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Re: Mobs and Cancel Culture

June 7th, 2023 | 18 min read

By Jake Meador

Due to a variety of factors, journalism in the digital age has in many places been swallowed by PR. Part of this is a function of the way online networks tend to work, while part of it is due to the loss of a shared sense of reality, a necessity upon which the possibility of public argumentation is built.

One of the unhappy consequences of this transformation is that in public discussion arguments have been replaced by irritable mental gestures, usually offered in service to a pre-defined friend or enemy of the speaker. The effect here is that many media projects over time develop a predictable quality. You can name the topic, name the outlet publishing the take on the topic, and if you’ve been paying attention for any length of time, you can often predict what the take will be. In this respect, Christian media of all stripes has come to be something like a fundamentalist preacher—we all know where he’s gonna end up and if you’ve been paying attention long enough, you even know how he’ll get there. This applies to many centrist and progressive Christian media projects as much as it does to conservative outlets.

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Jake Meador

Jake Meador is the editor-in-chief of Mere Orthodoxy. He is a 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied English and History. He lives in Lincoln, NE with his wife Joie, their daughter Davy Joy, and sons Wendell, Austin, and Ambrose. Jake's writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Commonweal, Christianity Today, Fare Forward, the University Bookman, Books & Culture, First Things, National Review, Front Porch Republic, and The Run of Play and he has written or contributed to several books, including "In Search of the Common Good," "What Are Christians For?" (both with InterVarsity Press), "A Protestant Christendom?" (with Davenant Press), and "Telling the Stories Right" (with the Front Porch Republic Press).