I would email you this letter, but I’ve been where you are, and your emails are impossible to filter.
I feel for you. You may not think so based on my reporting, but you’re in a terrible place. You feel demoralized. You may even feel hopeless. I don’t want you to feel this way, but honesty and personal progress require you to be realistic about your feelings.
You had a dream to be a journalist, you worked at some smaller jobs, and you were rising up in your career. You were about to live your dream.
Your dream was killed, it’s a miserable feeling. You’re depressed and don’t want to leave bed.
And it’s not really fair what happened to you. You dug for those Tweets, yes (more on that), but your editors put those Tweets in the story. Doesn’t it suck that you are the one with your name out there, but the editors are just editors? No one knows who they are. Even now, your editors are lying on social media about their own role in the Carson King scandal.
Yes there is a sort of karmic justice to what happened to you. I’ve done my research on you. You’re from the HuffPo/Daily Beast / Brooklyn school of “journalist as social activist.” Your peers want to ruin lives, to destroy people, to show no mercy. You think this is War and you want to hurt people. You also believe you’re immune from any scrutiny for your own actions.
You’re going to have to rebuild your life. It’s going to be hard as you’re not moved to the fringe or margins that you sought to place others.
DO NOT QUIT. Do not give up. There are people who still love you, and even people like me who don’t love you do want to see you move on with your life.
You now see that no one wins in Cancel Culture. Everyone has made bad jokes or slipped up. It’s human nature.
What happens next is what matters most.
You’re still a young man with good physical health. Your life has worth to yourself and those who love you. You life also has meaning, even if you don’t feel it does at the moment.
Start keeping a gratitude journal. Now more than ever you’ll need it, because you won’t feel grateful for much.
Each day list what you are grateful for
- I am grateful for my …..
- I am grateful I can …..
- I am grateful that…..
In a typical gratitude journal, 10 items a day are enough. You may need to journal many times a day.
A lot of people are still angry at you, but those people are like your peers, who you need to reject. Reject this demonic cancel culture that seeks to make people homeless.
You lost your job and maybe your career. What more do people want? Do they want you homeless, bankrupt, begging in the street? Where does it end?
For me your story ends and begins at your job loss. You lost your job in front of perhaps millions of people. This is a level of humiliation and trauma most will never have to endure. People don’t understand it. Even you may not fully appreciate it as of now.
I wish we lived in a more forgiving society where you could find a new job after a few weeks. I wish we lived in a world where one Google result didn’t end your life.
We don’t live in that world, and you need to own your own responsibility for creating the world that you now live in personally.
Today or tomorrow or next week (it’s going to take some time), you can start building a world where redemption exists. If for no other reason than for your own sake.
Feel free to reach out to me anytime, I’m glad to talk off the record with you.
Be well, Aaron.
Karen Columbus says
Mike this was amazingly articulate and apropos. I appreciate your sharing it.
Brilliant and humane.
Brilliant and humane
Vlad Makeev says
Cool to have such people as you in this world, Mike. God Bless you.
Donald Wheeler says
Great reply, Mike. A nice antidote to the Schadenfreude and ‘karmic justice’ messages that are out there (that, tbh, I was subscribing to before reading this)
Bobby Paffile says
Buddy, this is what Grace with the big “G” looks like. You’ve a character to be admired. Cheers to you Mr. Cernovich
Peter Kistemaker says
I feel blessed that I am at the point in my life where I can appreciate the tenor and tone of this letter.
For a long time I would write the opposite of this, like most people. But, dwelling in that space of negative energy does nothing to help yourself or impact the world.
I am evolving and part of that comes from Gorilla mindset and consuming Mike’s other great works.
Peachy Essay says
We’ll done Cernovich. No matter what, you always stand for the truth.
Bop Crash says
I too worry that Aaron will wind up marginalized and poverty stricken living a hand to mouth existence alone on the street. I’m just hoping that if that unfortunate situation comes to pass some of those Register staffers that assisted him can share his reduced status.
NYT is waiting in the wings for his kind.