“But for heaven’s sake, it was a tweet”

Oh this is interesting. I wondered if I’d written anything about Bret Stephens here before so I did a search and I’ll be darned, look what I found from April 2018:

But sometimes a person’s worst tweets, like a person’s worst blurts or jokes or exclamations, tell you something.

Expressing a belief in a tweet – or on Facebook or Instagram – does not make that belief any less yours. That’s why I found it so odd when New York Times columnist Bret Stephens wrote an open letter to Williamson this weekend, apologizing to him over having his character “assassinated”.

“I jumped at your abortion comment, but for heaven’s sake, it was a tweet. When you write a whole book on the need to execute the tens of millions of American women who’ve had abortions, then I’ll worry,” Stephens wrote.

Easy for him; he’s not among the people Williamson would like to see hanged.

The first and last sentences are mine, the quoted passage is Jessica Valenti in The Guardian. The subject was a columnist at the Atlantic who was fired when staff learned that he had argued that women who get abortions should be executed.

So to Bret Stephens a tweet saying – not as a joke – that women should be executed for having abortions is merely a tweet, but a tweet saying – as a joke – that he is a bedbug is not mere at all. One the one hand, they (seriously) should be executed; on the other hand, he (heh) is a bedbug. It’s the second that he thinks really matters.

Dang. Beware the distortions of vanity, my friends, for they are the very spawn of the bedbug.

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