Andrew Sullivan is a moderately interesting writer by current standards, who is also in desperate need of an editor, and he has any number of terrible views. Whether it’s Sarah Palin’s pregnancy, or the Jews, there’s plenty of ugliness there. And the media was fine with that because he reliably bashed Republicans.
More recently though, Sullivan dissented from the Dems on political correctness and now the rioting. So you know the drill, time to call him a racist.
There’s something obviously farcial about Ben Smith of the New York Times sitting down to chat with Sullivan, and instead of actually talking to him, spending most of the article on The Bell Curve, an article from a generation ago that nobody’s even talking about today, instead of his current views on political correctness.
But the whole pretext here is finding a reason to call Sullivan a racist. And so we have a non-interview in which Smith talks to Sullivan, but hardly quotes him.
Instead you get the theme served up in the subheader, “He’s one of the most influential journalists of the last three decades, but he’s shadowed by a 1994 magazine cover story that claimed to show a link between race and I.Q.”
I came to Provincetown to better understand why Mr. Sullivan, 57, one of the most influential journalists of his generation and an obvious influence in my own career, is not as welcome as he once was at many mainstream media outlets. But my visit helped me see something more: how Mr. Sullivan is really a fixed point by which we can measure how far American media has moved. He finds himself now on the outside, most of all, because he cannot be talked out of views on race that most of his peers find abhorrent. I know, because I tried.
So you have this bizarre paragraph which manufactures an issue by pretending that Andrew Sullivan keeps talking about some sort of abhorrent views on race and making that the topic.
2/3rds of the way through this clumsy smear job, Ben Smith mentions that, “but “The Bell Curve” excerpt — which Mr. Sullivan always says that he published but did not embrace — lingered over those pieces and framed criticism of him”.
Framed would be the right word. And then it gets crazier.
“The Bell Curve” excerpt — and the fact that he never disavowed it — a firing offense, and Mr. Haskell showed Mr. Sullivan the door before the magazine experienced a blowup over race of the sort that have erupted at other publications.”
Sullivan publishing a piece that he didn’t embrace in 1994 makes it a firing offense in 2020.
This really makes the point about these insane Stalinist purges.
If Smith were remotely honest, he would admit that this is a frame job. That the current objections to Sullivan aren’t about the 1994 article, but about his shift from bashing Republicans to criticising Democrats on political correctness. But that would require things like honesty and integrity.