The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech on Wednesday addressed the issue of the so-called cancel culture hitting the media, saying that an increasing amount of younger journalists are not interested in showing “other sides” to a story.
“[Cancel culture has migrated into the world of media and it’s going to be an increasing problem,” Domenech told "Fox & Friends, predicting more backlash against editors or organizations who seek “alternative opinion,” which is the exact purpose of an op-ed page.
He said the attitudes of younger journalists stem from "cancel culture" on college campuses and intolerance for differing opinions.
"Within the industry, they're able to weaponize social media to essentially create these rage mobs and drive talented people from their positions."
Domenech reacted to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s top editor resigning after a staff uproar over a “Buildings Matter, Too” headline that ran on an article lamenting damage to businesses amid turbulent protests over the death of George Floyd on May 25 while in the custody of Minneapolis police.
Stan Wischnowski, 58, stepped down Saturday as executive editor at the Inquirer – one of the country’s most prominent newspapers – which has struggled as journalism has tried to adapt to the digital age.
The day after the headline ran Wischnowski and senior editors posted an apology on the paper’s website, calling it “offensive” and saying it never should have run. The backlash came as The New York Times was widely criticized for publishing an opinion piece by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., advocating the use of federal troops to quell the protests.
More than 800 Times employees signed a letter protesting the publication of the op-ed.
Times leaders, including the publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, and the editorial page editor, James Bennet, apologized for publishing the article in a videoconference meeting with staff members Friday, the paper reported. Later that day, The Times appended an editor’s note to the op-ed.
Domenech said that alternate institutions, including media entities, are going to resist the mob who rail against opposing views.
“They’re going to take over all of these different places, drive out the opinions of those they don’t like, and, they’re going to continue to do it going forward,” Domenech said, adding that Cotton's opinion is shared by a majority of Americans.
“They have a new word that they use all the time, which is 'unsafe.' That there are opinions that render them unsafe as if an op-ed is somehow violence. That is not something I think we should accept in America, it’s something we should reject as members of the media and we should include these diversities of opinions as we have the debate about what matters so much in society today.”