Opinion

Cancel Culture Becomes a Tangled Web for the Left

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Posted: Jul 15, 2020 12:01 AM
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Cancel Culture Becomes a Tangled Web for the Left

Source: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File

The perpetual source of social wisdom, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, recently came out to declare that cancel culture was not really a thing. She made the broader statement that those who claim it exists – or that they were a victim of such – were doing so from the standpoint of privilege. Not surprisingly she managed to both display abject ignorance on the subject matter and contradict herself all within the confines of a single tweet.

She first tried to redefine the practice, by insisting those who invoke the term make the claim ‘’one is a victim if people choose to tune them out.’’ Speak to the numerous individuals who have seen their careers rendered about simply being tuned out. Then AOC closed out her explanation by saying ‘’You’re just being challenged, held accountable.’” Nothing jack-booted in that description.

In her denial she actually defines the practice and this junior representative, who seems completely averse to grasping the definition of irony, displayed the very practice the day before her message on the subject. AOC was part of the contingent of lefty grousers who rose up to declare they will never buy a product again from Goya Foods. This was due to the CEO of the company appearing at the White House to help with Latino economic initiative created by President Trump. 

That Alex From the Bronx could forget she encouraged people to forgo the company and petitioned for a homemade Adobo recipe just one day prior is not at all surprising, but it does serve as one illustration on how tangled this cancel culture gets for liberals. A common refrain heard from us on the right side of center regarding the practice has been they should not go down this road because the cancellations will fall upon them as well someday. New York Times columnist Bari Weiss has encountered this for herself.

Bari just resigned from her position after she has been coming under fire internally at The Times for weeks now. As one of that paper’s token conservative voices (a real reach, by most measurements) she apparently has been absorbing her share of attacks from many on the staff. When the petulant scribes reacted to the publishing of the claimed controversial op-ed from Senator Tom Cotton, Weiss became targeted. 

Weiss wrote a Twitter thread where she described a ‘’civil war’’ had taken place at the paper, between the old guard writers and the newer generation. She describes the younger set as those who are less driven by free speech as they are operating under the belief they can never be challenged or made to feel ‘’unsafe.” The irony of this is in a letter that Weiss wrote to the Publisher A.G. Sulzberger, on her website

In it, Weiss describes a culture where it was permitted for her to absorb a number of attacks from within the offices. She mentions bullying, name-calling, anti-Semitic comments and social media aggression from others on staff. That she would be greeted by this behavior from those who cling to instant outrage if THEIR safety is allegedly threatened speaks volumes.

‘’Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor.’’ Those familiar with the Twitter practice of being insulted by someone and, if we end up responding in kind, they become offended understand this mentality. This sounds to be the editorial practice at The Times.

Things came to a frothy head for Weiss with the release of the open letter from Harper’s Magazine last week. That episode has become one of the most amazing displays of cancel culture obliviousness, one that needs to be studied for generations to come. That letter, signed by a battalion of vaunted minds from the media landscape, was all about promoting the concept of free speech and calling for the acceptance of divergent opinions and open-mindedness to opposing voices. Things imploded quickly. Those hundred or so were almost entirely leftist elitists is of little shock, but the speed with which they began to eat their own was remarkable.

Almost immediately upon release, complaints rose from certain publishing circles. Some of the names appearing on the letter did not sit well with those who chose to completely ignore the message, and vocal opposition began to percolate. Soon a number of the people who signed the letter rescinded the support, saying they had been unaware of some of the names included. They literally took their names off of a letter calling for acceptance of views because they could not accept the views of some of the other signers.

The mirth continued, as squabbles erupted inside many publications. Ezra Klein, from Vox, took the odd stance that those calling for free speech were actually exerting power. His ludicrous stance-- defending free speech was a sign of wielding power, NOT those intent on suppressing or censoring speech. The issue was one of his touted writers, Matt Yglesias, was a signer of the ‘’controversial’’ letter, and after another Vox writer claimed they felt unsafe by his putting his name on the document he had to sheepishly explain away his involvement. 

In similar fashion Bari Weiss was met with similar resistance in the newsroom, and this is becoming hard to watch without a tub of hot buttered popcorn. The amazing thing is how all of this upheaval is taking place apart from the conservative media circles. The letter in Harper’s attempted to frame conservatives as the carriers of the censorship torch (“we have come to expect this on the radical right,” one laughable line read) and yet all we see are leftists attacking themselves, all in the name of leftist ideology.

When Matt Yglesias is considered a radical threat to the safety of a trans writer, as their publisher derides the oppression found in free speech, how do you impugn anyone of a conservative stance? There is no way to assess blame on ‘’right-wing demagogues,’” as Harper attempted, when Bari Weiss describes the civil war at The Times as being between 40-year-old ‘’liberals’’ and the young ‘’wokes,’” a battle she states is taking place in publications across the country.

This is the very thing many on the right had been talking about for years, as we watched politicians attempt to stifle certain outlets. We said someday this purge would whiplash onto them, when their own intolerant standards would be weaponized onto them. Since they didn’t listen to us then they certainly will not now.

Pass the movie theater butter, Redenbacher’s.