Recent Cancel Culture News
Case 1, Will Wilkinson
Will Wilkinson, writer and also apparently a vice president at the left-leaning Niskanen Center, and who is also an opinion writer at the New York Times, posted the following tweet (since deleted):
This is a joke, alluding to the fact that some Donald Trump supporters suggested that Pence should be hung for betraying Trump. The left hates Pence because he’s a conservative Republican and Trump’s VP, the right hates him because they think he betrayed Trump, so hanging Pence would unite us all. Get it? I think it’s funny, but if I were a mainstream writer I’d never write such a thing publicly for obvious reasons, including the cancel culture mentality currently running amok.
And what happened? Some people laughed, some people got angry, some lectured him about even attempting to make a joke about a violent action, some people thought he was serious and approved, some thought he was serious and complained (especially Gabe Hoffman, a big donor to the Republican Party), but everybody eventually moved on…
NOT! Of course that’s not what happened! What happened was he got his ass fired from the Niskanen Center, that’s what happened. It looks like he may be able to keep his gig at the NYT because they have no shame about their hypocrisy and double standards.
And who fired him? His boss of course, the president and co-founder of the Niskanen Center, Jerry Taylor. Taylor, as you might have guessed, is a paragon of virtue, and therefore could not possibly have authored this tweet:
Just kidding, fooled you again! That is indeed from the same Jerry Taylor, in reference to the St. Lous couple who stood outside their home with guns during a BLM/Antifa “march”. Note that whereas Will Wilkinson was just joking, Taylor is seriously fantasizing about committing that violent act. And no, he didn’t resign when someone pointed this out. Like the NYT he’s totally fine with his hypocrisy.
Wilkinson himself has previously scoffed at the notion of cancel culture. For more details see the reason article https://reason.com/2021/01/22/niskanen-center-will-wilkinson-lynch-mike-pence-tweet-cancel-culture/
Case 2, Lauren Wolfe
When Joe Biden arrived for his inauguration the hard-hitting, objective, non-partisan national media was practically weeping. Strike the word practically. They were actually weeping. Glenn Greenwald, a left-wing journalist that I follow, posted this tweet referencing a tweet by Lauren Wolfe, a journalist and contractor staff editor (i.e. apparently not an employee) of the New York Times:
At some point afterwards, the NYT terminated her contract. Now Greenwald did nothing wrong here. He rightfully criticized a supposedly a hard-hitting, objective, supposedly non-partisan NYT editor for being almost comically in the bag for Biden.
At that point the left media began dog-piling blame on Greenwald for “canceling” Wolfe. Greenwald is a take-no-prisoners journalist who does not care in the slightest whether someone is Democrat or a Republican. Glenn is not a team player, and that enrages the partisan Democrat-controlled media who regard him as a heretic and want to punish him for his blasphemy (it’s also temporarily making him a star of Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media. That honeymoon won’t last, it’s just an example of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”). Glenn was a co-founder of The Intercept who resigned a month or so rather than neuter an article of his that was critical of Biden. His biting critiques remind me a great deal of Hayden Hewitt’s writing.
However, after a moment’s thought it seemed unlikely this editor’s contract was terminated for expressing the same sentiments almost every other NYT writer has expressed over and over again. As Greenwald himself tweeted in response to accusations being hurled at him:
“If I had the power to cause the NYT to fire their journalists and editors simply by criticizing them, the Paper of Record would look much different than it does.
The suggestion that NYT editors fire people whom I criticize is lunacy.”
Later on the NYT released a statement denying that any tweet caused her firing. Now I do not trust the NYT, so we’ll just have to call it undetermined at this point. What is clear is the Greenwald never suggested or even implied that she’s should be sanctioned in any way, let alone fired. His was straightforward sarcastic criticism.