Mea Culpa: New York Times Caves To Protests And Apologizes For Posting Conservative Opinion

440px-The_Yellow_Press_by_L.M._GlackensIn an act that virtually stands alone in the abandonment of self-defining values, the New York Times last night caved to protests from its own writers to apologize for publishing a conservative opinion piece by a ranking Republican senator. On Thursday, the editors had rightfully held firm on the need for the paper to hear all viewpoints as publishing a column by Sen. Tom Cotton (R, Ark.) calling for the use of military troops to quell rioting.  Times editorial page editor James Bennet and Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger issued defenses of the use of the opinion section to hear all sides of such national controversies. We discussed that position yesterday and many of us heralded the editors for their courage despite the overwhelming calls for private censorship.  Then, the newspaper and its journalistic ethics entirely collapsed with an announcement that effectively declared an original sin “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa” (“through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.”

The column by Cotton was discussing a statutory option used by presidents in the past in times of riot.  He was arguing that troops could be used support insufficient law enforcement numbers.  He stresses that his column concerns the violence not the protests. While I disagree with the column, Cotton does not denounce the protests or the protesters. Rather than he objects to “a revolting moral equivalence of rioters and looters to peaceful, law-abiding protesters. A majority who seek to protest peacefully shouldn’t be confused with bands of miscreants.”  In doing so, he not only cited the history of such use but cautioned that it should only be used temporarily to get hold of the situation:

“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.”

I have repeatedly opposed such a move as unnecessary and inimical to the exercise of free speech. However, it is a major policy question being discussed by one of the key member of Congress.  Instead of responding to the arguments, various writers demanded that the editors be removed and no such opposing views be published in the Times.

download-1In a breathtaking surrender, the newspaper has apologized and not only promised an investigation into how such an opposing view could find itself on its pages but promised to reduce the number of editorials in the future.  In a statement that will go down in journalistic infamy, the newspaper announced:

“We’ve examined the 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 reduction the number of op-eds we publish.”

The prior attacks on the newspaper capture the rising intolerance for opposing views in our society. This action shows that such attacks can succeed even with the largest and most esteemed publications.

We have seen the expansion of speech codes and regulation on campus and calls for private censorship by companies ranging from Twitter to Facebook. Politicians, including Vice President Joe Biden, have called for removal of comments deemed misinformation, including political commentary. What is most chilling about this controversy is that this intolerance for opposing views has not only reached our major newspapers but the demands are coming from journalists and writers themselves. This is akin to priests declaring their opposition to the free exercise of religion.  You cannot claim to support free speech and seek to silence those who hold opposing views.

225px-BrandeislAs Justice Brandeis said, the solution to any bad speech is more speech, not forced silence. When editors run columns, they do not endorse the sentiments or viewpoints. They foster debate and dialogue in allowing alternative views to be heard. Sen. Cotton was advocating an option that has been used previously in this country and is a focus of debate in Washington. These writers would impose a bar on any who would argue for the option, leaving the newspaper little more than a hollow echo chamber of approved speech. As I stated, I have opposed the option discussion by Sen. Cotton. However, I find the anti-free speech views of these writers far more chilling than his exercise of free speech.

The anger over the editorial shows the cost of echo journalism and how far it has penetrated in the profession. Too many have become so accustomed to news delivered in a hermetically sealed echo chamber that even the appearance of an opposing view is now offensive and intolerable.  Some of these writers supply the very echoes that bounce unchallenged on many sites. The New York Times just formally declared that it would reframe its publication to be a part of the echo journalistic model.

I have been a columnist and commentator for decades and I never thought I would see the day when writers called for private censorship of views.  We are gleefully killing the very thing that sustains us.

240 thoughts on “Mea Culpa: New York Times Caves To Protests And Apologizes For Posting Conservative Opinion”

  1. The day before the election, Trump predicted the ruling by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court to allow mail-in ballots to be counted which arrive 3 days after the election will “induce violence in the streets.” Those mail-in-ballots which arrive after election day include ones sent by the military. Turley is apparently unconcerned by our president’s public attacks on a judicial ruling by Pennslyvania’s high court & his firm prediction of riots.

    Turley is also presumably unbothered by Trump pressuring Bill Barr last month to indict Obama, Biden & Hillary Clinton before election day. Trump insists history will treat Barr unkindly if he didn’t follow orders: “Bill Barr’s gonna go down either as the greatest attorney general in the history of the country or he’s gonna go down as a very sad, sad situation.” Turley ignores Trump’s pressure campaign on Barr & directs his outrage at the NY Times.

    I never thought I’d see the day when a conservative law professor would remain stone cold silent about a president giving his own Attorney General a firm deadline to arrest & convict a former US president & his political opponents while also publicly undermining state Supreme Court rulings & predicting riots.

    1. +1 Race. It’s scandalous and destroys any pretense to seriousness or concern for the integrity of our legal system.

      1. What is “scandalous” – that Trump is able to predict Fraud ?

        BTW there was rioting in the streets in Philadelphia and Wolf sent in the national guard.
        As usually it was left wing nuts rioting.

    2. I doubt the merits of your rants about Trump/Barr – do you have actual quotes ? Ir is this more fake Trump nonsense ?

      Regardless, we KNOW that Eric Holder protected criminals from prosecution for Obama’s advantage.

      And if there is a basis for indicting the people you listed – or more likely several others, then they should be indicted.

      The DOJ policy regarding prosecutions that might influence an election has never before been followed – whether it is Comey in 2016,
      or the indictment of Caspar Weinberger – later dropped before the Bush/Clinton election.

      The policy is also likely unconstitutional. If DOJ has the evidence to indict someone – they must due so regardless of the political effects.

      I would note that DOJ/FBI kept secret the fact that they were investigating Hunter Biden for money laundering during the house impeachment. What could be more relevant to the impeachment than the fact that DOJ already felt there was sufficient grounds to investigate Hunter Biden.

    3. BTW there is nothing wrong with the president ordering the AG to prosecute a case. No less than Thomas Jefferson did exactly that.

      And Turley is not a conservative. He is a liberal – and actual liberal. Not one of these idiot progressives.

  2. Jonathan
    I’m a retired Political Science prof. The attached is pgs 68-76 of a still-in-progress reaction to/review of Yuval Noah Harari’s book: “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”. I’ve long been impressed with your empirical reasoning process and think
    you may find it useful, whether as information or foil.

    Making Empirical sense of the world:

    For most of his adult life Marx believed he might witness a Socialist Revolution, which would end governmental authority forever, and put everyone in full control of their life.

    He didn’t!

    Immediately prior to the Bolshevik’s October 1917 seizure of power, Vladimir Lenin was confident his country was about to experience Marx’s predicted Egali-tarian Revolution. But by April, 1918 events had convinced him Russia must become State-Capitalist, or the majority of its people would not survive.

    Under Stalin and subsequent leaders, the Soviet Union’s finance-and-manufactur-ing elite self-servingly called their country’s hierarchical socio-economic-political structure “Socialist” and “Communist;” and the post-revolutionary elites governing China, Vietnam, et al. have done the same.

    Today: having gradually built an Highly Integrated Global Economy, the world’s largest, most technologically advanced U.S., Chinese, German, French, Japanese, British, etc. banking, manufacturing, retail, pharmaceutical, communications, agricultural, entertainment and military-industrial corporations must acquire a World Government to shield them from each other’s destructive competitive prac-tices, and, to provide them a common defense against non-global industries and national populations.

    The urgency of the Global Corporations’ need for a World Government would be hard to overstate. JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, China Construction Bank Corp., Walmart, TikTok Global, Walt Disney Co.,, Edeka Group, Schwarz Group, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Archer Daniels Midland, Agrium, et al., have reached the point at which they have to drive more and more small, independent national competitors out of business in order to be sustained; and the latter are rapidly growing in number as a consequence of the economic coercion/injury the self-protective actions of Global Corporations create.

    China has long been preparing to displace the United States as the world’s dom-inant economic and political power, convinced it is destined to do so, and, that it will exercise its authority through a United Nations (UN) World Government.

    But, China and the Global Corporations do not have the ability to bring the World Government into being by themselves. They desperately need help!

    To their good fortune, insecure members of the United States, British, German, French, Australian, Italian, etc. middle classes are anxious to provide it.

    For more than 20 years the circumstances of capitalist country middle classes has been steadily worsening. Wikipedia calls the American middle class “squeezed.” Fortune Magazine has written of its “death”.

    Tens-of-millions of upper-middle and lower-upper class youths around the world are responding to the deepening injury to their favored status by joining the Global Corporations’ struggle; and, they’re using the consciousness and tactics of the post-revolutionary Russian, Chinese and Vietnamese elites.

    In the U.S., ANTIFA; Black Lives Matter (BLM); Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlab (affection-ately known as”The Squad”), contend they’re fighting for Marxist Socialism.

    Black author/activist Patrisse Khan-Cullors has declared she and her BLM cofoun-ders Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi are: “trained Marxists. . . . super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories.”

    ANTIFA doesn’t have identifiable founders or leaders. But, in Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, Minneapolis, Minnesota and Denver, Colorado, the ANTIFA protestors are marching, burning and beating alongside Black Lives Matter dem-onstrators; and individual ANTIFA activists claim that they, too, are battling for “Socialism”.

    BLM, ANTIFA and AOC’s “Squad” have gained the support of Democrat Party leaders for their pro-Globalist “Socialist” vision, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Congressman Adam Schiff.

    Where Marx argued a government would not exist under Socialism, like the Chinese elite, ANTIFA-BLM-AOC-Democrat “Socialists,” and their German, French, English, Australian, etc. counterparts, envision an all-powerful Authority that ‘takes care of everybody and everything;’ and, in which they will hold offices that secure their imperiled favored interests.

    Marx dismissed the BLM/ANTIFA/AOC-Democrat concept of “Socialism” as State Capitalist when German members of the 1st Communist International proposed it. His reasoning provides an empirical explanation for China’s socio-economic-political structure; and for BLM and ANTIFA’s financing by many of the world’s wealthiest billionaires, including George Soros, Jeff Bezos, Hollywood and Silicone Valley billionaires. It also empirically explains why pro-Globalist Facebook’s “fact checkers,” are funded by Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates.

    China reveals what the U.S. will look like if the BLM/ANTIFA/Democrat “Social-ists” are victorious. Tyrannically regimented China holds 450,000 Uyghur Moslems, and an equal number of Chinese followers of Falun Gong in “ideological and behavioral reeducation camps,” where they’re used as slave labor to make goods for global corporations; and 90,000 of them are killed yearly for their trans-plantable body parts, sold for an estimated $5 billion.

    In order to build their “Socialist” World Order, Globalist-Democrats must destroy the things presently holding the United States together: the institutions and icons which provide Americans with socio-economic security and give stability and meaning to their lives. They must raze the nation’s scaffolding: make it difficult-to-impossible for Americans to communicate; educate their children; enjoy communal sports like basketball, football and baseball; dine out; get medical care; receive police protection; find unifying significance in the National anthem and flag, or solace in the practice of their religion. Millions of Americans may be driven to drugs or suicide. But, cut adrift, the majority will start to welcome whatever alternative security and meaning a World Institutional Framework provides.

    The same nation-destroying processes are at work throughout the world; and, so far, the pro-China Globalists have been remarkably successful.

    A heavy-handed clamp-down on anti-Globalist communications is now in place in Europe and the United States. Over the past decade American Globalists have brought their opponents’ ability to communicate nearly to a halt. Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Tik Tok and other media platforms are using a variety of superficial-to-silly justifications for banning the ideas and analyses of anti-Globalists, quite often, no justification at all. The leading U.S. TV News Media: MSNBC, CNN, CBS, NBC—with a modest self-serving hesitancy, even FoxNews—have rendered the First Amendment Right to free speech of Americans null and void. When Chinese virologist Li-Meng Yan provided material evidence the Chinese government created and released Covid-19 to serve its Globalist effort, it took internet communications platforms and main-stream media only a day to suppress.

    Democrat Governors and Mayors have joined with Democrat Senators and Con- gresspeople, and a minority of Republican legislators, in forcing small, indepen-dent business owners to surrender to the Globalists; permitting BLM and ANTIFA “protesters” to smash and burn their shops, and providing their employees with payments well in excess of what they had been earning; while leaving the interna-tional firms with which they competed; e.g., Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot alone.

    Allowing people from poverty-ridden countries to enter the U.S. freely would dra-matically weaken its economic strength and ability to compete with China. There-fore, the Globalist-Democrats are for open borders.

    A race war would be VERY helpful in shattering the unity of Americans. So, the Democrats are doing their best to create one. Describing the U.S. socio-eco-nomic-political structure as inherently racist, Democrat politicians have success-fully instituted K-12 lesson programs which teach students their country has been hatefully racist from the time of its founding. Declaring all police implacably racist, ANTIFA and BLM “protesters” harass, beat, in an alarming number of cases, kill them with impunity. If arrested, they are immediately released and continue their assaults.

    The “protesters” issue demands that “racist” Police Departments be defunded or abolished, and Democrat Governors and mayors are zealously carrying out their will. Some Democrat Governors and state legislatures are promoting racial con-flict by trying to get Black Americans financial compensation for the social and economic injuries their ancestors suffered for the past 400 years.

    Leaving aside the question whether China created and released Covid-19 to crush the economies of other countries, it’s undeniable Covid is having that effect. Schools are closed even in non-industrialized states like Malaysia and Indonesia; burdening millions of families with additional expenses, particularly paying for babysitters while parents are at work; if the parents’ places of employment have not themselves been shut. Sports contests are delayed; held without attending audi-ences, or cancelled; restaurants are permitted to seat and serve only a quarter to one-half of their former diners; bars, exercise centers and churches are closed. Alcoholism, drug use, suicide, divorce, theft and murder are predictably soaring, as everything binding people in families, communities and nations is methodically laid waste.

    Eminent virologists in the U.S., France, England and India have provided evidence (immediately suppressed by mainstream media), that the Covid-19 injury and death rates are being grossly exaggerated, and that face masks offer little or no protection against the Covid virus, while they can be very injurious to a wearer’s general health.

    But protecting people’s health isn’t the reason for the order that everyone must wear a face mask. Getting them to follow pro-Globalist government instructions reflexively is!

    Whenever governments have been unable to provide reasoned analyses and evi-dence to justify requirements that were imperative for protecting the socio-eco-nomic existence of the elite, they’ve always used force. The face mask directives aren’t instructions. They’re commands!; and they are working exactly as China and the Globalists intend.

    Wearing masks alienates people, making them collectively malleable. Around the world, people are succumbing to economy-crippling/unity-destroying/insecurity- raising Globalist dictates with blind obedience; and police, finding their own jobs threatened, conform by arresting people who are peacefully assembled for not wearing masks, or maintaining the ordered distance from each other.

    A few citations, taken verbatim from the world press:

    “England, Scotland and Northern Ireland all have rules that make face coverings mandatory by law in certain circumstances”.

    “France has deployed riot police to enforce mask-wearing.”

    “In one German state, passengers without masks on trains and buses were handed hefty spot fines in a major police operation.”

    “Video has surfaced showing the dramatic arrest of a woman in Melbourne, Aus-tralia not wearing a face mask, where the arresting officer is accused of ‘choking’ the 21-year-old.”

    “More than 105,000 people have been arrested in Zimbabwe since March for violating regulations aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, police say.”

    “Kenya’s government published a law last week which imposes a fine of $200 and a jail term of six months or both, for anyone found not wearing a mask in public as a preventative measure against the spread of COVID-19.”

    “Police in Cameroon have detained several hundred people for not wearing face masks in public, as COVID-19 cases in the central African state continue to rise.” 

    While in the U.S., “Moscow, Idaho police arrested three parishioners for singing psalms in public without standing the required six feet apart or wearing face masks”; and “in Logan, Ohio a police officer tasered and arrested a young mother at a Junior high school football game” for committing the same heinous crimes.

    In August 2020, the Democrat National Convention members opted for weaken-ing the identification Americans have with their nation’s leaders by nominating Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates of patently dubious intelligence, integrity and strength for the November election.

    At the same time, the Democrats are trying to make it impossible for Americans whose lives are being devastated to procure guns and ammunition to defend them-selves from criminals, violent BLM and ANTIFA “protesters,” or, from being vanquished by the country’s Globalists if that need arises.

    Again, it’s assumed that if the fear and insecurity of Americans (French, Germans, British, Australians, Japanese, Italians, etc.) becomes sufficiently intense, they will look to China and its Globalist World Government Authorities for comfort.

    President Trump has been able to do little more than shore up the U.S. economy as the Globalist Democrats try to raze it; and to complain about their destruction of Americans’ Constitutional rights.

    No less disconcerting, thus far, pro-Trump/anti-Globalist Republicans have, with-out exception, accepted the BLM, ANTIFA, Globalist Democrats’ self-serving, and empirically indefensible, definition of “socialism” in leading a charge against them.

    Candace Owens; Glenn Beck; Dennis Praeger and Praeger U; David Horowitz Freedom Center and Discover the Network websites; FoxNews hosts: Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, even Tucker Carlson, who repeatedly declares himself: “The sworn enemy of Lying, Pomposity, Smugness and Group Think”; Infowars’ Alex Jones, David Knight and Owen Shroyer, all point to the former Soviet Union, China and Vietnam as exemplifying “Socialism’s brutality and failure”.

    President Trump also agrees with the Globalists’ State-Capitalist meaning for Socialism, announcing he intends to”launch a 1776 Commission to fight a Demo-crat Communist takeover,” and urging supporters to: “help me defeat the Radical Left!”.

    Marx, of course, would accuse the Democrat Party of promoting Last Stage Capi-talism, not Socialism, and he would describe it as Radical Right, not Left.

    One hundred and thirty seven years have passed since Old Karl Marx died, and the Egalitarian Socialist Revolution he predicted has not happened yet. Even for the small number of Americans and Europeans who’ve investigated and understand his theory, it remains a Rube Goldberg Design: logical, but, to date, irrelevant in prac-tice.

    If Marx could be resurrected as an American, unless he changed his mind en-route, he would agree with most of Alex Jones’ analyses of current events, while giving them a different significance, and slapping his forehead in exasperation when Jones sees Satan at work; and, he would have (apprehensively) voted for Trump on November third.

    What, then, if anti-Globalists were to comprehend Marx was on their side respec-ting human freedom, and, that his Political Theory might be the definitive weapon they need? Is there any possibility anti-Globalist Americans will begin reacting to the BLM-ANTIFA-Democrats’ faux-Socialism by giving Marx’s analysis a serious consideration? Doing so would enable them to remove the stridently fascistic platform on which the Globalists are standing!

    Unfortunately, while I’m sanguine by nature, I’m unable to muster the optimism needed to answer yes to that question, however hard I try.

    On November 7th U.S. Mainstream Media announced Joe Biden won the election. But whether the Supreme Court upholds that claim (which seems most likely) or declares President Trump’s re-election, the U.S. appears headed for Civil War; and if China becomes World Leader, species Homo Sapiens will enter a very deep, and very dark age.

    The International Corporations’ pro-China/World-Government effort is being waged Globally, and they’re winning! “Make America Great Again” has been a unifying motto for Americans. But the majority in every country will soon con-front socio-economic devastation; and for anti-Globalists to gain the lead will require them to use a universal, i.e., Global Call To Arms.

    In the (albeit faint) hope the anti-Globalists will investigate and act upon the egalitarian and humanitarian aspects of his Theory, and, in doing so, avoid the emerging barbarous mayhem; and, to reorient Yuval Harari, here’s what THE REAL Marx had to say.

  3. I shall no longer buy the New York Times

    They have abandoned every decent value they stood for

    Betty Cohen
    Bklyn New York

    1. I will miss the 36 hours and travel articles, but REFUSE to support going forward.

      1. I’d like to be your proof reader Sir. Such an important article, and a typo…
        Makes me sad.
        I usually read 2-3 books simultaneously, have dyslexia and find typos in everyone of them…

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