Our Modern Moral Panics (10/26/21) ft/ Michael Hobbes

Fears that an 'anti-liberal' left is gaining over society should be understood as a public hysteria that often falls apart under scrutiny

Our Modern Moral Panics (10/26/21) ft/ Michael Hobbes
Illustration from mid-19th century book, coloring added / Creative Commons
Our Modern Moral Panics (10/26/21) ft/ Michael Hobbes

Michael Hobbes is a writer and co-host of the podcast “Maintenance Phase.” You may also recognize his voice from the acclaimed podcast “You’re Wrong About.” He joins SH!TPOST to discuss the steady stream of stories and columns from national American media about the supposed rise of an “illiberal left”—something he argues to be a modern moral panic reinforced by thin hype. Jared and Michael talk through the ways this decades-old right-wing talking point has been laundered through respectable press using the moral panic starter kit and why it’s important to push back against it.

Follow Michael on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RottenInDenmark

Listen to Michael on “Maintenance Phase: http://maintenancephase.com/

Read Michael’s writing mentioned during the show: michaelhobbes.substack.com

The Methods of Moral Panic Journalism
During the 1990s, the media convinced Americans that frivolous lawsuits were out of control. The canonical example was the 1994 “McDonald’s hot coffee” case. In the mythic version, a woman spilled coffee on herself while driving, received minor injuries and then got rich by suing the fast food chain that sold it to her. In reality, 79-year-old Stella Lie…