The Corner

Re: My Apologies to Publius

Publius has generously and graciously accepted my apology. I thank him for his kindness in doing so.

I see that some of the earlier commenters on his post have raised concerns about my good faith. One stated concern is that my apology is too vague. Let me be clear: In apologizing for having “been uncharitable in my conduct” towards Publius, I am apologizing both for disclosing his identity and for making harsh statements about Publius in the course of doing so. In stating that my apology is “completely apart from any debate over our respective rights,” I am apologizing for my conduct whether or not, in some abstract sense, I had a “right” to do what I did. In other words, I am acknowledging that I had a duty to be charitable to Publius (because a human being is beneath the pseudonym) and that I violated that duty. 

A second stated concern is that my apology is insincere and coerced. On that score, I will simply say that no one at (or on behalf of) National Review or NRO (or in any other position of authority over me) ever raised with me a single concern about my posts or ever remotely suggested that I should make an apology. Further, as those who know me will readily attest, for better or worse my response to mob pressure is to entrench, not to cave. I made the decision to apologize on my own, without consulting with anyone before doing so, and I fully mean what I have said.

I will add that just as my apology cannot undo my disclosure of Publius’s identity, I fully acknowledge that folks may legitimately continue to criticize my conduct. 


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