“Woke” NYT Staffers Revolt After Paper Publishes Tom Cotton’s ‘Send In The Army’ Column

“Woke” NYT Staffers Revolt After Paper Publishes Tom Cotton’s ‘Send In The Army’ Column

Tyler Durden

Thu, 06/04/2020 – 17:45

A long-simmering culture war at the New York Times, once the undisputed national paper of record, has burst into public view on Thursday as a group of young “woke” staffers at the paper denounced the opinion section’s decision to publish a column penned by GOP Sen. Tom Cotton urging President Trump to call in the military to restore order in cities across the US where violence and looting have broken out.

By now, more police officers have been killed since George Floyd’s murder after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck, cutting off circulation. An autopsy report blamed the officer’s decision to pin Floyd to the ground by his throat as the cause of death. The office is now facing second degree murder and manslaughter charges. But leftists continue to insist that all opposition to the looting in violence is a fascist dog whistle. Whether you think Cotton is an incorrigible fascist, or you agree with his position, the notion that a small but vocal minority of the body politic is pushing for the active suppression of political speech.

In a twitter thread, NYT columnist Bari Weiss – who has frequently attracted the ire of the “woke”/DSA/Bernie Bro faction, which hates “neoliberals” just as much as it hates “conservatives” (aka fascists, since everybody who isn’t a “democratic” socialist is a fascist, in their view) – explains the division between the younger “woke” reporters/staffers, and the older liberals, with executive editor Dean Baquet, the paper’s first black executive editor, caught in the middle.

Of course, many of the NYT reporters and staffers who denounced the op-ed also denounced their colleague’s take. One reporter even said the very decision to print the op-ed put the paper’s black reporters “in danger”.

In a post weighing in on the debate, the Columbia Journalism Review argued that Cotton’s views shouldn’t have been published because it was “built on lies”. However, the sections of the paper that it described as lies weren’t lies at all, but descriptions of the chaos across the country, recounted with perhaps a touch of hyperbole. But leftists frequently test the bounds of what’s believable, like when they accuse crime reporters of “spreading false narratives” when they report on black-on-black crime statistics.

The problem with this idea of the Times as an open forum for views of all stripes — no matter how abhorrent — is that by opening the door to all “operative opinion” (as a member of the Opinion section described it to me a couple of years ago), the Times becomes a platform for those who are hostile to its core values and at direct odds with the New York Times Company mission to “seek the truth and help people understand the world.”

The core problem with Cotton’s column, it seems to me, isn’t that its arguments are painful or dangerous (though they are those things too). It’s that it’s built on lies. “This week, rioters have plunged many American cities into anarchy, recalling the widespread violence of the 1960s,” it begins, before trotting out hyperbolic (and false) phrases like “the riots were a carnival for the thrill-seeking rich as well as other criminal elements,” “orgy of violence,” and “cadres of left-wing radicals like Antifa infiltrating protest marches.”

Recent days have been marked by looting and violence. But the violence has sometimes been prompted by the police themselves, and the incidents getting the most attention have been isolated to a few commercial districts. The areas around the protests (to say nothing of the entirety of “American cities”) have been relatively calm and peaceful. As Davey Alba, a Times reporter who covers misinformation, pointed out on Twitter, the paper’s news side has already reported how promoting claims of unbridled urban unrest is part of the “untruths, conspiracy theories, and other false information…running rampant online” and being pushed by Trump and his allies.

Remember: These are the same people who forced their employers to describe riots as “protests” and looters as “demonstrators” leading to jarring headlines like “Violence and looting rage as George Floyd protests lead to clashes with cops in several states”.

The notion that we can trust them to be arbiters of the truth as simply laughable.

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Author: Tyler Durden


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