On Thursday, the Huffington Post revealed an absolute bombshell: liberal columnist Jonathan Chait of New York magazine announced at an all-hands staff meeting that a part of him was glad — yes, glad! — that President Trump had won the Oval Office. According to the Huffington Post‘s Ashley Feinberg, Chait, among others on the magazine’s editorial staff, was asked whether any part of him was happy that Trump had won, thanks to the possibility of more exciting content. While others including writer-at-large Rebecca Traister demurred, Chait answered honestly, the Post reported:
“Traister went first and gave the right answer, which is ‘no,’” one employee, who’s been granted anonymity to speak freely about an off-the-record meeting, told HuffPost. “She said there isn’t ‘a single molecule’ of her that is happy Trump won and that we’ll all face repercussions for generations.” Chait, however, answered the question with an affirmative “one hundred percent.”…. According to the staffer, Chait said with a laugh: “Maybe that makes me a sociopath.” Some of the employees in attendance said the group was stunned by Chait’s response; others were less surprised to hear this sentiment come from a self-described disenfranchised white man.
Yes, clearly Chait’s whiteness is the problem — unlike Ashley Feinberg’s.
The level of horror in the Post article is absolutely delicious. Chait is an ardent opponent of Trump on policy — and clearly he was speaking half-jokingly. But even that sort of joking is intolerable. No one must ever make light of the supposedly dire, existential threat to humanity posed by Donald J. Trump.
And so Chait was forced to issue an explanation to the enraged Feinberg:
In an email to HuffPost, Chait clarified that he was referring to this Seinfeld routine, “in which he describes the experience of riding in a cab and feeling like you’re watching something happening to somebody else.”
Chait also added that his comments “were intended for an audience which, I assume, was familiar with my work and the obvious seriousness with which I take politics in general and Trump in particular. I was commenting in an ironic and self-deprecating fashion about the way in which I can professionally disassociate myself from the events I am commenting on.”
But such explanations are insufficient for treachery of this kind. Leftist blue-checkmark Twitter went apoplectic:
Jonathan Chait, please report to the guillotine. Your heresy is showing.