Mallory debuts political blog ‘Red Herring Journal’



The first article on the “Red Herring Journal” website addresses a YouTube video that is attempting to discredit systemic racism. Mallory creates his own graphics for his articles and goes in depth about his own ideologies as well as combatting opposing ones.

Luke Mallory (12) listens to a video by Ben Shapiro addressing the latest loan forgiveness policies. Watching a video entirely before beginning any writing is part of Mallory’s process in creating content for his blog.

Elderly men in navy and gray suits behind closed doors discussing the ambiguities of economics and social rights have served as a stereotype for American politics consistently since the country’s inception. As members of Gen Z begin to gain standing in facets of American government, an interest in politics is becoming prevalent amongst more young people. Luke Mallory (12) is one of these and has created a blog aiming to share his ideologies.

The “Red Herring Journal” ( or @redherringjournal on Instagram) has become an online space for Mallory to not only share his own ideas, but directly address opposing viewpoints in a logical fashion. Mallory created the site because he realized that written communication presented the opportunity for more complete arguments compared to spontaneous verbal conversations.

“It’s two things,” Mallory said. “I wanted to share my views on stuff with other people because I feel like I have an interesting perspective, and I also thought that if I could write my arguments [and] put them into words outside of just speaking, it would help me articulate what I’m trying to argue.”

Like most, Mallory originally considered politics a bland side effect of government that failed to interest him; however, one fateful semester in his sophomore year exposed Mallory to the spark of political discussion.

“I took contemporary issues with Mr. Waller in tenth grade, and I was a complete moron in that class, and I would talk so much, but I was just saying random stuff,” Mallory said. “My views changed so much just over a single semester. That class is kind of what got me into politics because I’d never really talked with people about politics, so I never found it interesting but engaging with my classmates made it interesting.”

Following his newfound passion for politics, Mallory began learning more about different political ideologies through YouTube political commentators and current events. After two years accumulating knowledge, the “Red Herring Journal” was born and the first piece, “DEBUNKING Ben Shapiro’s DEBUNKING of Popular ‘Systemic Racism Explained’ YouTube Video,” was published. In the two-part article, Mallory delves into specifics of the video and attempts to explain to the reader the inaccurate or easily misconceived elements of Shapiro’s argument.

“It was on this Ben Shapiro video on debunking systemic racism,” Mallory said. “There was this other YouTube video that got super popular and it was like how systemic racism exists and Ben Shapiro made a video ‘debunking’ it, and I saw it, and I could see stuff wrong with it, so I wanted to write about it.”

Mallory strongly believes in entering each political interpretation with an open mind, which is reflected by his writing process. For video or article critiques, Mallory reads or watches the piece fully without taking any notes before drawing conclusions or beginning to analyze the ideology.

“If I’m critiquing a video, I’ll watch it one time through fully, not writing [then] look at it again, and try to see what is wrong with it, if anything,” Mallory said. “I just list and put quotes from the video and I describe why I disagree.”

While the goal of the “Red Herring Journal” is primarily to promote left-leaning ideas, Mallory emphasizes the importance of keeping an open mind — for everyone. As he discovered this himself at the beginning of his immersion into politics, Mallory realized that the only way to effectively change peoples’ minds is to argue respectfully towards everybody, no matter their beliefs.

“It’s so hard to change peoples’ minds if they’re not going to have an open mind,” Mallory said. “If you’re trying to convince anyone of anything, even though it’s hard to do, you do have to talk respectfully. It’s really hard to keep your composure especially when you’re talking to someone with radically bigoted ideologies … but you kinda just have to learn how to do it because that’s the only way people’s minds are going to change.”

Though Mallory is unsure how peers might perceive his work, he hopes that readers will try to embody the open mindedness that he has embraced while exploring politics. As the “Red Herring Journal” continues to grow with content, Mallory excitedly anticipates each new reader.

“It’s going to depend on each person, how they view my stuff, but I just hope they’ll read it with an open mind,” Mallory said. “I felt like when I was researching politics, if I tried to look for things that were wrong with an argument, I wouldn’t understand what the person was saying, but if I went into reading something with an open mind, it was a lot easier to understand.”