NYT editor Bari Weiss pens scathing resignation letter, cites "unlawful discrimination" and a "hostile work environment"

by Bryan Brammer · Jul 14th, 2020 3:27 pm

Last Updated Jul 15th, 2020 at 1:11 pm

The New York Times' opinion editor Bari Weiss, who often challenged the publication's aggressive leftism, penned a scathing resignation letter blasting her now-former colleagues.

Weiss, who confirmed her departure to Vice on Tuesday, criticized the New York Times over "unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge."

"My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views," Weiss wrote in the letter. "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.' Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers."

Weiss also slammed the New York Times for its internal outrage over an opinion piece written by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), which called on President Trump to invoke military force to quell the riots in the wake of George Floyd's death. Editorial page editor James Bennet, who approved the controversial article, resigned as a result of the backlash.

Weiss said the incident "bodes ill" for those "independent-minded young writers and editors paying close attention to what they'll have to do to advance in their careers."

"Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain," Weiss wrote. "Eventually, the publisher will cave to the mob, the editor will get fired or reassigned, and you'll be hung out to dry."

The former NYT writer also noted that op-eds that would have easily been published just two years ago would now get an editor or a writer "in serious trouble, if not fired."

Weiss said that op-eds are scrutinized and adapted so much they no longer resemble the original draft.

"If a piece is perceived as likely to inspire backlash internally or on social media, the editor or writer avoids pitching it. If she feels strongly enough to suggest it, she is quickly steered to safer ground," Weiss wrote. "And if, every now and then, she succeeds in getting a piece published that does not explicitly promote progressive causes, it happens only after every line is carefully massaged, negotiated, and caveated."


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