Working at The Spectator has its perks. The unflinching resolve of the world’s oldest English-language magazine in the face of cancel culture is just one of them.

Cockburn has been threatened by shrill delusional mobs in his time with the Speccie — but now it’s the turn of his glamorous colleague Amber Athey, who was defenestrated from her radio side hustle at WMAL-DC following complaints about a joke she tweeted about Kamala Harris’s State of the Union outfit.

In the week that Amber went public with the reasons for her ouster, WMAL-DC issued the following unrelated tweet:
BREAKING: @elonmusk takes...

Working at The Spectator has its perks. The unflinching resolve of the world’s oldest English-language magazine in the face of cancel culture is just one of them.

Cockburn has been threatened by shrill delusional mobs in his time with the Speccie — but now it’s the turn of his glamorous colleague Amber Athey, who was defenestrated from her radio side hustle at WMAL-DC following complaints about a joke she tweeted about Kamala Harris’s State of the Union outfit.

In the week that Amber went public with the reasons for her ouster, WMAL-DC issued the following unrelated tweet:

BREAKING: @elonmusk takes a majority steak in @Twitter . Big tech is shaking! – Tune in live for more on the stories that matter to you: http://WMAL.com | WMAL app | “Alexa, play W-M-A-L”

Cockburn, who frequently orders the “majority steak” medium-rare at Morton’s, couldn’t help but notice that the station’s tweet was accompanied by a screenshot of a post from Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson, who wrote “Bring back mean tweets.”

What an astonishing U-turn in the company’s social media policy in just a few days!

Like WMAL, The Spectator’s editors received a smattering of emails about Amber’s tweet comparing the VP’s outfit to a UPS uniform (Cockburn learned this by eavesdropping as he pretended to sleep off a hangover under his desk).

One claimed to be from a subscriber, who said he’d contacted his friends to advise them to “cancel all subscriptions” and called for The Spectator to “dismiss this petulant child from your staff.”

Following the Reagan doctrine of “trust, but verify,” Spectator staff checked their database and discovered that no user attached to that email address had ever subscribed to the publication or signed up to any of its newsletters. They printed out the email just to shred it.

Cockburn’s bosses also took a similar approach to assessing whether there was any merit to the claims that Amber’s tweet was “racist” or worth addressing in any way. Apparently they decided that Spectator writers, and indeed all Americans, have a constitutionally enshrined right to say and post dumb jokes. They also figured that they didn’t have editorial oversight over these jokes unless they published them — and that the target of Amber’s joke was clearly the VP’s outfit (hence the UPS slogan), rather than her race. A good-faith and genuine accusation of racism would be worth taking seriously. This was neither.

How strange that an old British-founded magazine has a better grasp on the First Amendment and the importance of context than the allegedly “conservative” radio network, home of Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro and the late, great Rush Limbaugh.

Nevertheless, Cockburn’s colleague Amber has found her story received with sympathy by several of American media’s leading lights.

Here she is on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show on Tuesday night:

And here’s her appearance on CBS’s Inside Edition on Wednesday:

You can support Amber’s (and Cockburn’s!) work by subscribing here.