Former NYT Editorial Page Editor James Bennet Pens Scathing Essay: The Times “Has Metastasized From Liberal Bias to Illiberal Bias”

Former NYT Editorial Page Editor James Bennet Pens Scathing Essay: The Times “Has Metastasized From Liberal Bias to Illiberal Bias”

James Bennet, former editorial page editor of The New York Times

The former editorial page editor of The New York Times, James Bennet, wrote a scathing column criticizing the paper for a “shift away from its previous journalistic principles.”

In the piece “When the New York Times lost its way,” written for the British-based The Economist, Bennet also shares details on his departure.

He is critical of both Times’ publisher A.G. Sulzberger as well as former executive editor Dean Baquet. Bennet accuses both of sacrificing him when they came under some pressure rather than standing for the principles they claim to believe in.

Bennet writes,The Times’s problem has metastasised from liberal bias to illiberal bias, from an inclination to favour one side of the national debate to an impulse to shut debate down altogether. All the empathy and humility in the world will not mean much against the pressures of intolerance and tribalism without an invaluable quality that Sulzberger did not emphasise: courage.”

Bennet claims he was forced out of the Times over an op-ed he approved that dared to provide a platform for Republican Senator Tom Cotton.  He was then forced to apologize for not adhering to liberal talking points during a company-wide Zoom meeting.

“The plan had been for the newsroom to talk about its coverage of the protests. Now the only subject was going to be the op-ed. Early that morning, I got an email from Sam Dolnick, a Sulzberger cousin and a top editor at the paper, who said he felt ‘we’ – he could have only meant me – owed the whole staff ‘an apology for appearing to place an abstract idea like open debate over the value of our colleagues’ lives, and their safety.’”

“He was worried that I and my colleagues had unintentionally sent a message to other people at the Times that: ‘We don’t care about their full humanity and their security as much as we care about our ideas.’”

Bennet notes he was contacted by a Sulzberger ally and advised to apologize and acknowledge his “privilege.”

Bennet described the Zoom meeting in front of a couple of thousand people as “a disorienting experience.”

“I do not recommend it. As my first turn to speak came up, I was still struggling with what I should apologize for. I was not going to apologize for denying my colleagues’ humanity or endangering their lives. I had not done those things. I was not going to apologize for publishing the op-ed. Finally, I came up with something that felt true.”

“I told the meeting that I was sorry for the pain that my leadership of Opinion had caused. What a pathetic thing to say. I did not think to add, because I’d lost track of this truth myself by then, that opinion journalism that never causes pain is not journalism. It can’t hope to move society forward.”

“As I look back at my notes of that awful day, I don’t regret what I said. Even during that meeting, I was still hoping the blow-up might at last give me the chance either to win support for what I had been asked to do, or to clarify once and for all that the rules for journalism had changed at the Times.”

Immediately after the meeting, Bennet said his remarks were vilified on the company’s internal Slack messaging system.

“The next morning I was told to resign.”

Bari Weiss, founder and CEO of the Free Press, joined Megyn Kelly to discuss Bennet’s piece and how the New York Times went from great journalism and curiosity to reflecting the elites’ views.

The post Former NYT Editorial Page Editor James Bennet Pens Scathing Essay: The Times “Has Metastasized From Liberal Bias to Illiberal Bias” appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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Author: Margaret Flavin