Ex-NY Review Of Books Editor: ‘I Have Now Myself Been Convicted On Twitter’

JAIPUR, INDIA - JANUARY 28: Dutch writer and academic Ian Buruma at the DSC DSC Jaipur Literature Festival on January 28, 2013 in Jaipur, India. (Photo by M Zhazo/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
September 20, 2018 1:17 pm

Former editor of the New York Review of Books Ian Buruma protested what he feels has been ill treatment after he published a controversial essay written by a man who was acquitted of sexual assault charges in court but ultimately accused by more than 20 women.

“It is rather ironic: as editor of The New York Review of Books I published a theme issue about #MeToo-offenders who had not been convicted in a court of law but by social media. And now I myself am publicly pilloried,” Buruma said in an interview with Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland.

Buruma reportedly maintains that he was not fired, but that threatened boycotts made it impossible for him to remain in his role.

Despite the intensity of the backlash that cost him his job, Buruma stands by his decision to publish “Reflections From a Hashtag,” written by Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi.

“I still stand behind my decision to publish,” Buruma said. “I expected that there would intense reactions, but I hoped that it would open a discussion about what to do with people who behaved badly, but who were acquitted in a court of law.”

“You could be right that it gave him too much room to tell his side of the story, without a response and without critical questions,” he continued.

But he still thinks his critics are overreacting. “They go far, they are digging through everything I have ever written for proof that I hate women. I don’t read it all, because I don’t want to get depressed, but I do hear about it.”

The essay immediately caused sparks of outrage, and Buruma only fanned the flames when he gave an interview to Slate during which readers felt he downplayed the allegations against Ghomeshi.

Now, Buruma is consigned to the same fate as the man he gave a platform.

“I have now myself been convicted on Twitter, without any due process,” Buruma said.

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