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St. Louis Post-Dispatch Cuts Columnist Who Doesn't Understand How Rape Works

Categories: Post-Dispatches

george-will.jpg
via
Goodbye, George Will.
If you cancelled your St. Louis Post-Dispatch subscription over George Will's highly offensive column belittling rape victims, you can come back to the fold now. The paper says it has tossed Will's columns for good.

Tony Messenger, the Post's editorial page editor, says he's replacing Will's Thursday and Sunday dispatches with columns from Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and an alum of Westminster Christian Academy.

Will made the paper's decision to cut his columns very easy, Messenger says, after his June 5 piece "Colleges Become the Victims of Progressivism," in which he dismissed rape victims as hypersensitive, power-hungry manipulators riding the coattails of the Obama administration's efforts against sexual assault on campuses. In a particularly offensive move, he actually put quotation marks around the term sexual assault.

See also: This Guy Hacked the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Paywall in Ten Minutes, And You Can, Too

Will's column claims women earn "privileges" by identifying as rape survivors and calls schools "delusional" for catering to their whims. (We can't help but think of this story from The Onion: "College Rape Victim Pretty Thrilled She Gets To Recount Assault To Faculty Committee.")

He even criticizes a woman for claiming she was raped after an acquaintance she'd had sex with before forced himself on her, as though men aren't required to get consent from women each time they have sex.

Thankfully, most of America saw Will's column for what it was: nonsense drivel based in the very lies that perpetuate a rape culture in the first place. As senators Dianne Feinstein, Tammy Baldwin, Richard Blumenthal and Bob Casey wrote in a joint statement:

Your column reiterates ancient beliefs about sexual assault that are inconsistent with the reality of victims' experiences, based on what we have heard directly from survivors. Your words contribute to the exact culture that discourages reporting and forces victims into hiding and away from much-needed services. For starters, your notion about a perceived privileged status of survivors of sexual assault on campuses runs completely counter to the experiences described to us.

In a note alerting readers to the change, Messenger also apologizes for publishing Will's piece in the first place.

"We don't edit our syndicated columns but we do maintain the right to express editorial judgment in terms of deciding whether or not to publish something that we got from a syndicated columnist," Messenger tells the Washington Post. "Part of it is just the reality of the news business these days. Nothing gets as much of a look as it used to. That's our reality and we have to live with that. That's why it was important to include 'We apologize' in that note because we didn't want readers to think that we were shirking our responsibility."

So welcome, Michael Gerson, to the Post's editorial page. If you can understand how rape works, you're already doing a better job than your predecessor.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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101 comments
David Biernbaum
David Biernbaum

I don't like extreme right wing writers and I hate what people such as Todd Akin said on the topic of rape, but in reading what Will said, I'm not sure he really said what he's being accused of saying. I agree with what Cheryl Thomas said, below.

Sean Bahr
Sean Bahr

SO heres the problem. I'm a card carrying liberal. and for decades I hated the way the conservatives played this game, of trying to silence their critics, and doing whatever they could to hush dissenting viewpoints. that meant that a lot of good liberal writers and reporters lost their jobs. it angered me. the republicans became the party of appealing to soccer moms. did you hear what he said about the troops? did you hear what they said about killing babies? they hate america? none of these things were actually true, and they wielded a purposefully skewed perception of what people had said, to sway popular opinion against them to quiet their critics and the those who disagreed. the only thing that angers me more, is that now the liberals and progressives have adopted the same tactics. George will writes an article debating the issue of removing due process from rape allegations on college campuses? fuck him he's defending RAPE! no...actually he's not. If you read his article, he is wanting all rape charges on college campuses to be handled by the police, who have more skill and training when it comes to these issues. when he says that "sexual assault victims are afforded coveted status" what he's referring to is that on a college campus. there is no due process. anytime you are the accuser and your version of events are accepted as fact without an investigation or actual due process, that is coveted status.

James Madison
James Madison

The consequence of the P-D dropping Geo. Will is meaningless. It actually shows poor editorial skills of the P-D. If the P-D does not want to run Will's column, so be it. But like Cheryl mentions, liberals need to view this when it swings back at them. Stand up for freedoms, not one-sided smear campaigns.

Stanford Griffith
Stanford Griffith

No paper carries every column. You do have a choice in which media sources you select. If you still want to read his column, it's freely available online, the same as would another column you want to read but they have never carried.

James Madison
James Madison

Great. Then his column disappears, and the editorial staff tells us lowly serfs that they determined his column was not for us to see and debate. They know best. We ought never question their powers.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Or the other way around. You wake up to a person you would never in a million years have sex with yet apparently you did. Now you can claim she raped you. The RFT is a privately owned paper. Who they print is up to them. That's the free market. That's why the RFT is free. Not many would purchase it. Lol

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Until it happens to your son or you. Two adults get drunk. Have sex. Neither remember the act. The next morning the girl realizes what must have happened and regrets if or believes she was taken advantage of. Remember neither party remember much of anything. Rape has happened ? Hope you or your son like prison.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

The problem with using a phone to communicate with the intellectually challenged. Lol

Stanford Griffith
Stanford Griffith

You have the wrong end of the stick. The Post-Dispatch ran his column, obviously after he wrote it. That's what I'm saying, not get rid of him before he wrote it. The fact that he wrote it did not mean they had to run it. Running the column and writing it are two separate acts.

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Dude deserved to be fired. Glad he's gone. One of the few good things the Post has done lately.

Mark Bland
Mark Bland

I don't think that's even possible. Cool glasses.

Mark Bland
Mark Bland

Just another example of how crass, uncaring and literally bigoted/disrespectful ALMOST ALL conservatives, that spew the word progressivism and anything anti-Obama, really are. It's amazing how the Akins of the world make it at all.

Linda Weaver Beacham
Linda Weaver Beacham

Improper touching is not sexual assault-George Will says this in his rebuttal noted above. What is it then? Boys being boys? This arrogant, sexist thinking is at the root of his inability to understand this issue.

Angie Stamme
Angie Stamme

No where in this article did It say they cite an example of "a girl who didn't feel like it but had sex anyway". I think you're the one lieing about what was wrote. No means no. Don't defend these people who defend rape.They need no help, nor do they deserve it.

Kevin Nuckolls
Kevin Nuckolls

Debating with a conservative, like having an intellectual conversation with a three year old.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

There is a reason the RFT is free. Lol. If your getting. Your news from them all I can say is WOW. Vote for Barry again. His third term should be as stellar as his first two.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Debating with a liberal. Like teaching rocks to swim.

Kevin Nuckolls
Kevin Nuckolls

Insulting someone's intelligence while misspelling words. A conservative value, LOL.

Jim Phillips
Jim Phillips

Good for the Post. It seems the right doesn't much care about rape these days. I see this sentiment growing day by day.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Watch the response that Rj Hub put up. Them state your opinions. Thank you.

Gabrielle Lux
Gabrielle Lux

Freedom of speech allows you to say whatever idiotic thing you want. It does not mean you can say whatever idiotic thing you want free of consequences. Why can't you conservatives understand that?

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Funny they don't show the actual article. Just their opinion. Nice they let the reader decide. Liberal logic. Your to stupid to understand so we will think for you.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Read the article it's not about rape. Freedom of speech is for ALL not a few. As a private paper and not news just opinion they are entitled to theirs. Now they will see the consequences as you stated.

Courtney Cronin
Courtney Cronin

If this is liberal, are you saying rape is a conservative value? Freedom of speech does not mean a private company has to publish whatever stupid shit you want to write, nor does it mean your words are without consequence.

Kristi Wilson Temple
Kristi Wilson Temple

I feel sorry for any wife he has ever had. Clearly "no" means "yes" to this pathetic moron.

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Liberal censorship. Freedom of speech. RFT is nothing and always has been a liberal paper. This is not news. They race bait constantly.

Ben Williams
Ben Williams

And he has been replaced with another right wing clown. Huzzah.

shtr_bugg
shtr_bugg

It's not really free. They use a different business model. It's like the difference between broadcast TV and cable. One relies solely on ads and the other a combination between ads and subscriptions. It has become obvious that you struggle with simple concepts, glad I could help.  

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