Remember Heidi Yewman’s planned weapons grade stupid on her month with a gun?
The one where she went out and irresponsibly purchased a tool without knowing how to use it and without making any effort to train with it?
The one where she tried to imply that all gun owners are just as stupid as she was?
Well, it looks like the plug has been pulled on that turd, and it has taken its deserved swim down in the drain of bad ideas.
The New York times opinion column has more:
Yewman, a freelance writer, had written a three-part blog post for Ms. about buying a gun and carrying it everywhere she went. Yewman was clearly on the gun control side of the debate, and it’s fair to say that her posts were intended to show that it was far too easy for just about anybody to carry a gun just about anywhere. But, Kort went on to say, the comments Ms. Magazine had received were almost entirely from pro-gun advocates, and she and the small staff at Ms. were overwhelmed. Instead of leading to a high-minded debate about guns, her blog post had instead attracted insults and vituperation, and a clearly stated desire for “payback.” Other gun blogs had picked up Yewman’s post to mock it or insult it, with many commenters suggesting that the police in her hometown be called about what she was doing. Inevitably, somebody discovered—and posted—Yewman’s address.
What was Kort’s solution to this dilemma? Incredibly, it was to kill the rest of Yewman’s series. “I don’t think I should post the next two installments of this—they’ll only fire up the troops again, and we’re just not equipped to handle this on our blog,” Kort wrote. When I reached out to Kort, suggesting that Ms. had allowed itself to be censored by Second Amendment absolutists, she would not respond on the record. Suffice it to say that Ms. disagrees with this assessment. But I don’t see how you could view it in any other way. Ms. published something the N.R.A.-types didn’t like; they responded by bullying Ms. online, and Ms. folded.
First and foremost – when you write a clearly biased piece of dreck, intimating that your stupid actions are reflective of the rest of the gun owning population, “high minded debate about guns” is clearly not what you had in mind.
Second – posting her address? That falls into the realm of “legal but bad idea.” Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Being stupid doesn’t warrant threats to her or her family.
Third – the writer of the New York Times opinion piece Joe Nocera needs to learn the true meaning of censorship! This moron equates what he calls “bullying” to “The suppression or proscription of speech or writing that is deemed obscene, indecent, or unduly controversial” – the legal definition of the word. The writing wasn’t suppressed. It wasn’t in any way stifled. Yewman wrote what she wanted to write, and she faced the consequences.
What Joe Nocera is really upset about is that Ms. Yewman was forced to deal with the consequences of her stupidity. She wrote the piece, and she was held accountable for said writing by those who read it. The negative reaction is not equal to “bullying.” It was warranted in light of Yewman’s printed ignorance. MS Magazine was not prepared to deal with the negative reaction Yewman’s piece generated, but that is not censorship. They are still free to publish what they want and when they want it. Negative reactions to the piece should be expected in light of its weapons grade stupid.
But the media doesn’t like to be held accountable. It’s quite obvious these writers expect to publish what they want without having to address logical criticism of their writing.
It’s quite obvious that Yewman and MS Magazine expected not to be held to any journalistic standard of integrity for denigrating millions of responsible gun owners, just as they expected not to be held accountable for irresponsibly and stupidly conducting a ridiculous experiment with a tool for which they had no training or familiarity. And when their plans received less than favorable reviews, they weren’t equipped to handle the wave of negative reactions.
That’s when Nocera decided to screech “CENSORSHIP!” rather than understand the reasons for the negative reactions.