I have pointed out before that freedom of speech does mean either a right to a platform and audience or freedom from consequences.
Lately, when right-wing figures face consequences for saying or doing vile or racist or nasty or simply false things, Republicans have taken to charging that said figures are somehow being “cancelled” (though they always seem to land at some secure sinecure somewhere else). At The Roanoke Times, Chris Gavaler argues that the charge of “cancel culture” is a cynical tactic, not a sincere appeal to convictions. Here’s a nugget:
President Trump has called for multiple product boycotts (Nordstrom, Glenfiddich, HBO, Macy’s, Apple, AT&T) without any “cancel culture” complaints, but Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call to boycott Goya products was attacked as “cancel culture.”
Fox News forced out Tucker Carlson’s head writer Blake Neff after discovering racist and misogynistic statements he recently made under an online pseudonym, and no “cancel culture” accusations followed. But when New York Times editor Bari Weiss resigned the same week, “cancel culture” accusations were literally viral. (The list of people the president has demanded to be fired is even longer.)
The complete piece is worth your while.
I think there is a very simple reason that the phrase, “cancel culture,” caught on: alliteration.