New York Times Reporters and Writers Condemn Paper For Publishing Cotton Editorial

download-1The New York Times is under fire today for publishing the opinion of Sen. Tom Cotton (R, Ark.) on the use of troops to quell the unrest following the death of George Floyd.  Journalists and opinion writers have insisted that such views should not be even published because they disagree with it.  I have strongly opposed the suggested use of federal troops on both legal and non-legal grounds. It would be an unnecessary escalation of the tensions and curtail the exercise of important free speech activities.  However, this view is shared by many and the use of troops has occurred previously in our history.  The call for effective censorship of opposing views from journalists is a chilling example of how much ground has been lost in the protection of free speech values.

Just a few days ago, I discussed how members of Congress denounced the New York Times for running a factual headline that was viewed as too neutral.

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Various Democratic members and leaders were livid.  Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz objected “The New York Times headline writers are going to Both Sides the country to death.” There was a time when “going to both sides” was viewed as the very definition of journalism.

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This controversy is far more concerning given the journalists and writers condemning the newspaper from sharing an opposing view on the use of federal troops.  It does not matter that this is a prominent issue being debated, it is the reported position of the President, and it is a piece written by one of the most influential members of Congress.  All of that would seem to make it important to the discussion, even if one disagrees with the position.

Politico’s Alex Thompson cited posts from writers Taylor Lorenz, Caity Weaver, Sheera Frankel, and Jacey Fortin.

Opinion writer Roxanne Gay wrote

“As a NYT writer I absolutely stand in opposition to that Tom Cotton ‘editorial.’ “We are well served by robust and ideologically diverse public discourse that includes radical, liberal, and conservative voices. This is not that. His piece was inflammatory and endorsing military occupation as if the constitution doesn’t exist.”

First, Cotton would likely strongly disagree that he ever suggested military occupation in the use of troops, which has occurred previously.  Indeed, he wrote against that very point:

“This venerable law, nearly as old as our republic itself, doesn’t amount to ‘martial law’ or the end of democracy, as some excitable critics, ignorant of both the law and our history, have comically suggested. In fact, the federal government has a constitutional duty to the states to ‘protect each of them from domestic violence.’ Throughout our history, presidents have exercised this authority on dozens of occasions to protect law-abiding citizens from disorder.”

However, simply declaring an opposing view “inflammatory” is no license to censor or block the view from being heard.  An editorial page should be about debate and dialogue on such issues.  Even if they are inflammatory to some, our newspapers are a forum for dialogue not an echo chamber for approved messaging.

An editorial page is about opinions, often controversial, on contemporary issues.  This is one of the most discussed issues in Washington and is being raised by one of the most important members of Congress.  Yet, Chan is suggesting that the New York Times should only publish the opposing view. It is the very definition of echo journalism.  It also ignores that publishing such views often works to galvanize opposition and counterarguments.

I have no problem at all with Times opinion writer Charlie Warzel stating “[I] feel compelled to say that i disagree with every word in that Tom Cotton op-ed and it does not reflect my values.”  However, he then added that publishing that opposing view is “unacceptable and there should be resignations.”

Once again, I share the disagreement with the column. However, there is a growing orthodoxy in journalism that is now openly calling for the censorship of opposing views.  It is particularly problematic when opinion writers seek the removal of editors for allowing such opposing positions to be published.  

155 thoughts on “New York Times Reporters and Writers Condemn Paper For Publishing Cotton Editorial”

  1. Most of the horses have already left the barn, Professor. You’re mostly wrong about what IS, tho I fully agree that you are correct about what SHOULD BE:

    ” our newspapers are a forum for dialogue not an echo chamber for approved messaging.”

    Most newspapers today are echo chambers, and college grad reporters, who went to echo chamber colleges, want to keep it that way. To work in an echo chamber, to live in an echo. For the world to become a united echo chamber…
    (against Republicans)

    1. “You pays your money and you takes your choice.”

      – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
      ___________________________

  2. The snowflakes at the NYT are being ridiculously silly. What is of interest to me is the fact that they seem to be completely oblivious to how silly they are being. Definitely cult-level obliviousness.

    I saw a documentary once on some idiots who followed some preacher to South America or something and then drank cyanide flavored kool aid. I remember thinking this was hardly tragic, and probably a good thing because they were too stupid to be here anyway. After this story and the one about the pathetic kneeling slobbering white people, it makes me hope that somewhere, a preacher just like that one years ago, has just discovered a new flock!

    I think I shall invest in Kool Aid and Cyanide Futures, because if there is such a preacher and he is successful, he is going to get a gazillion followers out of the Blue States.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  3. Statement from a New York Times spokesperson this evening:
    “We’ve examined the [Cotton] piece and the process leading up to its publication. This review made clear that a rushed editorial process led to the publication of an Op-Ed that did not meet our standards. As a result, we’re planning to examine both short term and long term changes, to include expanding our fact checking operation and reducing the number of Op-Eds we publish.”

    Marc Tracy (a NYT reporter): “Hours after the publisher and the top section editor defended the op-Ed — and after the editor said he hadn’t read it before publication — the New York Times issued an extraordinary mea culpa. Our early story. https://t.co/QEJsvKoist

    What a mess the Times has made of this. SMH that Bennet didn’t even bother to read it prior to publication.

    1. “What a mess the Times has made of this. SMH that Bennet didn’t even bother to read it prior to publication.”

      Committed to honest discussion, NOT. From the tone of CTHD’s statement it sounds like he wanted the Times not to print an editorial from Tom Cotton. He should change his name to Committed to Crazy Paternalism or CCP.

  4. Sen. Grassley Rebels Against Trump Over Inspector Generals

    Sen. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) blocked two of President Trump’s nominees Thursday in a rare move by a Republican senator to demand accountability from the president over his recent firings of several federal watchdogs.

    Grassley, a longtime advocate for inspectors general, announced Thursday afternoon that he is blocking the nominations of Christopher Miller to head the National Counterterrorism Center and Marshall Billingslea to be the State Department’s undersecretary for arms control and international security.

    ChuckGrassley

    @ChuckGrassley
    Im placing holds on 2 Trump Admin noms until I get reasons 4firing 2 agency watchdogs as required by law Not 1st time ive raised alarm when admins flout IG protection law Obama did same& got same earfull from me All I want is a reason 4 firing these ppl CHECKS&BALANCES

    Grassley said he will not allow consideration of Miller’s nomination to proceed until the White House provides answers on Trump’s firing in April of intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson.

    Billingslea’s nomination, Grassley said, cannot proceed until Trump explains why he terminated State Department inspector general Steve Linick last month. Trump abruptly fired Linick at what both he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said was Pompeo’s request, although the details remain unclear.

    The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Edited from: “Sen. Grassley Blocks Two Trump Nominees In Protest Over Inspector General Firings”

    Today’s Washington Post

  5. GENERALS REBUKING TRUMP

    In rapid succession we have heard denunciations of Trump’s misuse of the military from two former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Adm. Mike Mullen and Gen. Martin Dempsey), a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs (Adm. Sandy Winnefeld), a former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (Gen. Tony Thomas) and a former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan (Gen. John Allen). The starkest warning came from Allen, who wrote that “the slide of the United States into illiberalism may well have begun on June 1, 2020,” the day of the assault on Lafayette Square.

    Their words pack a punch in the Pentagon and help to explain why Esper suddenly decided that it was not a good idea to deploy troops against the demonstrators — and why Gen. Mark A. Milley, the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs, felt compelled to release a letter reminding the troops that they must “remain committed to our national values and principles embedded in the Constitution.”

    Both Esper and Milley shamed themselves by walking with Trump across Lafayette Square, but I do not agree with those who say they should resign. The danger is that they would be replaced by gutless wonders even more willing to do Trump’s awful bidding. Eliot A. Cohen, one of our foremost students of civil-military relations, is right to argue in the Atlantic that Esper and Milley should stay in office and risk dismissal by standing up to the commander in chief.

    Esper for the first time did that on Wednesday. He ordered troops that had been assembling near Washington to return to their bases — an order that an angry Trump countermanded. Esper may now lose his job but at least he has found his soul — just as Mattis has now found his voice.

    Edited from: “The Retired Generals Are Defending America From Our Greatest Threat: The President”

    Today’s Washington Post

  6. Kelly Dismisses Trump’s Claim On Mattis

    President Trump’s former chief of staff John F. Kelly defended former defense secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday over Mattis’s criticism of the president’s handling of nationwide protests. Kelly also dismissed Trump’s assertion that the president fired the retired general in 2018.

    “The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, said in an interview. “The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused. The president tweeted a very positive tweet about Jim until he started to see on Fox News their interpretation of his letter. Then he got nasty. Jim Mattis is a honorable man.”

    Mattis tendered his resignation in 2018, citing his disagreement with Trump’s decision to pull U.S. forces out of Syria.

    On Wednesday, he released a statement criticizing Trump’s handling of protests that have erupted across the country following the killing of George Floyd in police custody last week.

    Edited from: “Former Trump Chief Of Staff John Kelly Dismisses Trump’s Claim That Mattis Was Fired, Praises Former Pentagon Chief”

    Today’s Washington Post

    1. REGARDING ABOVE:

      I suspect military people know Trump is on his way to the ash heap of history and the Pentagon is probably eager to create some distance. The last thing generals want is to have the armed forces linked to Trump in public perception.

      1. Shakey, can you get us another one of these about the current Sec of Def, General Kelly, and General Allen all being traitors?

        That was riot!

        1. Traitor ? That’s your 3.6 year line muh russia tard.
          I see your brain is fried, so that’s how you fell for years of lies.
          Go talk to Jinn about it.

  7. The Feminazi White Shirts are clamping down on speech, thought, politics, religion, socialization and every other aspect of American life. Americans are not capable of decision-making. Only the government can decide and dictate. Freedom is only for superior, power-hungry collectivists. All Americans must follow the directives of the communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs).

    1. The NYT people got scared, their employees and editors were sweating it. Reports had hit the riots started taking liberal elite areas.
      Quickly they had to think as the panic set in…
      1-800- Tom Cotton
      OPED published.

      Maybe they had a chance after all…

      Now, they fold back in the opposite direction.

  8. Cotton is the very symbol of today’s GOP. Goldwater or St Ronnie himself would call him for what he is, a nutjob. Of course those two today would be called liberal left-wingers by today’s GOP.

  9. You NYT writers are just flummoxed that someone smarter than you about history and the constitution should be published in your pos rag. Sorry bunch you…

  10. What, exactly, is the issue? The Federal government has intervened in domestic disturbances numerous times including the use of Federal troops. Ike sent 101st Airborne Division troops to Little Rock to enforce the Supreme Court order to integrate the Little Rock high school. LBJ sent troops to various cities to put down the riots after the shooting of Martin Luther King. I was a loadmaster on C-141s at the time and PERSONALLY ferried 82nd Airborne troops to Andrews AFB, DC from Fort Bragg, NC. In short, there is a precedent for Federal intervention.

    1. You are making too much sense for the Socialist/Democrats and their media lapdogs.

      They want to help the rioters destroy our economy and our country, in order to help their Socialist agenda to become the law of the land.

      History and the Constitution, will be put into the trash dump of change, if they get their way.

      Chaos and division, are the only way that the far left can achieve their goal of power over the people. As we have seen thoughout history, once they take power, they will never let go.

      Venezuela is the latest history in this scenario.

    2. Yeah, but this is all different and awful because. Trump. If was Obama, they would be selling pictures of him standing there, and praising him for being so decisive or something. This is just MSM/DNC ginned-up outrage crap.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  11. In 1962 JFK sent in troops to protect the ongoing integration of the University of Mississippi.

    Governor Faubus, a Democrat and a racist, called in the National Guard to obstruct the desegregation of a high school. President Eisenhower nationalized the guard and called in troops.

    GWB acted similarly

    Today the use of troops to quell massive rioting is being considered. Why the sudden repulsion against the use of Federal troops to protect the homes, businesses and lives of Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, and others? How many families have been destroyed by these looters. How many people have killed or will die because of the rioting in our streets?

    I understand alternative opinions but the idea of such extreme censorship by some at the NYTImes and elsewhere demonstrates how far towards totalitarianism some have travelled. I wonder what the Times has written on the Death of David Dorn a retired Black Policeman and all the other policemen and citizens killed or wounded because of the rioting.

  12. Use of the National Guard is strictly under the Governor and the State Assembly.

    Until

    The Guard is federalized or nationalized. The Governors have no say in providing or not providing the NATIONAL Guard. .

    Besides the Fed budget pay the most of the cost.

    1. 50 States 50 Guards Each controlled by local government and local citizens for such things as natural disasters and civil disorder. SPECIFICALLY

  13. Meanwhile, the trial of Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael, and Roddie Bryan — the three men indicted for murder in Ahmaud Arbery’s killing — has started.

    Richard Dial, an agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, has testified that Bryan (the man who shot the video of Arbery’s killing) told investigators that Travis McMichael said “f****** n*****” about Arbery as Arbery lay dead in the street.

    Outside the courthouse, peaceful protesters are chanting “no justice, no peace; no racist police.”

    I don’t want racist Americans, whether or not police. For that matter, I don’t want racist people anywhere. Somehow we’re going to have to make more progress against racism.

    1. Correction: this is not a trial, it’s a probable cause hearing scheduled by Glynn County Magistrate Judge Harrell, to determine whether there’s sufficient evidence of murder to send the case to trial.

    2. “For that matter, I don’t want racist people anywhere. Somehow we’re going to have to make more progress against racism.”

      Do you have any idea how to convince black people to quit being racists??? Strange but true, blacks believe themselves to be the most racist of any ethnic group.

      “Among black Americans, 31% think most blacks are racist, while 24% consider most whites racist and 15% view most Hispanics that way.”

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      *FWIW, I had to go on duck duck go to find this poll. Google never returned a good search for me.

    3. I agree that we must make progress against racism, but when I see so many who will not allow the slightest uttreance of “all lives matter,” as if it was a racist thing to say, and when I see “respect for our flag,” being described as “racism,” I don’t know how we will ever arrive at that goal.

      In the current atmosphere we live in, the thought of a perfect union, where all racism is gone, is not achievable.

      If we go too far in one direction or the other, things, unfortunately may get worse, and not better.

      1. Racism is constitutional freedom of thought, belief, speech, opinion, etc.

        Violence is illegal.

        Oil and water will not mix. They require emulsifiers, which in politics are generational welfare, affirmative action privilege, forced busing, quotas, unfair fair housing, discriminatory non-discrimination, etc., ad infinitum. The welfare state is unconstitutional.

        Lincoln knew it would never work:

        “If all earthly power were given me,” said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, “I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” After acknowledging that this plan’s “sudden execution is impossible,” he asked whether freed blacks should be made “politically and socially our equals?” “My own feelings will not admit of this,” he said, “and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not … We can not, then, make them equals.”5

        One of Lincoln’s most representative public statements on the question of racial relations was given in a speech at Springfield, Illinois, on June 26, 1857.6 In this address, he explained why he opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which would have admitted Kansas into the Union as a slave state:

        There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people to the idea of indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races … A separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation, but as an immediate separation is impossible, the next best thing is to keep them apart where they are not already together. If white and black people never get together in Kansas, they will never mix blood in Kansas …

        Racial separation, Lincoln went on to say, “must be effected by colonization” of the country’s blacks to a foreign land. “The enterprise is a difficult one,” he acknowledged,

        but “where there is a will there is a way,” and what colonization needs most is a hearty will. Will springs from the two elements of moral sense and self-interest. Let us be brought to believe it is morally right, and, at the same time, favorable to, or, at least, not against, our interest, to transfer the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do it, however great the task may be.

        1. George, Africa does not want American blacks unless they have a good job skill. Which pretty much cuts out the ones we want to get rid of.

          Sooo, as a practical matter, that ship has done sailed. Or more appropriately didn’t sail back in 1866.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

          1. I’m sorry. I cannot take credit for the proposal. It was entirely Abraham Lincoln’s idea. In the same vein, physics tells us that oil and water will never actually mix. Emulsifiers would be required for that fusion to persist. The communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs), for no coherent reason, force races to mix using the political emulsifiers of generational welfare, affirmative action privilege, quotas, forced busing, unfair fair housing, discriminatory non-discrimination laws, rent control, minimum wage, WIC, TANF, HAMP, HARP, HUD, HHS, Obongocare, Medicaid, etc., etc., etc. One ponders what America would look like were freedom, free enterprise, self-reliance and severely limited and restricted government, per the Constitution, to actually exist.

            Without the contrived and false support of the welfare state, people would tend to emigrate to warmer, more accommodating climes.
            ___________________

            “If you build it, they will come.”

            – Ray Kinsella
            ___________

            “If you demolish it, they will leave.”

            – Abraham Lincoln

    4. Hail Victory For The Supreme Dictator and Tyrant, CommitToHonestDiscussion!!!

      All Citizens Shall Believe As I Believe And All Citizens Shall Act As I Act!!!

      Executive Order – 1. 0

      On This Date: June 4, In The Year Of Our Lord, 2020

      – CTHD

    5. You have absolutely no grasp, no concept of constitutional American freedom.

      You are a communist and mortal enemy of America and its Constitution.

    6. That’s funny – some schmucko just went on a run around and tried to grab your shotgun, pounded you in the face a couple times, and accidentally got shot in the scuffle and that’s all he came up with ?

      The dead idiot deserved it. I watched the video.

    7. You and yours foment racism. You’re the creators and pushers. you’ve pushed everything on “their community” and push all the lousy crud culture and support it 100% in the name of diversity.

      Wake up call: YOU’RE THE PROBLEM DUMMY.

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