Intolerance And Cowardice Behind Desire For Censorship

Fired New York Times opinion page editor reveals true story behind infamous Tom Cotton “Send in the Troops” oped

In 2020, The New York Times published an op-ed piece that put the lives of its black employees in danger, many of them said. Senator Tom Cotton had written the op-ed, and the New York Times gave it the headline, “Send In The Troops.” Cotton argued that President Donald Trump should deploy the National Guard to quell rioting. The next day, the New York Times published a news story about the resulting internal controversy. In the first sentence, the Times news story said that the Times op-ed had urged the use of “the military to suppress protests against police violence.”

But that wasn’t what Cotton had urged. In fact, Cotton had argued that “A majority who seek to protest peacefully shouldn’t be confused with bands of miscreants” and explicitly condemned any “revolting moral equivalence of rioters and looters to peaceful, law-abiding protesters.”

And no black New York Times employee was put in danger by the op-ed. Notes James Bennet, who was the newspaper opinion page editor at the time, “One of the ironies of this episode was that it was not any newsroom reporter but [fellow editor Adam] Rubenstein who wound up receiving death threats because of the Cotton op-ed, and it was the newsroom that put him in harm’s way.”

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