Conservative columnist George Will wouldn’t give an inch over his apparently offensive column on college sexual assaults, telling CSPAN host Brian Lamb it’s his “job” is to discount “dubious statistics” and blasting “jerry-built, improvised campus processes” to deal with sexual assault.
Will appeared Thursday on CSPAN’s “Q&A” program, which airs Sunday on the nonprofit news channel but was published on YouTube Friday.
Lamb asked Will about one of his recent columns lambasting misinformation and hyperbole over rape on college campuses. Tens of thousands contacted The Washington Post urging them to drop Will’s column for excusing, if not encouraging, “rape culture” at American universities.
And on Thursday, his column was removed from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, with the paper calling the column “offensive and inaccurate.” (RELATED: George Will Dispatched By Dispatch For Sexual Assault Column)
“What is the impact of the column that has people raging about you at this moment?” Lamb asked, pointing out the St. Louis paper’s decision to sever their ties with him.
“Yes, they have,” Will noted. “They know how to propitiate the rabble. But this is my job, is when dubious statistics become the basis of dubious and dangerous abandonment of due process, to step in and say, ‘Take a deep breath everybody.'”
The columnist explained how the White House and other advocacy groups are — based on their own numbers — demonstrably inflating campus rape statistics.
Will repeated his claim that he “takes sexual assault more seriously than I think they do . . . when someone is accused of rape, it should be reported to the criminal justice system that knows how to deal with this, not jerry-built, improvised campus processes.”
He added that in many circles, sexual assault is defined “so broadly, so capaciously, that it trivializes the seriousness of it.”
And how does Will explain the uproar?
“Today, for some reason — and I’ve got some theories about it — indignation is the default position of certain people in civic discourse,” the columnist noted. “They go from a standing start to fury in about 30 seconds.”
“I think it has something to do with the Internet,” Will mused, claiming that with rapidly reducing barriers to communication, “you don’t have to be able to read, write or think. You can just come in and shout and call names and carry on.”