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On Kevin Williamson, The Atlantic Has No Excuse

If anyone should hold a grudge against Kevin Williamson, it's me. He was relatively obscure the first time I met him. We were on a bus going to join an NRO cruise. But I realized within about a minute that I was talking to a brilliant and, more importantly, cultured man. So when he said I should read David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, I believed him and I did.

And yet even after wasting precious months of my one and only life wading through those thousand pages of self-referential drivel, I retained a real affection, admiration and respect for the man — Williamson, not Wallace. He is incisive, wickedly droll and a terrific writer. In fact, given his insistently deadpan sense of humor, I'm pretty sure he doesn't actually believe women who have abortions should be hanged, as he has occasionally said. But, of course, that's an old trick of the left, isn't it? Pretending to be outraged by conservative jokes so we learn to be careful what we say.

Anyway, that was the crappy little ploy Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg used when, after hiring Kevin to bring some diversity of opinion to his magazine, he fired him two weeks later for bringing some diversity of opinion to his magazine.

Now, I love reading Kevin's pieces and sometimes I agree with them, or part of them. But here's a fun fact to know and share: When I disagree with something he says, I don't burst into flames or faint dead away or explode or even melt like the Wicked Witch. I merely sharpen my arguments against his and wake the morrow morn a wiser man. So it is with all opinions I disagree with and even with opinions I hate. Sometimes what a writer writes angers me but, to coin an internet meme, do I die? Not even close.