Whined And Opined: Bari Weiss quits the New York Timid


Did I say New York Timid?  I meant the New York Times.

Bari Weiss was hired in 2017 to “write opinion pieces” for the NYT’s notoriously far rightwing editorial page.  She laughably called herself “forward thinking” while being as much a neocon as anyone on Fox Nuisance, a perfect fit for a paper that kowtowed to Wall Street.

On Thursday, however, Weiss resigned, claiming “bullying” and “imposed self-censorship”, whatever that means.  It sounds less like an accusation of impropriety and more like she jumped before she was pushed.

NY Times Opinion Editor Bari Weiss Resigns, Accuses Staffers of ‘Constant Bullying’

Bari Weiss resigned from her position as a staff editor and opinion writer for the New York Times Tuesday, citing a “hostile work environment” and blaming the publisher for allowing it. She also decried newsroom practices, writing in her resignation letter that “self-censorship has become the norm.”

[. . .]

A representative for the Times told TheWrap in response to Weiss’ accusations, “We’re committed to fostering an environment of honest, searching and empathetic dialogue between colleagues, one where mutual respect is required of all.”

Weiss’ resignation follows that of Times’ op-ed editor James Bennet, who left the publisher in June following backlash over a column written by conservative Senator Tom Cotton.

To quote Glenn Greenwald from 2017:

The NY Times’s Newest Op-Ed Hire, Bari Weiss, Embodies its Worst Failings — and its Lack of Viewpoint Diversity

Controversy erupted on April 14 over the New York Times’s hiring of neoconservative climate-skeptic and anti-Arab polemicist Bret Stephens as the paper’s newest Op-Ed page columnist, hired away from the Wall Street Journal’s right-wing op-ed page. But just two days after it unveiled him, the paper’s op-ed page, with much less fanfare, announced that it had also hired a carbon copy of Stephens named Bari Weiss, also from the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, to “write and commission the kinds of quick-off-the-news pieces” that will “amplify the section’s already important voice in the national conversation.”

In her short tenure, Weiss (pictured, right) has given the paper exactly what it apparently wanted when it hired her. She has churned out a series of trite, shallow, cheap attacks on already-marginalized left-wing targets that have made her a heroine in the insular neocon and right-wing intelligentsia precincts in which she, Stephens, and so many other NYT op-ed writers reside. 

Exactly as she was doing a decade ago as a “pro-Israel” activist at Columbia and thereafter at various neocon media perches, her formula is as simple as it is predictable: She channels whatever prevailing right-wing grievance exists about colleges, Arabs or Israel critics (ideally, all of those) into a column that’s supposed to be “provocative” because it maligns minority activists or fringe positions that are rarely given platforms on the New York Times op-ed page.

One cannot talk about Weiss’s “journalistic standards” when she has no standards.  In her mind, fact checking (definition 2) means preventing facts from being checked.

The Wrap: New York Times Editor Savaged for ‘We Are All Fascists’ Column: ‘Bari Weiss Should Be Fired’

New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss dropped another incendiary column on social media Wednesday afternoon, using the paper to denounce liberal intolerance on college campuses and beyond.

[. . .]

The critics immediately pounced on her latest piece Wednesday, seizing on an internal link in Weiss’ story to a fake Antifa Twitter account to launch a broader attack.

It says a lot when a kneejerk reactionary and rabid islamophobe like Sam Harris is one of Weiss’s cheerleaders.  He blathered on twitter, “It has been shocking to see the nytimes
succumb to the hysteria, dogmatism, and cruelty of ‘woke’ identity politics. This is how real journalism ends.”

That tells me her departure is a good thing.

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