NYT Says Cotton’s ‘Send in Troops’ Op-Ed ‘Did Not Meet Standards’ as It Caves to Woke Pressure Day After Defending Publication
RT, June 5, 2020
Under a wave of criticism, the New York Times has reversed course on a hot-button op-ed urging the military to put down rioting, saying it was rushed into print even after repeatedly defending the decision to publish it.
Though as recently as Wednesday editors at the Times were busy fending off attacks surrounding the op-ed – penned by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) – the paper appears to have given in less than 24 hours later, issuing a statement suggesting the article should have never been published.
“We’ve examined the piece and the process leading up to its publication,” the Times said, adding 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.
The New York Times acknowledged that an Op-Ed by Sen. Tom Cotton fell short of its standards and that the editing process was “rushed.” The statement came after A. G. Sulzberger, the publisher, and James Bennet, the opinion editor, had defended the essay. https://t.co/jSvaU7fQBb
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 5, 2020
Cotton himself waded into the row sparked by his article, tweeting on Thursday night that the Times had “surrendered to the mindless woke mob,” which he said “walk[ed] out” on the liberal newspaper for daring to publish a “perspective from a conservative.”
Here’s the @nytimes statement surrendering to the mindless woke mob.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 5, 2020
While the senator’s hawkish op-ed did separate protests from rioting – arguing that demonstrators “shouldn’t be confused” with looters and vandals – critics nonetheless widely panned his call to further militarize American streets. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in its own news coverage of the controversy, the Times outright ignored Cotton’s distinction, writing that he urged the government to “suppress protests,” rather than riots, with military force, effectively lumping the two into the same category.
Earlier on Thursday, Times editor James Bennet, who oversees the paper’s editorial page, published a lengthy piece defending his decision to run Cotton’s op-ed. But just hours later, the Times itself reported that Bennet hadn’t bothered to read the article before publishing it, drawing further criticism as the paper did a complete about-face.