Several employees of The New York Times have unified in open revolt over the newspaper’s decision to publish an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), wherein he calls on President Donald Trump to “send in the troops” to stop the rioting in cities across the U.S. over the death of George Floyd.
In public condemnation of their own employer, a number of The Times’ employees tweeted in response to the column, “Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger.”
What are the details?
Cotton writes in the piece that police forces across the nation are outnumbered — noting multiple instances of officers who have been killed by criminals — and called on the president to invoke the Insurrection Act, pointing to times in the past when commanders-in-chief have employed the military “to protect law-abiding citizens from disorder.”
The senator argued, “Some elites have excused this orgy of violence in the spirit of radical chic, calling it an understandable response to the wrongful death of George Floyd. Those excuses are built on a revolting moral equivalence of rioters and looters to peaceful, law-abiding protestors. A majority who seek to protest peacefully shouldn’t be confused with bands of miscreants.”
The Arkansas Republican also cited a Morning Consult poll indicating that most of the public agrees with him.
But employees of The Times made it clear they didn’t believe Cotton’s opinion piece should have been printed. The Daily Wire Editor in Chief Ben Shapiro cited five Times staffers who all tweeted, “Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger.”
Shapiro wrote, “Perhaps my favorite thing about the idiotic NYT employees enraged at the paper running an op-ed from a US Senator that happens to reflect the views of 7 in 10 Americans is that they’re doing the stupid ‘repeat this slogan after me’ tactic they learned in college.”
Not all of them used the same lines, however. Reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones tweeted, “I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but to not say something would be immoral. As a black woman, as a journalist, as an American, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this.”
Opinions on social media were split over The New York Times’ move to publish Cotton’s op-ed, with several expressing their support of the employees who were against it being printed and others who argued that differing opinions are the purpose of such columns.
Veteran political analyst Jeff Greenfield tweeted on the topic, “If you don’t want an op-ed page that prints views you strongly disagree with, you don’t really want an op-ed page; you want a ‘my-ed’ page.”