The Faith Is Bad But The BFT Readers Are Good

The Faith Is Bad But The BFT Readers Are Good

I started 2023 with a smattering of Bad Faith Times readers and subscribers, and after some steady growth, we have a real community around this little publication – folks who see through the mind-numbing disingenuousness of the American right wing.

I wanted to thank you all for signing up for the BFT newsletter and for sharing article links without your friends and family and strangers online. That has meant a lot to me; it's been at once validating and encouraging. I appreciate all of you.

I tried to write one BFT piece per week during the NFL season. As most of you know, my job at NBC Sports ramps up from August through December and makes it tough to sit down and navel gaze and/or get furious online, also known as my writing process. In the NFL offseason, as usual, I plan to write 5-7 BFT pieces per month, depending on a few factors, including my ambition level in writing lengthier, more fleshed out essay type pieces.

I have noticed, mostly on BlueSky but also on Elon's site, a burgeoning recognition of the role of bad faith in modern politics. You won't be surprised that I find this encouraging. Being able to see political discourse for what it is should be the first step in opposing and countering that discourse, or simply not engaging with it at all. If someone does not mean what they say, their game is designed for you to lose. The whole thing is rigged from the start if one side is committed to good faith and the other bad. Lifting the veil on bad faith is going to be as important as ever in 2024.

DiResta is a researcher at the Stanford Internet Observatory

The most recent spate of discourse about the right's expert usage of bad faith came after congressional Republicans went after the presidents of elite universities under the guise of battling antisemitism, when the plan was to attack progressive leadership on the nation's most prestigious campuses.

Chris Rufo, the far-right apparatchik and the intellectual leader of the conservative bad faith movement who helped turn "woke" into a right-wing insult, has been very clear about the right's intentions. Zero effort is required to understand these people's intent.

The left can't ignore this kind of naked bad faith. Call it out where you see it, and in conversations with friends and family – however fraught – point out that conservatives are not at all operating from a place of good faith.

Maybe, with enough recognition – with enough awakening to the extraordinary political power of bad faith – mainstream media outlets will adjust in their coverage of bad-faith actors. It'll be a critical component in beating back creeping fascism in all its various forms.

I hope you have a good New Year, and thanks again for reading this little newsletter.

Follow Denny Carter on BlueSky at and on X at @CDCarter13.