The New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger has surrendered to the tantrums of the newspaper’s left wing “woke” staffers. The trigger for the staffers’ latest meltdown was an op-ed article by Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas published last week, with the headline “Send In the Troops.” Commenting on the riots and looting that were raging in the nation’s capital and other major cities across the United States, Senator Cotton (pictured above) made the case for using overwhelming force to suppress the mayhem. He made it clear that he was not talking about “the majority who seek to protest peacefully.” He focused his concerns on the criminals “simply out for loot and the thrill of destruction” and the “left-wing radicals like antifa.” Senator Cotton suggested deploying military forces under the Insurrection Act in those circumstances where local officials were unable to cope with the violence and adequately protect their own communities.
Hours after Senator Cotton’s op-ed was published, New York Times staffers offended by the senator’s point of view tweeted, “Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger.” The Times’ progressive “wokes” were furious. How dare their paper publish the viewpoint of a conservative U.S. senator that they believed invaded their own safe space? They could not believe that their employer would deprive them of the same veto power they had been used to exercising against conservative speakers on their progressive college campuses.
At first, Sulzberger showed some backbone and initially defended the decision to publish Senator Cotton’s article. “I believe in the principle of openness to a range of opinions, even those we may disagree with, and this piece was published in that spirit,” Sulzberger wrote in an email to the staff last Thursday. But Sulzberger quickly folded under pressure from the Times’ cancel culture mob. He told attendees at a virtual staff town hall held last Friday that the op-ed was “contemptuous.” Sulzberger blamed “a significant breakdown in our editing processes.” The editorial page editor James Bennet, who resigned on Sunday after first defending the decision to publish the op-ed and then reversing himself, became the Times’ sacrificial lamb.
The New York Times’ mea culpa declared that Senator Cotton’s op-ed “should not have been published.” The editors lamented that “the tone of the essay in places is needlessly harsh and falls short of the thoughtful approach that advances useful debate.” They faulted themselves for failing “to offer appropriate additional context — either in the text or the presentation — that could have helped readers place Senator Cotton’s views within a larger framework of debate.” The Times’ double standard is sickening.
Where was the “additional context” that could have been offered to readers in connection with the New York Times’ publication of an op-ed article by Sirajuddin Haqqani, the deputy leader of the terrorist group Taliban? “I am convinced that the killing and the maiming must stop,” wrote the terrorist whose militants continue to kill and maim. The Times’ readers would have benefited from some context about this terrorist’s murderous past.
Where was the “additional context” that could have been offered to readers in connection with the New York Times’ publication of an op-ed article by Turkey’s dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan? This Islamist with designs to revive the Ottoman empire wrote, “Turkey proposes a comprehensive strategy to eliminate the root causes of radicalization.” The Times might have reminded its readers, as context for assessing Erdogan’s credibility, that Erdogan’s thugs had violently assaulted protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington D.C. two years prior to his op-ed article. It might also have helped for readers to know, as they perused Erdogan’s op-ed, that his regime has one of the world’s worst records on jailing journalists.
Op-eds by a terrorist and a dictator apparently met the New York Times’ standards for publication, but not an op-ed by a conservative United States senator. The Times has also published op-eds and its own editorials that unreservedly praised the Black Lives Matter movement. No “additional context” was provided.
For example, a New York Times editorial back in 2015 entitled “The Truth of ‘Black Lives Matter’” falsely depicted the Black Lives Matter movement as a group of perfectly innocent protesters airing their grievances in the tradition of past civil rights movements and made excuses for its racially exclusive motto. In 2016, the Times ran an article entitled “Why ‘All Lives Matter’ Is Such a Perilous Phrase.”
A staff writer at The New York Times Magazine wrote on June 5th that Black Lives Matter is “America’s current incarnation of a civil rights movement.” The author, Jenna Wortham, rhapsodized, “This is the biggest collective demonstration of civil unrest around state violence in our generation’s memory. The unifying theme, for the first time in America’s history, is at last: Black Lives Matter.” Her article was entitled “A ‘Glorious Poetic Rage.’” This was the phrase an activist involved with Black Lives Matter in Minnesota used to describe how the third day of protests in that city felt “when a police station house was lit on fire.”
The New York Times’ defense of the Black Lives Matter movement is as racist as the radical movement itself. David Horowitz has documented the real history of this “violent racist organization.” Horowitz wrote, “Their ferocious denunciations of slogans like ‘All Lives Matter’ and ‘Blue Lives Matter’ as ‘racist’ reveal the racist impetus behind their own agenda.”
Black Lives Matter New York Chairman Hawk Newsome has recently called for Black Panther-style arming of black vigilantes to engage in war with the police. “We pattern ourselves after the Black Panthers, after the Nation of Islam, we believe that we need an arm to defend ourselves,” Newsome said. “I don’t see us working with police. I see us policing ourselves. I see us teaching black people how to police their own communities.” This Black Lives Matter leader has condoned the rioters and looters. “People want to destroy because they’re angry and they’re frustrated,” Newsome said. “They want to go out and grab all those things that America told them that they should have, but they couldn’t have.”
New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones, who led the Times‘ historically inaccurate “1619 Project” on slavery’s central role in defining America’s identity, shares Newsome’s sentiments about looting. “Destroying property which can be replaced is not violence,” Hannah-Jones told CBS News. She referred to looting as justifiable “symbolic taking” because black communities “have been looted for decades.” As to Senator Cotton’s op-ed, Hannah-Jones tweeted, ”As a black woman, as a journalist, as an American, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this.”
When Senator Cotton wrote about violent rioters – black or white – and the need to control them with overwhelming force to stop the violence, the Times editors hung their heads in shame for publishing it. Hannah-Jones and her progressive Black Lives Matter supporters at the Times had spoken. Not surprisingly, the Times continues to portray the Black Lives Matter movement as the epitome of civil rights virtue, turning a blind eye as one of its leaders plans to mobilize armed racialized vigilantes against the police in black communities. Burning down a police precinct building by rioters in response to George Floyd’s killing is spun in the title of a Times article as “glorious poetic rage.”
As Andrew Sullivan wrote regarding an introductory essay to the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, “The New York Times, by its executive editor’s own admission, is increasingly engaged in a project of reporting everything through the prism of white supremacy and critical race theory, in order to ‘teach’ its readers to think in these crudely reductionist and racial terms.” Sullivan added that “it is hard to trust a paper engaged in trying to deceive its readers in order for its radical reporters and weak editors to transform the world.”
The New York Times’ editors have succumbed to the occupying cancel culture mob’s rulings on what is allowed to pass their “anti-racist” purity test. In so doing, the Times has turned genuine anti-racism on its head and become the instrument of Black Lives Matter racism.
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