Bari Weiss has written a masterful “j’accuse” against her former employer, The New York Times, where (she writes) “standing up for principle … does not win plaudits. It puts a target on your back.”
Weiss does not share many of the same ideas as me and other conservatives. Her “centrism” is well to the left of anything I can stomach, but that doesn’t matter because she understands the necessity of respectful dialogue in civil society — and recognizes that the modern “social justice mob” is a cancer that will choke freedom of thought. God bless her for her honesty!
Weiss published her resignation letter, addressed to Times’ publisher A.G. Sulzberger, on her website today, and it should rank with the greatest lamentations of all time. She exposes the bilious underbelly of the Gray Lady and accuses Sulzberger of allowing Twitter to serve as the de facto editor of the once glorious crown jewel of American Journalism.
She talks about being hired by the Times “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.” But with the disastrous collapse of free thought epitomized by the newspaper apologizing for publishing an op-ed by conservative Sen. Tom Cotton last month, Weiss acknowledges that the Times’ experiment in trying to broaden its horizon has ended badly.
“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. 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. 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.”
Weiss paints a devastating portrait of the work environment at the New York Times as a madhouse run by the inmates — cruel pathological bullies who insist on getting their way.
“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; 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. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, 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. 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.
“There are terms for all of this: unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. I’m no legal expert. But I know that this is wrong.”
Weiss acknowledges that there are good employees at the paper, and probably good bosses, but they have been silenced by the social justice mob:
“Part of me wishes I could say that my experience was unique. But 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.
“What rules that remain at The Times are applied with extreme selectivity. If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinized. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital thunderdome. Online venom is excused so long as it is directed at the proper targets.”
It should be noted that the New York Times in this regard is little more than a microcosm of a sick society. The rules Weiss says operate at the newspaper are just narrow versions of the same rules that keep people quiet in our cities and have turned our corporate boardrooms into parrots of fake woke lunacy:
“Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain. Eventually, the publisher will cave to the mob, the editor will get fired or reassigned, and you’ll be hung out to dry.”
Or — as in this instance, or the case of Lara Logan — you will quit in disgust.
Heartland Diary is solely operated by Frank Miele, the retired editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. If you enjoy reading these daily essays, I hope you will consider purchasing one of my books. They are available through the following Amazon links. My new book is “How We Got Here: The Left’s Assault on the Constitution” and is now available in paperback and as an eBook. It’s 536 pages and chock full of research on the progressive movement and the patriotic heroes who have fought against it. My earlier books include “The Media Matrix: What if everything you know is fake?” and the “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy. Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is “Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” As an Amazon Associate, I may earn referral fees for qualifying purchases through links on my website. Also consider subscribing to Heartland Diary on YouTube by clicking here for News Every Conservative Can Use. My goal is to reach 1,000 subscribers.