The Aspen Times deposited the metaphorical lump of coal in conservative columnist Glenn Beaton’s Christmas stocking this year. After a seven-year run as the paper’s one and only conservative columnist as well as its most widely read columnist, period, the editors terminated him.
The reason given for Glenn’s abrupt firing was that his “values” conflict with those of the newspaper. Glenn is a Trump supporter and has been critical of the Democratic candidates for president, as in this November 17 column. As it turns out, Glenn’s Christmas column was his last for the newspaper.
Glenn has forwarded a copy of the message he sent his Aspen Times editor in response to the notice of termination:
I want to thank you, your other editors and Swift Communications for publishing my column the last seven years. It was a privilege for me.
I respect the editors for their willingness in the past to publish opinions with which they disagreed. As I frequently told both liberal and conservative colleagues, that’s good journalism.
I was under the impression that the column was successful. That’s despite — or perhaps because — it was outside the comfort zone of many of your readers. You yourself complimented my column on numerous occasions. It obviously generated far more clicks and commentary than other columns. It was sometimes picked up by national outlets such as RealClearPolitics. And other newspapers within Swift often reprinted it.
I was therefore surprised by your email. Unpredicated on any discussion between us, you announced that after seven years my column is contrary to the newspaper’s values. And then you took some parting shots at me and my writing.
I was also disappointed that this endeavor for which I never accepted any payment, and on which I spent literally thousands of hours over the last seven years and never missed a deadline, was terminated in an email rather than in person or at least by telephone. And without even a perfunctory “thank you for your work.”
In summary, I recognize that such things are never easy but I think this one was handled very poorly.
But in any event, let’s have no hard feelings. All the best to you, the others at the paper and Swift Communications.
Merry Christmas, Glenn
Glenn advises, not surprisingly, that he has received no response to this message.
Responding to my inquiry yesterday about his future plans, Glenn wrote:
I’ll continue to publish at my website, The Aspen beat, and I would very much appreciate your readers being informed of that fact. I’ll also consider other publications that have expressed interest in my stuff.
I’m not comfortable in cutting and pasting the termination email that was sent to me yesterday since the sender might not have intended it for public consumption, but [you have] my reply to it. Feel free to publish this if you wish. I’ve received no reply.
Let me take this opportunity to thank you and the other Power Line writers for your work. I read it every day, and have had the privilege of seeing it link to my stuff on occasion, including this 2017 column.
Glenn can be reached at [email protected]. We wish him the best as he carries on after his close encounter with the Orwellian face of liberation on the left.