At 4:59 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, Politico revealed that allegations of workplace harassment made against the journalist and intellectual Leon Wieseltier had resulted in both the cancellation of Idea, Wieseltier’s new magazine, which had been scheduled to launch the following week, and of Wieseltier himself.
According to the story, Laurene Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective, which funded Idea, had severed ties with him. The next evening Strobe Talbott, the president of the Brookings Institution, where Wieseltier was a senior fellow, sent an e-mail announcing that Wieseltier was no longer employed at the think tank. Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor in chief of The Atlantic, waited until Friday before notifying his staff that Wieseltier, a contributing editor since 2015, had been removed from the masthead. Wieseltier offered only a “shaken apology,” disputing nothing. “The women with whom I worked are smart and good people,” it read. “I am ashamed to know that I made any of them feel demeaned and disrespected. I assure them that I will not waste this reckoning.” And then?