What has happened to New York media? Just as the New York Times was experiencing its own Inner Mongolia Moment over the now notorious Sen. Tom Cotton ‘Send in the Troops’ op-ed, the Maoists at New York magazine were going after their best columnist, Andrew Sullivan.
Sullivan revealed on Twitter yesterday that his column wouldn’t be appearing. The reason? His editors are not allowing him to write about the riots.
Heads up: my column won't be appearing this week.
— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) June 4, 2020
Presumably Sullivan’s editors are frightened that he might make the radically bourgeois point that looting and violence are wrong.
Cockburn understands that Sullivan is not just forbidden from writing for the New York magazine about the riots; his contract means he cannot write on the topic for another publication. He is therefore legally unable to write anything about the protests without losing his job — at the magazine that, in 1970, published Radical Chic, Tom Wolfe’s brilliant and controversial excoriation of progressive piety. It’s the bonfire of the liberals!
Who cares about the First Amendment? Not the Maoists who are marching through NYC’s media institutions. Safetyism is their creed. Sullivan may be a very small ‘c’ conservative, in some ways, but he is really a committed liberal — an Obama-loving gay man who thinks that Trump’s ‘dangerous fantasies’ threaten America.
Sullivan’s card has been marked, partly because — many years ago — he edited the New Republic and dedicated an issue to a debate about The Bell Curve, the controversial book by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray on IQ. At magazines such as the Atlantic, where Sullivan did some of his best work as a journalist and pioneering blogger, this now makes him persona non grata.
Sullivan, a source close to New York magazine reveals, has to have his work vetted by sensitive junior editors to make sure it doesn’t trigger them. If it passes their sniff testing, it can be published.
If this is how serious magazine and newspapers are treating their writers, Cockburn can’t help wondering what the future of journalism is in America. Perhaps a good time to subscribe to The Spectator, then?