“The Atlantic is ‘parting ways’ with conservative grenade hurler Kevin Williamson, after Media Matters surfaced a podcast appearance in which the writer reiterated his stance that women who had abortions should be hung.”
— Slate, April 5, 2018
Last week, after many fruitful discussions with the gentlemen behind the Salem witch trials, we here at The Atlantic made the decision to hire those men as opinion columnists. This was done in an effort to strengthen the diversity of thought within our op-ed section. We wanted to introduce some fresh, new, and extremely scary ideas into the mix. Although we were well aware of these individuals’ controversial views on due process and medicine, we simply could not pass up an opportunity to ignore massive red flags under the guise of nonpartisanship.
At the time we hired the Salem witch trial perpetrators, we were well aware of the inflammatory pamphlets they had distributed in the town square. We strongly believed no one’s life work should be judged by an intemperate pamphlet that depicts the female brain as being split into witch and non-witch halves. We refused to dismiss these men simply because they’ve openly stated that a woman who raises her voice has entered into an unlawful covenant with the Devil. Such a thought should not preclude these men from having fruitful careers at The Atlantic.
Despite our willingness to bury our heads in the sand about all of this, information came to our attention yesterday that forced us to reconsider our relationship with these hysteria-stricken lunatics. It turns out these men, in addition to distributing pamphlets stating that “a strong hunch” was enough legal evidence to convict a woman of witchcraft, also expressed similar controversial opinions verbally. These vocal proclamations occurred in the town square. That is where we simply must draw the line.
The language used by these men from atop their soapboxes coincides with the views expressed in their pamphlets. These men made it clear that their views printed in the pamphlets were their deeply-held beliefs and not simply off the cuff typed remarks. Just like they stated in the pamphlets, these men spoke about how any middle-aged woman can be safely assumed to be a witch, especially if she has one or more female friends. How could we have known that these men truly believe the things they openly admit in their pamphlets? Unlike witches, we are not mind readers.
The perpetrators of the Salem witch trials are gifted writers and have been nothing but professional in all of our interactions. We still believe they are capable thought leaders with something valuable to say, even if that thing is that women are naturally predisposed to witchcraft because they are more susceptible than men to the Devil’s charms. Although we can no longer keep them employed at The Atlantic, we will be sure to write them glowing letters of recommendation, which they can parlay into gigs at the New York Times’ op-ed section.
We remain committed to diverse thought at The Atlantic. This decision has nothing to do with the fact that these men believe that women who use sarcastic language are wielders of dark magic. That’s a fine, provocative thought to have. Thoughts like that are vital to an ideologically diverse ecosystem, which we strive to achieve at The Atlantic. If we can’t hire these vile peddlers of hate, then we’ll find someone else. After all, there’s no shortage of horrible, backwards thought nowadays and we here at The Atlantic intend to prove that to you.