The Atlantic sparked anger by hiring columnist Kevin Williamson, who likened a black child to a primate and wrote that women who have abortions should be hanged. His hiring was defended by Atlantic chief Jeffrey Goldberg, and various conservative colleagues of his, who all agreed that it was just a bad tweet that didn't reflect his true beliefs. In a contemporaneous audio interview, however, Williamson reiterated and explained why he thinks women who have abortions should be hanged.
KEVIN WILLIAMSON (CO-HOST): And someone challenged me on my views on abortion, saying, "If you really thought it was a crime you would support things like life in prison, no parole, for treating it as a homicide." And I do support that, in fact, as I wrote, what I had in mind was hanging….
Later in the same episode of the podcast, Williamson continued that when it came to punishment for those who had abortions, he "would totally go with treating it like any other crime up to and including hanging" — going so far as to say that he had "a soft spot for hanging as a form of capital punishment" because "if the state is going to do violence, let's make it violence. Let's not pretend like we're doing something else."
Listening to him smack his lips, after saying that, it struck me that no U.S. state hangs its killers. It's a legal execution method in two or three, but no one's been hanged here in decades.
Critics have been making a mistake about Williamson's self-described "very serious animus" concerning women who have abortions. He didn't say "executed" for a very simple reason: he knows the state does not do the thing he has a taste for. What he wants is to see the women get lynched.
UPDATE: They fired him.