The fast-falling New York Times has gone mad

We are in a whipsaw-fast news cycle, events breaking and churning faster than ever — but over at the New York Times, self-regarding reporters, columnists and editors have spent this most incredible year fighting among themselves over the New York Times.

A jaw-dropping piece in New York Magazine reveals just how far and fast the paper has fallen, executive editor Dean Baquet somehow allowing his millennial social justice warriors to dictate not just how stories are covered but who writes them, edits them, or whether they should run at all.

Make no mistake: The Times is engaging in self-censorship, which extends to outright censorship. The paper has been steadily morphing from a news organization into a far-left propaganda sheet that can please no one but the truest believers. Think about “All the President’s Men” or “Spotlight,” cinematic depictions of buzzy newsrooms, journalists hot to expose corruption at the highest levels, grizzled editors interested in only one thing: Does the story stand up? Is it bulletproof?

Over at the Times, the No. 1 concern is hurt feelings. No. 2 is what Twitter thinks.

As Bari Weiss wrote in her open resignation letter, the Times, post-Trump, has not recalibrated but hardened and calcified.

“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. “Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor . . . 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.”

This is a perfect distillation of what’s gone so grievously wrong at the Times.

“Should JB be replaced?” This debate began on an internal Slack channel this summer, after editorial page editor James Bennet ran a column by Sen. Tom Cotton.

This was right after George Floyd was killed, the nation already traumatized by a global pandemic and a cratering economy. Cotton called for a military response to nationwide rioting and looting.

Controversial? Depends on your politics, but that’s what op-eds are for — exposure to all kinds of arguments and ideas, especially ones debated on Capitol Hill.

Unless, that is, you work at the Times, where publishing an op-ed by a Taliban leader is A-OK, but one by a sitting Republican senator should be thrown in the trash.

Cotton’s column ran on June 3, 2020. Two days later, the Times added a lengthy, insufferable, self-righteous preamble, claiming that negative reader response led to the new conclusion that the column should never have been published.

Swap out “reader response” for “internal staff upset” and you have something closer to the truth.

And yes, editorial page editor James Bennett — “JB” — resigned soon after, his superiors crouching in fear of their woke staff.

It’s all so cowardly, childish and ahistorical (see The 1619 Project). The Times couldn’t believe any right-thinking person would vote for Donald Trump in 2016 and has spent the past four years not reporting and fostering healthy debate but remonstrating what they see as a dumb, gullible, racist body politic in how to think correctly.

That always goes over well.

To quote Andrew Sullivan — who resigned from New York Magazine in July over this very same institutional problem — “We all live on campus now.”

His colleagues and bosses, Sullivan wrote, “seem to believe, and this is increasingly the orthodoxy in mainstream media, that any writer not actively committed to critical theory in questions of race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is actively, physically harming co-workers merely by existing in the same virtual space . . . I miss a readership that truly was eclectic — left, liberal, centrist, right, reactionary — and that loved to be challenged by me and by each other.”

As this razor-thin election proves, the country is still deeply divided. It hardly helps that Big Tech is further curating news, manipulating and siloing us into immovable positions and opinions. We are ever certain of our own moral and intellectual superiority, unable to engage with — let alone countenance — the other side, no matter the issue. We are in dire need of a course correction. Who among us wants to be pandered to like this, indoctrinated and patronized?

The New York Times, as they have made quite clear, believes that Rome is burning. If so, they are Nero.

https://nypost.com/2020/11/10/the-fast-falling-new-york-times-has-gone-mad/