Two incidents, the advertiser boycott of Laura Ingraham's show following her apology to anti-gun advocate David Hogg for mocking him for his college rejection and Kevin Williamson's dismissal from the Atlantic "after suddenly [management realized] he believes the things he says" have bolstered the arguments of those who warn against any compromise with the liberal cause.
According to that point of view the Ingraham incident proved one should never apologize because it only encourages more demands while "the public humiliation of Kevin Williamson demonstrates the [inevitable choice that] ... you can side with the left and hope to be allowed to exist as a domesticates lap dog like David Brooks or Bret Stephens... or you can accept this is an existential fight and join us."
If that seems harsh it is no worse than the view which regards Williamson as moral defective who should count himself lucky to be tolerated in the first place. As one Huffington Post article put it, "mainstream magazines in the Donald Trump era have been scrambling to hire more right-leaning columnists to demonstrate their commitment to diversity of thought. These efforts have borne fruit, though not exactly in the manner intended. Instead of showing the value of vibrant debate, they’ve demonstrated that conservative ideas aren’t worth debating."
Even Goldberg could not help but adopt the stance of a person whose broad minded ecumenism had been intolerably stretched by unspeakable bigotry.
We are striving here to be a big-tent journalism organization at a time of national fracturing. We will continue to build a newsroom that is, as The Atlantic’s founding manifesto states, “of no party or clique.” We are also an organization that values a spirit of generosity and collegiality. We must strive to uphold that standard as well.
It's a case of sorry folks, we tried hiring one of them but couldn't bear the stench of him.
If only there were one of them, but unfortunately there are many. Enough to elect a president. The consequences of this self-admitted failure will inevitably be felt. It seems abundantly clear that Goldberg's attempt at "big-tent journalism organization at a time of national fracturing" has ended in disaster. If his goal was to persuade the left that the populists were worth listening to or vice versa it flopped bigger than a 350 pound man high diving into a swimming pool.
At the minimum it will convince many of what they all too ready to believe: that politics has now truly become a zero sum game. That the time for dialog and debate are over and it is take no prisoners; a case of surrender or die. Nor is that point of view new. It has long been proclaimed by hardcore activists on both sides and runs the risk of becoming general.