Despite heavily reporting on campus violations of freedom of speech, Campus Reform, the college news website that “exposes liberal bias and abuse on the nation's college campuses,” fired me because of my speech on social media without telling me what I said.
Based out of Arlington, Virginia, Campus Reform is a news website owned by the Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute has established itself as a fixture of conservative politics on college campuses in America. Several times a year, hundreds of students flock to its flagship program, the Youth Leadership School, often free of charge. The Leadership Institute insists that it teaches students how to be effective activists and maintains that it does not discriminate based on ideology, welcoming a broad range of conservative-aligned thought.
Students interested in writing articles or publishing newscasts can apply to become a correspondent for Campus Reform. Ran by mostly millennial professionals, Campus Reform employs students to relay information from college campuses. The organization aligns with the moderate wing of the GOP, as members hand out Dan Crenshaw books at conferences.
One of Campus Reform's primary focuses is on violations of the First Amendment on college campuses. So I was surprised when three of my superiors called me in October to inform me I had been fired from Campus Reform and the Leadership Institute for my views on social media.
These superiors told me they conducted social media background checks, implying I had failed one. I was puzzled, as I had never posted anything obscene or outside standard conservative discourse. I never expected a so-called “conservative” news outlet to take issue with my speech.
Campus Reform leaders refused to provide me with a specific post that was problematic, and they also refused to issue my termination in writing. Ironically, at Leadership Institute conferences, students are taught to always get information in writing and never via the phone. Campus Reform seems to have purposely ignored its advice.
The staff at Campus Reform had always applauded me for my on-camera talent, leading me to be shocked at my termination. I made appearances on “The Joe Pags Show” and “Campus Countdown” on behalf of the organization. In a time when cancel culture is rampant, I never expected the Leadership Institute's Campus Reform to partake. Was it my ardent support of former President Trump that got me fired? Or my critique of corrupt D.C. politicians? I have no idea.
Campus Reform tends to advance anyone who is compliant with the neoconservative agenda. Prominent media corporations, like Fox News, use Campus Reform as a feeder and litmus test for recruits. These corporations want students to be subservient and not question the mainstream narrative. If I had to speculate, I failed the test by asking the wrong questions.
Even if you stay within the bounds of acceptable conservative discourse, one wrong opinion — and I am still wondering which opinion this was — can result in conservative media blacklisting you.
If you don't follow the understood rules and commit wrongthink, you might be next.
The views expressed in this article solely represent the author's views and not necessarily College Dissident's.