Cowards: ‘The Atlantic’ Fires Conservative Kevin Williamson for Not Being a Liberal, Holding Pro-Life Views

In another sign of extreme cowardice and censorship of conservatives, The Atlantic and editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg decided to fire conservative and former National Review writer Kevin Williamson on Thursday after just over two weeks since the announcement following vicious backlash to the hiring. 

The excuse was holding a pro-life position about women aborting children facing the death penalty, but the reality is that it only served as an excuse to pull the trigger.

Goldberg made the announcement in a Thursday memo to staff that Williamson “is not the best fit for his talents, and so we are parting ways” because his view in a podcast and previous tweets about women who have abortions and the death penalty were “contrary to The Atlantic’s tradition of respectful, well-reasoned debate, and to the values of our workplace.”

The cowardly EIC argued that he thought “Kevin would represent an important addition to our roster of Ideas columnists, and I addressed the controversy surrounding some of his past tweeting and writing” because “no one’s life work should be judged by an intemperate tweet, and that such an episode should not necessarily stop someone from having a fruitful career at The Atlantic.”

Of course, Goldberg peddled fake news when he made that argument as the views Williamson has on abortion were the exact reason that will prevent him “from having a fruitful career at The Atlantic.” 

The gutless Goldberg claimed that Williamson’s stance “was also a centerpiece of a podcast discussion in which Kevin explained his views on the subject of the death penalty and abortion” and that Goldberg, in his infinite wisdom, realized that the former National Review correspondent’s stance was “his carefully considered views” and not a one-off tweet.

The conclusion was even more embarrassing as Goldberg tried to cover himself by stating that “[w]e remain committed to grappling with complex moral issues in our journalism” with staff holding a diverse view of positions on abortion and the death penalty: 

Some of our colleagues are pro-life, and some are pro-choice; we have pro-death-penalty and anti-death-penalty writers; we have liberals and conservatives. We obviously understood that Kevin himself was pro-life when we asked him to write for us. This is not about Kevin’s views on abortion.

To recap, The Atlantic still maintains far-left writers such as Peter Beinart, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Adam Serwer, and Alex Wagner, but Williamson was fired solely because of his conservatism. Nevermind the fact that he was anything but a Trump supporter; the reality that he was still let go shows how the left’s censorship has no limits. 

For examples of the onslaught, New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg offered a March 30 snowflake-like column deeming Williamson unwelcome in a civil debate of ideas. Slate’s Jordan Weissmann similarly melted down on March 27 over the “at best...right-wing provocateur” and “at his worst...a verbose and hateful troll.”

Conservatives and pro-liberal media Republicans all rallied came to Williamson’s defense. It’ll be worth seeing if the latter group stands with him now that he’s been thrown over the side of the boat.

Here’s the transcript of the full memo sent by Goldberg to the staff of The Atlantic on April 5:

The Atlantic memo
April 5, 2018

Last week, I wrote you about our decision to hire Kevin Williamson. In that note, I mentioned my belief that Kevin would represent an important addition to our roster of Ideas columnists, and I addressed the controversy surrounding some of his past tweeting and writing. I expressed my belief that no one’s life work should be judged by an intemperate tweet, and that such an episode should not necessarily stop someone from having a fruitful career at The Atlantic.

Late yesterday afternoon, information came to our attention that has caused us to reconsider this relationship. Specifically, the subject of one of Kevin’s most controversial tweets was also a centerpiece of a podcast discussion in which Kevin explained his views on the subject of the death penalty and abortion. The language he used in his podcast—and in my conversations with him in recent days—made it clear that the original tweet did, in fact, represent his carefully considered views. The tweet was not merely an impulsive, decontextualized, heat-of-the-moment post, as Kevin had explained it. Furthermore, the language used in the podcast was callous and violent. This runs contrary to The Atlantic’s tradition of respectful, well-reasoned debate, and to the values of our workplace. 

Kevin is a gifted writer, and he has been nothing but professional in all of our interactions. But I have come to the conclusion that The Atlantic is not the best fit for his talents, and so we are parting ways.

We remain committed to grappling with complex moral issues in our journalism. Some of our colleagues are pro-life, and some are pro-choice; we have pro-death-penalty and anti-death-penalty writers; we have liberals and conservatives. We obviously understood that Kevin himself was pro-life when we asked him to write for us. This is not about Kevin’s views on abortion.


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CyberAlerts Censorship Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Atlantic National Review Jeffrey Goldberg Kevin Williamson Michelle Goldberg Bret Stephens Charlie Sykes
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