How I lost my Sunday Business column.
My sister nailed it many years ago when she said, “Your basic human is not such a hot item.”
Keep that filed in your head as I tell my little tale.
About five or six years ago, roughly, I was solicited to write a column every two weeks for the Sunday New York Times Business Section. I was really thrilled. I have written for the Washington Post (when I was a teenager), for the Wall Street Journal edit page under the legendary Bob Bartley, for Barron’s, under the really great Alan Abelson and Jim Meagher, for my beloved American Spectator, under the great Bob and Wlady, and now having a regular column at the Times was going to be great stuff.
The column went well. I got lots of excellent fan mail and fine feedback from my editors, who, however, kept changing.
The first real super problem I had was when the movie I narrated and co-wrote, Expelled—No Intelligence Allowed, was in progress. A “science writer” for the Times blasted the movie on the front page and noted that I, whom she repeatedly called “…a freelance writer…” (not a columnist ) for the Times, was somehow involved. That was followed by a really fantastically angry blast against the movie by a reviewer who really hated it a lot. (I note that the Times also disliked Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Hmm.)
Expelled was a plea for open discussion of the possibility that life might have started with an Intelligent Designer. This idea, that freedom of academic discussion on an issue as to which there is avid scientific disagreement has value, seems obvious to me. But it drives the atheists and neo-Darwinists crazy and they responded viciously.
Some of them started a campaign against me in various forums, including letters to the Times.
At roughly the same time, I made a new set of antagonists by repeatedly and in detail criticizing the real power in this country, the “investment bank” Goldman Sachs, for what seemed to me questionable behavior. This elicited a mountain of favorable mail but also some complaints by well-placed persons.
Still, my editor at the Times stood by me loyally and was steadfast, even inspiring.
Now, in the time I had been doing my column, roughly five or six years, I had done many commercials for goods and services. No one at the Times ever said a word negatively about these. In fact, when I did a series of commercials with Shaquille O’Neal, the legendary basketball star, one of my superiors at the Times asked me for souvenirs. No one ever told me in any way, by word, look, or gesture, not to do commercials.
Meanwhile, the haters connected with atheism and neo-Darwinism continued to attack me.
Then, two things happened to change and end my career at the Times. Well, maybe three. The Times told me they were forced by budgetary pressures to only run me every four weeks. This was a blow and I started to think about where else I might write. (I had been solicited by many major publications while at the Times but my editors had asked me not to write for them and I did as asked.)
But the two main things, as I see them, were that I started criticizing Mr. Obama quite sharply over his policies and practices. I had tried to do this before over the firing of Rick Wagoner from the Chairmanship of GM. My column had questioned whether there was a legal basis for the firing by the government, what law allowed or authorized the federal government to fire the head of what was then a private company, and just where the Obama administration thought their limits were, if anywhere. This column was flat out nixed by my editors at the Times because in their opinion Mr. Obama inherently had such powers.
They did let me run a piece querying what I thought was a certain lack of focus in Mr. Obama’s world but that was it, and then came another issue.
I had done a commercial for an Internet aggregating company called FreeScore. This commercial offered people a week of free access to their credit scores and then required them to pay for further such access.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online