The New York Times op-ed staff editor and writer Bari Weiss announced on Tuesday, July 14 that she was leaving the paper.
In her resignation letter, Weiss alleged that “Twitter has become the ultimate editor” of The Times and that stories are chosen and written in a way to “satisfy the narrowest of audiences.”
She cited what she termed as “constant bullying” and name-calling by Times colleagues and staff.
“Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery,” she wrote.
The current climate of suppressing opinions that deviate from a progressive ideology does not bode well for the future of independent young writers and editors, who seemingly must follow three rules if they wish to succeed in journalism, Weiss wrote: “Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain.”
The Squirrel Hill native and daughter of Amy and Lou Weiss has been at the center of an ongoing controversy since the paper published an op-ed June 3 by Sen. Tom Cotton. The column, titled “Send In the Troops,” called for the military to be deployed in the nation’s cities to quell riots following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers.
After the publication of Cotton’s op-ed, Weiss wrote on her Twitter feed that the paper was in the midst of “a civil war between the (mostly young) wokes” and “the (mostly 40+) liberals,” saying it was the same battle “raging inside other publications and companies across the country.”
Weiss was hired by The Times following the 2016 election of Donald Trump. In her resignation letter, she said the paper had realized “it didn’t have a firm grip on the country it covers” and that the new priority of the opinion section “was to help redress that critical shortcoming.”
In a statement printed in numerous news sources, acting Times editorial page editor Kathleen Kingsbury said: “We appreciate the many contributions that Bari made to Times opinion. I’m personally committed to ensuring that The Times continues to publish voices, experiences and viewpoints from across the political spectrum…We see every day how impactful and important that approach is, especially through the outsized influence The Time’s opinion journalism has on the national conversation.” PJC