Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Electronic Committee of Public Safety

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Celebrities, politicians, and almost anyone of influence and wealth are always an incorrect or insensitive word away from the contemporary electronic guillotine. Regardless of the circumstances of their dilemmas, the beheaded rarely win sympathy from the mob. Coliseum-like roars of approval greet their abrupt change of fortune from their past exalted status.

So, for example, perhaps few feel sorry for anchor Megyn Kelly, recently all but fired by NBC and now walking away with most of her $69 million salary package as a severance payout.

Kelly was let go ostensibly for making a sloppy but not malicious morally equivalent comparison between whites at Halloween dressing up in costumes as blacks, and blacks likewise appearing as whites. But she sealed her fate by uttering the historically disparaging word “black face” as some sort of neutral bookend to her use of “white face.” Her fatal crime, then, was insensitive thought and speech and historical ignorance.

For someone so familiar with the rules of our electronic French Revolution and the felonies of speech and thought, Kelly proved surprisingly naïve in a variety of ways.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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