Commentary magazine, rarely the subject of controversy, aired some dirty laundry over the weekend.
Literary blogger D.G. Myers was given the boot from the publication and quickly suggested the reason involved his support of gay marriage. Commentary Editor John Podhoretz, who vehemently denies the termination involved gay marriage, told FishbowlDC that he has “made no decision” on whether they’ll work together again in the future.
On Saturday, Myers wrote on his personal blog a “statement” on his “firing” from Commentary. On Thursday, he explained, Podhoretz wrote and informed him that he was being terminated. The notice came an hour after Myers had published a post in defense of gay marriage on his literary blog, which had a home on Commentary‘s site.
“Whether I was fired for the substance of what I wrote or for violating the magazine’s procedures is unclear even to me, especially since my followup emails have gone unanswered,” Myers wrote in his statement. He said in the post that he published his gay-marriage piece without approval, which he said he typically didn’t have to gain on the literary blog.
After Myers published his piece about the “firing,” some fans attacked Podhoretz on Twitter…“So he got fired for posting a literary/philosophical defense of marriage for all on Commentary’s literary blog?” NPR book critic Michael Schaub wrote, lashing out at Podhoretz. Blogger Edward Champion said, “If you can’t explain why you’d can a man after a pro-gay marriage column, it’s VERY clear where you stand.”
Podhoretz initially offered no details on Twitter, simply referring anyone curious about what happened with Myers to Myers. But later that night he wrote a response on Commentary‘s politics blog.
According to Podhoretz, he had wanted to let go of Myers for awhile, but wouldn’t spell out specifically why. He wrote that “bureaucratic matters” and “overstepping” were reasons their working relationship soured after over the course of a year and half. Podhoretz also claimed Myers wasn’t technically fired because he was never an employee of Commentary. Rather, he was a freelancer. Podhoretz fully denied that Myers’ opinion on gay marriage was his reason for letting him go. In fact, Podhoretz said he, too, supports gay marriage. But oddly, Podhoretz waits until nearly 15 graphs to say that gay marriage was the not the issue. He said it was an issue of Myers publishing a political post without approval on a literary blog. He also said he told Myers they “could reconnect in a few months” to discuss writing more reviews for the magazine.
“I had my say; [Podhoretz] had his. The matter of my ‘parting’ with Commentary is settled,” Myers tweeted on Sunday. “I will say nothing more about it publicly.”
Indeed, Myers has not responded to our request for comment.