Bari Weiss Resigns From The New York Times

July 14, 2020
Bari Weiss. Photo by Sam Bloom

Bari Weiss announced in a resignation letter posted to her website on July 14 that she is resigning from The New York Times.

Weiss, who had been the paper’s opinions editor and columnist since 2017, wrote in the letter to Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger that she had hoped to use her position as opinions editor to provide a platform to a wide variety of voices in an effort to provide more ideological balance to the Times. However, Weiss wrote, her colleagues at the Times have frequently bullied her for holding differing viewpoints.

“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,’ ” she wrote. “Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly ‘inclusive’ one, while others post ax emojis next to my name.”

Weiss added that “other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.”

She also argued that the Times has engaged in “self censorship,” pointing to the paper denouncing Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) June op-ed in the Times arguing for the need to use the military to stamp out violence occurring in the George Floyd protests, but failing to take action when author Alice Walker praised an anti-Semitic book in a 2018 interview with the Times.

“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. “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 concluded her letter noting that while there are some world-class journalists at the Times, she feels she can’t properly do her job in ensuring that all voices can be given a platform at the Times.

“I’ve always comforted myself with the notion that the best ideas win out. But ideas cannot win on their own,” she wrote. “They need a voice. They need a hearing. Above all, they must be backed by people willing to live by them.”

Times acting editorial page editor Kathleen Kingsbury said in a statement to Vice, “We appreciate the many contributions that Bari made to Times Opinion. I’m personally committed to ensuring that The Times continues to publish voices, experiences and viewpoints from across the political spectrum in the Opinion report. We see every day how impactful and important that approach is, especially through the outsized influence The Times’s opinion journalism has on the national conversation.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted, “Brilliant writer @bariweiss hounded by Twitter and Slack bullies inside New York Times. Resigns for having chutzpah to speak out against Jew-hatred. No place for intellectual debate at hostile work environment at @nytimes.”

Weiss is the author of the 2019 book “How to Fight Anti-Semitism,” which won a National Jewish Book Award.

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