We were going to refrain from commenting on the Kevin D. Williamson affair. Radio Derb* said it well, as did the Z-man — who was less kind to KDW than Derb, but much kinder than we had been. Amusingly, Williamson got canned from the Atlantic for his views on abortion, which are exactly wrong by our reckoning.
And that’s the point of the matter: he got fired for his views — not for anything he published in the Atlantic, or attempted to. That this point should be made by Jonah Goldberg, of all people, made our tenured head explode:
But here’s the thing: He never made that argument for National Review. I suppose I could find out if he tried and was turned down, but that’s beside the point. The point is that Rich Lowry, or, more relevant, Jeffrey Goldberg, would be entirely within his rights to reject any attempt by Kevin to make that argument in the pages of National Review or The Atlantic (and Kevin would be in his rights to quit over it, though I doubt he would). But there was no chance to test this because Kevin was fired for what he thinks.
For the sake of readers not fluent in their helminth taxonomy, we note that the two Goldbergs are apparently unrelated and hence distinct specimens of parasitic worm. Jonah has gotten coverage here before for his hypocrisy and obtuseness and…, well, hypocrisy. Here’s how trematode Rich Lowry had justified firing Derbyshire:
His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways.
And here’s how Jonah “roundworm” Goldberg defended it at the time:
I unequivocally stand by my personal view, expressed on Twitter Friday night, that I find Derb’s essay indefensible and offensive.
By all means read that precious gem in its entirety — MLK makes an obligatory appearance.
* recorded presumably on 06-Apr-2018; link not yet active as of this writing