That is one way to make a believer out of a denier.
It is still early in the year but there could be an emerging trend here in 2021 — Journalists who become canceled after denying there is such a thing as cancel-culture. We first saw this come about last month when New York Times editor Lauren Wolf suddenly found herself released from duties at the paper. Wolfe was the one who expressed on her Twitter account the surge of emotions she felt when she saw Joe Biden’s plane touch down on his inauguration day.
When there was a surge of those on Twitter noting her distinct lack of objectivity she briefly closed her account; it also led to the paper dismissing her soon after. What followed was a flurry of claims how it was unfair, but then it was also revealed that Wolfe had in the past been dismissive about the very reality she was facing.
It's hilarious this refrain of "cancel culture." As if it is actually anything.
Virus? Jobs? Nah.
— Lauren Wolfe (@Wolfe321) August 25, 2020
Now it appears we already have another case of this unintended awakening taking place. It involves, believe it or not, Tomi Lahren, and it unravels from there. This is actually an act in three parts, beginning last summer, with an ending that seems at least appropriate for the material involved.
Why has cancel culture gotten this bad? Because we allowed it to get here. We cowered, apologized and ducked down for things we never should have and now the Leftist social media mob has free rein as we HAND them that power. Enough. #CancelCancelCulture
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) June 10, 2020
Tomi’s opinion garnered the attention of Nathan Robinson, a political analyst at The Guardian. Nate took exception with Lahren’s stance and he leaped at her, declaring she was no one who has been suffering. That Lahren was referring to the cancel movement, in general, was lost on Robinson. He decided that he would shut her down by bringing up all her bona fides; she is a millionaire, has a book deal, scads of followers, etc.
Then he continued, with this non-predictive gem.
There is no cancel culture. The fastest way to get a book deal in this country is to whine about cancel culture. Every single one of these people ends up on their feet. They are fine. They have giant platforms. They are heard loud and clear. Right-wing opinions are everywhere.
— Nathan J Robinson (@NathanJRobinson) June 10, 2020
Now, we can begin to speculate why so many in the press push this narrative of cancel culture being a figment found only in the imagination of those on the right. It cannot be for a lack of evidence, so what else is in play? Most likely it is that the left and the media enjoy having this sway and being able to silence those with whom they disagree.
If they can diminish, or even deny, the existence of canceling as a practice then it instills that there is actually something known as wrongthink. The result is you were not forcibly removed by vindictive mobs, you were excluded from polite society for your appallingly hateful views. It is a natural occurrence, not a premeditated hit on opponents.
Only one problem. Those very targets on the right attempted to warn you that your methods would recoil back and begin to take out those on your side of the social spectrum.
However, people like Nathan refuse to listen to those who are beneath him, in his estimation. So those mewling serfs who complained had no clue what they were talking about, and their stupidity is why they are ignored when they foolishly claimed this could happen to him. And then — it happened to him.
Nathan was just relieved of his job at The Guardian over some tweets he delivered about Israel which his employer decreed to be intolerable.
One of the most serious threats to free speech is the silencing of criticism of the government of Israel.
I have now found this out the hard way, having just been fired as a Guardian columnist for sending a tweet about US military aid to Israel https://t.co/EEfLqjY1IM
— Nathan J Robinson (@NathanJRobinson) February 10, 2021
What is most amusing is Nathan still insisting that this is not the very thing he denied existing. Why? Because he is a leftist, and that means he was not canceled by social mobs demanding a scalp — he was censored.
Incredible that some people think my getting fired for criticizing Israel disproves my point that left-wing speech is subject to censorship while “right wing opinions are everywhere.” I wasn’t subjected to “cancel culture” but rather old fashioned ideological hegemony. https://t.co/Pmsyg5edt6
— Nathan J Robinson (@NathanJRobinson) February 11, 2021
Is this head-in-the-sand obliviousness, the inflexibility of the stubborn to learn, or the privileged living in a bubble? Whichever is the case it seems clear Robinson is in no rush to find a lesson in this. Many in the circles of journalism continue to operate in this fashion, so there should be more of these teachable moments to arrive.