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18 Jul, 2020 15:56

Open letter against ‘cancel culture’ backed by ‘frauds,’ says Glenn Greenwald after authors ‘outvote’ him from signers list

Open letter against ‘cancel culture’ backed by ‘frauds,’ says Glenn Greenwald after authors ‘outvote’ him from signers list

Journalist Glenn Greenwald has called the signatories of a letter opposing ‘cancel culture’ “frauds,” after it emerged they canceled him from signing it.

In the now-famous ‘Harper’s Letter,’ 150 prominent academics, journalists and public figures took a stand against what they called the creeping “ideological conformity” of the left. These figures are not right-wingers or conservatives, and there are no open supporters of President Donald Trump among them. However, there are some big names, including linguist Noam Chomsky, and Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald is not a signatory to the letter. Although a leftist himself, Greenwald has railed against the tyrannical aspirations of modern liberalism for years. As it turns out, cultural critic Thomas Chatterton Williams, who drafted the letter, wanted Greenwald to sign, but was “outvoted on that” by his colleagues.

Greenwald’s views may have been “too far beyond the pale,” for some of the letter’s signatories, Rolling Stone’s Katie Halper suggested. Indeed, the letter is hardly a modern 95 Theses. It does not even mention the phenomenon of “canceling,” and opens with some boilerplate liberal criticism of Donald Trump and praise of the Black Lives Matter movement. Furthermore, some signatories pulled out when they saw their name appear alongside those of certain ‘undesirables,’ presumably JK Rowling, a former LGBT enthusiast now accused of “transphobia,” among them.

“It’s been obvious from the start that the letter was signed by frauds eager to protect their own status, not the principles,” Greenwald tweeted on Saturday. Many of the signatories have “been at the forefront of ‘canceling,’” he continued, “but are only petulantly objecting because they now hear criticisms.”

Greenwald is not the first commentator to scoff at the letter. Author and podcaster Dave Rubin called it a “silly, self-important letter by liberals who will sit and watch the world burn rather than turn to their conservative counterparts for help on how to fix it.” Journalist Michael Tracey called it “incredibly lame and intended primarily to flatter the egos of the signatories.”

As for the views that got Greenwald sidelined, that much is unknown. Greenwald was a persistent critic of both the Bush and Obama administrations, and, while he’s been critical of Trump, he’s ridiculed those pushing the ‘Russiagate’ investigation against him. Unlike many on the list, Greenwald has also defended Julian Assange and condemned Israel’s foreign policy and influence on US politics.

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