Andrew Bowen Arab News
Andrew Bowen wrote columns for Arab News but not any moreArab News website screenshot

You're in the running for a job in the Trump administration's State Department and it's a pretty big deal for you.

Mother and father will be proud, but mostly just happy that the tens of thousands of dollars they poured into your college education weren't wasted.

You earned a PhD from the London School of Economics, no less, and now you're about to hit the bigtime. You're heading for the Trump White House, baby, to make great deals with the Chinese, really great deals, big league deals that are just the best, really the best kind of deals.

Then reality smashes you in the face: what about all those pro-Hillary Clinton articles you wrote back when everyone thought she would win and had written off Donald Trump? Team Trump won't like that. They'll be thinking: does this guy even want to make America great again?

Ah, but this is easy to fix. You just call up the publication you wrote for, repeatedly demand your pro-Clinton, anti-Trump articles be quietly deleted from their website, and claim this must happen for you "to be cleared" for a job by the State Department. The editors will understand.

Well, Andrew Bowen, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, allegedly tried to get Arab News to do exactly that and for those reasons. He is, according to Arab News, up for a job at the State Department and trying to do a little spring content cleaning.

Presumably, he wouldn't want Team Trump to read words he wrote like these, published in October 2016: "...Trump's inability to control his temperament, repeated personal misjudgments, and boorish remarks underscore that Donald Trump 'the candidate' versus 'the man' is a chasm too great to bridge to attract any voters beyond his constituency."

But it backfired. Via an announcement on its website, Arab News declared that it would no longer publish articles by Bowen.

"The reason behind this decision is the columnist insisting that this newspaper deletes previous articles dating back prior to the recent US election where he was in favour of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton," said the news site.

"Mr Bowen also insinuated — verbally and in writing — that he will seek the support of influential friends and contacts to help remove the articles.

"Arab News possesses all correspondence relating to this matter and its position is that such a request is unprofessional journalistically, particularly given that there were no factual errors or libellous comments that require a redaction or correction.

"We wish Mr Bowen the best of luck in his job application."

Ouch.