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''Quillette'' () is an online magazine founded by Australian journalist Claire Lehmann. The magazine primarily focuses on science, technology, news, culture, and politics. It also publishes two podcasts, ''Wrongspeak'' and the eponymous ''Quillette''. ''Quillette'' was created in 2015 to focus on scientific topics, but has come to focus on coverage of political and cultural issues concerning freedom of speech and identity politics. Described as libertarian-leaning, it has been associated with the intellectual dark web.


History


''Quillette'' was launched in October 2015 in Sydney, Australia, by Claire Lehmann. It is named after the French word "quillette" which means a withy cutting planted so that it takes root—used here as a metaphor for an essay. Lehmann stated that ''Quillette'' was created with the aim of "setting up a space where we could critique the blank slate orthodoxy" – a theory of human development which assumes individuals are largely products of nurture, not nature – but that it "naturally evolved into a place where people critique other aspects of what they see as left-wing orthodoxy". ''Politico'' called ''Quillette'' the "unofficial digest" of the intellectual dark web. Writing for ''The New York Times'', Bari Weiss called Claire Lehmann a member of the intellectual dark web. In August 2017, ''Quillette'' published an article written by four academics in support of James Damore's "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber" memo. ''Quillette'' website was temporarily disabled. According to Lehmann, this was caused by a DDoS attack after publishing the piece. In a profile of ''Quillette'', ''Politico'' reported that Lehmann knew about the grievance studies affair before it was first reported in October 2018, and was part of planning how to "fan the flames" of that controversy with the magazine's subsequent story defending the hoax. In May 2019, ''Quillette'' published an article that alleged connections between antifa activists and national-level reporters who cover the far-right. According to Shane Burley and Alexander Reid Ross, they and other journalists received death threats after the claims were published. In August 2019, ''Quillette'' published a hoax article titled "DSA Is Doomed" submitted by an anonymous writer claiming to be a construction worker named Archie Carter who was critical of the organisation Democratic Socialists of America. The magazine retracted the article after the hoax was brought to its attention. According to socialist magazine ''Jacobin'', the hoax brought ''Quillette'' fact-checking and editorial standards into question.


Reception


In an article for ''The Outline'', writer Gaby Del Valle classifies ''Quillette'' as "libertarian-leaning", "academia-focused" and "a hub for reactionary thought." 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." In an opinion piece for ''USA Today'', columnist Cathy Young describes ''Quillette'' as "libertarian-leaning". An article in ''Vice'' described ''Quillette'' as a "libertarian magazine". Writing for ''The Guardian'', Jason Wilson describes ''Quillette'' as "a website obsessed with the alleged war on free speech on campus". Writing for ''The Washington Post'', Aaron Hanlon describes ''Quillette'' as a "magazine obsessed with the evils of 'critical theory' and postmodernism". Writing for ''New York'' magazine's column ''The Daily Intelligencer'' Andrew Sullivan described ''Quillette'' as "refreshingly heterodox" in 2018. 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 criticise. In an article for ''The Daily Beast'', writer Alex Leo described ''Quillette'' as "a site that fancies itself intellectually contrarian but mostly publishes right-wing talking points couched in grievance politics".


Podcasts


''Quillette'' publishes two podcasts, including an eponymous podcast that began in 2018. A second podcast called ''Wrongspeak'' launched in May 2018. It 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". 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.


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External links


* {{Official website Category:2015 establishments in Australia Category:Australian news websites Category:Internet properties established in 2015 Category:Libertarian publications Category:Magazines established in 2015 Category:Magazines published in Sydney Category:Online magazines