Why care about Kevin Williamson’s firing from The Atlantic? Because it isn’t really about Williamson. It’s part of a larger, more dangerous shift in the culture. As Ben Domenech writes at The Federalist today:
This story is a predictable continuation of the left’s ownership not just of media but indeed of all institutions. It is depressing. It is predictable. And it is where we are as a country now. It is not confined to the realm of ideas. . . . If you have wrongthink, you will not be allowed for long to make your living within any space the left has determined they own – first the academy, then the media, then corporate America, and now the public square. You will bake the cake, you will use the proper pronoun, and you will never say that what Planned Parenthood does is murder for hire, and should be punished as such under the law.
(For what it’s worth, I quibble with The Federalist‘s headline. It isn’t just the beginning. It’s already begun—as Domenech makes clear in the piece.)
Rod Dreher makes a similar point, with a twist:
If we are going to start refusing to hire writers for holding or having stated harsh opinions in the past, this is going to cost us plenty. Of course we’re not going to do that across the board. It’s only going to apply to writers who offend against left-liberal politics. Mind you — and this has to be repeated — most pro-lifers would find Williamson’s remark beyond the pale. But you do not see pro-lifers, or any other conservatives, coalescing to fire writers.
Dreher points out that when Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post made the case the other week for aborting Down Syndrome babies, you didn’t see pro-lifers forming a mob to get her fired, and he wouldn’t have joined them if they had. But if certain stances are beyond the pale on the Right, why isn’t advocating a particular form of genocide from the Left also beyond the pale? Why is there no price to pay?