There’s some talk over my decision last week to part ways with D.G. Myers, who has contributed monthly articles on fiction to the magazine and authored a blog, Literary Commentary, on this site. I would ordinarily not discuss such things; the relations of editors to writers are a private matter between them. But David has now chosen to discuss them. (He calls what happened to him a “firing,” which it was not; he was not and never has been an employee of COMMENTARY; he was paid as a freelancer.)
I understand his anger and hurt and I sympathize with those emotions more than I expect he knows or can believe at this moment. But since he is expressing them in a manner that is unjust to this institution and unfair to me—since he is suggesting I acted to censor his views on gay marriage, which is nothing more nor less than an abominable lie—I feel obliged to respond.
UPDATE TO THIS ITEM: The editor of the New York Times Magazine said this afternoon that “the column is NOT about the Petraeus affair, based on our factchecking.” So interesting it may be, but it has nothing to do with David Petraeus’s resignation.
On Twitter this morning, someone uncovered an astonishing letter written to the New York Times Magazine’s Ethicist column and published on July 13, 2012. Here’s the letter.
My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.) I have met with him on several occasions, and he has been gracious. (I doubt if he is aware of my knowledge.) I have watched the affair intensify over the last year, and I have also benefited from his generosity. He is engaged in work that I am passionate about and is absolutely the right person for the job. I strongly feel that exposing the affair will create a major distraction that would adversely impact the success of an important effort. My issue: Should I acknowledge this affair and finally force closure? Should I suffer in silence for the next year or two for a project I feel must succeed? Should I be “true to my heart” and walk away from the entire miserable situation and put the episode behind me? NAME WITHHELD
Paula Broadwell, the writer who appears to have been David Petraeus’s paramour, is married with two children.