Apr 1, 2021 by

Published in the April 1, 2021 edition.


Congratulations, cancel cultists. You win.

It took a couple of decades, but you’ve finally worn me down.

To paraphrase the 37th President of the United States, you won’t have Mark Sardella to kick around anymore.

I’m done.

This is a sad column to have to write and I thank my long-suffering employer for allowing me the chance to say farewell.

I’m not sad for myself. I’ve had a good run. Twenty-three years is a lot longer than most columnists last at any level of the newspaper business.

So yes, it’s bittersweet. But as I said, I’m not sad for myself.

I am sad for the First Amendment, which you and your fellow cancel cultists are determined to systematically dismantle even as you deny your intentions. Anyone who strays from your ideological orthodoxy must be punished or shunned until he falls into line or goes away. That’s the lesson you’re teaching your kids. And boy, are they learning it well.

I’m also sad for the country you are creating, where opinions that were mainstream last week or last month are suddenly deemed toxic and must not be spoken or written. Anyone who dares to do so is pilloried in the virtual stocks you have created, no less barbarous than the physical ones our forebears used punish heretics.

It took a while, but all your canceled subscriptions, all the paper routes you forced your kids to give up because one writer expressed a different opinion, all your threats to boycott advertisers, all your letters to the editor and your libelous posts on social media have finally exacted their toll.

A man can only fight for so long. At some point, the devil must be given his due.

So, I sincerely hope you’re happy. You got another one.

In a way I envy your ability to limit your exposure only to publications, writers and ideas that you know in advance you agree with. Sounds boring and bland to me, although I understand that stepping outside your comfort zone can be pretty scary.

Still, you’re not getting off that easy. To show there are no hard feelings, I can’t leave without making one final request and offering a parting word of advice.

First the request.

I know it’s pointless to ask, having seen how you’ve treated my more liberal-thinking colleague Eileen Worthley of late. But try to give whoever follows me a fair shake. It’s hard for us mere mortals to keep up with your ever-morphing woke rules, so please practice a little patience. Remember: Hate Has No Home Here.

Finally, try to be happy for once. You won. Be gracious in victory. For reasons I will never understand, winning seems to increase your urge to cancel. Try to resist, just this once, for old times’ sake.

So, this is it. My final Wakefield Daily Item column – until 14 days from today, April 15, 2021!

Mark your calendars, fools! 

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