If you haven’t heard, The Atlantic recently added NRO’s Kevin Williamson to their staff. Here’s a taste of Williamson:
Describing a 2014 visit to the impoverished city of East St. Louis, Illinois, Williamson compared a black child to a “primate” and a “three-fifths-scale Snoop Dogg” before likening his own trip through Illinois to Marlow’s journey up the Congo River in Heart of Darkness, all within the space of a single paragraph. (He later denied, unconvincingly, that the three-fifths reference was a slavery joke.) In a column that same year about Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, Williamson compared trans people to voodoo doll worshippers. “Regardless of the question of whether he has had his genitals amputated, Cox is not a woman, but an effigy of a woman,” he wrote. He accused Bernie Sanders, a secular Jew, of leading a “nationalist-socialist movement” in a too-cute-by-half bid for rage clicks. And perhaps most notoriously, he once opined on Twitter that women who had abortions should be hanged. “I believe abortion should be treated like any other premeditated homicide,” he later clarified, in case anybody doubted his sincerity. “I’m torn on capital punishment generally; but treating abortion as homicide means what it means.”
I would add that Williamson is just an elitist conservative with a mean streak whose opinions are very predictable. He also lacks expertise in a given area, which could, at least, provide some interesting commentary. But the reason I’ll be cancelling, unless Williamson’s offer is revoked (and I’m under no illusions that it will be), is because I’m tired of paying publishers money to troll me and to support wingnut welfare.
After all, would The Atlantic or any other similar publication hire someone who argued that the architects of the Gulf War should be executed for committing war crimes–something for which there is actual precedent? Of course not. But if you’re a rightwing troll, but one who happens to be a ‘Never Trumper’-all of whom seem to ignore that they were not appalled by the mass communicable psychotic break that calls itself ‘conservatism’ when it served their political purposes and it wasn’t too professionally embarrassing–then you’re ‘provocative.’ That gag is getting very old; in fact, in terms of educating the readership, a pro-Trump conservative would probably be more informative.
It’s a shame: there are a lot of interesting writers at The Atlantic. I’ve been a huge fan of Ed Yong since we were ScienceBloglings back in the Seed days. But I’m tired of supporting publishers who troll me, and I have better ways to spend my money than on mainstreaming NRO bilge, so cancellation it will be.