Wednesday, April 14, 2021

D.C.’s Rising Libertarian Star?

The Washington Post is profiling Jane Coaston as a "rising libertarian star."

In a profile titled, "D.C.’s rising libertarian star, with her ‘healthy skepticism of state power,’ secures an influential podcast," the Post explains:

Coaston’s own individuality should be unmistakable, particularly among her left-leaning media peers in heavily Democratic D.C. The former political reporter for Vox and MTV is a registered Libertarian who got her start in right-leaning college media and professes “a healthy skepticism of state power.” She also happens to be a happily married queer person, a former speechwriter for the Human Rights Campaign, a churchgoing Christian and a fitness buff who works out roughly twice a day. In November, she joined the New York Times, where she hosts the paper’s relaunched opinion podcast “The Argument.”

In her new role, Coaston says she aims to “add a lot of external viewpoints that maybe haven’t been as well represented on the show, because it has been very much about the left, right and center perspectives that are featured at the Times largely.”

You have to be suspicious of anyone the Bezos rag and The New York Times are promoting as a libertarian rising star so we will have to see. Gazing through her Twitter feed, there does not seem to be a lot that is distinctly libertarian.

Though, in a retweet, Coaston does take a nasty swipe at Naomi Wolf, who has been heroic in her battle against COVID vaccine passports. She posted a link to an old hit piece on a past Wolf book. Quite the thing for a "libertarian" to do when Wolf is one of the few from the left who has the courage to stand up to the "Passport, please!" brigade.

She just doesn't seem to take libertarian angles from what I can tell. In a long essay on Colin  Kaepernick, it is difficult to understand her point. She wrote in her article:

The idea that sports should be a "safe space," so to speak, is a popular one. Millions of Americans believe that sports can remain, or perhaps become for the first time, a venue free of politics. Sports has never been apolitical, to be sure, and yet we believe that it could be, and moreover that it should be. Sports is where we find joy, sports is where we find hope, sports is where we find something beyond and above ourselves, and can do so together with people with whom we have virtually nothing in common.

But for Kaepernick, the football field was, and is, his own safe space...

The questions that Colin Kaepernick raised in his protest were too big, or too scary, for us to answer. Questions about whose lives actually do matter. Questions about what a sport primarily played by black men has to say about the lives of black men. Questions some of us believe have no place in sports.

And so Colin Kaepernick remains in limbo. Ten years after winning the starting job in college, one year after sitting during the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick is still looking for work in the NFL. All because he asked America a question, and we simply had no good answer.

I have just read about a half dozen other articles she has written and nothing in them provides any sense of any libertarian streak. At best, she seems to be ambiguously anti-woke but that is a generous interpretation of her writing.

But, hey, at least she is not a straight, white male.

Let's see what kind of topics and arguments she brings to "The Argument."

If it doesn't work, she can always go into United Airlines pilot training.

I would like to see her do an episode on the cultural meaning of that.



  1. "happily married queer person...a churchgoing Christian" By no stretch of the imagination can those two things go together.

    1. You don't hang around too many Protestants or Novus Ordo Catholics, do you?

    2. I mean, more power to you for having your opinions, but I'm not really sure how marginalizing potential allies with dogmatic statements is tactically helpful in advancing the libertarian cause. Just saying...

      That said, I don't buy any of this giving a libertarian a voice in corporate media nonsense. It is obviously a honeypot to rope people in and misdirect them, while incrementally redefining libertarianism. Classic State propaganda misdirection tactics 101.

    3. Christians got into this mess by not "marginalizing" people with "dogmatic statements." Just saying...

  2. I have know a few hard core liberal californians now claiming to be "libertarian." Of course they clam up if you ask them to define what they think that means. It is a cool factor for them. It is as much rebellion as they can muster. But can identifying as something you aren't lead to learning more about it? I have my doubts but we shall see. I always use these people as a barometer of mainstream lefty news as they all repeat word for word the line of the day. They are not free thinkers, closer to robots, so it is coming from somewhere. The co-opt is on.

    1. Matches my observation of tech culture in SF Bay Area... tech guys tend to be either socialists or lean real libertarian. The business guys are either virtue-signaling woke or ptetend libertarians - it's just another form of virtue signaling (and distancing from inanity of the woke left).

  3. The label "libertarian" gets claimed by and directed at so many types of statists that it's almost pointless using it any longer to distinguish oneself. We have other options to virtue-signal to one another.

  4. I actually listened to a bit of her show that's posted on the NY Times. The topic was about abortion and it in no way had a libertarian perspective. It was essentially a debate between Michelle Goldberg and Ross Douthat that was based on Douthat's piece about how the Republican party needs to enact legislation towards families to limit abortion in the U.S. Goldberg argued that the pro-life (or anti-abortion as she calls it) movement is simply about preventing women access to abortion to maintain a patriarchal society.

    Coaston didn't really stand out too much and acted more like a mediator, so I was unable to get a feel for where she stood. However, at the end she recommended an article from The Atlantic of all places. So it's too early to make any type of assessment just yet, but I would say be very skeptical.

  5. Tell her to get a handle over at (I rep RW’s sites regularly over there so don’t hyperventilate). It’s a modern day libertarian crucible. We’d find out the truth about her libertarian instincts in NY minute.

  6. My two main litmus tests of libertarianism are: (1) the income tax; (2) government schooling.
    There are other, minor test to be sure, but if one is in favor of either of those---a penalty on productivity, and placing politicians and their lackeys in control of our kids' education---then they are not libertarian.