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Ben Domenech: Even When Liberals Aren't Acting Like Fascists, They Totally Want To

Angst over Kevin "Hang 'Em High" Williamson's firing at The Atlantic is at fever pitch.
Ben Domenech: Even When Liberals Aren't Acting Like Fascists, They Totally Want To

The Federalist's Ben Domenech hears the march of liberal jackboots:

Firing Kevin Williamson Is Just the Beginning

When contrarian voices are elevated to publications once viewed as places where contending ideas shared space, organized online backlash is now inevitable.

... [Kevin] Williamson is not a figure so prominent nor The Atlantic a brand so ubiquitous as to graduate [his firing] to a national story, in the way that the situations of Brendan Eich at Mozilla or James Damore at Google became national cable news stories. But they really are the same story....

This story is a predictable continuation of the left’s ownership not just of media but indeed of all institutions.... Eich, Damore, Williamson and others are subject to blacklists and HR reports and firing in every arena of industry and culture. 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.

For the record, Brendan Eich has not been deprived of the right to work in software -- his post-Mozilla company, Brave, makes a Web browser you can download right now; the company raised $7 million from investors and $30 million (in less than a minute) in an initial coin offering, a fundraising event in which it distributed cryptocurrency. Eich will be just fine. As for Damore, he's not working in software, but he is suing Google, having hired a lawyer who's a former vice chair of the California Republican Party who counts Laura Ingraham and Dinesh D'Souza as friends and mentors; Damore has also been championed by the likes of Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro. He'll be fine, too.

(As will Williamson, who will now be a big right-wing celebrity, and will probably get a sweet deal from Regnery or some other right-wing publishing house for a book about "the intolerant left," even as he returns to National Review or finds other employment on the right.)

Domenech continues:

Imagine what Ross Douthat would be going through if the Times hired him today (recall he was at The Atlantic before that). Imagine how his deeply held theology would be interpreted by an audience that has no respect for it whatsoever, and view it more as anti-science mysticism than as belief rooted in thousands of years of human experience.

Really? There'd be a campaign to fire him? So why isn't there a campaign now?

I think Domenech would argue that these campaigns are aimed at conservatives who've only recently moved to mainstream media gigs. But Jonah Goldberg became an NPR regular just last year, and no one's threatening him. No one's trying to deplatform Chris Buskirk, editor of the pro-Trump site American Greatness, who's now a frequent guest on NPR. No one's boycotting ABC, which hired former anti-abortion governor and Trump fanboy Chris Christie as a commentator earlier this year.

And why would Douthat's long tenure at The New York Times be protecting him if we've become so liberally fascistic? Sean Hannity was on the air for years before he was targeted by boycotts. The Rush Limbaugh boycott in the wake of his attacks on Sandra Fluke came after he'd been on the air for more than two decades.

And have you noticed that Hannity and Limbaugh are still on the air? And that Bret Stephens has settled in at the Times and doesn't seem under attack at all from the left anymore?

As it turns out, we aren't systematically purging all institutions of what Domenech calls "wrongthink." We go after people when they deserve it -- not for conservatism but for bigotry, brutality, persistent denial of basic science, and so on. Domenech knows that, but I assume he thinks his readers don't, hence the hair-on-fire tone of his piece.

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Incidentally, Sean Hannity appears to be trying to deplatform Jimmy Kimmel right now. He's been digging up risqué sketches from Kimmel's time on The Man Show, which ran from 1999 to 2004, and treating them as if they're actual sexual assaults; he's now taken to calling Kimmel "Harvey Weinstein Jr." But hey, that's just patriotism, right? It's only fascistic when our side does it.

Originally published at No More Mr. Nice Blog

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