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

Weiss cited a “hostile work environment” and blamed the Times’ publisher for allowing it

Last Updated: July 14, 2020 @ 12:39 PM

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.”

Weiss posted a copy of her resignation letter, addressed to Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger, on her personal website.

“I joined the paper with gratitude and optimism three years ago. I 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. The reason for this effort was clear: The paper’s failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that it didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers. Dean Baquet and others have admitted as much on various occasions. The priority in Opinion was to help redress that critical shortcoming,” she wrote.

Weiss, whose columns often incited controversy and anger online, indicated the paper failed to learn “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.”

“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor,” she wrote in her letter, alleging she’s been a victim of “constant bullying” from her colleagues, including demeaning messages on the company-wide Slack channel. Weiss also claimed she several colleagues smeared her on social media without any repercussions.

“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 went on. “I do not understand how you have allowed this kind of behavior to go on inside your company in full view of the paper’s entire staff and the public. And I certainly can’t square how you and other Times leaders have stood by while simultaneously praising me in private for my courage. Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery.”

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.

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