The Jury Talks Back


The Atlantic Fires Kevin D. Williamson

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:01 pm

For overly provocative viewpoints.

The Atlantic on Thursday fired conservative columnist Kevin Williamson after it became apparent that his belief that women who get an abortion should be hanged was more than just a single tweet.

“I have come to the conclusion that The Atlantic is not the best fit for his talents, and so we are parting ways,” editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in an email to staff, obtained by The Daily Beast.

The brave opponents of political correctness on the right will no doubt support him applaud because he doesn’t like Trump.


  1. One reason given for his firing is that women at The Atlantic will have to work with someone who thinks they should be hung. But The Atlantic has no problem making Williamson work with women he thinks are murderers.

    Comment by DRJ — 4/5/2018 @ 12:24 pm

  2. I haven’t followed this at all, was Williamson simply making a sarcastic quip comparing the graphic means by which abortion is carried out with other forms of capital punishment, or was he really an idiot and simply said women should be hung?

    Comment by Sean — 4/5/2018 @ 3:58 pm

  3. DRJ,

    After Kevin was fired, Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti tweeted that she was “very relieved for the women” who work at The Atlantic. Why? What was Kevin going to do to them? Write things that made them angry? God forbid! His ideas might hurt? Have mercy!

    It only works one way.

    Comment by Dana — 4/5/2018 @ 9:31 pm

  4. Sean, he believes they are murderers who should be punished by death (hanging). It does seem startling and harsh but would we object to someone who thinks child-killers should be hung?

    Comment by DRJ — 4/6/2018 @ 6:41 am

  5. So I’ve had a hard time finding the original comments that sparked all of this “outrage” using the links in the stories online, but this morning Beck said on his show that the context of this is a statement made on a podcast 4 years ago and he was making an intellectual argument equating abortion with murder and how society punishes that crime. I can’t find the podcast but if that reporting is correct then The Atlantic should be drummed out of business.

    Comment by Sean — 4/6/2018 @ 6:49 am

  6. I think it came up when Media Matters linked this 2014 article.

    Comment by DRJ — 4/6/2018 @ 7:03 am

  7. Here is the Media Matters article.

    Comment by DRJ — 4/6/2018 @ 7:04 am

  8. Maybe it is because we are both from West Texas but I agree with Williamson.

    First, aborting babies is killing even if it is legal under American law and thus not unlawful murder. Abortion is also a premeditated act when it is a personal choice and not a medical necessity (a legitimate necessity, as opposed to the mental gymnastics employed by some to legitimize abortion). Unborn babies are defenseless innocents, and a premeditated choice to kill innocents is immoral.

    Second, in a civilized society, what should be the penalty for a premeditated choice to kill innocents? Normally it would be imprisonment or death, but our society has chosen to allow these deaths as socially permissible or even desirable. That doesn’t make them moral. In addition, arguing that capital punishment is immoral is the ultimate irony in a society that makes abortion of innocents a personal choice.

    Third, and last, it interests me that some claim Williamson’s history as an adoptee whose mother’s pregnancy came 3 months before Roe makes him more sensitive on this issue. The suggestion is he is biased or not dispassionate enough to have a considered opinion. Maybe the problem us he has considered it too much for most people’s comfort. IMO if one has to be adopted to feel empathy with or concern for aborted babies, we have failed as a society.

    Comment by DRJ — 4/7/2018 @ 7:09 am

  9. And media matters, praetorian guard for planned parenthood is largely the problem.

    That said it was an I’ll advised statement, but I compared how they keep gerson on staff.

    Comment by narciso — 4/7/2018 @ 7:49 am

  10. What was an ill-advised statement?

    Comment by DRJ — 4/7/2018 @ 7:56 am

  11. Hi DRJ: given the bizarreness of the main comments section, I kind of wish they would be put here, with all of the challenges of this site. After all, they aren’t really listening to anyone, just shouting and cursing and flinging poo.

    I truly miss learning from other posters.

    Comment by Simon Jester — 4/7/2018 @ 12:12 pm

  12. Patterico feels the problem commenters are the exception, not the rule. I wish I agreed with him. I welcome disagreements but these aren’t disagreements, this is being disagreeable as a tactic. Why be nice to other people if you can insult or taunt them? Haiku even admitted that is what he’s been doing (until, he claims, today).

    In addition, IMO this is now the rule, not the exception. Look at how many people have left or rarely comment. They haven’t quit reading the website but they rarely comment. You and Dustin are examples of that Simon. Plus, how many commenters are filtering comments like Beldar, and how many do they filter? Even the host filters comments. Add them up and I wonder if a discussion is even possible.

    Comment by DRJ — 4/7/2018 @ 2:08 pm

  13. I will tell you what worries me, DRJ. I’m not Patterico, nor do I speak for him in any way; heck, I haven’t actually spoken with him in years.

    I worry that some of the crazytown comments will get linked to his name. He deserves better. To me, it’s all about respect. But my opinion is clearly not common.

    Comment by Simon Jester — 4/7/2018 @ 2:24 pm

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