Bari Weiss quits the New York Times, cites hostile work environment
07/15/2020 // Franz Walker // Views

Bari Weiss, an editor and writer for the New York Times’s opinion section, resigned Monday, citing a hostile work environment and unchecked bullying from her colleagues due to her differences of opinion.

In a scathing letter to New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger, which she posted on her website Tuesday, Weiss slammed the paper as an echo chamber and that her colleagues brooked no dissent on the platform while describing its opinion section as a place where any sort of intellectual curiosity was frowned upon.

“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?” she asked.

Weiss resigns in the wake of the paper's civil war

A “civil war” of sorts broke out in The Times's opinion section last month after the paper published an op-ed by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton that called for the U.S. government to send troops in to deter looting amid protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody back in May.

Many New York Times reporters and editors criticized the piece, saying that it contained factual errors and also endangered their Black colleagues covering the protests. (Related: Leftist mob bullies New York Times into limiting "offensive" op-eds.)

In the aftermath of the incident, then editorial-page chief James Bennet resigned from the paper. Meanwhile, his deputy, James Dao, was removed from the company's masthead and reassigned to the newsroom.


Prior to Bennet's resignation, Weiss posted a long Twitter thread about the incident, where she talked about the tension between the “old guard” that supported civil libertarianism and a so-called “new guard” that felt that the safety and comfort of the individual trumped core liberal values.

More recently, Weiss signed last week’s divisive Harper's open letter on cancel culture.

Because of these, Weiss said that she experienced “constant bullying” online and lamented The Times's inaction on her harassment allegations.

“Some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly ‘inclusive’ one, while others post ax emojis next to my name,” she wrote in her letter. “Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.”

Continuing with her argument, Weiss said that Twitter had become the “ultimate editor” of the paper, stating that the “ethics and mores” of the platform have become those of The Times itself.

“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,” she stated.

Brought in to bring more voices to The Times

Weiss, who was previously the op-ed editor at the Wall Street Journal, was brought into the New York Times in 2017 by Bennet. The latter was looking to bring in the views of more conservative writers, such as Weiss and columnist Bret Stephens.

When she joined the paper, Weiss said that it was her goal to bring in more voices that would not otherwise appear in the paper of record, including those “who would not naturally think of The Times as their home.”

As part of this, she argued that the lack of these voices caused the paper to fail to grasp the outcome of the 2016 election. As such, the paper no longer had a firm grasp of the country it covers – a “critical shortcoming” that she had hoped to redress while she was there.

With her departure, however, it seemed that the New York Times has all but rejected that effort and will continue to have this critical shortcoming.

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