The Hypocrisy of Sam Yagan

Daily Best of the Web   —   Posted on April 11, 2014

The following is an excerpt from’s “Best of the Web” written by the editor, James Taranto.

The Hypocrisy of Sam Yagan 
We laughed at this headline from the Huffington Post: “OkCupid Co-Founder Regrets Accidentally Supporting Anti-Gay Candidate.” As we noted Friday (and Chuck Ross first reported in the Daily Caller, though the Huffington Post credits the later reporting of others), Sam Yagan donated $500 to then-Rep. Chris Cannon (R., Utah) in 2004. Cannon voted in favor of proposing the Federal Marriage Amendment and against gay-rights measures.

Yagan says he didn’t bother looking into Cannon’s views on the matter, and now that he knows, “I would not make that contribution again today.” He rejects the charge that his company’s effort to run Brendan Eich out of his job at Mozilla makes him a hypocrite:

A contribution made to a candidate with views on hundreds of issues has no equivalence to a contribution supporting Prop 8, a single issue that has no purpose other than to affirmatively prohibit gay marriage, which I believe is a basic civil right.

Slate’s Jamelle Bouie agrees:

Support for a politician isn’t the same as support for an issue. . . . Brendan Eich gave to a single-issue campaign. No one supports activists for the sake of supporting them–you do so to show your beliefs and priorities. Believe what you want about Yagan, but based on the evidence we have, there’s no comparing his donation to Eich’s. The former is ambiguous, the latter completely clear.

This misses the point. What makes Yagan a hypocrite is the inconsistency in his own actions, not any similarity between his contribution and Eich’s.

Yagan led a campaign to deprive Eich of his job because Eich supported a cause Yagan deplores. He contributed money to help Cannon keep his job despite Cannon’s support for the same cause. And Cannon’s support for that cause, unlike Eich’s, was in his official capacity. Furthermore, does Yagan really think Eich doesn’t have “views on hundreds of issues”?

(The excerpt above is from the BOTW 4/9/14 archives.)  For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”