The Boston Globe found itself in hot water on Wednesday after publishing an opinion piece from a man who said he regretted “not pissing” on a Neo-conservative pundit’s food and encouraging waiters to “tamper” with the food of outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
The article, titled “Keep Kirstjen Nielsen unemployed and eating Grubhub over her kitchen sink,” was written by Luke O’Neil, a former waiter and occasional writer for the Globe. The article now has an editor’s note at the top and has been stealth edited for “tone.” The article originally began:
One of the biggest regrets of my life is not pissing in Bill Kristol’s salmon. I was waiting on the disgraced neoconservative pundit and chief Iraq War cheerleader about 10 years ago at a restaurant in Cambridge and to my eternal dismay, some combination of professionalism and pusillanimity prevented me from appropriately seasoning his entrée. A ramekin of blood on the side might have been the better option, come to think of it, he always did seem really thirsty for the stuff.
Kristol is the former founder and editor-at-large of The Weekly Standard, which stopped publication in December 2018. Kristol was the editor-in-chief of the magazine until two years ago, when he switched his title to editor-at-large.
O’Neil originally concluded the op-ed encouraging food service employees to “tamper” with the food of a Trump official:
As for the waiters out there, I’m not saying you should tamper with anyone’s food, as that could get you into trouble. You might lose your serving job. But you’d be serving America. And you won’t have any regrets years later.
An editor’s note at the top of the article now reads: “A version of this column as originally published did not meet Globe standards and has been changed. The Globe regrets the previous tone of the piece.”
After the initial outrage, the sentence was changed to say O’Neal regretted “not defiling Bill Kristol’s salmon,” according to a screenshot from Daily Caller opinion contributor Eddie Zipperer.
“Update: .@bostonglobe has now stealth edited the opinion piece,” Zipperer wrote.
It appears to have been changed once again. The lede paragraph no longer mentions “pissing in” or “defiling” Kristol’s salmon. It instead states that one of the biggest regrets of O’Neil’s life was “serving Bill Kristol salmon and not telling the neoconservative pundit and chief Iraq War cheerleader what I really thought about him.”
The final paragraph no longer suggests defiling the food of Republicans or former Trump officials, instead suggesting food service workers tell them off if they visit their restaurants”:
And when they show up in our restaurants, you have my permission, as an official member of the mainstream media, to tell them where to go and what they can do with themselves when they arrive there, but, you know, said in a more specific and traditional Boston colloquialism.
The Federalist* noted that O’Neil’s original conclusion paragraph may have gone beyond the protections of the First Amendment and is more aligned with incitement than free speech.
O’Neil defended his comments on Twitter, but has since protected his tweets.
“People who carry out policies of ethnic cleansing or cheerlead for disastrous wars leading to tens of thousands suffering or dead should not expect to be able to show their faces in public anymore thank you for understanding this basic premise,” he tweeted in response to criticism from conservative pundit Caleb Hull.
*I am also a senior contributor to the Federalist.