A run-in with Cathy Newman, a Twitter meltdown … maybe the would-be philosopher’s problem is being challenged

Why is Jordan Peterson so angry? For someone whose whole routine is based on telling men to “toughen up”, the clinical psychologist and author of the bestseller 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, who rose to prominence in the UK after his run-in with Cathy Newman on Channel 4, seems to unravel at the slightest provocation. After a brutal but perfectly polite and clinical takedown in the New York Review of Books by Pankaj Mishra, where the rudest thing said about Peterson is that his latest book is packaged for people who have grown up on BuzzFeed listicles, Peterson had a meltdown. He called Mishra a “sanctimonious prick”, an “arrogant racist son of a bitch”, said he would “slap him” if he was in the room, and rounded it up with a final “fuck you”. Somewhere along the tantrum, he tweeted that Mishra was a “dealer in lies and half-truths”. The responses that followed can only be summarised as a mass sideways look to camera.

Related: Jordan B Peterson: the self-help guru we love to hate. But why join the herd? | Oliver Burkeman

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