Weiss’ Times colleagues called her a Nazi, but, in their minds, she was something far worse: a collaborator. She was not the barbarian at the gate but the enemy within. The fanatic does not hate the infidel abroad nearly so much as he loathes the heretic inside the temple. East Germans in the Honecker era were not hunting far-off fascists — they were informing on their neighbors for any deviation, however slight, from the party line.
In that way, the Times reflects the social-justice warriors who now run it and other old-line institutions. Hachette, the publishing giant, has very little trouble being the publisher of conservative columnist George Will, but its junior staffers are up in arms over Rowling. (So far, Hachette is standing by Rowling, possibly because her Harry Potter books have grossed nearly $8 billion worldwide.) Bill Maher is a standard-issue Hollywood progressive, but he has all sorts of people on his HBO show (including Bari Weiss and this columnist) and is denounced by his friends for his efforts. The Left hates Bill Maher more than it hates Sean Hannity because he is a liberal on HBO rather than a right-winger at Fox News. From the fanatics’ point of view, his failure is not a failure of ideology but a failure to stay in his lane.