Amid an uproar

Ian Buruma has left the NYRB. It’s not currently clear if he was pushed or not.

Ian Buruma, the editor of The New York Review of Books, left his position on Wednesday amid an uproar over the magazine’s publication of an essay by a disgraced Canadian radio broadcaster who had been accused of sexually assaulting and battering women.

“Amid” – thus not ascribing causation. Careful.

After rumors about [the piece] began appearing on social media, it was published online last Friday, causing immediate furor, with some criticizing what they saw as a self-pitying tone, and soft pedaling of the accusations against him, which included slapping and choking, and had ultimately been brought by more than 20 women, rather than “several,” as Mr. Ghomeshi wrote.

In an interview last week with Isaac Chotiner of Slate, which was posted not long after the piece, Mr. Buruma, who was named top editor of The New York Review of Books in 2017, defended his decision to publish Mr. Ghomeshi’s piece, noting that while “not everyone agreed,” once the decision was made the staff “stuck together.”

In his interview with Slate, when pressed by Mr. Chotiner about the several accusations of sexual assault against Mr. Ghomeshi, Mr. Buruma said: “I’m no judge of the rights and wrongs of every allegation. How can I be?” He also noted that Mr. Ghomeshi had been acquitted and said there was no proof he committed a crime, adding, “The exact nature of his behavior — how much consent was involved — I have no idea, nor is it really my concern.”

That was the really infuriating remark. I think what he meant was that he’s interested in Ghomeshi’s take, regardless of how badly behaved he was, as opposed to general indifference to how violently he may have abused women…but that still leaves unanswered the question why take such an abstract interest in a guy accused of treating female human beings as things to manipulate for his own pleasure? Why be so interested in the man accused of abusing women and so shruggy about the women who say he abused them? Why do women always come in a very distant second?

I suppose Bari Weiss will do a think piece on the foolhardiness of believing what women say about all these talented men.

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