Bari Weiss, an editor and probably the last remaining non-woke opinion columnist at the New York Times, announced her resignation via her website where she wrote a lengthy and in-depth letter detailing her experiences with the outlet.
Noting that she was at the receiving end of intense bullying and backlash, Weiss wrote that she was often called unsavory names and said that “showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery”.
“My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist,” she wrote.
In the same way that academics are increasingly ruled by Twitter mobs, Weiss has a similar statement to make about the Times.
“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor,” Weiss wrote, hinting that social media was what influenced editorial decisions.
“As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions,” Weiss wrote, adding to everyone’s suspicions as to what’s wrong with today’s media landscape.
It is worth noting that Weiss’ resignation comes just weeks after she revealed the internal civil war at the Times for the publication of a pro-Trump op-ed penned by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. The op-ed resulted in a huge internal backlash at the Times, with several of its staff members upset with the fact that, just by publishing the senator’s article, it was though the Times endorsed the views of a senator who was suggesting to send in the National Guard to control the rioters and looters.
Staff at the time said the article made them feel “unsafe.” Ultimately, The New York Times pulled the article with the excuse that it was a rushed decision and that the op-ed didn’t meet their standards.
Weiss highlighted the fact that the Times was fixated more on pushing the publicly-accepted and embraced narratives than what actually goes against the accepted beliefs. She also said that the culture at the Times was detrimental for “independent-minded young writers and editors paying close attention to what they’ll have to do to advance their careers”.