Washington Post columnist George Will doubled down on his incendiary column about sexual assault in an interview Friday on C-Span.
The right wing commentator touched off a firestorm of criticism after he wrote earlier this month that being a victim of sexual assault is a “coveted status” on college campuses which “confers privileges.” He suggested that there’s a “supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. ‘sexual assault,'” in the column.
This prompted The St. Louis Post-Dispatch to axe Will’s syndicated column: the Chicago Tribune did not run the column, entitled “Colleges Become the Victims of Progressivism.”
In his interview with C-Span Will tacitly refused to recant on any of the statements that he made in his column. Instead he reiterated his initial point that allegations of sexual assault do irreparable damage to college men.
He stated that, “a lot of young men and young women in this sea of hormones and alcohol,” adding, “you’re going to have charges of sexual assault. You’re going to have young men disciplined, their lives often permanently and seriously blighted by this, don’t get into medical school, don’t get into law school, all the rest, and you’re going to have litigation of tremendous expense.”
He went on to state that “there is a danger now to defining sexual assault so broadly, so capaciously, that it begins to trivialize the seriousness of it.” Afterward he listed a series of interactions that he would not define as sexual assault.
He fired back at Senators taking issue with his column suggesting he takes sexual assault more seriously than they do. He asserted that sexual assault cases should only be dealt with by law enforcement entities rather than college campuses, and warned against “blurring distinctions” that are important to preserve in sexual assault cases.
He blamed the Internet for the “indignation” about the column, predicting the controversy about it will pass like a “summer storm.” He ended the interview by refusing to take back any part of his column.