Unpopular Opinions Can Get You Fired

On June 6th of this year, conservative columnist George Will published a piece in the Washington Post where he disputed statistics by the Obama administration concerning sexual assault and rape of women on college campuses.

Since that time, there’s been a huge firestorm or his column which has led calls for his column being dropped , most notably The St Louis Post-Dispatch.

If you haven’t read the column and already formed an opinion based on what others have written about this controversy, you should take a few minutes to peruse what he wrote.

It’s instructive in a way. Whether his facts are correct may be debatable, but it appears that he’s being punished for his opinion. As he states in the video below, that’s his job; his opinion.

You may dislike him, what he writes about, infer any intent you wish but just like all of us, he has the right to his opinion. He doesn’t have a right to make up facts with that opinion, but beyond that, even if it’s unpopular, no one should be calling for anyone to be fired.

We’ve seen that before. Haven’t we?

7 thoughts on “Unpopular Opinions Can Get You Fired

  1. No, no. He is not being criticized for his entire opinion. The criticism has been directed at him for the following parts of what he wrote:

    “…and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.”

    Here Will is implying that some form of privilege attaches to victims of sexual assault, of which rape is only the most egregious form.

    “”the supposed campus epidemic of rape”

    Here Will is implying that rape on college campuses is not a serious problem. Perhaps there is some room to debate whether it qualifies for description as an epidemic, but it certainly is a serious problem. Will’s comment – actually the entire column I think – dismisses the problem as not serious and actually trivializes the issue, the very thing he accused the progressives of doing.

    Will is also deservedly being criticized for his misunderstanding and misuse of the numbers. It is Will who has problems with statistics in this instance (http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/george-will-s-problem-with-rape-statistics).

    We should not get our undergarments to bunched up over this. Will hasn’t been fired in any normal sense of the word. He is a syndicated columnist. One newspaper decided to no longer carry his column because they judged the column in question to be offensive and inaccurate. This did not happen because of the public criticism of him. We could only say that Will had been fired if he were let go by his actual employer, The Washington Post. Will has a right to his opinion, but he has no right to any particular forum for expressing that opinion.

    Finally, those who have called for him to be fired have every right to do so. Just because you think the views he expressed don’t warrant calls for his dismissal does not mean that others are obligated to share your view.


    • Thanks for the clarification Randy. I’m not sure I find those particular statements he made helpful in any way. I do still say it’s his opinion and he as every right to voice unpopular opinions without being summarily dragged through the mud. You’re right, he hasn’t been “fired” per-se it’s just that here’s a conservative, making un-PC comments. I wonder what the response would’ve been if a liberal had said the same? Yes, I do know some liberals that believe this oppressive atmosphere in colleges just stokes the fire and that any woman that claims “assault” is believed no mater where the evidence lies.

      Needless to say, I’m glad I’m done with University. 🙂


  2. “I do still say it’s his opinion and he as every right to voice unpopular opinions without being summarily dragged through the mud.”

    I agree completely with the first a portion of your statement. Will certainly has a right to voice his opinion, even if it is unpopular in some circles. But I don’t accept the latter portion of your statement. I don’t think he is being “summarily dragged through the mud. The particular comments to which I referred in my reply are not just matters of differences of opinion. Will deserves, IMO, to be dragged through the mud for those particular remarks.


    • Well, yes he has been dragged through the mud, among women’s organizations. Rightly? Wrongly?

      Then they were the same in 2008 accusing Sara Palin claiming that her daughters child was actually hers. Where were the women’s organizations then>?

      palin about


  3. I failed to make myself clear. Yes, he is being dragged through the mud. But I don’t think its “summarily” in nature nor is it unjustified.

    I recall the Sarah Palin issue. I agree with you that she was unfairly treated concerning this issue. The failure of women’s organizations to speak out on her behalf on this issue was a failing and they rightly deserve criticism for that. But this failure on their part does not argue in favor of Will in this case. I don’t agree with your unstated premise that their failure in the Palin matter disqualifies them from speaking out in the George Will matter. Call them hypocrites if you like, but it is not a credible argument that they must remain silent on the George Will matter because they were silent on the Sarah Palin matter. Will was wrong in this instance and it is no small matter, IMO.


    • All I was trying to get to Is that there are certain organizations that seem to be selective of whom they support. Rake a conservative? No response. Some favored liberal cause? Go nuclear.


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