Former NYT Editor Recalls Bullying Culture Among Staff: 'It's Kind of Like a Virtue'

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Posted: Jan 23, 2021 5:20 PM
Former NYT Editor Recalls Bullying Culture Among Staff: 'It's Kind of Like a Virtue'

Source: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Former New York Times writer and editor Bari Weiss left the liberal newspaper following the meltdown the Left collectively suffered following the Times' publication of an OpEd piece written by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). Leftist protests had gone on for weeks, devastating communities amid an already devastating pandemic. Sen. Cotton had enough of it and called for troops to be deployed to quell the violent uprisings. Liberals reacted in horror at the idea of troops being used in response to riots; that is until a single afternoon of rioting took place at the U.S. Capitol and liberals had no problem with 25,000 troops being deployed to "keep the peace."   

Weiss spoke to Megyn Kelly on Friday night, describing the hostile work environment at her former place of employment. The full interview (see below) is worth a listen, but the following are some highlights from the interview:

  • Weiss recalled the woke orthodoxy at the Times and the ever-narrowing range of acceptable opinions: "You became something like a heretic, or traitorous, or accused of sort of not being on the right side of history, and I'm really not exaggerating there," said Weiss. 
  • The former editor compared the woke orthodoxy at the Times to other religious environments where, said Weiss, "there's not a lot of room for skepticism." 
  • "From the moment I walked in, I would say, it was a little Mean Girls-ey ... and it only got worse from there," Weiss recalled, describing her arrival at the Times in 2017 and the staff's suspicion of Weiss because of the insufficient "orange man evil and everything orange man touches is bad" in her previous writings.
  • Weiss described the environment at the Times as strange coming from the political side that professes "diversity" and "inclusion" as principles, but Weiss said the paper fell far short of those purported goals. "But like, bullying the right people is not just okay there -- it's kind of like a virtue," said Weiss.  
  • "If you had the right politics and you had the right perspective, you could basically -- you would be unscrutinized and you could act totally unprofessionally, for example, on Twitter and nothing would happen to you."
  • Weiss recalled having to apologize for an innocent tweet about a figure skater, following hysterical reaction from her former colleagues. But Weiss said her former colleagues never had to apologize for regular tweets attacking her or disparaging the American people. 
  • "It's hard to run a newsroom where there's one set of rules for one people and another set of rules for another," said Weiss. 
  • Weiss, a Jewish woman engaged to another woman, said she doesn't know what so-called diversity means anymore. Weiss agreed with Kelly's summation that it has to be full submission to the left's orthodoxy or you're out at the Times. "I mean, that's the most concise way of saying that," agreed Weiss. 

In the interview, Weiss recalled the bullying she experienced at the Times before her resignation in July 2020, following backlash to the Times' decision to publish the Cotton OpEd

In her resignation letter, Weiss described Twitter as the new editor of the paper. 

"The paper of record is, more and more, the record of those living in a distant galaxy, one whose concerns are profoundly removed from the lives of most people," Weiss wrote in her resignation letter. "This is a galaxy in which, to choose just a few recent examples, the Soviet space program is lauded for its “diversity”; the doxxing of teenagers in the name of justice is condoned; and the worst caste systems in human history includes the United States alongside Nazi Germany."

Weiss, a centrist, was hired by the Times in 2017 as part of a doomed effort by the paper to broaden the ideological range of its opinion staff. Previously, Weiss was an OpEd and book review editor at The Wall Street Journal.