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Wednesday, August 11, 2021
CNS Deletes Attack on Simone Biles Without Explanation

On July 27, published a commentary by Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin that began like this:

When an athlete is named the “greatest of all time” (GOAT), you never expect them to fail, let alone quit. U.S. gymnastics star Simone Biles, who currently holds the title, proved the opposite with her formal exit from two major events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a perfect example of GOAT privilege.

We presume it gets worse from there, attacking Biles for withdrawing from events to preserve her mental and physical health after being struck with a case of the "twisties," in which a gymnast loses control over her body while performing and cannot determine how it will react to gymnastic moves or where it will land.

We can only presume, though, because CNS removed the article shortly after publication -- so quickly, in fact, that it could not be archived by the usual places that do such things, like Google Cache and the Wayback Machine. The link to the commentary on CNS returns only a error saying "the requested page could not be found." MuckRack archived only the first paragraph of her commentary, but that's it.

If Moriarty-McLaughlin's name sounds familiar, that's because she was involved in a bit of infamy last year: A supposed online influencer who had previously worked for right-wing outlets like Campus Reform, she took part in what the New York Post called a "tone-deaf photo-op" in which "she pretend[ed] to board up a storefront from looters, before dashing back to a Mercedes and driving away." That stunt cost her a job at the Washington Examiner, where she had been working as a commentary intern. Like any good right-wing writer would, she ran to Fox News to proclaim herself a victim of "cancel culture" and that she quickly left after her photo-op because she "felt threatened" when she saw she was being filmed.

CNS' silence on the issue also covers why it chose to give a writer with such a reputation a second chance. Given that CNS quickly had second thoughts about Moriarty-McLaughlin's hit piece so soon after publication, it may be a good while before she pops up in conservative circles again.

UPDATE: CNS has posted another commentary by Moriarty-McLaughlin, a July 1 piece complaining that Anthony Fauci has appeared on TikTok in an effort to encourage young people to get the coronavirus vaccine,  huffing: "This is not about health with Fauci; it's about clout: Views, likes, garnering popularity with young people, and ultimately building a fanbase consisting primarily of the Generation Z TikTok crowd." She also tried to feed unproven claims that COVID vaccines affect fertility and fearmongered about breakthrough infections.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:29 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 12, 2021 12:23 AM EDT

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