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Saturday, November 25, 2023

Aaron Sibarium

At POLITICO, Marc Novicoff profiles Aaron Sibarium staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon:
When he was 4, Sibarium was diagnosed with autism. As he wrote in a column for the Yale Daily News, “I flapped my hands, compulsively and uncontrollably, until I was almost 6 years old. I barely spoke until I was 3. I had no true friends until I was 7.” His parents, he says, “hired a coterie of experts to improve my speech, motor and social skills and eventually enrolled me in a school for students with special needs.” By age 7, “a team of child psychologists” told his parents he no longer fit the criteria of autism, and by age 9, he was “pronounced autism-free.” 

Today, though, he says some of those traits persist, particularly a “kind of mild disagreeableness and willingness to just argue about stuff and not really care that much what others think.” He also has no trouble turning a single question into five or ten minutes of uninterrupted speech; he sometimes laughs for longer than seems appropriate; and he often closes his eyes for 5, or 10, or 15 seconds while talking in depth about things. He says he’s got a “lust for order,” although that cannot be observed in his apartment, which is crammed with old papers and open envelopes.


Sibarium seems to enjoy his life at the Free Beacon, poking mainstream, liberal-leaning institutions with small questions and getting big stories. And while he hasn’t ruled out becoming the star op-ed columnist every young conservative dreams about being (always Ross Douthat, sometimes Christopher Caldwell), he’s just fine for now being “a normal, nerdy kid” — the kind who thinks the upcoming Modern Warfare video game is going to be “freaking cool” and the kind who takes himself to pet stores to play with the birds because “the plumage is really beautiful.”