The Atlantic Fires Conservative Writer Kevin Williamson

Williamson was hired last month, to the outrage of the left... and then a noxious Tweet surfaced.

Kevin Williamson
The Atlantic has terminated their relationship with conservative writer Kevin D. Williamson. (YouTube)

The Atlantic has severed ties with conservative writer Kevin D. Williamson. The media organization terminated their relationship with the writer, whose hiring last month sparked outrage from the left and started an online debate about what views are considered acceptable in mainstream publications.

Williamson’s hard-line stance on abortion — that it should be treated as premeditated homicide and punished as such, perhaps by hanging — caused the initial controversy over his hiring, reports The New York Times. 

That controversial viewpoint eventually to his departure. Williamson expressed his extreme views on Twitter in September 2014, and when he was hired in late March, The Atlantic’s editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, said that he did not want to judge people for “their worst tweets, or assertions, in isolation.”

But then on Thursday, Goldberg said in a memo to the staff that he had come to see Williamson’s Twitter remarks as something more than just trollish. Goldberg heard a podcast that was recorded also in Sept. 2014, where Williamson doubles down on his anti-abortion views.

“The tweet was not merely an impulsive, decontextualized, heat-of-the-moment post, as Kevin had explained it,” Mr. Goldberg wrote. “Furthermore, the language used in the podcast was callous and violent. This runs contrary to The Atlantic’s tradition of respectful, well-reasoned debate, and to the values of our workplace.” He went on to say, “I have come to the conclusion that The Atlantic is not the best fit for his talents, and so we are parting ways.”

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