Amanda Marcotte, a columnist at the left-wing outlet Salon, wrote a scathing article and social media post laying the blame of a suicide at Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik. This charge is bewildering because Raichik had never before mentioned the man who committed suicide.
F.L. Copeland, a pastor and the mayor of Smiths Station, Alabama, committed suicide following a post from a conservative website called 1819 News, which claimed he was a cross-dresser. This tragic series of events had nothing to do with Libs of TikTok or Raichik, but that didn’t stop the Salon columnist from painting Raichik as the ultimate villain responsible.
In the first paragraph of Marcotte’s column, she described Raichik’s Libs of TikTok account as “a Twitter account dedicated to revealing the identities of gender non-conforming people, so that they can be abused by strangers, for no other reason than who they are.” There is no evidence to support this.
Raichik’s account amplifies public images and videos of LGBTQ+ activists and teachers, posted by the activists and teachers themselves.
Raichik does amplify LGBTQ+ activists’ social media posts, not because of “who they are,” but because of the activists’ actions toward children. Raichik has never stated in any tweet, post, or interview that she has an issue with someone who claims to be LGBTQ+, but insists that individuals promoting sexual content in front of children is an issue—hence her focus on activist teachers’ social media posts.
Marcotte then openly blamed Raichik for a shooting at a Colorado gay bar:
In November 2022, a Colorado gay bar was attacked by a shooter who appeared motivated by the rising tide of vitriol towards LGBTQ people. Five were killed and dozens injured. While Chaya Raichik, who runs the account, claims she doesn’t want violence, no one really believes that. After all, she celebrated the story about the violence she inspires.
In her social media post condemning Raichik, Marcotte neither names 1819 News nor cites the post—but says that the pastor committed suicide because he “got the Libs of TikTok treatment.” She continued to froth at the mouth for several more paragraphs—blaming former President Donald Trump and Raichik without any substantial evidence.
The Daily Signal reached out to Salon to ask why Marcotte was clearly implying Raichik played a role in the suicide of Copeland, and Executive Editor Andrew O’Hehir obfuscated on Marcotte’s behalf:
Amanda Marcotte’s column neither says nor implies at any point that Libs of TikTok ever posted anything about this individual or is to blame for his death. I think she makes her opinion abundantly clear that Libs of TikTok is a major contributor to fueling anti-LGBTQ hate on the right.
O’Hehir’s deflection is petulantly shallow.
Marcotte spent her entire column about the suicide of Copeland lambasting Raichik—who had never so much as mentioned him. She directly named Raichik and Libs of TikTok 13 times, and claimed that 1819 News (which she only named seven times) copied Raichik’s strategies.
Marcotte’s social media post about her column accuses Raichik of creating a “treatment” that she blames for Copeland’s suicide. She names Libs of TikTok twice—but doesn’t mention 1819 News at all.
O’Hehir didn’t even remotely attempt to address Marcotte’s accusatory tweet.
This isn’t a case of dog whistles or vague references to the rhetoric of a political opposite; Marcotte directly lays any and all crimes against LGBTQ individuals in the last few years at Raichik’s feet like a Hollywood lawyer.
“But whenever people confront Raichik over the damage done by Libs of TikTok, she always denies responsibility,” Marcotte wrote, explicitly assigning culpability to Raichik. “Instead, she claims, she’s just sharing facts: This person is queer, this person looks feminine, this person does drag on the side.”
It’s worth noting that Raichik has never listed “This person is queer, this person looks feminine, this person does drag on the side” as reasoning for amplifying any post to date.
Marcotte’s column is certainly telling—but perhaps not in the way she intended. In her attempt to scapegoat Raichik as the mastermind behind hate violence toward LGBTQ+ individuals, Marcotte only succeeded in revealing that she’s willing to levy evil charges against any unrelated individual she loathes, no matter how weak the case.
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