Cancel culture, banishing real or perceived racist, and sometimes simply politically incorrect social media posts, is something that's normally looked at favorably if not outright promoted by outlets like CNN, and talking heads like Brian Stelter.
In the recent past, his CNN show, “Reliable Sources,” even called for “canceling” on ideological grounds of entire news channels, like Newsmax and OAN, urging cable operators to drop them as a way of undermining these rising conservative outlets.
And there was no concern about the damaging effects of online outrage mobs going after the likes of Fox News host Tucker Carlson. In fact, Stelter joined in on these “parties,” branding his colleague the new Trump and criticizing him on a number of other issues.
But even Stelter appears to have a line he would not cross when it comes to calling for the destruction of careers and livelihoods – and he drew it at Teen Vogue.
He was commenting on the controversy over the magazine's now former editor-in-chief's past racist tweets, that ultimately led to big advertisers withdrawing, as the publication's owner, Condé Nast, took quite a while to decide what to do about Alexi McCammond's behavior on social networks.
McCammond about a decade ago posted offensive anti-Asian tweets and was also photographed “culturally appropriating” Native American costume. She eventually stepped down.
It's hard to imagine Stelter speaking against a similar situation if it concerned a figure he was politically opposed to, but in this case, he believes Conde Nast “failed” McCammond for not supporting her and making sure this would be a turning point leading to extending second chances and forgiveness to “canceled” people.
Stelter's extraordinary change of heart regarding cancel culture and hopefully, associated phenomena like censorship, could be explained by the profile of McCammond herself. And he was not alone in defending her – MSNBC host Chris Hayes and NBC Peacock's Mehdi Hasan did the same.
Namely, before briefly taking over at Teen Vogue, McCammond was praised from some corners for her coverage of the Trump administration and the election. She became an MSNBC contributor and received an award from the National Association of Black Journalists.