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Canceled, But Not: This Week's Substack-Only Portion of Useful Idiots
What's the point of kicking someone out of mainstream media, if they can still make a living as independents? The paradox of moral mania in media, as explained by Jesse Singal and Katie Herzog
“Who was the trailblazer in the relationship?” asked Katie Halper, to Blocked and Reported hosts Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal.
“I was canceled first,” said Katie Herzog.
“It’s always the women doing it, and then the straight white man gets all the credit,” Katie Halper replied.
“At the time I lived in Seattle, in sort of a queer scene… For me, there were a lot more social consequences, because Jesse hangs out with gamers in New York who don’t know what’s going on, and don’t spend that much time on Twitter, and my friends were cool leftist queers who now think that I’m a literal Nazi for hanging out with my Jewish co-host. For me it was a lot more personal. I was basically kicked out of my social scene.”
Herzog was describing the reaction to a piece she wrote in The Stranger about “Detransitioners.”
“I would walk into a coffee shop and see a flier calling me transphobic,” she says. She even saw a photo of her face plastered in a urinal. “Every time I used to get carded, I’d worry that people would figure out who I was.”
Singal didn’t suffer the same social consequences, but recently found himself in the center of an Internet frenzy that saw him accused of stalking and being a proponent of “conversion therapy.” Even though this and other episodes were miserable — “it eats your soul,” he says — he and Herzog have managed to thrive despite being cast out.
“I can not in any sense claim to have been canceled,” says Singal. “I’ve had crazy shit written about me, I’ve had people lie about me, but by any reasonable metric, it’s enhanced my platform.”
Herzog agrees. “Like Jesse, this has been nothing but completely great for my career, which is the irony.”
The remainder of the Useful Idiots interview with both is above, along with “Who said it: Sarah Huckabee Sanders or Jen Psaki?” and Matt and Katie discuss the Sovietization of American media.
This is an excerpt from today’s subscriber-only post. To hear the rest of the episode and get full access to the archives, you can subscribe for $5 a month or $40 a year.