When conservative writer Kevin Williamson was hired at The Atlantic a few days ago, liberals decried the hiring, and now that Williamson has been fired from his position, conservatives are criticizing the move.
After Williamson was first hired, liberals pointed to 2014 tweets in which he said “the law should treat abortion like any other homicide.
“I have hanging … in mind,” he said of a punishment for women who undergo abortions.
The tweets have since been deleted, and Atlantic editor Jeff Goldberg supported the hiring.
But then this week, liberal watchdog site Media Matters revealed a 2014 podcast where Williamson again talked about treating abortion as a crime.
“I would totally go with treating it like any other crime, up to and including hanging,” Williamson said of abortion.
After the podcast resurfaced, Williamson was fired and Goldberg sent a staff memo saying, “the language he used in this 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,” he said.
The hiring and firing of Williamson has sparked debate over the limits of acceptable commentary.
“I still believe Williamson never should have been hired, but I’m so glad that @TheAtlantic is now taking this seriously,” tweeted feminist writer Jessica Valenti on Thursday. “Most of all, I am very relieved for the women who work at the magazine.”
But others, such as Noah Rothman, of the neoconservative magazine Commentary, said he didn’t agree with the firing.
“Kevin Williamson: hired for his talent, fired for his views. This is chilling,” he tweeted.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Tero Vesalainen
Publication date: April 6, 2018