Cancel culture, writes Christian Britschgi of Reason, may have just “jumped the shark.”
Britschgi tells the tale of “Carson King, a 24-year-old security guard who achieved viral fame after he was spotted on ESPN’s College Gameday waving a sign that asked people to use the mobile payment app Venmo to send him beer money.” Mr. King got a huge number of responses, then decided to give it all to charity. This spurred on both Anheuser-Busch and Venmo to match the donations, and a hero was born.
Enter the shark.
I mean, legacy media.
The Des Moines Register chose to profile King, on Tuesday, with that special postmodern twist: dig up some ugly tweets by the man from back when he was a 16-year-old edgelord, saying the de rigueur racist things.
Next: apologies, backlash.
“Treating a person’s most intemperate tweets as worthy of public shame is an exercise in hypocrisy,” Britschgi not unreasonably asserts. “What’s worse is that we have graduated from using social media history as a way of divining a person’s true nature to deploying that history cynically and maliciously.”
The hypocrisy part was provided by the Register’s registered hitman, a recent hire who was himself caught on Twitter, having used the n-word and warning others never to talk to “strange gay men,” as Keith Mann regales us with on Heavy.
This is not the way civilized people behave.
Sure, don’t tweet ugly, vicious stuff in the first place. That’s a good takeaway.
But cancel culture shouldn’t cancel out cultural goodness.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.