We believe that Mr. Gerson’s commitment to “compassionate conservatism” and his roots in St. Louis will better connect with our readers, regardless of their political bent.As senators Dianne Feinstein, Tammy Baldwin, Richard Blumenthal and Bob Casey issued a joint statement about Will's column:
The change has been under consideration for several 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.
We have heard from both conservative and liberal readers asking for new conservative voices. We believe Mr. Gerson’s addition to our op-ed page will be a refreshing and revitalizing change.
Your column reiterates ancient beliefs about sexual assault that are inconsistent with the reality of victims' experiences, based on what we have heard directly from survivors. Your words contribute to the exact culture that discourages reporting and forces victims into hiding and away from much-needed services. For starters, your notion about a perceived privileged status of survivors of sexual assault on campuses runs completely counter to the experiences described to us.On C-SPAN, Will retaliated against the Post-Dispatch, saying “They know how to propitiate the rabble.”
The Chicago Tribune refused to run Will's piece, calling it “misguided and insensitive.”