Bambi vs. Godzilla: Cathy Newman vs. Jordan Peterson

In order to understand the title of this article, you need to watch a video. I regard this video as the finest low-budget cartoon ever produced. It is titled “Bambi Meets Godzilla.” It was made in 1969. This will take you only 90 seconds.

On very rare occasions, a public event takes place that represents a turning point. It is not that the public event causes the great turn; rather, it illustrates it or represents it. Such an event took place in December 1998, when Matt Drudge published his brief article on the decision of Newsweek to suppress the story of Bill Clinton and an unnamed intern. That was a visible turning point of the shift of influence away from physically published journalism to digitally published journalism. It was also symbolic of the beginning of the end of the gatekeepers’ control over the flow of information.

Today, the number of newsprint employees is down by over 55% since December 1998. The number of print magazine employees is down by 40%. Matt Drudge is worth about $90 million.

Such an event may have taken place last month. Anyway, I hope so.


On January 16, Cathy Newman conducted an interview with clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson. Ms. Newman played the role of Bambi. Ms. Newman is a British TV personality on the BBC’s Channel 4 News.

Either she or her producer decided to interview Dr. Peterson. He was in Great Britain to promote his new book. Dr. Peterson is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Toronto. He has an enormous following on YouTube. Every time he posts one of his lectures, it gets at least 200,000 hits. He raises so much money through voluntary donations to support his video productions that he has a team of videographers who record all of his lectures. I have never heard of anything like this in educational history.

She is a graduate of Oxford University. She is intelligent. But, like most liberal feminists in the media, she has had a free pass throughout her career. She has conducted lots of interviews. She has learned how to be aggressive. But, intellectually speaking, and especially conceptually speaking, she is Bambi in the woods. She or her producer made the mistake of inviting Godzilla for an interview.

Dr. Peterson, over the last few years, has become the most articulate conservative intellectual on YouTube. I don’t mean merely that he has the largest audience, which he undoubtedly has. I mean that, intellectually speaking, he has a rapier mind. He is also as fearless as anybody I have ever seen in front of a camera. In the phrase I have loved for many years, he takes no prisoners.

Ms. Newman had never confronted anybody like this in her career of browbeating hapless interviewees. Her victims have not had the background, the backbone, and the experience in front of a camera to respond effectively to her badgering. This has made her arrogant. As you watch the video, this arrogance will become obvious.

Her easy victories over weak-willed opponents persuaded her that she was Godzilla. In fact, she is Bambi.

What Dr. Peterson did to her will become a model in how to respond to a liberal who has not thought through his or her opinions, and who nonetheless goes on the offensive. This video has been seen all over the world. At present, there have been over 5 million viewers. This is not what Ms. Newman and her producer had expected. Most of the people viewing this video are her mortal ideological enemies. They are seeing what they have dreamed of, possibly for their whole adult lives: an articulate conservative verbally eviscerating a feminist in full public view.

I do not remember seeing anything like this before. I have been a debater. I have been involved in the conservative movement ever since 1956. I have seen a lot of articulate conservatives and libertarians give lectures and debate. But I have never seen anything like this.

I think you should watch this 30-minute interview. If you watch it, I guarantee that you will never forget it, short of Alzheimer’s.

Just for the record, I addressed the issue of the pay gap in 1971. It has nothing to do with patriarchy. It has everything to do with supply and demand. You can read my article here.

When I first came across this interview, I immediately posted it on my site. That was on January 27. I introduced it with this observation:

Here, he is interviewed by a woman who deserves a verbal beating. He administers it. But he does so politely, even graciously. It is a masterpiece of rhetoric and logic. It is like watching an Olympic fencer. Anyway, it is like watching an imaginary Olympic fencer. (I have never seen an Olympic fencer.) He parries her every verbal lunge with a deft flicking away of her verbal sword. It looks effortless. She tries again and again to score a single hit. She never does.

Although I did not notice this when I posted it, I was a late-comer in assessing Dr. Peterson’s performance. All over the world, in many languages, this video had been viewed. Today, conservative commentators are rallying to his defense, as if he needed a defense. He doesn’t.

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