Like the Bad Ones Kids Learn in College) Have Consequences". National Review. Archived from the original on August 14, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017. A much less covered story was the taking down (at least temporarily) of a site, Quillette.com, that had posted commentary favorable to the Google engineer’s memo about the company’s diversity policies.
  13. ^ "Quillette is creating a platform for free thought - Patreon".
  14. ^ Matthews, Dylan (August 9, 2019). "Quillette loves hoaxes that embarrass the left. Here's how "Archie Carter" hoaxed Quillette". Vox. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  15. ^ Freedman, Aaron (August 16, 2019). "How the right wing fell for its own fables about the working class". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  16. ^ Adler-Bell, Sam. "Hello fellow Marxist-Leninists, I'm Archie Carter". The Outline. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  17. ^ Freedman, Aaron (August 8, 2019). "Exclusive: We Found Archie Carter". Jacobin. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  18. ^ Claire Lehmann (August 10, 2019). "Tweet". Twitter.
  19. ^ Claire Lehmann (August 9, 2019). "Tweet". Twitter.
  20. ^ McDermott, John (November 2, 2019). "Those People We Tried to Cancel? They're All Hanging Out Together". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 28, 2019. Mr. Kay clarified that Quillette will not publish just anyone, however. “Being canceled is like autism — it’s a spectrum,” he said. Harvey Weinstein would be a “no” for him.
    “We’re much more interested in the opposite end of the spectrum, where you have people who have been accused of things that are much less serious, and don’t nearly approach a criminal level,” Mr. Kay said.
    Readers want to hear from the canceled, but the larger motivation is philosophical. Quillette’s editorial point of view is that so-called cancel culture is overly punitive and lacks nuance.
  21. ^ "Wrongspeak". Quillette. May 14, 2018. Archived from the original on September 28, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  22. ^ a b c Herzog, Katie (May 31, 2018). "Wrongspeak Is a Safe Space for Dangerous Ideas". The Stranger. Archived from the original on June 8, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018. Most of the contributors are academics but the site reads more like a well researched opinion section than an academic journal.
  23. ^ "Wrongspeak Podcast". SoundCloud. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  24. ^ "Quillette Podcast on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  25. ^ "Podcast Archives". Quillette. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  26. ^ Routledge, Clay (September 7, 2017). "Taking Risks to Move the Culture Forward". Psychology Today. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017.
  27. ^ Weiss, Bari (May 8, 2018). "Opinion | Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web". The New York Times. Retrieved October 1, 2018. Other figures in the I.D.W., like Claire Lehmann, the founder and editor of the online magazine Quillette, and Debra Soh, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, self-deported from the academic track, sensing that the spectrum of acceptable perspectives and even areas of research was narrowing.
  28. ^ Edroso, Roy (May 14, 2018). "Conservatives Cheer the Latest Right-Wing Supergroup, the Intellectual Dark Web". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on July 3, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018. IDW superheroes include ... Claire Lehmann, who believes 'nationalism is the antidote to racism', and claims to have been 'blacklisted' for 'criticizing feminism' ...
  29. ^ a b Engber, Daniel (January 8, 2019). "Free Thought for the Closed-Minded". Slate. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  30. ^ Del Valle, Gaby (September 22, 2017). "Conservatives love playing the victim". The Outline. Archived from the original on September 23, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2018. In an interview with Psychology Today last week, Claire Lehmann, the founder of the libertarian-leaning, academia-focused digital magazine Quillette, suggested that the website was a refuge from the political correctness and leftist bias that allegedly plague both academia and the mainstream media.
  31. ^ Dawkins, Richard [@RichardDawkins] (July 25, 2017). "Quillette, superb online magazine, stands up for the oppressed minority who value clarity, logic and objective truth" (Tweet). Retrieved October 2, 2018 – via Twitter.
  32. ^ Pinker, Steven [@sapinker] (September 17, 2017). "The story behind Quillette, one of the most stimulating & original new web magazines" (Tweet). Retrieved October 2, 2018 – via Twitter.
  33. ^ Airaksinen, Toni (August 9, 2017). "Libertarian Site Suffers DDoS Attack After Supporting Google Worker". PJ Media. Archived from the original on June 20, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018. Quillette Magazine, a small but respected libertarian publication based in Australia, suffered a DDoS attack Tuesday after publishing an article supportive of James Damore, the fired Google memo writer.
  34. ^ Matsakis, Louise; Koeblerand, Jason; Emerson, Sarah (August 7, 2017). "Here Are the Citations for the Anti-Diversity Manifesto Circulating at Google". Vice. Archived from the original on September 30, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018. The author also used news articles from outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic and The New Yorker, as well as smaller publications like libertarian magazine Quillette.
  35. ^ Wilson, Jason (March 18, 2018). "How to troll the left: understanding the rightwing outrage machine". The Guardian. Archived from the original on September 6, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018. Nevertheless, along with spreading the video, Ngo wrung from the evening an article for Quillette, a website obsessed with the alleged war on free speech on campus.
  36. ^ Hanlon, Aaron (August 31, 2018). "Postmodernism didn't cause Trump. It explains him". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 30, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018. In Quillette — an online magazine obsessed with the evils of 'critical theory' and postmodernism — Matt McManus reflects on 'The Emergence and Rise of Postmodern Conservatism.'
  37. ^ Sullivan, Andrew (September 21, 2018). "America, Land of Brutal Binaries". New York. Retrieved October 3, 2018. As Claire Lehmann, the founding editor of the refreshingly heterodox new website Quillette has put it, 'the Woke Left has a moral hierarchy with white men at the bottom.'
  38. ^ Leo, Alex (March 23, 2019). "Quillette, Ben Shapiro, and the Myth of Conservative 'Facts'". Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  39. ^ a b c Holt, Jared (June 12, 2019). "Right-wing publications launder an anti-journalist smear campaign". Columbia Journalism Review. Archived from the original on June 17, 2019. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  40. ^ Lenihan, Eoin (May 29, 2019). "It's Not Your Imagination: The Journalists Writing About Antifa Are Often Their Cheerleaders". Quillette. Archived from the original on May 31, 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  41. ^ a b Burley, Shane; Ross, Alexander (June 19, 2019). "Opinion: What happened when I was the target of alt-right death threats". The Independent. Archived from the original on June 19, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2019.

External links[edit]