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Maybe We Should Cancel ‘Journalists’ Who Behave as Authoritarian Activists

(AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

Cancel culture is already bad enough. It’s even worse when so-called journalists use their platforms to attack people who do or say things they don’t agree with – especially when it’s a matter of simply liking a post on social media.

NASCAR driver Noah Gragson was recently suspended for liking a post with an offensive meme on Instagram. This came about because a feckless, virtue-signaling journalist decided to put him on blast with his employer after finding out about Gragson’s social media activity.

The issue arose because of a meme posted on Instagram that mocked George Floyd, a black man who was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The meme featured his face on a crab’s body with the caption “under da knee, under da knee.” It was a reference to a song from “The Little Mermaid” called “Under the Sea,” which is sung by a crab character. Gragson clicked the “heart” button on the post, which came to the attention of his employers. This occurred in May.

Alleged journalist Daniel McFadin published an article on FrontStretch in which he detailed the story and how his actions led to Gragson’s situation:

Then, at some unknown point between May 27 and Aug. 4, Gragson saw and watched the meme.

Then he pressed the “heart” icon.

A meme about a man who was murdered.

Then early Friday (Aug. 4) morning, a Twitter account that has now been set to private posted a screenshot that showed the meme. At the bottom of it was an indicator that Gragson had liked the video.

The author explains that he found out about Gragson’s unpardonable sin when one of his colleagues shared it in his company’s Slack channel. “My instant, emotional reaction was to believe it was real,” McFadin wrote. “But, I had to make sure, because this is the Internet we’re talking about. When I got the chance last night I immediately sent an email to Legacy Motor Club’s PR representatives.”

He then sent an email to Legacy Motor Club, the club for which Gragson drives, inquiring whether the image showing the driver liking the post was real. He later sent similar emails “to representatives of Chevrolet and NASCAR.”

Later, Legacy Motor Club responded by email:

We have made the decision to suspend Noah Gragson effective immediately regarding his actions that do not represent the values of our team. Josh Berry will drive the No. 42 entry for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan.

NASCAR followed suit, issuing a press release affirming that it “supports Legacy Motor Club’s decision to suspend Noah Gragson” and explaining that the company found that the driver had violated “the Member Conduct section of the 2023 NASCAR Rule Book.” The organization has also placed Gragson on “indefinite suspension.”

Gragson posted a tweet apologizing for liking the post, explaining that he tries “to treat everyone equally no matter who they are.”

In his ridiculous virtue-signaling article, McFadin praised the move, arguing that “NASCAR had to take this action.” He continued:

I don’t know what Gragson’s actual reaction was when he liked that meme posted back in May.

He may have just been mindlessly scrolling one day. He maybe saw it, watched it, registered what it was, chuckled or had a hearty laugh, tapped the “heart,” and kept scrolling.

Maybe he had no visible reaction and just tapped it.

But he still tapped it.

George Floyd was a person.

A human.

George Floyd didn’t deserve to die.

He didn’t deserve to have a meme mocking him.

And that meme didn’t deserve Noah Gragson’s passive approval.

McFadin, on Friday posted, a tweet bragging about his successful effort to get Gragson suspended:

Noah Gragson made a big mistake.

I did my due diligence to make sure it was real.

My @Frontstretch column on Gragson’s deserved suspension.

This story is yet another example of what happens when so-called journalists venture into activism and try to elevate themselves by punching down on people who are not deserving of the Woke Sanhedrin’s punishment.

But realistically, this is the behavior we have come to expect from media activists looking for people to target. The real issue is Legacy Motor Club and NASCAR’s decision to punish Gragson for liking a silly meme.

These organizations have the right to associate with whomever they please, just as we all do. I understand they have a bottom line to worry about, and negative publicity can harm their brands. However, bowing to this pressure and firing a driver for liking a social media post is a stark reminder that free speech is not as valued in this country as it once was.

Yes, the meme was offensive and dumb. But that’s social media for you, and people should not lose their jobs for merely liking a post.

Gragson has become yet another high-profile victim of the Cancel Culture Community™, which is the nation’s prime purveyor of collective punishment carried out by people who seek validation by pretending they care about racism and other societal ills. These people don’t care about offensive posts or mocking people’s deaths. They seek only to get clout, clicks, and cash by targeting those who they believe are stepping out of line.

So-called journalists like McFadin represent what is wrong with the progressive left and their quest to cajole, coerce, or compel us to acquiesce to their silly and destructive ideas. They wield their undeserved influence as a cudgel against anyone who they deem worthy of punishment. If they can get some plaudits from the social justice crowd by punching down, they are more than willing to upend someone’s life over the smallest of offenses.

If these people get their way, they will create an environment in which everyone is treading on eggshells, afraid of voicing their opinions for fear of running afoul of the Woke Sanhedrin. These people are nothing more than authoritarian crybullies seeking to force their ways on everyone else. But we know how to handle bullies, don’t we?

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