Canadian professor of psychology Jordan Peterson has taken to Twitter to repost a recent Guardian op-ed suggesting "the lobster-loving life coach's" speech "is bigoted", wondering what has "made the journalist so bitter":
I can't help but wonder what has made journalist Nathan Robinson so bitter: https://t.co/jhnJyj6zxA— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) December 4, 2020
Columnist Nathan Robinson pondered on the recent reaction to publisher Penguin Random House Canada's agreement with the professor to release his latest work, "Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life". He eagerly dwelled on the reported opposition of "some" staffers to the venture, querying:
"What possible obligation does a publisher have to publish the ravings of bigots?"
Although not directly calling Peterson "a bigot", the journalist went on to speculate about the belief that conservative authors ostensibly accuse their opponents of "censorship" should their works fail to be published.
"Many conservative claims about being 'censored' actually just amount to demands that their opinions be elevated far beyond their worth – that evidence-free, bigoted speech be given any prestigious platform it demands, with criticism seen as proof that the critics are intolerant", Robinson went on, seeking, as he put it, to make the following "distinction clear":
"Believing that a prestigious publisher should not give such a person a contract is not the same as believing that they should be punished for speaking".
Though some believed the take in the opinion piece was quite balanced, others opposed the perception that the professor's speech - or behaviour - is bigoted, deeming the word too offensive.
"Bigot??? I can't think of a worse thing to call someone, especially when you're nothing of the sort", one infuriated netizen posted, asking if Peterson ever thought about a libel lawsuit to prevent such claims from coming out again.
Have you ever consider a libel lawsuit? I know it's not your style, but enough's enough... Bigot??? I can't think of a worse thing to call someone, especially when you're nothing of the sort. That being said, libel cases are extremely difficult to win...— Jan Urbanowski (@89Urbanowski) December 4, 2020
Many more echoed the stance, asserting that accusing Peterson of bigotry would be "plain wrong":
I'm a Guardian subscriber (the only left leaning "Big" paper remaining in the UK) and it's NOT a woke sewer but they do often publish "opinion pieces" like this which are also often not based on any or enough facts. Accusing you of bigotry is just plain wrong.— seriousantlers (@seriousantlers) December 4, 2020
One even reserved a bit of room for sarcasm, suggesting the author is quite "articulate" in conveying his message:
"I have gone through his work myself and shown that he is a crackpot, whose writing is devoid of basic reasoning and full of wild unsubstantiated claims"... wow he is very articulate 🥱😴— кυиgfυкυуα (@kungfukuya) December 4, 2020
…while another opined that Peterson's critics not infrequently substitute their emotion-driven stances for hard facts.
It's simple...they don't like you so they pull a slanderous term from their quiver of go to BS and through it around unchallenged. They love substituting their emotion driven opinions for actual fact.— FauxShow (@gndazul) December 4, 2020
Publishers' censorship issues, like keeping tabs on "whether their [authors'] opinions are sound or valuable", have also made their way into the debate:
"Nailed it". He misrepresented JP in the first sentence and that is your best description of his pseudojournalism.— IPoopOnBirds (@IPoopOnBirds1) December 4, 2020
Also, actively calling to limit the spread of ideas because you disagree with it is censorship. Especially when you have a culture of many woke people doing it.
"These people are ideologically possessed, and don't put any real thought into what they're saying. It's like someone is speaking for them", one said of the opinion piece.
"This journalist understands his small woke hierarchy very well and how he can appeal to it. Problem is, most people are not in his bubble and he doesn't realise or care", another attempted to answer the public speaking guru's headline question.
The professor, who frequently lands in the left-wing public's crosshairs for being outspoken on traditional life values, even recently touted the release of his new book "Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life".
His publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, announced that the much-awaited follow-up to his global bestseller "12 Rules for Life" will hit book stores in March.
The work promises to deliver "12 more lifesaving principles for resisting the exhausting toll that our desire to order the world inevitably takes".
"In a time when the human will increasingly imposes itself over every sphere of life – from our social structures to our emotional states – Peterson warns that too much security is dangerous", says the publisher, further adding that he also offers "strategies for overcoming the cultural, scientific, and psychological forces causing us to tend toward tyranny, and teaches us how to rely instead on our instinct to find meaning and purpose".
According to a Vice report, the company's decision to publish the book by the University of Toronto academic, dubbed by one LGBTQ staffer as "an icon of hate speech and transphobia", was harshly ripped during a town hall held by the publisher, with one insider telling the edition that during the meeting some employees were even "crying", as they scrambled to relay how Jordan Peterson's previous work has "affected their lives".
Yet, while confirming the news that they had indeed held a meeting to discuss the long-awaited publication, PRH Canada maintained that they "remain committed to publishing a range of voices and viewpoints".
Jordan Peterson, 58, hit the headlines and shot to international fame back in 2016 after publicly refusing to use preferred pronouns when speaking of transgender people, in protest against a respective piece of Canadian legislation that mandated doing so.
He argued at the time, that such obligations would undermine his personal right to free self-expression. For some, the professor has since become an odious life coach, while for others he is an iconic and sophisticated critic of over-the-top political correctness and strong proponent of freedom of speech.
Listeners of his YouTube podcasts and readers of numerous research papers raved and stormed when last year, Cambridge University rescinded its visiting fellowship offer to Peterson in the wake of a backlash from a number of faculty members.