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An uncharitable, if also broadly correct, interpretation of the “cancel culture” moral panic exemplified by a letter that would be infamous for its blandly anodyne nature and bad writing were it not already infamous as the cry of the unoppressed against their non-existent oppression, and since gleefully embraced by a president whose entire political career has been defined by efforts toward cancelling enemies perceived and imagined, is that of the rich and powerful taking extreme umbrage at the notion that they should face any criticism or accountability for the things they say and do.

Well, few are richer and more powerful than Bill Ackman. And even fewer would seem to have less cause to give in to trumped-up grievance at the moment. After all, his hedge fund returned 58% last year, and amidst the coronavirus collapse he turned $27 million into $2.6 billion. He just raised $4 billion for the largest blank-check company in history. He’s “long-term bullish on America” again, betting broadly that the country’s restaurants, hotels and real-estate developers will recover. And yet, he—a man quite proud of his self-professed media savvy—can’t get over how unfair it was of the network he’s telling these things to have earlier broadcast words that he spoke live on the air.

The activist investor went on CNBC in mid-March to warn investors that “hell is coming” and urge the White House to shut down the country for a month…. “I really blame CNBC,” Ackman said. “It took 15 seconds of my interview and then went around scaring people because it was good television. ... I gave a very bullish message. I said I was buying stocks.”

Yup, it’s definitely Stephanie Ruhle’s and CNBC’s fault that he went on television to say “America will end as we know it” and that the very hotel and restaurant industries he’s now bullish on “will go bankrupt first” and that he personally stockpiled cash as the pandemic “nightmare” rapidly grew worse and that the only way to prevent those things was with an immediate and total 30-day presidentially-ordered shutdown that didn’t then and hasn’t since happened without any of the consequences he predicted, and which in his bullishness he now obviously no longer believes, but on which he has not been asked to account, let alone “cancelled.” But, please, yes, tell me more about how cancel culture is the problem.

Bill Ackman: ‘We are long-term bullish on America’ but betting against high-yield companies [CNBC]
Bill Ackman raises $4 billion for blank check company [Thornton/N.Y. Post]
Ackman Back On Top [TheStreet]


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