On Wednesday, the Boston Globe published an op-ed by journalist Luke O’Neil about former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen. O’Neil argued that Neilsen’s enabling of the horrific family separation policy, among other DHS atrocities, should disqualify her from polite society.
This in itself isn’t very notable—the New York Times and other mainstream publications have run similar op-eds arguing for Neilsen to be shunned from liberal institutions since her departure from the Trump administration.
But O’Neil’s column struck a somewhat different tone. His first line recalled a time when he worked as a waiter and served Bill Kristol, the conservative former editor of The Weekly Standard.
“One of the biggest regrets of my life is not pissing in Bill Kristol’s salmon,” O’Neil wrote. He went on to applaud the actions of protesters who yelled at Trump officials in restaurants last year, encouraging similar actions towards others in the administration.
“[The protests were] one of the only times it seemed like any of the architects of this ruinous xenophobic pre-pogrom might be forced to contend, however briefly, with the consequences of their policy decisions,” he wrote.
Not long after the piece went up, Fox News jumped on the op-ed, publishing an outrage-fueled piece of their own about O’Neil’s disgusting incivility. Rather than defend their writer, the Globe quickly erased the line from O’Neil’s piece. They added a note to the bottom of the article. “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,” it read. Then they took it down altogether.
The Globe was quickly criticized by other journalists for not standing behind O’Neil.
Others insinuated a connection between a viral newsletter O’Neil wrote last week, in which he interviewed people who said their loved ones had changed after they started watching Fox News, and Fox’s eagerness to slam his op-ed.
In his newsletter, O’Neil interviewed people who say their family members have become increasingly angry and unreasonable after they began watching Fox News.
“ I hate what they’ve done to almost everyone in my family,” one interviewee said. “It’s absolute poison and the only thing I think is worse is that there are people who think that destroying the morals and conscience of multiple generations is worth a few more bucks, because I absolutely refuse to believe that people like Hannity don’t know what they are doing.”
After the uproar, O’Neil tweeted from his now-locked account that he’d be quitting his weekly column at the Globe. Splinter has reached out to O’Neil to confirm that is the case.