Staff editor and writer of The New York Times’s opinion section, Bari Weiss, resigns claiming constant bullying from colleagues. Weiss said she was subject to “constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views” and an environment where she said, “self-censorship has become the norm.”
“What rules that remain at The Times are applied with extreme selectivity,” she wrote in a lengthy resignation letter, which she posted to her personal website. “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.”
Weiss’s resignation comes just after that of James Bennet, the editor of the Opinion section, who resigned after a number of staffers at The New York Times staffers verbally protested the decision to publish an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AZ), in which he defended the idea of sending troops to cities to quell protests following the death of George Floyd.
Weiss claims The New York Times has a problematic environment
But Weiss claimed that in the environment of the Times, it’s become difficult to have a different point of view. She wrote that “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.’”
She added, “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 the appropriate action. They never are.”
Weiss wrote that after President Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the 2016 election, she was hired “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.”
“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 orthodoxy is already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else,” she wrote.