Media Criticism

James Bennet's Resignation Proves the Woke Scolds Are Taking Over The New York Times

Staffers framed their opposition to Sen. Tom Cotton's op-ed as a matter of workplace safety.

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James Bennet resigned as editorial page editor of The New York Times on Sunday, following a successful campaign by irate staffers to oust the person who published an inflammatory op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.) that suggested the government deploy federal troops to "restore order in our streets."

"Last week we saw a significant breakdown in our editing processes, not the first we've experienced in recent years," Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger said in a note to the paper's staff. "Both of us concluded that James would not be able to lead the team through the next leg of change that is required."

This development is remarkable for several reasons. First, Bennet was widely expected to be a frontrunner for the Times' top job, executive editor, when current chief Dean Baquet retires. His sudden fall from grace opens up unexpected opportunities for others.

But more importantly, Bennet's resignation was an instructive show of force from those Times staffers who want the paper to be more transparently progressive. Their successful strategy—describe their opposition to someone else's speech as a matter of personal safety—is straight out of the woke left's playbook. Dismayingly, we should expect to see this tactic deployed more frequently in the future.

Cotton's op-ed was poorly argued, constitutionally unsound, morally questionable, and factually flawed. But Cotton is not some random right-wing kook. The fact that he is a key policy maker of the Trump era might suggest that publishing his authoritarian dictates is a better course of action than keeping Times readers in the dark about them.

A cadre of staffers reacted with apoplectic rage that the paper would dare solicit Cotton's opinion on such a sensitive topic. "As a black woman, as a journalist, as an American, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this," said Nikole Hannah-Jones, a Times reporter who has also been credibly accused of making factual errors, though don't expect any walkouts at the Times over it.

Vox's explanation of the Cotton clash, which quotes several anti-Bennet staffers anonymously—their names redacted "for fear of retaliation," an amusingly mixed-up concern—paints the issue as one of Times reporters growing increasingly frustrated. They were frustrated with Bennet, and with opinion page writers Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss, whose columns are generally conservative, contrarian, or otherwise at odds with the paper's left-leaning staff. (For what it's worth, I've criticized Stephens but find Weiss genuinely insightful and interesting.) Some of their frustrations are understandable, if not entirely defensible: News reporters are generally discouraged—or even prohibited outright—from expressing their opinions on social media, which might put some in the position of feeling like they can't publicly dissent from opinion pieces published under their own banner. Vox claims that some Times reporters are losing stories because sources won't talk to them after the Cotton op-ed, though it's hard to put blind trust in anonymous claims.

In any case, Times staffers merely denouncing the op-ed would have been one thing. The op-ed deserves denunciation, so it would be hard to argue that they were wrong to do so, considerations about keeping news and opinion separate notwithstanding.

But here's the key aspect of this affair: The progressive group didn't just say that the op-ed was wrong and shouldn't have been published. They stated directly that publishing it undermined their personal safety. Their choice of phrasing was deliberate—part of an effort to gird their opposition to the op-ed in the language of workplace safety, according to a piece by Times media columnist Ben Smith:

That pattern continued last week, as Times staff members began an extraordinary campaign to publicly denounce the Op-Ed article written by Senator Cotton. Members of an internal group called Black@NYT organized the effort in a new Slack channel and agreed on a carefully drafted response. They would say that Mr. Cotton's column "endangered" black staff members, a choice of words intended to "focus on the work" and "avoid being construed as hyperpartisan," one said. On Wednesday evening around 7:30, hours after the column was posted, Times employees began tweeting a screenshot of Mr. Cotton's essay, most with some version of the sentence: "Running this puts Black @nytimes staff in danger." The NewsGuild of New York, later advised staff members that that formulation was legally protected speech because it focused on workplace safety. "It wasn't just an opinion, it felt violent—it was a call to action that could hurt people," one union activist said of Mr. Cotton's column.

This is quite obviously nonsense: Cotton's words placed no one in imminent danger. Sadly, it's becoming distressingly common for progressive employees who wish to silence a dissident view to cite workplace safety as a pretext. To take just one example, this was how conservative writer Kevin Williamson got fired from The Atlantic.

This is a disturbing trend that ought to concern everyone—liberals included. It's an insult to actual workplace safety issues, for one thing. For another, it makes the office a dangerous place to express a potentially unpopular opinion. Journalistic institutions shouldn't live in fear of difficult conversations, or of provoking offense. But the necessary consequence of this new regime of safetyism will be everybody walking on eggshells.

My book Panic Attack contains countless other examples of woke young people weaponizing ever-expanding definitions of safety against people who disagree with them. In the book's closing pages, I observed that they'd been able to "hijack existing, well-intentioned harassment law in order to make campuses more repressive places. It's not impossible to imagine the same thing happening in the work place." Not impossible at all: It's happening before our very eyes.

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128 responses to “James Bennet's Resignation Proves the Woke Scolds Are Taking Over The New York Times

  1. Glad I’m not young anymore.

    1. First they came for the Vanity Fair editors, but I was not a Vanity Fair writer.
      Then they came for the Vogue editors, but I don’t read Vogue
      Then they came for my Times editors, and paywalled my Op-eds.

      https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2019/07/new-conde-nast-climatogy-journal-for.html

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    2. Old guard has to strike for the firing of the young. And if fired and if the young try then take the building by force, you have armed security ready to shoot them down and drag the rest out by their worthless ballsacks. Speech needs to be defended with blood.

  2. I used to think the real world to toughen them up.

    Instead, the “real world” pussed out.

    Our institutions are fucking pathetic.

    1. Most corporations think it is easier to cut their loses than defend someone when the Twitter mob comes around looking for a sacrificial lamb. Helps keep everybody in line and avoid wrong think.

      1. Well, the editorial department – I’m sure Banquet went along – as well. Did Sulzberger order it? We’ve seen, as Bari Weiss pointed out, this conflict between the “old guard” and the “new guard” (I was going to write “Red” but thought better). And with this the “new guard” has won out.
        The question now is who will follow? The Washington Post? Other papers? Online publications? Cable channels?
        It’s interesting that I’ve heard/read no complaints about Ross Douthat’s pieces, that his view “endanger” others.

        1. I would ask, given what the NYT is admitting to become, should they maintain press privileges? I mean, we don’t give press passes to hacks from political committees. Why should a Times activist receive one any longer?

          1. The White House (Congress et cetera) gives press passes to journalists from openly ideological publications, e.g., the National Review, the Nation, the New Republic. They’re not just given out to supposedly objective news organizations.

            1. So the NYT is supposedly objective?
              Is this sarc or stupidity?

    1. This is why Cuomo wanted all those respirators.

  3. “Cotton’s op-ed was poorly argued, constitutional unsound, morally questionable, and factually flawed. But Cotton is not some random right-wing kook. The fact that he is a key policymaker of the Trump era, might suggest that publishing his authoritarian dictates is a better course of action than keeping Times readers in the dark about them.”

    Are you kidding me with this?!! I can’t stand this kind of opinionizing anymore. If you disagree with what Cotton said, fine, write an article explaining why you disagree with what he said. Stop with this stupid modern bowing to PC cancel culture including such CYA language when writing about how a huge media institution in this country has basically given up on publishing opposing opinions, a media institution who is basically bragging that they report their reporters’ truths and not facts.

    I get it, you don’t want to be like the editor and get kicked out of the cool kids’ parties, but when you basically write something like, “yeah, we hate what was said and almost agree with the response, but the response just went a little too far,” you are not doing the First Amendment and help. What happened at the NY Times was a disgusting example of what’s coming in the future. And having a Libertarian website and magazine basically treat such actions with kid gloves is straight up depressing.

    1. Well said!

      1. Cotton can argue a proposition more persuasively than Rico can, because it doesn’t rely on ritually pulling the straw out of his opposition

    2. To be sure….

      1. Yep, I was going to add that. It’s the “too be sure” paragraph. An editor needs to cut this from Mr. Soave’s writings; he does it too often. It’s so obvious and unnecessary and disrupts the “flow” of his pieces.

        1. An editor needs to cut this from Mr. Soave’s writings; he does it too often.

          If I understand the article correctly there is a guy who just came on the market.

    3. On the other hand, why should a libertarian magazine do anything but condemn Cottom’s over-the-top fascist horseshit? Condemn the fascist horseshit; don’t call for censorship. Sounds like a decent place to land.

      1. So answer your question: Why didn’t the NY Times run a counter op-ed opposing Cotton’s “fascist” ideas? Or use their editorial page to denounce his suggestion? There are lots of ways to respond.
        This is about more than Cotton’s piece. This is about your side suppressing ideas they don’t like. You may think they’ll stop with the “fascists” (whatever that means); they won’t. They never do when they are going after “fascists”, the “devil”, communists, whomever.

        Recall the famous exchange from “Man for All Seasons”?:
        William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
        Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
        William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
        Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

        1. Couldn’t agree more.

        2. I remember that exchange from Man for All Seasons well. It has helped me to think a little deeper on our laws and reasoning.

      2. Seriously. Watching a bunch of “libertarians” defend this editorial – and plenty of other digusting authoritarian crap from the current administration – is pretty damn remarkable. The comment sections here at Reason never cease to amaze me. Y’all LOVE authority if it comes from the right.

    4. totes this.

    5. Inquisitive Squirrel
      June.8.2020 at 10:22 am
      ^+1

  4. “Cotton’s op-ed was poorly argued, constitutional unsound, morally questionable, and factually flawed. ”

    This is gaslighting. His actual Op-Ed was well founded and accurate as it relied on classical interpretation of the Insurrection Act as it has been used for 200 years. May scholars agreed with his assessment, just disagreed on application at the time it was written.

    I take it Robby didn’t actually read the article, but just the response to it. I advise Robby to read it prior to repeating incorrect conjecture of it.

    Cotton is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard after all. He understands how to make an argument.

    I’m sure Robby can defend his summary with actual quotations of Cotton’s article…

    1. “Vox’s explanation of the Cotton clash, which quotes several anti-Bennet staffers anonymously”

      Oh… that’s why Robby resorted to mis-characterizing it.

      1. This is where we are at folks. Reactions to explanations of opinions about news.

    2. NRO did a much better job covering the issue than Robby here.

      https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/06/the-hysterical-debate-over-federal-troops/

    3. Well said! It was simply a disagreement on his opinion, based on politics, the letter after his name.

  5. Oh, the Times’s action in handling Senator Cotton’s editorial are indeed putting newsroom staffers in danger. Just not how they expected.

  6. Last week we saw a significant breakdown in our editing processes, not the first we’ve experienced in recent years…

    “Our readers were momentarily exposed to sensations that were not their own flatulence. “

    1. How is reporting the plans of powerful politicians a breakdown?

      I guess they have to remove “All the news that’s fit to print” to avoid fraud problems.

  7. University journalism and communication professors have a lot to answer for.

    1. Why? Both their managers and their customers told them to coddle and confirm students’ pre-existing ideology, and never, ever challenge biased beliefs and childish thinking.

      What do you expect from professors?

  8. Strange that so many Liberals don’t realize that the insufficiently doctrinaire always end up going to the wall, when there are so many examples of just that in recent history.

    1. The virtuous can always find vice. Even within themselves. We see these progressives confessing to sins, to white privilege, to white collective guilt. As John McWhorter said the anti-racist movement is a religion. Not like a religion but an actual religion.

  9. >Nikole Hannah-Jones
    never associate with someone named “Nikole”
    never associate with someone with two last name

    1. The hyphenated last name is a big red flag for me.

      1. Nikole also has hair dyed red – a natural warning sign in the animal kingdom to stay away!

  10. > News reporters are generally discouraged—or even prohibited outright—from expressing their opinions on social media, which might put some in the position of feeling like they can’t publicly dissent from opinion pieces published under their own banner.

    What rubbish! The editorial page is separate and distinct from the newspaper as a whole. No one reads th editorial page, at least nobody except fauxservatives, as indicative of the opinion of every individual working for the paper. No one in their right mind confuses editorializing for reporting.

    1. Active social media participation is poison to objective journalism. Why any serious, non-opinion journalist would engage is beyond me.

    2. ” at least nobody except fauxservatives”

      Remember how you always talk about how you have no team….

      Keep proving otherwise sweetie. Doubt you could even find one person stating what you attribute to them.

    3. “…What rubbish! The editorial page is separate and distinct from the newspaper as a whole.”

      Unless you can direct me to several ‘newspapers’ which practice what you claim, the proper response is: What bullshit.
      Cite(s) or STFU.

  11. “Their successful strategy—describe their opposition to someone else’s speech as a matter of personal safety—is straight out of the woke left’s playbook.”

    So long Enlightenment. You had a good run.

    I used to ready the daily briefing from the NY Times; however, a few weeks ago a new editor was introduced who promised there would be changes. What I read going forward was a very definite change in bias, whereby every story presents as anti Trump as possible. In keeping with their overall agenda in abandoning any semblance of objectivity, presumably in pursuit of what they believe is “justice.”

    1. That is not new. When Bush II was in you couldn’t read anything in the Times that did not have an anti Bush messages, even in the cooking recipes.

      What times we live in. Some asshole on twitter bitches and all of corporate America shits it’s pants. There need to be a serious boycott of the NYT until those staffers are diapered and marched out of the building.

  12. Robby, can we discuss the Reason style guide, and the tenses?
    Not “are taking over”, “have taken over”.
    Where you been the last decade?

    1. Dude, everything is present tense now.

      Cuz grammar is hard.

    2. Where you been the last decade?

      Arguing people predicting exactly this were overwrought, that the tiny fraction of campus life acting this way was not a threat to the broader culture.

  13. How high must a downscale writer like Robby Soave jump to reach the ankles at which he proposes to nip?

    1. How many angels can dance on a progtard pinhead?

      Who knows?

  14. >>”Both of us concluded that James would not be able to lead the team through the next leg of change that is required.”

    James should have fired everyone below him and kept his yob.

    1. ^this

      Who tge fuck cares if you get fired afterward, or if any of the people you fired are actually so.
      Go out on your shield

  15. I’m an old guy who grew up during the McCarthy era. It was very much like this. Lots of coercion from a particular quarter around particular issues. And the only people who made a strong resistance were the victims. Everyone else kept their lips zipped and tried to stay out of the crosshairs. It was like an intellectual virus. After awhile, it burnt out. The social justice warriors will probably go through the same thing. While Communism remained a political threat, the energy that had gone into persecuting Americans for being “commie sympathizers” faded. In the same way, social justice atrocities will persist and be punished, but the crazed desire to persecute large numbers of fair-minded people will wane. I don’t think this is about politics. I think we’re seeing some kind of deeper truth about human nature and mob behavior.

    1. Except McCarthy was right. Communists did slowly take over most of the places he investigated. Universities, Hollywood, the Civil Service, etc.. What we see now is the result.

      1. Yeah, McCarthy is an unsung hero in American history. He actually did try to keep names out of the press but Democrats demanded open hearings for all of the cases.

      2. There is no Cold War if you replace Alger Hiss with, say, a Patton acolyte at Yalta

      3. It’s washed down the memory hole, but McCarthy was not the first of the anti-communist investigators in Congress, he was the last. The Hollywood investigations were launched by Democrats in the house. Yet another successful historical “revision” by the left.

  16. Staffers framed their opposition to Sen. Tom Cotton’s op-ed as a matter of workplace safety.

    James Bennet resigned as editorial page editor of The New York Times on Sunday, following a successful campaign by irate staffers

    Bennet’s resignation was an instructive show of force from those Times staffers who want the paper to be more transparently progressive.

    A cadre of staffers reacted with apoplectic rage

    Vox’s explanation of the Cotton clash, which quotes several anti-Bennet staffers anonymously

    In any case, Times staffers merely denouncing the op-ed would have been one thing.

    That pattern continued last week, as Times staff members began an extraordinary campaign

    They would say that Mr. Cotton’s column “endangered” black staff members, a choice of words intended to “focus on the work” and “avoid being construed as hyperpartisan,” one said. On Wednesday evening around 7:30, hours after the column was posted, Times employees began tweeting a screenshot of Mr. Cotton’s essay, most with some version of the sentence: “Running this puts Black @nytimes staff in danger.” The NewsGuild of New York, later advised staff members that that formulation was legally protected speech because it focused on workplace safety.

    I can only assume that from so many repeated references to “staffers” that we’re referring to the janitors, the typesetters, the cafeteria workers, and the errand boys. Surely we’re not referring to the Journalists™ who work at the NYT, because Journalists™ are dispassionate, neutral, non-partisan speakers of truth to power displaying no fear nor favor to anyone. If it were Journalists™ acting in this manner, surely they would be referred to as Journalists™ and not mere “staffers”. I mean, are the Pope or the College of Cardinals routinely referred to as “staffers” of the Catholic Church or the President and members of Congress routinely referred to as “staffers” of the US government?

    Or, a thought occurs to me, an admission that these writers are NYT’s “staffers” is an admission that they’re not Journalists™ but merely paid political hacks, propagandists and liars paid specifically to be passionately partisan. To be sure, I can’t imagine Robbie failing to call a spade a spade in the event that the spade has “This is a spade” stamped right on the handle in big red letters so I’m sure it can’t be the case that there are no actual Journalists™ at the NYT – and maybe there never have been any at all.

    1. Dammit, I failed tag closing class. I blame white people. /i

      1. Blame accepted.

      2. Better all italics than ALL CAPS.

      3. So italics are white?

  17. Maybe Charles Koch should take some of that wealth he can’t spend in a hundred lifetimes and buy some large national media chain where real balanced reporting and diverse opinions are allowed.

    1. I look forward to when the WAPO staff revolts and runs Jeff Bezos out of the operation.

  18. Oh look another article on progressive simps from ROBBY SOAVE, reasons pet progressive:

    Cotton’s op-ed was poorly argued, constitutional (sic) unsound, morally questionable, and factually flawed.
    It was actually none of those. Why do you always try to have it both ways Robby? How good can the cocktail party be?

    These are the reasons I find it less enjoyable to read here, and more enjoyable to read NRO.

    1. “ROBBY SOAVE, reasons pet progressive:”

      Can you call him a pet if he’s just like everyone else who writes for this rag?

  19. “Their choice of phrasing was deliberate—part of an effort to gird their opposition to the op-ed in the language of workplace safety, …”

    It is just a slogan, guys.

    1. They formed a committee of public safety ala Robespierre

  20. We haven’t lived in a functional republic in ages. It’s a cult led by no one. We’re terrified of each other, our own Constitution, and labels. Thank God at the end of the day we’re mostly hypocrites. It’s the only think keeping us from descending into complete anarchy.

    1. Uh, are you proud of your projection capabilities?
      Or just a nihilistic bullshitter?
      Or perhaps just an ignoramus?

  21. Most incredible is the fact this piece could well have run 10 – 15 years ago. That Suave doesn’t recognize this is telling, and typical of Reason.

  22. The NY Times is no longer a legitimate news source. It should be lumped in other left wing propaganda sources like CNN and MSNBC.

    As for Bennett’s removal, there is a racist component as well. But racism against the light-skinned is apparently acceptable today.

    1. Well, no.
      If you first (or even primarily) look at a person’s skin color, you are a racist.
      And all the racists I know who are under 70 years old are black.

      1. The problem of racism is specifically the social outcomes that result from how people are treated differently, on average, because of their race. Nobody gives a shit what’s going on in your individual heart.

        Thus if you think racism is primarily the fault of black people, not only do you sound like the latest cornfed mongloid to come out of your mother-sister’s snatch, you need to explain why black people have worse social outcomes despite being all the racists.

        1. you need to explain why black people have worse social outcomes despite being all the racists.

          we cater to the bottom denominator of our society

          we are the only community that will get outraged and get up and organize and picket in protest to defend the bottom denominator of our community, meaning criminals, burglars, robbers, anything that you commit a crime, only black America will be picketing to defend the criminals. It is not something that white Americans do, not something that Jewish Americans do. You will be hard-pressed to find a Jewish American who has a rap sheet as long as the day and something bad happens to that person and Jewish people are using their platforms to speak out in defense of that person, it won’t happen. Not a single white American is out there defending Derrick Chauvin, they will dispose of the people that they think are in the bottom of their society, and they will instead uplift the people who are at the top of their society.

          -Candace Owens (transcribed)

          1. Well that’s not convincing, as it begs the question. Criminality is defined by society. Worse outcomes for a particular race include more prosecution and punishment for crimes. We both know that means different treatment for the same crimes as well as criminalizing behavior done by certain races more than others. Floyd’s moral character or rap sheet are beside the point, especially if you disfavor the death penalty in general, let alone for petty crime or no crime at all. Similarly, looting and other mayhem is a PR issue more than anything else, for both sides.

            That white people are not defending Chauvin speaks only to the egregiousness and obviousness of the case. Plenty of conservatives have defended plenty of cops in other cases.

            1. Worse outcomes for a particular race include more prosecution and punishment for crimes.

              These worse-outcomes are world-wide. Anywhere blacks or socialists are in control of a society, that society fares worse than any other. ANY other. For well over 100,000 years. It isn’t racists that are the problem.

              It is the breed.

        2. More men than women die on the job, therefore women are oppressing them and killing them.

          The type of belief Tony has is stated here.

          1. Two separate questions. If racism is not a primary cause of disparate social outcomes between the races, the what is the cause? I struggle to think of any explanation that isn’t, itself, racist, so by process of elimination, if nothing else…

            1. There are always differences in outcomes between different demographic groups of people. You cannot assume that because a disparity exists that it is caused by malicious factors. One large factor against black success is the large instance of fatherless children. Why that happens is not something I understand, but it is not clear how racism as it is usually understood would be at fault.

              1. And I would say that one-parent households are a symptom, not a cause, of the very problem we’re discussing.

                1. And you would be wrong, there may be a feedback loop, but this problem did not exist to this extent prior to the ’60’s.

                  1. Things were better for blacks when they had no rights.

                    1. Things were better for blacks when they had no rights.

                      Things were better for blacks before Democrats started helping them.

              2. Another large factor would be the massive amount of grievance and guilt that is being pimped by their liberal white teachers and black leaders. When you grow up bombarded by the assumption that you are a victim, and that everything is so terrible and unfair, who can blame them for deciding that there’s no point in working hard to advance themselves because the racist system will just take it all away anyway? Then, when being an athlete or entertainer doesn’t pan out, well, there’s always street life.

                It’s insidious, and this is all on the left.

                1. Isn’t this mental child abuse?

            2. Two separate questions. If racism is not a primary cause of disparate social outcomes between the races, the what is the cause?

              The tell for Tony’s dishonesty is the switch to “a primary cause” when his original framework was “the” cause. When setting up the issue he posits “racism or else”, so disagreement denies racism. In this next argument though he alters the framework to “a cause” rather than “the cause”. The reveal is that he switched arguments specifically to maintain the belief “anyone who disagrees with me denies racism. Any answer to this question accepts the premise racism is not relevant even though effectively every social experience has multiple causes and triggers.

              This is why Tony’s a slimy sack of shit.

              1. Multiple causes is cool. All I ask is that you list them and that they not be racist. I’ll wait.

                1. I just did. Stop pandering and you might see it. This is all on prog ideology. You’re sick.

            3. Ah yes, how convenient that you get to a priori rule out any kind of explanation that you would deem “racist” such as genetic factors. Why do, say, East Asians seem to do so well in America but not blacks? If the culprit were simply “white racism” as you’d like to claim, shouldn’t all non-white racial groups be in the same position as blacks?

              You have no competing model to explain this phenomenon, which is of course why you just try to a priori rule out genes or other cogent explanations.

              1. In my book you are perfectly welcome to posit genetic/racist explanations. That’s the whole point I’m trying to make: that by trying to avoid the subject of racism, you cannot escape a racist conclusion. I admire anyone who’s honest about it.

                That said, there is an easy explanation for why self-selected immigrants to America do better than native populations, especially one that were forcibly relocated here and then denied access to basic rights for centuries. You don’t go to China and find a billion math whizzes. Pick a country, and anyone with the wherewithal to immigrate to the US is more likely than your average native to be high achieving.

        3. Hypothesis: Black people in America have worse outcomes than whites because of Racism.
          Fact: White people have worse outcomes than Asian Americans.
          Conclusion: White people suffer worse racism and discrimination than Asians.

      2. No, you’re wrong. A self-identified “Black” group at the NYT agitated for his removal. Switch the races around and imagine the outcry if a self-identified “white” faction removed a black employee purely over a political disagreement.

        1. I know. The black activist faction of liberalism is no more interested in free speech absolutism than the other factions (except those of us who happen to be free-speech liberals). To their credit the black activists get their way because nobody thinks it’s worth it to go against them.

          1. When’s that anti flag burning amendment gonna get sent out to the states, anyway?

  23. I’m mildly amused by how black activists have made everyone feel like there’s a sniper aiming for his forehead. But the fact that certain opinions are not permitted is the result of rhetorical persuasion, not threats of violence, however that persuasion may be wielded unfairly and outside the American tradition of free speech. If you don’t like that people are being canceled for expressing opinions that black activism disapproves of, you’re welcome to get on whatever platform will have you and argue your case. I’m sure it won’t be obnoxious at all.

    They have a long way to go before they develop the canceling ability that rightwingers used to have with respect to expressing communist sympathies and countless other matters. But everyone seems to like the taste of the power to censor. I do miss the days when being a liberal meant defending (to the death, figuratively speaking) the right of even legit Nazis to express themselves in public. That’s the tradition I grew up in. This impulse to censor is not a welcome development on the left.

  24. This is a disturbing trend that ought to concern everyone—liberals included.

    I’m sure both liberals are concerned.

  25. Bennet’s resignation was an instructive show of force from those Times staffers who want the paper to be more transparently progressive.

    Not too long ago, an underling rebellion like this would be handled by saying “there’s plenty of people who will be happy to take your jobs”, followed by a mass firing.

    Even at the NYT.

    1. Is it that hard to find people willing to work there?! Even after a mass firing like you hypothesized? I mean, wouldn’t most of the writers here immediately throw their hats into the ring at the NYT?

      Why should he have had to kiss their asses unless his big boss demanded it?

      1. Charles Foster Kane opens the letter from his estranged, long-time friend Jedediah, and upends it, pouring out a bunch of torn up pieces. It is his original Statement of Principles.

  26. “The progressive group didn’t just say that the op-ed was wrong and shouldn’t have been published. They stated directly that publishing it undermined their personal safety.”

    The problem is not just that they use this tactic, but that the angry snowflakes actually believe it. Combine a curated childhood of scheduled play dates and a never-challenging education, and constant warnings about the dangers of modern life and existential risks, and we get panicky people with an easily triggered sense of fragility. Among other magical powers I wish for, I would like to be able to send these frightened snowflakes back in time so they could experience some real danger, including the real Hitler.

  27. They’re a private company. They are permitted to beat the staff in the assholes with a riding crop if that’s what their contract permits.

    –Any other issue

    1. So you want to disband OSHA?

      1. I want libertarians to explain why one set of laws creating an artificial arrangement between employer and employee is more free than another, especially when it appears on its face to be the least free option available for the employees.

        1. Because the libertarians who comment here at Reason are just authoritarian, socially conservative Republicans. They’re totally down with using the US military against US citizens.

          1. Socially conservative? Only if you’re Stalin.

        2. T, you are once again conflating a social issue with a government issue.
          People (on a Libertarian website) say that it’s bad to fire someone because they published an opposing viewpoint. You immediately jump to thinking that they’re saying the government should interfere.
          This does not follow, my man.

  28. News reporters are generally discouraged—or even prohibited outright—from expressing their opinions on social media, which might put some in the position of feeling like they can’t publicly dissent from opinion pieces published under their own banner.

    I’m going to need some proof of this, because all the evidence I see suggests exactly the opposite. I’ve said for years, if you smell bias or shenanigans in an article written by a journalist, head over to his twitter page to discover what he or she really thinks about the world.

  29. it’s hard to put blind trust in anonymous claims

    … particularly when relayed by people acting in concert to tactically fake a concern for their own safety in order to achieve their ideological goals.

    By the way, how many Times staffers have been physically hurt as a result of the op-ed? Is there a gofundme page to support their recovery?

    1. One would think microaggression would result in micro-trauma, but I was never good at the maths.

      1. Microtrauma in their microbrains.

  30. “you need to explain why black people have worse social outcomes despite being all the racists.”

    Challenge accepted, racism is a negative trait. People that use and act as if racism is a dominant narrative are using it as an excuse and failing to change their behaviors in a positive fashion. Other negative traits would include being hostile to all forms of authority, to education, to a regular work schedule and to other peoples liberties.

    1. So black people for some reason are more prone than average to be lazy and shiftless? What might that reason be?

      1. “So black people for some reason are more prone than average to be lazy and shiftless? What might that reason be?”

        Well, you might ask how Biden claims that not voting D means you ain’t black.
        But I’m sure that is entirely to difficult for your low-watt intellect to process.

      2. Genes shaped by the evolutionary environment and selection pressures. Next question?

    2. Yes. This. Cuz everything is so terrible and unfair.

  31. NYT staff has signaled they only desire to publish their desired narrative i.e. Democratic Party propaganda. The paper of record is now the highest profile propaganda arm in print media.

  32. “This is a disturbing trend that ought to concern everyone…”

    Trend?
    All mainstream newspapers today have warmongers on their editorial staffs. Peace advocates are banned. It has been this way since the internet started replacing daily newspapers in the 1990s.

  33. Ironically, the people who criticize Fox for being a ‘right wing echo chamber’ are trying to make the NY Times a mirror version of Fox.

  34. And there will still be stories published by that pathetic excuse for journalism that argue that it is the right that is fascist and authoritarian. Everything about the far left is evil.

    1. Yup. Garden variety progs just think they’re being virtuous. The narrative pimps at the top only want division. It is evil.

  35. Too much fragility. Wake up NYT.

  36. “This is a disturbing trend that ought to concern everyone—liberals included.”

    I’m finding this idea that there are liberals left in this country to be more and more unpalatable. Where are all these liberals that find leftist agitation to be concerning?

  37. When Ed Murrow went to war with Joseph McCarthy, CBS gave McCarthy air time to blast Murrow and his “jackal pack”. And Murrow then proceeded to refute all that McCarthy said. This is how a great news organization deals with crazy politicians.
    What was McCarthyism if not the inability to marshal an intelligent counter-argument and instead rely on phony cries of treason to censor your opponents. In the long run it looks like McCarthy’s won and Murrow’s lost, although in ways neither of them could have imagined.

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