When New York Times Editorial Page Editor James Bennett agreed to publish Senator Tom Cotton’s call to crack down on BLM, he did not realize that he was signing a death warrant for his career. Bennett, who at least kept the editorial page reasonably interesting, was ousted. Now he’s back and telling his story, at great length, in an Economist article.
One episode concerns the different treatment of conservative writers.
The Times’s failure to honour its own stated principles of openness to a range of views was particularly hard on the handful of conservative writers, some of whom would complain about being flyspecked and abused by colleagues. One day when I relayed a conservative’s concern about double standards to Sulzberger, he lost his patience. He told me to inform the complaining conservative that that’s just how it was: there was a double standard and he should get used to it. A publication that promises its readers to stand apart from politics should not have different standards for different writers based on their politics. But I delivered the message. There are many things I regret about my tenure as editorial-page editor. That is the only act of which I am ashamed.
A.G. Sulzberger is the paper’s publisher.
As conservatives, we spend a lot of time talking about double standards while the media spends a lot of time denying it. Behind closed doors though the publisher of the New York Times was apparently open about the bias.
This kicks in around Sen. Cotton’s op-ed.
He did not explain why, if the Times was an independent publication, an op-ed making a mainstream conservative argument should have to meet such different standards from an op-ed making any other kind of argument, such as for the abolition of the police.
The answer, as Sulzberger admitted, is systemic bias. When a group controls an institution or an industry, it will have two sets of standards: one for members of the in-group and another for members of the out-group.
There’s a double standard at the New York Times and across the media. Get used to it.