The “No Platform” movement is a recent strategy of the campus left. It aims to censor and remove from the public sphere figures and opinions that offend the sensibilities of intersectionality devotees. It conflates hate groups with mainstream conservatives, classical liberals, and religious traditionalists, is anti-pluralist in intent and in consequence, and has become a regular feature of arguments over “representation” in media.
The hiring of a conservative writer for the opinion pages of a liberal publication now occasions a ferocious debate over whether the cause of social justice is being served by implicitly legitimizing an “offensive” voice. Such a debate, of course, assumes that the object of a publication is not to inform or entertain readers, nor to provide them a range of views, but to advance a party line. That is the logic of the campus. And that logic prevailed in the case of Kevin Williamson—a pungent libertarian writer hired by The Atlantic only to be terminated a week later over his views on abortion. (Needless to say, those views are pro-life.) Indeed, even the language of the announcement of Williamson’s firing, which accused him of “violent” speech, echoed the denunciations of student activists.