News and Commentary

NYT Issues An Apology For Publishing Tom Cotton’s Op-Ed
Tom Cotton
Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

On Thursday, after staffers at The New York Times had rebelled because the Times had published an opinion piece by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) in which he suggested using the U.S. military to quell the violence rampaging across the nation, the Times meekly offered an apology, adding it would publish less op-eds in the future.

The Times stated: “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 planning 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.”

Ironically, on Thursday, prior to the Times issuing an apology for Cotton’s piece, Howard Kurtz of “MediaBuzz” praised the Times for running it, telling Guy Benson on Fox News Radio, “This is so revealing about the culture of the New York Times because the paper did the right thing. If you read the editorial page and the op-ed page … it’s overwhelmingly anti-Trump … The idea of an op-ed page is to foster some kind of debate.”

Kurtz added, “I understand the sensitivity for black journalists who work at the Times. I don’t want to muzzle them either, but the idea that there’s some kind of outrage to publish an opposing piece by a U.S. senator who actually has some influence on policy … just strikes me as almost as anti-journalism.”

Kurtz lauded The New York Times editors for refusing to cave to those on its staff who believed “that if you’re not on the train, if you don’t agree with our view … you got to apologize, take it down … delete.” He concluded, “The editorial pages did the right thing. They published the Cotton piece.  You have the leadership of the paper making one step toward good journalism … to have a debate about this that doesn’t march in lockstep with the left-wing opinion.”

On Wednesday, some reporters from The New York Times issued identical tweets decrying the Times publishing the opinion piece from Cotton in which he argued that the Trump administration should send in the military to deal with violent riots and looting throughout the nation.

As Politico’s Alex Thompson pointed out, the four reporters, Taylor Lorenz, Caity Weaver, Sheera Frankel, and Jacey Fortin, all tweeted, “Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger.”

In Cotton’s op-ed, he urged President Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 in order to protect communities from “nihilist criminals.” He wrote:

These rioters, if not subdued, not only will destroy the livelihoods of law-abiding citizens but will also take more innocent lives. Many poor communities that still bear scars from past upheavals will be set back still further. One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers. …

This venerable law, nearly as old as our republic itself, doesn’t amount to “martial law” or the end of democracy, as some excitable critics, ignorant of both the law and our history, have comically suggested. In fact, the federal government has a constitutional duty to the states to “protect each of them from domestic violence.” Throughout our history, presidents have exercised this authority on dozens of occasions to protect law-abiding citizens from disorder.

The New York Times’ Bari Weiss issued this thread:

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  NYT Issues An Apology For Publishing Tom Cotton’s Op-Ed