New York Times Publisher Says Tom Cotton Op-Ed Should Not Have Been Published

He called it “contemptuous”

New York City Police officers stand outside the office of the The New York Times, October 25, 2018 in New York City. Security is being ramped up in New York City after explosive devices were sent to top Democratic politicians and to CNN headquarters. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger said the Sen. Tom Cotton op-ed calling to “send in the troops” should not have been published.

He called it “contemptuous” in a staff call Friday.

A New York Times reporter tweeted his comments: “A.G. Sulzberger just told the Newsroom that the Cotton oped was ‘contemptuous,’” Sheera Frenkel said. “‘This piece should not have been published.’”

More details about the “rushed editorial process” that led to the New York Times’ publication of Cotton’s call to send the United States military to protests were revealed on the call, as well as in an interview with Cotton’s staff published by the National Review.

Both comments from the Times staffer call and National Review  interview revealed that the Times pitched the topic for the editorial to Cotton, not the other way around.

Thursday, the Times cited a “rushed editorial process” for the publication of the piece, which it said “did not meet [its] standards.”

“We’ve examined the piece and the process leading up to its publication. This review made clear that a rushed editorial process led to the publication of an Op-Ed that did not meet our standards. As a result, we’re planning to examine both short term and long term changes, to include expanding our fact checking operation and reducing the number of Op-Eds we publish,” said a spokesperson in a statement to TheWrap.

Calling it “a clear threat to the health and safety of journalists we represent” Wednesday, the New York Times guild harshly criticized the paper’s decision to publish the opinion piece, which urged the U.S. military to crush the George Floyd protests.