UPDATE: Sen. Cotton has responded to the backlash. He sees no reason for the New York Times to apologize and said the editors should actually be commended for printing his piece.
I commend the courage of the @nytimes leadership.— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 4, 2020
They ran my piece—even if they disagreed with it—and stood up to the woke progressive mob in their own newsroom.
This was the right thing to do. https://t.co/AIWlbA8Raw
"I think it, once again, exposes the hypocrisy of all these woke progressives who claim to defend liberal values, but as soon as they're presented with an opinion with which they disagree they go into meltdown, they demand censorship, they refer to words as violence, they call for firings at their newspaper," Sen. Cotton added on Fox News's "America's Newsroom."
The New York Times made the proper decision to print an op-ed from a lawmaker many editors likely don't agree with. The author was Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), and in his piece he urged President Trump to send in the military to quell the violent riots that have erupted in the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.
One of these things was not like the others. The Cotton piece stuck out like a sore thumb on The New York Times homepage, which clearly has a liberal bent. But that's the beauty of America and of the free press. There are a lot of different voices and viewpoints, and the NYT should be commended for printing Sen. Cotton's opinion.
And that's when the critics got to them. Unfortunately (but not unexpectedly), the editors promptly issued a statement explaining why they gave Sen. Cotton a space on their website.
"I want to explain why we published the piece today by Senator Tom Cotton," NYT editorial page editor James Bennet began on Twitter.
"The Times editorial board has forcefully defended the protests as patriotic and criticized the use of force, saying earlier today that police too often have “responded with more violence — against protesters, journalists and bystanders," he continued. "We’ve also crusaded for years against the underlying, systemic cruelties that led to these protests. Times Opinion owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments, particularly those made by people in a position to set policy. We understand that many readers find Senator Cotton's argument painful, even dangerous. We believe that is one reason it requires public scrutiny and debate."
Bennet's message was accompanied by opinion pieces the editorial board has written to prove that they've always been on the side of social justice.
Several high profile figures reacted to Bennet's apology, and they sounded exhausted.
The most terrifying thing in recent days hasn't even been the mobs, but "leaders" bowing down to mobs. You don't need to explain why you're running an op-ed from a duly elected U.S. Senator making his case about a majority-supported opinion. https://t.co/DbgWdcZF2W— Mollie (@MZHemingway) June 4, 2020
The reaction by NYT reporters and many of the paper’s readers to Senator @TomCottonAR’s op-Ed feels just like a liberal college campus. Shut down and protest opinions you don’t want to hear. Ban the speaker. Blame those who invited him. No ideological diversity allowed.— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) June 4, 2020
Now, just because Sen. Cotton asked Trump to subdue the riots with military force, does not mean that he does not support peaceful protests. But the NYT sure made it sound that way.
In conclusion, don't expect to see any op-ed from Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) or Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) anytime soon.