Saturday, June 6, 2020

'New York Times' Snowflake Staffers Grill Leadership

James Bennet is really, really sorry.
Oh, this is sad.

Yesterday, I reported on the snowflake lefties at The New York Times attacking the old guard lefties over an op-ed by the super warhawk Tom Cotton that The Times ran (See: The Civil War at The New York Times).

It now turns out that on Friday op-ed editor James Bennet groveled before the snowflakes at The Times and begged forgiveness (quite frankly I don't see how acting like this didn't hurt his feelings).

Vice has the inside scoop (my bold):
The internal fallout from the New York Times' decision to run an op-ed by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, which called for the U.S. military to be deployed to American cities to crack down on protests against police killings of Black people, continued apace on Friday during a company all-hands meeting.

Publisher A.G. Sulzberger, Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Chief Operating Officer Meredith Levien all offered opening statements. But as always, the most informative parts of the meeting came from the lengthy question-and-answer portion. Staffers asked for an autopsy of the piece and how it was published; if company leaders were planning to address James Bennet’s leadership of the opinion section, which has had “several misfires”; whether Opinion staff editor and writer Bari Weiss would be fired for “openly bad mouth[ing] younger news colleagues on a platform where they, because of strict company policy, could not defend themselves”; whether the opinion section had suggested the topic of the op-ed to Cotton; and what the Times would do to help retain and support Black employees...

The meeting began at 11:30 a.m. ET, and concluded at 1:10 p.m. VICE obtained access to it; here are some representative highlights from the meeting. (We've contacted the Times for comment and will update this post if we hear back.)

The first question from the all-hands asked about the Times’ various initial responses to the op-ed: “How does our leadership reconcile the Times’ official statement that the op-ed did not meet our standards with James’ defense of its publication on Wednesday with A.G.’s implicit defense in his note to staff on Thursday?”

Sulzberger said that his memo functioned as a placeholder communication while they dug into “what had happened.” He turned the question over to Bennet, who offered an abject apology.

“First, I just want to say thank you for the chance to answer, address, try to address some of these questions. And before I address this specific one, I just want to begin by just saying I'm very sorry. I'm sorry for the pain that this particular piece has caused. The pain that I acknowledge my leadership of Opinion, I'm responsible for this, has caused. And I'm sorry for that.

"I do think this is a moment for me and for us to interrogate everything about what we do in Opinion, including even the principles, A.G., that you enunciated at the beginning of the conversation. I think if we truly believe in debate and we do, we need to be unafraid about asking ourselves if these principles do fit this era, and what we mean by a wide-ranging debate, if it can result in pieces that our colleagues find so profoundly hurtful.

"This is something that my and my colleagues have done with conversation, and it’s one that I take very seriously. Ineptly, I tried to telegraph that in the newsletter I wrote yesterday morning when I said at the end that I realized I may be wrong. [Inaudible] And so it's a practical matter, though he is just completely right we were scrambling, as many of us have had this experience, we had to figure out exactly what went wrong and why. And before we could address it as we did in the statement at the end of the day yesterday.”

The next question asked: “Op-Ed has made several missteps under James Bennett. Are there plans to address his overall leadership? If nothing else, more oversight seems warranted.”

Sulzberger said Bennet has “as tough a job as anyone I can imagine” and said he and his team have worked really hard to build an operation that’s “more diverse and more modern.”

He also said:

“So look, I think it's clear—and we just heard from James that there have been mistakes—and I hope you hear that we are trying to learn from them. And I think you're also hearing that, that we're coming to a recognition—and fault me for you know, for this recognition coming too slowly—that some of the changes may need to be bigger, and, and more structural in what opinion journalism looks like.”

1 comment:

  1. ”which called for the U.S. military to be deployed to American cities to crack down on protests against police killings of Black people.” Great example of yellow journalism. It suggests the military is being called in to support police killing black people, not to put down riots and looting.