‘Chicago Reader’ Columnist Agitates for ‘Tribune’ Columnist John Kass to be ‘Deplatformed’

Chicago Reader (Brian Hayes / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
Brian Hayes / Flickr / CC / Cropped

An op-ed in the left-wing Chicago Reader argues that fellow Chicago journalist John Kass should be “deplatformed,” fired from his job, and removed from public view over his support for Donald Trump.

Columnist John Greenfield attacks Kass, a Chicago Tribune columnist, by suggesting that Kass is an antisemite and racist because he criticized billionaire George Soros, a political donor to controversial Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

Last July, Kass was attacked by several Tribune co-workers for his attacks on Soros. But the columnist was defiant in the face of the “cancel culture.”

“I will not apologize for writing about Soros,” Kass wrote at the time. “I will not bow to those who’ve wrongly defamed me. I will continue writing my column.”

“[W]hat of our American tradition of freely speaking our minds?” Kass concluded.

Kass was demoted from his prime slot at the front of the paper to page 21 after the controversy.

The demotion and the appeals for free speech and a free press did not satisfy the Reader’s Greenfield, who now wants Kass to be ousted from the Tribune.

“Now, in light of Kass’s role in encouraging Donald Trump’s campaign of lies that the election was stolen, which reached a traitorous, bloody crescendo with last Wednesday’s storming of the U.S. Capitol during the Electoral College vote count, it’s time for Tribune leadership to get rid of Kass’s column for good,” Greenfield writes.

According to Greenfield, Kass’s biggest crime was equating the year of Black Lives Matter riots to the one riot at the Capitol last week:

While Kass denounced the treacherous violence as “nauseating,” in the same breath, he predictably claimed, “This was no different from the looters in Democratic cities all summer long” during Black Lives Matter protests. The notion that people breaking into stores while legitimate racial justice demonstrations were happening is comparable to a mob, including men with Confederate flags and “Camp Auschwitz” hoodies, desecrating the nerve center of American democracy is laughable.

Greenfield ends by addressing the Tribune’s editors: “[A]re you proud your paper has paid John Kass six figures over the last four years to amplify Trumpism, contributing to this shameful, but inevitable, end result? If not, what will the Trib do to prevent Kass from enabling fascism in the future?”

“In the wake of the riot, Twitter and Facebook have, at long last, booted Donald Trump from social media. Likewise, Mr. McMahon, I respectfully call on you to deplatform John Kass,” Greenfield writes.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.


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