Friday, April 06, 2018

Sleep with the fishes

The saga of Kevin Williamson, acerbic Never-Trumper, went into full-on frog and scorpion territory yesterday, as he was ashcanned from the Atlantic only a few weeks after he'd been hired to be the fully caffeinated Jennifer Rubin on their masthead. Where to begin?

  • Williamson is a talented guy and his primary value as a pundit is his willingness to call things as he sees them. Who could forget his initial discussion of the Trump campaign, Witless Ape Rides Escalator? You want invective? Have some! 
Donald Trump, being Donald Trump, announced his candidacy at Trump Tower, making a weird grand entrance via escalator — going down, of course, the symbolism of which is lost on that witless ape. But who could witness that scene — the self-made man who started with nothing but a modest portfolio of 27,000 New York City properties acquired by his millionaire slumlord father, barely out of his latest bankruptcy and possibly headed for another one as the casino/jiggle-joint bearing his name sinks into the filthy mire of the one U.S. city that makes Las Vegas look respectable, a reality-television grotesque with his plastic-surgery-disaster wife, grunting like a baboon about our country’s “brand” and his own vast wealth — and not see the peerless sign of our times?

  • So, if you're looking for a guy who can bash Le Grand Orange with flair, he's a great choice. But the problem is a guy who can write like that might have a few other opinions that might frighten the neighbors. And Williamson does
KEVIN WILLIAMSON (CO-HOST): And someone challenged me on my views on abortion, saying, “If you really thought it was a crime you would support things like life in prison, no parole, for treating it as a homicide.” And I do support that, in fact, as I wrote, what I had in mind was hanging....
 Later in the same episode of the podcast, Williamson continued that when it came to punishment for those who had abortions, he “would totally go with treating it like any other crime up to and including hanging” -- going so far as to say that he had “a soft spot for hanging as a form of capital punishment” because “if the state is going to do violence, let’s make it violence. Let’s not pretend like we’re doing something else.”
  • Was Williamson serious about that last part? You could read it as an argument against capital punishment, but not if your goal is to get a guy ashcanned. And so he was.
  • Now, in some ways this is a classic frog/scorpion moment -- you would think a guy who has lived in the media world as long as Williamson has would recognize that liberals like his former boss, Jeffrey Goldberg, aren't really his friends, and that he liable to get the Luca Brasi treatment at any moment that seemed propitious. But at the same time, if hacks like Jennifer Rubin can collect that sweet sweet Bezos money from the Washington Post simply by being reflexively against the Leader of the Free World, why wouldn't a more talented writer assume he could cash in, too, at a different portside enclave?
  • In some respects, Williamson is no different from Cindy Sheehan or the latest flavor of the moment, David Hogg. Williamson was potentially useful as long as he did the dance as it is choreographed, but the only opinions his minders really wanted were the ones they could sell to their audiences. He wasn't allowed to have any opinions of his own. And if you want a "peerless sign of our times," that's it.

4 comments:

J. Peterson said...

I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I can't seem to write on Gino's Facebook wall. So I hope that he's making his birthday great again

Mr. D said...

I hope so, too. Jason. Try a PM for Gino.

Gino said...

i changed my settings several months ago to prevent a particular annoyance from becoming one further.

it's fixed now. my wall is open,again.

thanks guys.

Bike Bubba said...

Happy Birthday, Gino!

Williamson's hiring and firing is either a reason to can the head of HR, or evidence that liberals want to temporarily "hire" conservatives as a means of taking them out of distribution. I am leaning towards the latter.