The New York Times is officially reversing course. After Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican, published an op-ed in the paper Wednesday that was met with outrage, the NYT on Thursday said Cotton's column—which advocated for the federal government using the military to suppress protests over the deaths of black people at the hands of police—did not actually meet the newspaper's standards for publication. James Bennet, the editor who oversees the paper's opinion section (and who initially defended the op-ed's publication), told staff members that he hadn't read Cotton's essay before it was published. Shortly after that meeting, the Times issued a statement that CNN refers to as a "stunning reversal." A spokesperson said a review "made clear that a rushed editorial process led to the publication of an Op-Ed that did not meet our standards." More:
- She says the paper will "examine both short-term and long-term changes, to include expanding our fact-checking operation and reducing the number of Op-Eds we publish."
- Critics, including hundreds of NYT staffers who protested the op-ed's publication, had accused it of spreading misinformation (including the claim that antifa has infiltrated the protests) and said it would put black staffers in danger.
- But in the wake of the NYT's reversal, critics on the other side are calling the paper cowardly, Fox News reports, particularly since the paper has published pieces by Vladimir Putin, the Taliban, and other controversial figures in the past.
- At Reason, Matt Welch writes that while he does not agree with the US sending in the troops, the "woke left" is increasingly shooting down any opposing views. Older liberal editors, he says, are finding that "their old-timey notions about broad public squares and multi-viewpoint conversations are no longer tolerable." A NYT editor confirmed there is a "civil war" at the paper between younger and older liberals.
- For his part, Cotton told Fox News Thursday night that the Times gave in to a "mob of woke kids" in changing its stance.
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