Private Equity Ghouls Just Murdered a Good Website

R.I.P., Splinter.

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While the world breathlessly waits, watches, and places bets on the odds of impeachment (71 percent probability at last check), there’s one fewer national news site to name names and expose the gathering excrement oozing from President Donald Trump’s octopuslike administration. Splinter, the site formerly known as Fusion and staffed by some of the best human rights and labor reporters in the country, has ceased publication today. The site’s shuttering was announced in a very bad internal memo you can read parts of, if you can stomach the sanctimonious, paper-thin talking points. (For a truer picture of the corporate environment in which Splinter operated, go here and here.) Yes, there are villains: Great Hill Partners, owners of the former Gawker Media sites as well as The Onion, The A.V. Club, and The Root. Ad-supported journalism is a dicey enough proposition; put private equity vampires in charge and the death cycle is only accelerated, every indignity of working in media is magnified, every misery heightened, every moron promoted, every bootlicker protected.

Splinter excelled at skewering the timid reporting on competitor sites’ corporate platforms, calling out government lies (not a lie: I used to work there and wrote this takedown of Trump’s lies on Inauguration Day), and surveying the wreckage of a dying neoliberal order, with special attention paid to the labor rights movement, cruelty in prisons, and white fragility in party politics. The site was feral in the best sense. Splinter hit and it missed—its batting average was impressively high—and when it missed, it missed in the right way, with a truer aim than many media companies hitting their lower targets. Splinter aimed to be, in many ways, a new Village Voice in a villageless era. It’s gone, but its voices aren’t, and the national media should follow, support, and hire them: @hamiltonnolan, @jackmirkinson@aleksnotalex@kath_krueger, @TheJewishDream@pblest, @samjgrasso.

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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