Vice Media's credibility in tatters after kowtowing to Saudi censorship

Originally published at: Vice Media's credibility in tatters after kowtowing to Saudi censorship | Boing Boing


They blew their credibility with me a few days ago by posting this article calling for the return of smoking in restaurants and bars.

Smokers feel like it’s their right to poison other people, and vice is endorsing this idea, which is not only unhealthy to other patrons, but to employees who have to work in smoking sections.


Was Vice ever terribly credible? The vibe I always got off them was “marginal personalities pursuing a danger rush and using gonzo journalism as a pretext” instead of legitimate, sober, and thoughtful investigative journalism. They always felt exploitative in the same way that disaster tourism does, and kinda gave me the creeps.


Gonzo journalism wrapped in a Maxim slash Penthouse cover.

Exploit and cheap thrill porn.


I mean…they publish a daily horoscope. Credibility?


Yeah, I have found some value in things from them but it’s been almost accidental. Like they may have given some legit journalists room to run in a less corporate setting but they also gave a lot of sketchy folks the same room.


Man, them sketchy journalists, eh?

Give me a well painted newso and day of the week.


I feel like this writer, who appears to be a freelancer, is trying super hard to get a full-time writing gig by discussing something that is simultaneously provocative and regressive. They saw something about a current fame du jour being criticized for smoking in a non-smoking venue and they felt the need to write 250 words that was chocked full of contradictory statements.

By the way, being outside doesn’t diminish second-hand smoke. Go to any non-classical music concert at the Hollywood Bowl and you’ll understand.


I suspect that the smoking section diatribe is at least in part the sort of contrarian hot take nonsense that some journalists think will launch their career. Provoking* your audience does generate clicks.

Even though he hasn’t been involved with it for 15 years, though, I can’t forget that one of Vice Media’s founders was Gavin McInnes. I always have to look at it side-eyed a bit when a Vice Media story pops up.

*Not the word I wanted to use, which was automagically changed from “trollin” with a g to “driving trollies.” On the one hand I think I get what they’re trying to do, but on the other that would have been an entirely legitimate (and accurate!) use of the word. And it’s annoying.)


I think it’s to cut down on the work. It used to automatically be held for moderation. Any time I used it the post was approved pretty quickly but it’s not the best use of people’s time.

That would be eliminating usage of the word ■■■■■.

And. vice: always a bit sketchy surely but has had some good stories.




it’s an expression of contempt

it puts us in our place like we deserve


Let’s not forget that tone of the founders of vice (a “punk” magazine, apparently :roll_eyes:) is Gavin McInnes…

ETA - oops, @anonotwit beat me to that point! Sorry!

coca cola coke GIF


Dear Gavin… I have some punk for you.


There is a whole thing with a bunch of right wingers believing that “they are the only real punks”, but they can fuck right the fuck off.

If there is any real meaning to the term it really rests in opposing the ruling structures, and you can’t support the ruling structure and also oppose it.


Vice TV’s “Dark Side of ___” group of series are interesting oral histories. I don’t follow Vice News. Their reputation hasn’t improved from the days they were parodied in Documentary Now!


I do agree that some of the people who work for vice do some great work. their right wing libertarian background seeps through often times, though.


Yeah, exactly. They found some good, young hungry journalists who had an instinct for where to be and what to ask (the Unite the Right report was astonishingly excellent, imo). Other than that they are trash and always have been. The original magazine was one of the most caustic and hateful things I’d ever seen, despite being a pretty hilarious takedown of bullshit culture at the time.

Well put.

And Shane only looks good in the context of Gavin. He’s every bit a turd, but looks much better compared to his terrorist co-founder.

Edit for typos.


Motherboard often has historically had some great reporting. Though a few of their top journalists have quit to form the 404 Project. I’m interested to see where that is going.


There was a great parody of early Vice in a UK show called Nathan Barley.
A hipster magazine called Sugarape.

Edit. Video link added.