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The Post-Dispatch ain’t what it used to be

June 22, 2014

I can recall when I stopped reading George Will’s columns in the late 70s because he argued against the Carter administration’s plan to de-regulate U.S. airlines. I thought that was fairly clueless attitude but, that said, I think Mr. Will has written many good columns since then.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, on the other hand, hasn’t done so well over the years. It’s always been a fairly liberal paper: someone once wrote a letter to the P-D editor in the 80s claiming that the paper wouldn’t endorse Jesus Christ for office if he ran as a Republican. I found that letter pretty amusing.

But the Post-Dispatch’s announcement on Thursday (6/19) that it was dropping Mr. Will’s column was done for the wrong reasons, I think, and marks a new low for the paper. (My emphasis below.)

Editor’s note: Michael Gerson replaces George Will

Dear Post-Dispatch readers,
Starting today, Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson replaces George Will on Thursdays and Sundays.

Mr. Gerson, who grew up in St. Louis and still has family here, is a former speechwriter and top aide to President George W. Bush. […]

The change has been under consideration for several months, but a column published June 5, in which Mr. Will suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, made the decision easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.

Here’s Mr. Will’s column in The Washington Post: Colleges become the victims of progressivism. Read it for yourself and decide whether it’s offensive. It probably offends a few government bureaucrats and some university administrators (another type of bureaucrat) but I’d say that was about all the people who should be offended.

Not that there’s anything wrong with offending people occasionally, mind you. As Samuel Johnson said, "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it."

There’s been some buzz about the P-D’s decision. David Bernstein has a piece about it (also in the Post): (Mis)reading George Will.

And here’s Mr. Will being interviewed by CSPAN about these events. Let him speak for himself. Then you can go knock him down, if you like.

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