July 12, 2017
The Alt-Right content circus Heat Street is packing up the big top
by Ryan Harrington
“Why the Diversity ‘Industry’ is a Sinister Scam.”
“Surprise Surprise: Study Shows Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike Hurt Low Wage Workers’ Earning.”
Some muttering about Social Justice Warriors and vocal mistrust of the New York Times and the lamestream media more generally.
No, you have not sat down to Thanksgiving dinner early this year, you are scrolling through Heat Street.
Heat Street—for the uninitiated, as I suspect a number of MobyLives readers are—is a Louise Mensch-founded, Dow Jones-published, and Rupert Murdoch-overseen outrage aggregator that prides itself on its determination to offer no safe spaces (its ethos could be summed up as “triggered much, libs?”). But still your scribbling pens — this won’t be on the quiz, because it has been announced that the site will be shutting down. It will become something like the cultural arm of the more investor-focused vertical MarketWatch.
As Alex Nichols writes for The Outline:
How Heat Street’s frenzied articles about social justice warriors and speedrunners will enhance coverage of the stock market is unclear, but it’s easy to see why they would want to put their weakest subsidiary out of its misery — the staff was deranged, fact-checking was nonexistent, and the content mostly consisted of embedded tweets and, on good days, reworded news stories. While Heat Street may have served little to no informational purpose as a website, it tells a fascinating story of upheaval in the right-wing media.
Indeed, while it’s not happening until August 4th, the shuttering of Heat Street seems like it’s already happened, particularly as the site traffics in pro-Gamergate, pro-Pepe politics amounting to a long, bad hangover from a few years back. If eye-rolling, web-savvy devotees are seeking a new source for gnarly headlines, I suggest a corduroy pillow.
Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.