Why are liberals so afraid of ideas that are outside of their comfort zone? The left proclaim themselves as arbiters of all that is intelligent and rational. They believe their ideas, their policies, and their worldview ranks above that of any other political ideology. From guns to the economy, to fighting poverty and to various cultural issues, the left claims superiority.
So why is it then, in the world of journalism, when a conservative writer moves from conservative pages to more mainstream pages, the left pitches a fit like a 3-year-old in the aisle of a grocery store after Mom says “No” to his request to buy cookies?
Kevin Williamson, National Review’s long-time “roving correspondent,” is leaving the magazine founded by William F. Buckley and taking his talents to The Atlantic. The magazine, founded in 1857, had the majority stake in the publication purchased by Emerson Collective, an organization headed by Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple founder and billionaire, Steve Jobs. Any concerns over whether or not Jobs would take the ownership of a news organization and hold it back have not come to fruition. Much like when Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post, there’s growth at The Atlantic at a time when news organizations still deal with having to reduce staff because of dwindling budgets.
That a journalistic institution such as The Atlantic has the means to pay Williamson for his talents, should be worthy of celebration and it is — to people who have open minds.
The people with closed minds currently have that temper tantrum going and nowhere did it manifest itself more than on the pages of The New Republic. Once dubbed the “in-flight magazine of Air Force One,” it now resembles something that’s used to pick up dog poop. What’s written there is a constant stream of never-ending teary-eyed gobbledygook about the meanie Republicans as well as conservatives and how terrible they are and how they’re ruining the nation. Naturally, when the announcement about Williamson’s hire at The Atlantic came out, the editors left it up to Sarah Jones to do the fainting couch write-up. Aside from several cherry-picked columns from the likely thousands, Williamson authored throughout his career, Jones also relies on — tada! — rank dishonesty:
The left, he once claimed, wants a “kind of state-sponsored Wahhabi progressivism enforced at the point of a bayonet: Bake that gay-wedding cake, buy those birth-control pills, subsidize that abortion—or else.” The word that would work here isn’t “Wahhabi,” which is nonsensical paired with “progressivism.” “Authoritarian” does the job quite well on its own. That word does not, however, invoke Islamic extremism, so “Wahhabi” appears instead. This sentence is a word salad designed to ratchet up the hyperbole, until it crosses into the realm of untruth: The Affordable Care Act didn’t actually require anyone to “buy” birth control or subsidize abortions.
Laughably, she complains of his use of hyperbole. An opinion writer utilizing, hyperbole? That never happens, Sarah! As for her deception, the very fact that Obamacare mandated contraceptive coverage, means that yes, it did in fact, require people to buy birth control. On the abortion subsidization, she’s wrong there as well. So there she is, lying about Williamson supposedly lying.
I think what’s more insulting than the cavalcade of left-wing concern trolling from the likes of Jones, uber lefty feminist Jessica Valenti, and Slate scribbler Jordan Weissman is the notion of Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor of The Atlantic, having to send a memo to staff explaining Williamson’s hiring:
I don’t think that taking a person’s worst tweets, or assertions, in isolation is the best journalistic practice. I have read most, or much, of what he has written; some of his critics have not done the same. I would also prefer, all things being equal, to give people second chances and the opportunity to change. I’ve done this before in reference to extreme tweeting (third chances, too, on occasion), and I hope to continue this practice.
Second chances? Since when is this a second chance? Jumping Jehoshaphat, Goldberg. Have some cojones and say to the staff, “Yeah, Williamson was often caustic on Twitter, and he’s written some controversial pieces, but he’s a damned good writer, and if anyone objects to him getting added to the staff, the door is right over there.”
Chances are, it will all die down, the same way it did as the kerfluffle over the hiring of Bret Stephens at The New York Times. But still, in that case, the Times publisher at the time, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., felt compelled to write an open letter to those who ditched their subscriptions over the hiring. It’s a show of cowardice and instead should have been met with a simple, “Well…..bye” instead of an appeal.
The best of luck to The Atlantic, which made a great hire, and good luck to National Review, which now has a big hole in its lineup.