Within hours of publishing a column by a U.S. senator conveying an opinion held by a majority of Americans, The New York Times’ staff erupted in an outrage, calling their employer’s decision to print a differing opinion, “surreal and horrifying.”
The editorial page editor James Bennet at first defended running counter viewpoints by those in policy positions, but by Thursday, the New York Times fully relented, issuing an apology and blaming a “rushed editorial process” for its decision to run the op-ed at all.
The op-ed, written by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., called on the federal government to “send in the troops” to quell violent urban uprisings following the death of George Floyd. Times employees put out a public statement through their union-excoriating management for its “irresponsible choice” in publishing the column and for “promoting hate.” One NYT reporter claimed the article “[put] all black Americans in danger.”
Cotton responded to the Times’ “mea culpa” Thursday night on Fox News. “I can tell you my op-ed doesn’t meet The New York Times standards,” he told host Martha MacCallum. “It far exceeds their standards, which are normally full of left-wing sophomoric drivel. And I find it amazing that in the last 24 hours, the editor of The New York Times and the publisher of The New York Times have both defended their decision to publish this op-ed, but in the face of the ‘woke’ mob, of ‘woke’ kids that are in their newsroom, they tucked tail and they ran.”
Cotton is right that the New York Times editorial pages previously have published opinions and authors of a much lower standard, even “drivel” you could say. And yet, many of their most “surreal,” “horrifying,” or “dangerous” opinions have never been revoked, apologized for, or led to the expansion of their “fact-checking operation” like Cotton’s mainstream conservative op-ed has. Here are just a few examples of past opinions the paper of record has yet to apologize for:
1. Pimping Pedophilia
2. Promoting Hitler
In 1941, the New York Times Magazine published an excerpt from “Mein Kampf,” Adolf Hitler’s manifesto, under the title “The Art of Propaganda.”
3. Peddling Putin’s Propaganda
In 2014, Vladmir Putin graced the same pages as Cotton, offering what the Times considers “counter-arguments” from America’s enemies.
4. Publishing the Taliban
The Times gave many inches to a terrorist organization responsible for thousands of innocent American lives. No apology for that to its audience or to families who lost loved ones to the Taliban.
5. Running Interference for the No. 1 Jailer of Journalists
New York Times journalists often complain about President Donald Trump’s attacks on the free press despite never having jailed a single journalist. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on the other hand, has imprisoned more journalists than any other leader on planet Earth, but he was encouraged to opine on the NYT op-ed page.
6. Praising Mao Zedong
In 2017, the opinion page ran an editorial praising Chinese communist and tyrant Mao Zedong, whose rule was responsible for famine and the deaths of millions of Chinese people.
7. Questioning Interracial Friendship
Since many NYT employees are questioning how the opinions they publish directly affect black Americans, they might also want to reflect on past op-eds that actually address race, instead of opinions like Cotton’s that simply address violent criminals.
Looks like many more “mea culpas” from The New York Times should be rolling in any minute.