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Several weeks ago, I had an idea for a piece that was “Times worthy.” I thought about the editors I know there, about the pieces I’ve written there recently and mulled over the prospect of pitching it there. I decided to write it for the Washington Examiner instead; it just wasn’t worth the risk. In the aftermath of the Senator Cotton op-ed, which many other conservatives watched with amusement and horror, I realized that there was a high likelihood that if it were published, a mob would come for me and the Times would leave me out to dry; if they did it with a sitting Senator, I wouldn’t stand a chance. I wondered what Bari, a friend and editor at the Times would think of my decision until today when she published her widely-read and discussed resignation letter. The whole thing is an essential read, but for the purposes of this post, I’ll flag this portion:
The truth is that intellectual curiosity—let alone risk-taking—is now a liability at The Times. Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world? And so self-censorship has become the norm.
Bari’s resignation isn’t the only bad sign for our national discourse; another centrist and signatory on the Harper’s letter on free speech, Andrew Sullivan, tendered his Twitter resignation today as well,
The underlying reasons for the split are pretty self-evident, and I’ll be discussing the broader questions involved in my last column this Friday.
— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) July 14, 2020
This note from Sullivan’s now-former boss proves Bari’s point:
— Ben Smith (@benyt) July 14, 2020
Since when did publishing ideas – conservative or liberal – have to fit with your “ideals” as a publication? When did that become the litmus test for if something should be published? Who sets those “ideals?” We hear from Weiss:
Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space.
It’s not just Twitter, but the woke colleagues at the Times who set off the mob in the first place; individuals like the below:
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) July 14, 2020
This is what the Times is now left with, a TikTok reporter who tells you all you need to know about viral cake videos. There is nothing more representative of the future of liberal thought and discourse than the fact that Bari Weiss left the New York Times today, and Taylor Lorenz wrote some groundbreaking content on cake for the Paper of Record.Published in