New York Times op-ed writer and editor Bari Weiss has quit the so-called “paper of record,” alleging in a resignation letter that she was bullied for expressing conservative viewpoints—the very reason she said she was brought on board in the first place.
“I was hired with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives, and others who would not naturally think of The Times as their home,” Weiss wrote in a letter to the newspaper’s publisher Arthur G. Sulzberger.
She said she was hired three years ago amid a bout of soul-searching at the paper after its “failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election” and an apparent conclusion on the part of the publication’s leadership that the New York Times had missed the mark on what drove people in parts of America.
“The priority in Opinion was to help redress that critical shortcoming,” she wrote, calling the opportunity to work towards that goal an honor. Yet in due course, she became increasingly disillusioned, arguing that a “new McCarthyism” had taken hold at the paper, forcing journalists to conform to an ideological “orthodoxy,” with the Twitter mob serving as “its ultimate editor.”
She claimed the paper came to view “truth” not as “a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”
“I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative,” she wrote.
Weiss claimed she was subjected to “constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views,” alleging that fellow journalists at the New York Times would call her “a Nazi and a racist.”
“There are terms for all of this: unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge,” Weiss wrote, adding, “I’m no legal expert. But I know that this is wrong.”
Further, she said her experience was not unique.
“The truth is that intellectual curiosity—let alone risk-taking—is now a liability at The Times. Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world? And so self-censorship has become the norm,” she wrote.
Her letter sparked a flurry of reactions on social media.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a human rights activist and fellow at the Hoover Institute, wrote in a tweet: “The New York Times was once a great paper. Not anymore. It is now held hostage by a small group of censorship terrorists. Yesterday they hounded out James Bennet and today it is Bari Weiss who must leave. Who is next?”
The Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog with a focus on reporting liberal media bias, wrote in a tweet: “The @nytimes has proven that their paper does not seek the truth. @bariweiss’ resignation is just the beginning of the downfall of the New York Times.”
The New York Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reprinted with Permission from - Epoch Times by - Rom Ozimek