Last week, opinion editor Bari Weiss resigned from The New York Times, alleging that the newspaper has fostered a culture in which anyone who so much as tolerates dissenting viewpoints is subjected to professional and social ostracization.
“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor,” wrote Weiss in her scathing resignation letter. “As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions. I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.”
Speaking on Fox News’ “MediaBuzz” on Sunday, contributor and Town Hall editor Guy Benson said that Weiss may actually have a legal case against The New York Times.
It was an absolutely devastating resignation letter. It sounds like she has the receipts, so-to-speak, in terms of Slack conversations inside the Times newsroom, and there was more than a slight hint that there might be some sort of legal action coming the Times’ way, based on the way she was treated. She talked about a hostile work environment.
But I think more broadly speaking, this goes to an institution, The New York Times, in crisis. Howie, for years the New York Times was a very liberal newspaper, and it is now becoming an illiberal newspaper where you have a left-wing mob in the newsroom dictating what ideas make them feel safe or unsafe and, therefore, can or cannot be discussed or published on the even opinion pages of the Times.
In her letter, Weiss even hinted about being subject to anti-Semitism by New York Times staff.
“They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I learned to brush off comments about how I’m writing about the Jews again,'” she wrote. “Still, other New York Times employees publically smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action.”
After Weiss departed from her job with The New York Times, Andrew Sullivan of New York Magazine announced his own departure, alleging a lack of ideological diversity.
“A critical mass of the staff and management at New York Magazine and Vox Media no longer want to associate with me, and, in a time of ever-tightening budgets, I’m a luxury item they don’t want to afford,” wrote Sullivan. “And that’s entirely their prerogative. They seem to believe, and this is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media, that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space. Actually attacking, and even mocking, critical theory’s ideas and methods, as I have done continually in this space, is therefore out of sync with the values of Vox Media. That, to the best of my understanding, is why I’m out of here.”
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