Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Poking Cancel Culture in the Eye

 

Originally, I was going to write a post on how a Chicago Tribune writer was accused of making anti-Semitic attacks on billionaire George Soros. The accusation was a lie.

Whenever conservatives point to the financing of violent and disruptive groups, George Soros is one name that often shows up. And he happens to be a Jew, at least by birth. So when John Kass, the only conservative columnist working for the Chicago Tribune, criticized Soros in his column, the knives came out. But that’s not the end of the story.

(If you want to know more about Soros’ activities, you can go here.)

The attacks made on Kass were nasty. The Executive Committee of the Chicago Tribune Guild (the paper’s union), demanded an apology from Kass and the paper. They called Kass’ column “shocking” and “anti-Semitic.” The fact that Kass made no reference, direct or indirect, to Soros’ religion or ethnicity wasn’t relevant to them. The Editor-in-Chief, Colin McMahon “demoted” Kass from the page 2 location that Mike Royko had held and put him on the page where the other columnists were published. (The editor said this move had been planned, to help readers distinguish between news and opinion. I guess the timing was a coincidence.)

But the most significant news comes from John Kass himself: he refuses to apologize and has held his ground. Here are a couple of excerpts from the follow-on column he wrote:

The past several days have been rough, after I was defamed as a bigot by the Chicago Tribune Guild for daring to write a column about left-wing billionaire George Soros funding liberal candidates for prosecutor in several states.

The union demanded that the newspaper and I apologize for something I didn’t do — foment Soros conspiracy theories. I reported facts about his political work that were reported by other reputable news organizations.

And so, I told the union, in effect, to go pound sand.

He also wrote about a movie, “Mr. Jones,” that had an interesting parallel to Kass’ situation:

The larger story is about the spreading of false narratives. And to enforce them, to shut people up, there is a tactic. Now we call it cancel culture. It’s happening to professors, people in media, and to millions of Americans out there without a voice.

But I still have a newspaper column. I haven’t been canceled. And I expect to keep writing as long as I can. In the few letters I’ve been able to answer, I’ve been asked, with all that’s gone on, with all the pressure and the trolls, why do I keep on writing?

To encourage the others, I say. To encourage the others.

Mr. Kass is a brave man. He may be risking his job to speak the truth. I think he is trying to embolden all of us to speak up when others try to silence our voices, when instead we could give many reasons for the wisdom and practicality of keeping quiet.

Let’s tell those who would silence us to pound sand.

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  1. Hoyacon Member

    One presumes that the editorial page has been critical of Ilhan Omar on any number of occasions, or that the Guild has been critical of the editorial page if it has not taken her to task.

    I agree that Mr. Kass is brave, but it certainly helps to have a forum from which to fight back. At least for now.

    • #1
    • August 5, 2020, at 7:47 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    One presumes that the editorial page has been critical of Ilhan Omar on any number of occasions, or that the Guild has been critical of the editorial page if it has not taken her to task.

    I agree that Mr. Kass is brave, but it certainly helps to have a forum from which to fight back. At least for now.

    @hoyacon, I’m not clear about how Ilhan Omar fits in to this narrative.

    • #2
    • August 5, 2020, at 7:49 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: The editor said this move had been planned, to help readers distinguish between news and opinion.

    How could he say this with a straight face?

    • #3
    • August 5, 2020, at 7:52 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: The editor said this move had been planned, to help readers distinguish between news and opinion.

    How could he say this with a straight face?

    Probably lots of practice in “factual misrepresentations.”

    • #4
    • August 5, 2020, at 7:58 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Seawriter Contributor

    Stad (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: The editor said this move had been planned, to help readers distinguish between news and opinion.

    How could he say this with a straight face?

    He is the editor of a liberal, big-city newspaper. He’s had a lot of practice.

    • #5
    • August 5, 2020, at 7:59 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  6. Hoyacon Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    One presumes that the editorial page has been critical of Ilhan Omar on any number of occasions, or that the Guild has been critical of the editorial page if it has not taken her to task.

    I agree that Mr. Kass is brave, but it certainly helps to have a forum from which to fight back. At least for now.

    @hoyacon, I’m not clear about how Ilhan Omar fits in to this narrative.

    She is a notable anti-Semite, and is so on a national level.

    • #6
    • August 5, 2020, at 8:01 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  7. PHenry Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    @hoyacon, I’m not clear about how Ilhan Omar fits in to this narrative.

    blatant anti sematism.

    • #7
    • August 5, 2020, at 8:02 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kass is the best writer the Tribune has or is likely to get.

    • #8
    • August 5, 2020, at 8:17 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    She is a notable anti-Semite, and is so on a national level.

    Oh, that! 

    • #9
    • August 5, 2020, at 8:22 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Richard Fulmer Member

    The Left’s cultural steamroller of wokeness has power only if we give up our rights.

    • #10
    • August 5, 2020, at 8:53 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. Unsk Member

    Accusing an editor of disregarding the facts of the matter like the failure of John Kass to mention that George Soros was born a Jew, is a trifling irrelevance when compared with the “greater good” of defending the great honor of the Nihilist and Revolutionary Left’s greatest benefactor, George Soros. At least in the all-knowing eyes of the our wondrous Woke Left. When one is not fully on board with the revolutionary and violent overthrow of the American Constitutional Republic, one should of course as a matter of course be assumed to be a lower life sub-human form and not worthy of any rights or respect due any reasonably sane person whatsoever. 

     

    She is a notable anti-Semite, and is so on a national level.

    Who is a notable anti-Semite? I guess I am dense but where did that come from?

    • #11
    • August 5, 2020, at 9:07 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Hoyacon Member

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Accusing an editor of disregarding the facts of the matter like the failure of John Kass to mention that George Soros was born a Jew, is a trifling irrelevance when compared with the “greater good” of defending the great honor of the Nihilist and Revolutionary Left’s greatest benefactor, George Soros. At least in the all-knowing eyes of the our wondrous Woke Left. When one is not fully on board with the revolutionary and violent overthrow of the American Constitutional Republic, one should of course as a matter of course be assumed to be a lower life sub-human form and not worthy of any rights or respect due any reasonably sane person whatsoever.

     

    She is a notable anti-Semite, and is so on a national level.

    Who is a notable anti-Semite? I guess I am dense but where did that come from?

    notable=obvious, indisputable. Someone who should be a topic of discussion on an editorial page.

    • #12
    • August 5, 2020, at 9:13 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. CACrabtree Coolidge

    Michael Brendon Dougherty’s observation about the media becomes even more relevant:

    “And thus another critical instituion decided it would be more fun and emotionally satisfying to fail than to perform the function with which the public entrusts it.”

    To their credit, some folks such Bari Weiss and Ariana Pekary looked inward and saw that they were betraying the principles of responsible journalism. However, both of them (along with Mr. Kass) are clearly swimming against the current.

    “The Executive Committee of the Chicago Tribune Guild” isn’t interested, in the slightest, about their duty to inform their readership. They’re far more concerned with furthering their progressive creds.

    • #13
    • August 5, 2020, at 9:37 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    CACrabtree (View Comment):
    “The Executive Committee of the Chicago Tribune Guild” isn’t interested, in the slightest, about their duty to inform their readership. They’re far more concerned with furthering their progressive creds.

    That’s true, @cacrabtree. I loved that Kass was getting a lot of support from readers, though, so that had to be satisfying for him.

    • #14
    • August 5, 2020, at 9:46 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. TBA Coolidge

    This might be another case of the left hearing that people on the right are against something, and mounting a campaign to accuse them of that something without having any sense of what that something actually is; in this case Antisemitism which is surely distinguishable from not liking Soros’ methods (as opposed to not liking Israel or anyone who does like Israel, which is Antisemitism in tasteful packaging). In other cases, religious choices, sins etc, which the left insist that Christians et. al. reject conservatives for. Perhaps we should be grateful that our opponents are so tone-deaf, but it is pretty annoying all the same. 

     

    • #15
    • August 5, 2020, at 11:19 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    John Kass is the only reason to read the Chicago Tribune

    • #16
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:18 PM PDT
    • 2 likes