Newsweek has kicked off a storm of controversy after running an op-ed arguing that conservatives have “weaponized cancel culture,” with critics insisting progressives are only getting a taste of their own bitter medicine.

In a recent piece at Newsweek, writer Emma Nolan says left-of-center “cancel culture” – which looks to tear down public figures for their political transgressions (real or imagined) – had been taken up by conservatives to combat celebrities who criticize US President Donald Trump. 

While the drive to cancel the un-woke typically “comes from people predominantly concerned with calling out racism,” Nolan wrote, “some of the criticism comes from notable right-wing figures who are weaponizing the current discourse to point out what they say is the hypocrisy of some anti-Trump celebrities.”

The story runs down various examples, such as conservative pundit Charlie Kirk’s compilation of liberal and left-wing figures to appear in blackface, or Fox News’ call-out of talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who was found to have uttered the N-word in a 1996 parody rap song.

The article – which puts a new spin on the ‘conservatives pounce’ trope – has been savaged online, drawing condemnation and mockery from critics who said the right is merely following the lead of its cancel-happy rivals across the political spectrum.

“Conservatives do what liberals have done for 4 years and now we’re mad”

We didn’t start that fire. The left owns #CancelCulture. Stop lying, Newsweek.

“Don’t you dare put this on conservatives. You and the rest of the radical left started this nonsense,” one user said, while another weighed in: “You have to live by your own rules before forcing them on others. Just saying…”

Others noted that cancel culture by its very nature is “weaponized,” suggesting it has no other purpose.

“Conservatives weaponize cancel culture”Oh please. Cancel culture has ALWAYS been a weapon, don’t pretend otherwise.

It was *always* a weapon. You just don’t like it when you’re on the receiving end.

As debates raged across Twitter, actress Alyssa Milano – a major figure in the #MeToo movement, itself a manifestation of cancel culture – also waded into the fray, prompting attempts to see her cancelled in real time.

Why are you modeling clothes with a racial slur on them, Alyssa?

She wore black face in 2013 and nobody seems to remember, so she’s getting nervous.

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