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Danger strikes as New York Times staff revolt over Tom Cotton’s publication

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Danger sets in the U.S as The New York Times publishes Tom Cotton’s use of military force.

What We Know:

  • The New York Times faced a backlash late Wednesday by running an Op-Ed and publishing it as part of the news. Many of the staff members came out and “shamed” the Times for publishing this opinion-based article and igniting more fire as well as danger in the community.
  • In the wake of the many riots all over the U.S, President Trump threatened the use of the United States army by the Insurrection Act to act as needed and use physical force against protesters.
  • Republican Senator, Tom Cotton supported the President’s threat and urged the US army to show “an overwhelming show of force” to restore order.
  • The New York Times employees and subscribers revolted over Tom Cotton’s remarks. Below are a few tweets out of the many that responded:

  • The union that represents the Times staff issued the following statement, “Though we understand the Op-Ed desk’s responsibility to publish a diverse array of opinions, we find the publication of this essay to be an irresponsible choice”.
  • Editorial page editor at The New York Times, James Bennet published a post on his Twitter account regarding the importance of publishing the Op-ed post of Tom Cotton. He stated that The New York Times knows how painful and “dangerous” it could be. However, they “believe that is one reason it requires public scrutiny and debate”.

  • Executive Editor of The New York Times stated the difference between opinion pieces and news articles and how they are both published on the home page but they are not news.
  • Following the union that represents the Times, the NewsGuild of New York that represents many Times journalists said in a statement that the “Op-Ed promotes hate”. NewsGuild also stated that “media organizations have a responsibility to hold power to account, not amplify voices of power without context and caution”.

  • Along with several sources dropping The New York Times because of the published article, it has also caused about 800 staff members to sign a letter protesting its publication.

Following the uproar from staff and subscribers spokeswoman, Eileen Murphy for The New York Times later backtracked their support on James Bennet’s approval to publish the article and said the following: “This review made clear that a rushed editorial process led to the publication of an Op-Ed that did not meet our standards”.

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Alex Haynes is Editor-At-Large/NYC Editor at Urban Newsroom, Executive Editor at UNR's Black Alerts and the host of Boss Mornings and Unmuted Nation. Alex joined Urban Newsroom in 2010 and contributes regular op-ed and editorial pieces while advising the columnist and contributing staff.

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