UPDATE, 6:50 p.m. Eastern: In a statement through a spokesperson, The New York Times caved to the anti-First Amendment, far-left mob of journalists, offering what could only be interpreted as an apology for publishing a column that they not only disagreed with, but suggested the column's very existence could kill African-Americans.
Here's the full statement:
We’ve examined the piece and the process leading up to its publication. This review made clear that a rushed editorial process led to the publication of an Op-Ed that did not meet our standards. As a result, we’re planing to examine both short term and long term changes, to include expanding our fact-checking operation and reducing the number of Op-Eds we publish.
This mea culpa came after publisher AG Sulzberger penned an internal memo defending the column's publication.
The original post is below.
By now, the liberal media and allies in elected office and academia have made clear as day that they don’t actually believe in the First Amendment or a free press. The latest proof? The New York Times opinion section daring to publish a column Wednesday night from a sitting U.S. Senator (Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton) espousing a take contrary to The Times’s editorial board.
“Sent In the Troops” has led to a mass uproar from Times employees suggesting that African-American lives are now in danger because The Times published Cotton saying that President Trump has the authority to use the military to help quell rioting and violence across the country, done supposedly in the name of the late George Floyd.
Politico’s Alex Thompson immediately noted how Times employees were “in a rare open revolt”:
NYT reporters in a rare open revolt over the opinion side running Tom Cotton’s op-Ed calling to deploy the military to “restore order.” pic.twitter.com/MgLuR8EunJ— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) June 3, 2020
Other journalists joined in, including 60 Minutes’s Wesley Lowery, who said Wednesday night that he would be “cancelling my subscription” because the paper was willfully “imperil[ing] the lives of my loved ones.”
Whether it’s the White House, Trump campaign, or others on Twitter, there are two immediate issues with one being the substance and the other a double standard.
Coincidentally, a Morning Consult poll of registered voters found that 58 percent support the use of the military to help police officers respond to protests with only 30 percent opposing. Of that 58 percent, 33 percent of them replied that they “strong support” that ability. In other words, a strong majority of Americans were behind Cotton’s position.
And on the double standard, Times employees suffered a collective meltdown despite the fact that the paper has published columns from Recep Erdogan, Nicholas Maduro, Vladimir Putin, Javad Zarif, and leaders from Hamas and the Taliban. But a U.S. Senator was a bridge too far (h/t: Jerry Dunleavy).
As Townhall’s Guy Benson wrote, a New York union representing journalists offered a statement that he dubbed “overwrought to the point of derangement,” especially with the line that Cotton’s piece posed “a clear threat to the health and safety of journalists.”
And speaking of derangement, the supposedly esteemed writer, Pulitzer Prize winner, and pro-riot activist Nikole Hannah-Jones said she was “deeply ashamed that we ran this.”
Here’s excepts from a Times piece about the paper’s staff losing their minds (click “expand”):
The Times has reported on the debate within the administration over whether or not to follow this course of action.
In the essay, Mr. Cotton also described instances of looting in New York City as “carnivals for the thrill-seeking rich as well as other criminal elements” and warned that the antifascism movement “antifa” had infiltrated the marches. (On Monday, a Times article described the theory that antifa was responsible for the riots and looting as “the biggest piece of protest misinformation tracked by Zignal Labs,” a media insights company.)
It is not unusual for right-leaning opinion articles in The Times to attract criticism. This time, the outcry from readers, Times staff members and alumni of the paper was strong enough to draw an online defense of the essay’s publication from James Bennet, the editorial page editor.
“Times Opinion owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments, particularly those made by people in a position to set policy,” Mr. Bennet wrote in a thread on Twitter. “We understand that many readers find Senator Cotton’s argument painful, even dangerous. We believe that is one reason it requires public scrutiny and debate.”
Three Times journalists, who declined to be identified by name, said they had informed their editors that sources told them they would no longer provide them with information because of the Op-Ed.
Thankfully, New York Magazine’s Andrew Sullivan and The Times’s own Bari Weiss weighed in with the former calling triggered columnists and reporters “a disgrace to journalism.”
“The truth is: a critical mass of mainstream journalists do not want to reflect or report on anything that they might disagree with. They see opposing views as ‘violence’ and the attempt at objectivity a cover for ‘white supremacy’. They are a disgrace,” he added.
And here was Weiss’s thread:
The civil war inside The New York Times between the (mostly young) wokes the (mostly 40+) liberals is the same one raging inside other publications and companies across the country. The dynamic is always the same. (Thread.)— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) June 4, 2020