(RNN) – The St. Louis Post-Dispatch axed conservative thinker George Will's syndicated column Wednesday.
Editor Tony Messenger apologized to his readers. He stated the change had been considered for months, but "a column published June 5, in which Mr. Will suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, made the decision easier.
"The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it," Messenger said.
The newspaper announced Will's column would be replaced by Michael Gerson, "former speechwriter and top aide to President George W. Bush."
In Will's column, Colleges become the victims of progressivism, he stated, "[Colleges] are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous … and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate," Will wrote.
The internet exploded in response, with social media commenters and websites such as Jezebel condemning Will.
In the International Business Times, the Washington Post opinion editor Fred Hiatt defended Will's column as "well within bounds of legitimate debate on an important topic."
"I welcomed his perspective and I think the ensuing debate, including responses we will publish, is very healthy and exactly what a good opinion section should be offering its readers," Hiatt said.
The Post has more recently drawn the ire of some readers via One way to end violence against women? Married dads, written by W. Bradford Wilcox and Robin Fretwell Wilson. It stated women should marry in order to lower their statistical chances of being a victim of violence.
The article referred to the hashtag #Yesallwomen, which went viral after the Isla Vista, CA, mass shooting last month. Elliot Rodger, the suspected shooter, espoused the culture of male privilege and misogyny in his writings and online video.
"This social media outpouring makes it clear that some men pose a real threat to the physical and psychic welfare of women and girls," Wilcox and Wilson wrote. "But obscured in the public conversation about the violence against women is the fact that some other men are more likely to protect women, directly and indirectly, from the threat of male violence: married biological fathers."
Among those speaking out against the Wilcox and Wilson article was Alex Haslett, an assistant editor at Mashable. She stated on Twitter: "I'm kind of impressed that he can miss the #Yesallwomen point SO HARD, and then still double down and be an idiot."
The Wilcox and Wilson piece had originally been titled: One way to stop violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married.
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