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Dear Atlantic Monthly, I never thought this would happen to me

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The guy who line-edited Tom Cotton’s infamous “send in the troops!” op-ed has a tale of being accidentally like a martyr. The lede has an incredible “today in the hipster coffee shop” vibe:

In one of my first days at The New York Times, I went to an orientation with more than a dozen other new hires. We had to do an icebreaker: Pick a Starburst out of a jar and then answer a question. My Starburst was pink, I believe, and so I had to answer the pink prompt, which had me respond with my favorite sandwich. Russ & Daughters’ Super Heebster came to mind, but I figured mentioning a $19 sandwich wasn’t a great way to win new friends. So I blurted out, “The spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A,” and considered the ice broken.

The HR representative leading the orientation chided me: “We don’t do that here. They hate gay people.” 

1)Claiming to believe that staffers at the New York Times would be offended because you like a Russ & Daughters sandwich is even more embarrassing if you’re telling the truth than if you’re lying, so I will choose to be charitable.

2)I suppose it’s possible that the HR rep tried to score cred by criticizing Chick-fil-A, although that phrasing sounds nothing like how an HR person would talk.

Anyway, let’s continue:

People started snapping their fingers in acclamation. I hadn’t been thinking about the fact that Chick-fil-A was transgressive in liberal circles for its chairman’s opposition to gay marriage. “Not the politics, the chicken,” I quickly said, but it was too late. I sat down, ashamed.

Whoa, whoa, let’s go back for a minute here:

People started snapping their fingers in acclamation.

OK, sorry, but three corroborating witnesses or there is no way in hell this happened.

Things don’t really improve from here:

Being a conservative—or at least being considered one—at the Times was a strange experience. I often found myself asking questions like “Doesn’t all of this talk of ‘voter suppression’ on the left sound similar to charges of ‘voter fraud’ on the right?” only to realize how unwelcome such questions were.

Not here that he wasn’t threatened with losing his job or anything — what happened is that he asked willfully dumb false-equivalence questions, and people disagreed with him. Which is what so much of these “free speech” crusades are about — it’s not having the right to speak, it’s the alleged right to have other people think you’re brilliant irrespective of the quality of your expressed thoughts. It’s not how any of this works!

Now please form a drum circle and acclaim me.

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