The union representing media employees at The New York Times criticized the news organization for running an op-ed from columnist Bret Stephens that was critical of the 1619 Project, the left-wing essay series that seeks to reframe the story of American in terms of slavery.
“It says a lot about an organization when it breaks it’s [sic] own rules and goes after one of it’s [sic] own. The act, like the article, reeks,” tweeted The New York Times’ union, while committing two glaring grammatical errors in the process.
It says a lot about an organization when it breaks it’s own rules and goes after one of it’s own. The act, like the article, reeks.https://t.co/mta1sfJoTB
— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) October 10, 2020
The union has since deleted the tweet, and issued a brief statement: “We deleted our previous tweet. It was tweeted in error. We apologize for the mistake.”
We deleted our previous tweet. It was tweeted in error. We apologize for the mistake.
— NYTimesGuild (@NYTimesGuild) October 12, 2020
The 1619 project, which was released over a year ago, has been criticized by historians for its lack of accuracy and sweeping claims and has recently erupted into an entirely new controversy because of the historical revisionism of the project itself.
In his New York Times op-ed, Stephens pointed to criticism of the project from Philip W. Magness, who recently noted in an article for Quillette that the project’s references to 1619 as the country’s “true founding” were now gone from the digital version of the project.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the key passage previously read: “The 1619 project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
The passage in the project, however, has been changed without explanation to read: “The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
Jake Silverstein, the editor of The New York Times Magazine, told Stephens in an email that the changes were not relevant enough to acknowledge with a special note, writes Stephens.
The New York Times columnist also addressed his decision to write an op-ed criticizing the work of one of his colleagues:
For obvious reasons, I’ve thought long and hard about the ethics of writing this essay. On the one hand, outside of exceptional circumstances, it’s bad practice to openly criticize the work of one’s colleagues. We bat for the same team and owe one another collegial respect.
On the other, the 1619 Project has become, partly by its design and partly because of avoidable mistakes, a focal point of the kind of intense national debate that columnists are supposed to cover, and that is being widely written about outside The Times. To avoid writing about it on account of the first scruple is to be derelict in our responsibility toward the second.
This report has been updated to include additional information.
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