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Former Stranger writer on rise of cancel culture in Seattle and across the US

The war over words is escalating and as KTTH’s Jason Rantz notes, so-called cancel culture is rising, which often occurs when someone loses work or some other opportunity and has their voice silenced by those who disagree with them.

This happened over the weekend with The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer, when two editors were forced to quit for running content that it would appear the progressive staff didn’t like.

Katie Herzog is host of the podcast Blocked and Reported, and a previous columnist (“and prisoner,” Jason added) at The Stranger. She joined the show to discuss her experience with cancel culture and how she fears it’s rising.

“My first personal experience with it was in 2017. I was a freelancer before I started on staff of The Stranger, and I wrote a piece on … when someone transitions from one gender and then decides to transition back. The piece was not particularly inflammatory.”

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“And so there was like a massive outcry after I wrote this piece and people were actually burning stacks of the paper. Over the past couple of years, there have been stickers put up around Seattle calling me a TERF, which is an acronym for trans exclusionary radical feminists, which I am not. It is not a term used out of love. There are also stickers calling me a neo-Nazi.”

Herzog — who ideologically is very different from Jason — says she often experiences this when she criticizes the left, and it happens when people with different views try to give their opinion.

“It happens on the right too, though I think it’s a little less common now than it was 10 years ago.”

But as Jason noted, while groups like the Parents TV Council went way over the line to try and censor, it seems as though the modern left has way more victories.

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“They have, and just yesterday I saw that HBO Max said that they were gonna take Gone with the Wind off their streaming platform. I think they walked back on that after there was an outcry … they’re going to instead have a message like a trigger warning up front saying this portrays antiquated racial relations, as though people wouldn’t be able to tell that from a movie set in the Civil War.”

What disturbs Herzog is how rapid so-called cancel culture appears to moving, especially in the last few weeks.

“It is really accelerated in a way that I find deeply troubling. We’re seeing lots of firings across different industries, particularly media people being fired for racist micro-aggressions, in some cases they committed 10 to 15 years ago, when the micro-aggression wasn’t considered a micro-aggression,” she said.

“And so now there’s a sort of revisionist history where we’re judging the actions of yesterday by the standards of today … It’s very troubling and it’s accelerating at such a rapid clip that to me it’s starting to feel like some sort of weird, like bottom up cultural revolution or mass hysteria.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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