LifeZette writer Adrianna San Marco has become a veritable media celebrity over the last week because an editor at The Daily Orange newspaper at Syracuse University decided to fire her because she dared to have a conservative opinion backed up by data. Since then, actor and conservative activist James Woods has taken up her cause and San Marco has received national coverage on Fox News, in the Washington Times, and on Daily Wire. To top that off, on Thursday Woods tweeted not once, but twice, on San Marco and her steadfast refusal to surrender to left-wing orthodoxy.
Free speech protections weren’t conceived by the Founding Fathers to protect those with whom we agree. This young journalist is clearly not a frivolous person. A university should have used this editorial as an opportunity for a vibrant, open discussion. https://t.co/D5RbqXEpn5
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) June 18, 2020
The @WSJ had virtually the same editorial this month, backed up by the same facts. Why don’t the folks at that esteemed newspaper hire this bright young woman? She’s certainly wasting her time at Syracuse, which is clearly a leftist sink hole. https://t.co/D5RbqXEpn5
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) June 18, 2020
The story of how San Marco went from relatively unknown writer to young conservative paladin is an interesting one and centers on a heretofore generally obscure South Florida high school.
About two weeks ago, San Marco was suggested by Facebook as a social media friend for this writer. Seeing she was conservative, that we were from the same hometown (the Hollywood, FL area), and that we went to the same high school (McArthur High, forty years apart), I decided she would be an interesting contact. So I friended her. She accepted.
Seeing that she was a writer, and a good one, I set up an introduction with our editor-in-chief at LifeZette. He agreed she would make a valuable addition to our writing staff and we were all off to the races. Then, on June 5 San Marco wrote the data-driven article for LifeZette that got her fired by The Daily Orange, even though the piece was not written for the student paper. After the piece ran, San Marco dealt with crude insults and threats of violence on social media.
The editor who fired her, Casey Darnell, of course called her a “racist” because it seems that is the only arrow left in the quiver of wannabe totalitarians when they want to crack down on free speech. Seeing an opportunity for a story on liberal bias in the student press, we ran a story on her experience. It did decently and we thought nothing more of it. We then ran a follow up story. Then the thing blew up.
The Washington Times first got ahold of it, no doubt by monitoring LifeZette coverage since we were the only media outlet at that point to cover the story. Following that The Daily Wire got into the act, followed closely by Fox News—then James Woods ran with it on Twitter.
Says San Marco, “The response I have received since The Daily Orange terminated me has been overwhelming. There has been an incredible amount of support from people who are as angry as I am at the situation. I cannot believe that there are so many people who support me, I’m so grateful… Since the story came out on Fox News I have been given the opportunity to continue speaking out about the injustices conservative students face. Just this morning I spoke with Dave Allen on the Syracuse News radio station about the overall outcome of my firing and returning to campus. Other shows and podcasts have asked me to come on as well, which I am looking forward to. There are so many people ready and wanting to give conservative students a voice, it is incredibly reassuring. I also want to start working to help other people facing backlash by the media and their peers. No one deserves to go through something like this alone.” Organizations are reaching out to San Marco to praise her and enlist her support.
— Law Officer (@LawOfficer) June 19, 2020
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None of this would have happened if Mr. Darnell had seen his paper as a vehicle for the free expression of ideas, as should be the mission of a student publication. Instead, he seems to see it as just a way to enhance extremist views that toe a hardcore leftist ideological line. No opposition will be tolerated by Mr. Darnell, as he goosesteps his way into an editorial straitjacket.
But he did not count on the courage and talent of Adrianna San Marco, who refused to be browbeaten into submission and turned a firing into instant celebrity. Given this result, perhaps Mr. Darnell will think better of his actions the next time. But we doubt it.