The Jordan Peterson Interview.

Professor, clinical psychologist and author Jordan Peterson sat down with Britain’s Channel 4 presenter Cathy Newman last week and the result was what was called a “fiery interview” which has been taking the internet by storm. The interview delves into the alleged gender pay gap, free speech, patriarchy and a host of other issues.

The interview also turns into a debate as Peterson skillfully refutes the accusations Newman makes.

Two things have been noted by many on the internet and we think they are worthy of the attention they are getting.

First, Newman tries to make Peterson look horrible due to his refusal to cede control of language he uses to others.

The discussion concerning freedom of speech was sparked due to Peterson’s famous refusal to capitulate to the Left’s demands over language. He said he was “not going to cede the linguistic territory to radical leftists, regardless to whether of not it was put into law,” he explained during the interview. As you can imagine, his refusal to bend became centered on transgender pronouns and Peterson was labeled “transphobic.”

The professor reiterated that he’s no such thing and said he’s never called a student by an “incorrect” pronoun, nor would he. “I never mistreated a student in my class,” he said.

During the discussion, Newman makes a statement that Peterson turned around and exposes her hypocrisy and the hypocrisy of all people who want to legislate speech – both compelled speech and speech that is censored.

“Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person’s right not to be offended?” asked the Channel 4 reporter.

“Because in order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive. I mean, look at the conversation we’re having right now,” Peterson answered. “You’re certainly willing to risk offending me in the pursuit of truth. Why should you have the right to do that? It’s been rather uncomfortable.”

“Well, I’m very glad I’ve put you on the spot,” Newman replied, deflecting from his point.

“Well you get my point,” said Peterson. “You’re doing what you should do, which is digging a bit to see what the hell is going on. And that is what you should do. But you’re exercising your freedom of speech to certainly risk offending me, and that’s fine. More power to you, as far as I’m concerned.”

Newman was rendered speechless.

“So you haven’t sat there and — I’m just trying to work that out,” she said clumsily, giving off a sigh.

“Ha, got ya,” the professor playfully quipped.

“You did. You did,” Newman admitted.

Peterson is dead on and right.

Acting under the premise that a person has a “right” not to be “offended,” people on the left are willing to offend others.

The hypocrisy seems to be lost on them. (Or maybe it isn’t. Maybe they believe that they are superior to others and can be offensive. After all, “all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.)

We always remember the quote from the movie 1776 where John Adams (played by William Daniels) shouts, “This is a revolution, dammit! We’re going to have to offend SOMEbody!”

Truth is often messy, contentious and “offensive.” It doesn’t mean we should stop searching for that truth as well as risk losing truth because of “speech bullies.”

The second thing of note is Newman’s continual use of the phrase, “so you are saying…..”

The only problem is that what Newman claims Peterson is saying is not what he is saying at all. It is as if instead of listening like a interviewer should, she has her own preconceived notion of what Peterson believes, and is going to go with that, rather than Peterson’s own thoughts, words and meanings.

The Atlantic noticed Newman’s tactics as well:

Peterson was pressed by the British journalist Cathy Newman to explain several of his controversial views. But what struck me, far more than any position he took, was the method his interviewer employed. It was the most prominent, striking example I’ve seen yet of an unfortunate trend in modern communication.

First, a person says something. Then, another person restates what they purportedly said so as to make it seem as if their view is as offensive, hostile, or absurd.

Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and various Fox News hosts all feature and reward this rhetorical technique. And the Peterson interview has so many moments of this kind that each successive example calls attention to itself until the attentive viewer can’t help but wonder what drives the interviewer to keep inflating the nature of Peterson’s claims, instead of addressing what he actually said.


But in the interview, Newman relies on this technique to a remarkable extent, making it a useful illustration of a much broader pernicious trend. Peterson was not evasive or unwilling to be clear about his meaning. And Newman’s exaggerated restatements of his views mostly led viewers astray, not closer to the truth.

There’s that nasty word again: truth.

The interview is long – about 30 minutes or so – but it is instructional and informative on many levels.

It’s worth watching.

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