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NY Times Says Tom Cotton ‘Send in the Troops’ Op-Ed ‘Did Not Meet Our Standards,’ Promises Reform

Paper blames ”rushed editorial process“ and promises more fact-checking and fewer new op-eds

The New York Times responded Thursday evening to the backlash against its publication of an op-ed by GOP Sen. Tom Cotton, saying through a spokesperson that the piece went through a “rushed editorial process” that will now be examined.

“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 the statement, which was posted to Twitter by New York Times media reporter Marc Tracy.

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.

The piece by the right-wing Republican senator is titled “Send in the Troops” and calls for an “overwhelming show of force” to be deployed against protesters, among other violent rhetoric. Critics also noted that it contains falsehoods that the paper’s own reporting has already debunked.

Staffers, too, protested the publication — very publicly.

Multiple New York Times staff wrote on social media Wednesday, “Running this puts Black @nytimes staff in danger” alongside a screenshot of the piece.