Jun 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

NYT employees say running Tom Cotton op-ed put black staff in danger

Sen. Cotton
Sen. Tom Cotton. Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

New York Times employees on Wednesday posted en masse on social media saying that the editorial board's decision to run an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) calling to "Send In the Troops," put black Times' staff members in danger.

What he's saying: Cotton wrote that the U.S. military should be sent to cities across the country to address protests following the death of George Floyd, saying, "One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers."

The state of play: The Times' staff social media posts appeared to be a coordinated effort, publishing simultaneously and including variations of the line: "running this puts Black @nytimes staff in danger" alongside a photo of Cotton's headline.

  • Reporters from other publications have joined in posting criticisms of the Times' editorial board's decision.

Our thought bubble via Axios' Sara Fischer: The New York Times faces unique criticism when it publishes some op-eds authored by right-wing or right-of-center opinion columnists, with examples including Bret Stephens.

  • The Times, a traditionally left-leaning paper, experiences pressure to make sure its opinion page satisfies all of its stakeholders, investors, readership and employees. Sometimes its constituents take issue when the paper runs something from a perspective that's at odds with their viewpoint.
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