For decades, Americans have exercised their right to voluntarily withdraw support from public personalities and entities for egregious actions.
More recently, Republican lawmakers and media outlets have come to describe this as "cancel culture," and they've made it a key pillar of the party's platform.
During his second impeachment trial in the Senate, former President Donald Trump's lawyers accused Congress of participating in "constitutional cancel culture." Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio insisted that cancel culture is the most urgent issue facing the nation today. When the estate of children's author Dr. Seuss independently decided to withdraw some of his racist works from public circulation, right wing media spent weeks claiming that liberals were "canceling" an icon of children's literature.
Interestingly enough, when it comes to support for the former President and his conspiracy theories, these same lawmakers find so-called cancel culture much less objectionable.
That hypocrisy was fully evident this week when Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to remove Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her leadership position as Republican Conference Chair. The reason? She voted to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection and remains steadfast in her accurate insistence that the 2020 election was not "stolen" by Democrats, as Trump has falsely claimed for months.
In a recent segment, far-right Fox News host Sean Hannity attempted to refute these instances of Republican hypocrisy by offering a somewhat shoddy distinction.
Hannity claims Liz Cheney wasn’t canceled. He says she was fired. https://t.co/whNpDZJSv8— Acyn (@Acyn) 1620868614.0
Hannity addressed remarks to Cheney during his nightly broadcast, saying:
"For the record, you are not 'canceled.' You were removed from leadership because you put your selfish agenda ahead of the party's agenda and the caucus fired you from your leadership position for your failure to lead the agenda."
The agenda Hannity describes is the mandatory subscription to the long-debunked conspiracy theory that Democrats engaged in widespread election fraud to deliver a false victory to President Joe Biden. It was this dangerous delusion that sparked a violent failed insurrection against the United States Capitol earlier this year.
Hannity's distinction may have been well received by Fox viewers, but it otherwise fell short.
Hannity can make anything sound believable, if you are really really incredibly stupid. Say, stupid enough to put g… https://t.co/710BO8H3ap— kenneth bain (@kenneth bain) 1620909697.0
Sean Hannity hates people who tell the truth. https://t.co/SRvW0TsRtR— LeapingLisa (@LeapingLisa) 1620882070.0
New definition of cancel culture just dropped https://t.co/aKKWAKN6RZ— Name cannot be blank (@Name cannot be blank) 1620878033.0
Translation: Telling the truth and trying to keep a wannabe dictator from retaining power is a selfish agenda that… https://t.co/kDWE0fcLGG— 💯𝓜𝓲𝓽𝓬𝓱𝓮𝓵𝓵 𝓕𝓪𝓾𝓼𝓽💯 (@💯𝓜𝓲𝓽𝓬𝓱𝓮𝓵𝓵 𝓕𝓪𝓾𝓼𝓽💯) 1620871980.0
Some noted a glaring double standard.
What an utterly ridiculous man. "This apple is not an apple. It's a cucumber! If the other side were holding it, th… https://t.co/WmT4R7WMef— The Good Heron (@The Good Heron) 1620913525.0
When we do it, it’s not cancel culture. 🤡 https://t.co/2w8Ya2UH0D— Tara 🇺🇸🦅 (@Tara 🇺🇸🦅) 1620873892.0
Hannity: It’s only “cancelled” if progressives and/or Democrats do it... https://t.co/YWWxPCfyGD— CravinVegan (@CravinVegan) 1620882420.0
Cheney has vowed to lead the inter-party opposition to Trump's election fantasies.