Friday, September 27, 2013

National Review and Independent Women's Forum Purge Evan Gahr


National Review and the conservative Independent Women's Forum barred Evan Gahr, from their conference last week because he wanted to ask questions about a sexual harassment scandal at the Family Research Council.

Gahr has written articles for the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal, the American Spectator and even the IWF attacking feminists--but his recent expose of sexual harassment at the Family Research Council was apparently too much of a thought crime for National Review and the IWF to handle.

Nat Hentoff, the civil libertarian writer and fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, told Gahr, who has also written for National Review, that "You should not have been barred." 

The September 19th conference, which was to be moderated by Jonah Goldberg, was designed to counter the widely held perception that the GOP is at war with women.  
But it is hard to pretend there is no  GOP war on women if someone asks you about the little insurrection the Family Research Council just waged against women at its own office.

Just hours before the conference was set to convene,  National Review publisher Jack Fowler told  Gahr he was barred because his questions would have disrupted National Review's "agenda."

Here's the back story.

Last December, Gahr reported exclusively that the Family Research Council was sued by a woman they fired after she complained about sexual harassment by her supervisor, William "Bill" Saunders. She said he was emailing her, "Hi, cutie," pressuring her to attend parties and opining that  young women who use birth control pills are "whoring around."

The Family Research Council never disputed that the sexual harassment occurred. They just denied Moira Gaul was fired for filing a formal complaint with the District of Columbia Human Rights Commission about it.

William "Women are whores" Saunders, who left the Family Research Council shortly after Gaul fired her complaint, did not respond to repeated emails

The story was picked up by the Huffington Post, Wonkette, TalkinPointsMemo, Think Progress, the Washington Blade, and several gay websites.

Gahr signed up for the IWF/NR conference early last week online and  received an automated confirmation.

On  September 18, he emailed Independent Women's Forum Executive Director Sabrina Schaeffer and told her he wanted to ask questions about Moira Gaul's lawsuit against the Family Research Council. Among the questions: Did the IWF share the view of the Family Research Council that young women who use birth control pills are "whoring around?"

The IWF says feminists exaggerate the prevalence of sexual harassment. Did the IWF consider Moira Gaul to be a victim of sexual harassment? Or was having your supervisor volunteer his august opinion that millions of sexually active women are whores just all in a day's work?

The obvious rejoinder to these questions would have been that, yes, Moira Gaul was the victim of some really ugly sexual harassment but hers was an isolated incident. 

Of course, National Review and IWF want to pretend that sexual harassment is an entirely a figment of feminists' imagination. 

The morning of the September 19 conference, which was scheduled to kick off  at 6pm with an open house reception,  Gahr received an email from National Review flack Amy Mitchell. She said the conference was over booked and he could not attend.


It soon became clear that the real problem was that there was no room for Gahr's questions or ideas.

Gahr emailed Mitchell and National Review publisher Jack Fowler in mid-afternoon to ask why,  if the conference was overbooked,  were they still letting people register online.  He also said if there were truly no seating for the panel discussion he would like to attend just the cocktail reception.

He then called Fowler,  who made quite clear he could not attend because he wanted to ask about the Family Research Council lawsuit.

You're not going,  Fowler thundered.  "This conference is about our agenda not yours."

Agendas, indeed.

This is not the first time Jonah Goldberg and National Review has waged an intellectual jihad against Gahr.
In the late 1990s, Gahr wrote a bunch of articles for National Review,  including two that heaped ridicule and abuse on liberal blacks,  such as the distinguished historian John Hope Franklin.

But the relationship with National Review quickly soured in 2001 when Gahr attacked one of National Review's white Christian allies.

Gahr called Paul Weyrich, who coined the term "Moral Majority" for Jerry Falwell and co-founded the Heritage Foundation,  "a demented anti-Semite" for saying the Jews killed Christ.

The Hudson Institute, where Gahr was a senior fellow,  fired him.

To justify the dismissal, Hudson cited an email, provided by Goldberg, that Gahr wrote  to National Review writer Ramesh Ponnuro.  Gahr told Ramesh Ponnuru, who had defended Weyrich, that he was "brown nosing a brown shirt."

Goldberg also told Gahr that he deserved to be fired.

Pressed on the dismissal, Jay Nordlinger, then managing editor of National Review, said, "Shut the fuck up, you big bully. I would have fired your also."

(Nordlinger more recently showed his willingness to countenance bigotry by calling Mexicans wetbacks.)

Gahr also has had a tumultuous relationship with the Independent Women's Forum. The late Ricky Silberman, founder of the IWF, had recommended Gahr for his job with the Hudson Institute and arranged for him to write for the American Spectator and the IWF's publication.

But when Gahr sought her help following his dismissal from Hudson Silberman told him never to talk to her ever again. /
Charlotte Hays, the editor of the IWF's flagship publication,  told Gahr he could probably never write for her again

The exclusion of Gahr from the conference because his pesky questions would have embarrassed the GOP shows that the Independent Women's Forum is about as independent of the Republican Party as Pravda was of the Kremlin.  

National Review and the Independent Women's Forum who claim feminists impede free expression have, with their little blacklist,  displayed the some grotesque double standards regarding free speech.

From: Jack Fowler
To: EvanGahr ; evan22209
Subject: RE: Tonight's Event
Date: Thu, Sep 19, 2013 3:54 pm

That is fine Evan. You don’t really think I would say anything in private that I wouldn’t say in public?

Be at peace.


From: EvanGahr []
Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2013 3:53 PM
To: Jack Fowler;
Subject: Re: Tonight's Event

I'm sure you know that in New York and Washington it is entirely legal to record phone conversations without the person's knowledge. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Fowler <>
To: EvanGahr <>; Amy Mitchell <>
Sent: Thu, Sep 19, 2013 3:47 pm
Subject: RE: Tonight's Event
I handle everything Evan.

By the way, this event is about our agenda, not anyone else’s.

Be at peace with the decision.


From: EvanGahr []
Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2013 3:37 PM
To: Amy Mitchell
Cc: Jack Fowler
Subject: Re: Tonight's Event

If you're overbooked why did I just get an email at 2pm saying you looked forward to seeing me?
And why are you informing Jack Fowler about such a small matter that the publisher would not normally deal with.
This is not the kind of thing that a publisher would handle. You are obviously barring me because I wanted to discuss the Family Research Council lawsuit.

-----Original Message-----
From: Amy Mitchell <>
To: evangahr <>
Cc: Jack Fowler <>
Sent: Thu, Sep 19, 2013 9:53 am
Subject: Tonight's Event

Thank you for registering for this evening's Mad Women Debate. We have the unfortunate duty this morning to inform registrants that we are over capacity for the event and therefore we will not able to provide seating for those who registered late. We appreciate your interest in attending but know you will understand and can appreciate that we must follow codes.

Thank you,

Amy Mitchell.
Amy K. Mitchell
Vice President, Communications
National Review
233 Pennsylvania Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20003
P: (202) 827-4106
Twitter: or

Evan Gahr, a former press critic and editorial writer for the late New York Post Editorial Page Editor Eric Breindel,  has written for almost every major conservative publication,  plus many outside the conservative ghetto, including the Washington Post. 

His reporting has been picked up by Page Six, the Reliable Source, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Huffington Post and the Forward. 

Check out his ambush interview of Barney Frank.

Twitter: @EvanGahr


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