On Thursday, Alan Pyke, an economics editor at Think Progress, the blog of the Center for American Progress, the liberal think-tank in Washington, tweeted out that he wished Fox News chief Roger Ailes would die a “slow, painful” death–“and soon.” Why? Because, in Pyke’s view, Ailes is “evil.” As Pyke explained it, referring to Ailes, “The evil that man has done to the American tapestry is unprecedented for an individual.”
A few hours later, after Breitbart News called him on his venomous tweet, Pyke deleted the tweet and apologized, sort of: as he wrote, “Deleting my hateful Roger Ailes tweet from earlier. Hoping that another human being dies is a shitty thing to do, and I’m sorry.”
But we might ask: Did Pyle personally apologize to Ailes for wishing him dead? Or did Pyke apologize for calling Ailes “evil?” The answer to both of those questions, of course, is “no.” Pyke did a little–make that very little–damage control. He deleted the tweet and then just said, “I’m sorry.”
As far as we can tell, Pyke is still on the payroll at CAP, still doing his thing. He has sent out some 30 tweets since his “I’m sorry,” mostly focused on the Ferguson, MO protests; he sure seems to be more of an activist than an economist. (Yes, it’s amazing what an economics editor at a liberal think tank can delve into.)
Well, that shouldn’t be the end of this story. There are a few more things–three things, in fact–that have to get settled.
First, let’s talk double standards. If a conservative, a moderate–anyone but a liberal–had tweeted out something like that, there’d be a suspension or even a firing. The most recent example is Sean Bergin, the New Jersey reporter whose un-PC opinions on the state of the black family, expressed on the air in July, cost him his job.
Second, let’s ask: Where is the accountability of the Center for American Progress? Let’s start with the President of CAP, Neera Tanden. Does she in any way have any responsibility here? As of publication, calls to her office have not been returned.
How about the board of directors of CAP, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright?
Do any of them feel any responsibility?
Also on the board of CAP is Tom Steyer, the green billionaire crusader. Steyer and another left-wing billionaire, George Soros, have given millions each. But in the meantime, is anyone holding them accountable for what one of their hirelings has to say?
And how about all the other donors to CAP, from the American Beverage Association to Wells Fargo? Any contrition on K Street?
And come to think of it, CAP is a tax-exempt outfit. So in effect, we’re all–all of us taxpayers–chipping in to subsidize Pyke’s hate.
Third, where are the usual watchdogs of civility? When a conservative gets out of line, outfits such as the Poynter Institute can be counted on to provide a tut-tut quote about “coarsening the culture,” etc. But when a good liberal from CAP does it, all we hear are crickets.
If nobody else will say it, we will: Alan Pyke ought to resign. And since he won’t, he should be fired. And until that happens, nobody in the CAP hierarchy–from Tanden, to Soros, to Steyer–should rest easy.