Concha: The New York Times is ‘lionizing cancel culture’
Fox News contributor Joe Concha reacts to The New York Times being accused of celebrating cancel culture for spotlighting a video of a teenaged girl using a racial slur, in which, led to her being forced to withdraw from college.
The New York Times declared on Wednesday that the paper isn’t diverse enough and plans to make “fundamental changes” to the company’s workplace culture.
Times executives sent a note to staffers that that detailed a recent eight-month probe of diversity and inclusion at the paper, Times in-house media reporter Katie Robertson reported.
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“While it noted some progress in recent years, the report was often highly critical. It said: ‘After several months of interviews and analysis, we have arrived at a stark conclusion: The Times is a difficult environment for many of our colleagues, from a wide range of backgrounds,’” Robertson wrote.
The note went on to say the paper’s “current culture and systems are not enabling our work force to thrive and do its best work” and that the issues are “rue across many types of difference: race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic background, ideological viewpoints and more,” according to Robertson.
The note said the problems are “particularly true for people of color,” but the paper was also plagued by a rift among young liberal staffers and anyone with opposing political views in 2020.
The Times famously saw liberal staffers publicly attack the paper for publishing an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., headlined “Send in the Troops” at the height of nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody. The backlash over the opinion piece eventually resulted in then-opinion editor James Bennet’s ouster.
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In November, New York Magazine published a scathing inside look at The New York Times, which detailed the “open secret” that the paper is “published by and for coastal liberals” and pondered if it could regain widespread trust.
The New York magazine piece also pointed out that several staffers agreed with now-former Times opinion editor Bari Weiss’ claim that the once-proud paper had a toxic culture against non-liberals.
Weiss penned a vicious resignation letter in July to Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger on her personal website, noting she doesn’t understand how toxic behavior is allowed inside the newsroom and “showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery.”
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She explained that she joined the paper in 2017 to help offer a different perspective, as the Times’ “failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that it didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers,” and fixing that issue was critical.
“But the lessons that ought to have followed the election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned,” Weiss wrote. “Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”
Weiss then wrote that “Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times,” but social media acts as the ultimate editor.
Weiss noted that her own “forays into Wrongthink” have made her the subject of “constant bullying by colleagues” who disagree with her views.
“They have called me a Nazi and a racist,” she wrote.
“I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m ‘writing about the Jews again.’ Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers,” Weiss added. “My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in.”
Weiss said she failed to understand how Sulzberger has allowed such behavior inside the newsroom “in full view of the paper’s entire staff and the public.”
New York Magazine reported that many Times staffers agreed with Weiss’ resignation letter critiques.
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“While Bari Weiss’s description of a young woke mob taking over the paper was roundly criticized, several Times employees I spoke to saw truth to the dynamic,” New York contributing editor Reeves Wiedeman wrote.
The Times plans to make significant changes to address its culture issues, including hiring more Black and Latino employees in leadership role, “setting clear expectations for employee behavior; providing new training programs for managers; creating a new diversity, equity and inclusion office; and expanding the journalism fellowship program,” according to Robertson.
The Times did not immediately respond when asked if anything will be done to address Weiss’ claims that non-liberals are bullied at the paper.
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