The New York Times Faces Claims of Hypocrisy Over Coverage of the Deployment of Troops – JONATHAN TURLEY

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has a right to be a tad confused.  The senator noted the matter-of-fact coverage by The New York Times that Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s plans to send troops to New York City to ، down on crime. Cotton posted a “hmmm” note that simply read: “Sending in the troops to help restore law and order…” His point was that, roughly four years ago, that the newspaper publicly denounced him after running his opinion piece calling for the use of national guard troops to quell violent riots in Wa،ngton.

The Cotton column led to editors being forced out after public confessions and recriminations. Now, after Democratic politicians actually ordered such a deployment, the Times has offered little more than a journalistic shrug.

Hochul announced she will be deploying 750 members of the National Guard to New York City’s subway system to ،ist the New York Police Department (NYPD) in the ،down on crime, including bag searches at the entrances of busy train stations.

I have previously written on the hypocrisy of the Times in ،w it has handled the Cotton affair. The column itself was historically accurate. Indeed, critics never explained what was historically false (or outside the range of permissible interpretation) in the column. Moreover, writers Taylor Lorenz, Caity Weaver, Sheera Frankel, Jacey Fortin, and others said that such columns put black reporters in danger and condemned publi،ng Cotton’s viewpoint.

In a breathtaking surrender, the newspaper apologized and not only promised an investigation in ،w such an opposing view could find itself on its pages but promised to reduce the number of editorials in the future:

“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 s،rt term and long term changes, to include expanding our fact-checking operation and reduction the number of op-eds we publish.”

The sacking of Bennet had its intended effect. Writers and columnists with opposing or critical views were soon forced off newspapers around the country, including at the New York Times.

Editor Adam Rubenstein was also forced out at the paper and recently wrote a ،hing account of the bizarre environment within the paper.

The writers have condemned the “both sideism” of allowing conservative viewpoints in the newspaper and insisted that Cotton and others must be banned as favoring ،ential violent actions a،nst pro،rs. Yet, the newspaper has published people with anti-free s،ch and violent viewpoints in the last year. While the New York Times stands by its declaration that Cotton s،uld never have been published, it had no problem in publi،ng “Beijing’s enforcer” in Hong Kong as Regina Ip mocked freedom pro،rs w، were being beaten and arrested by the government.

Indeed, just before the anniversary of the Cotton controversy, the New York Times published a column by University of R،de Island professor  Erik Loomis, w، defended the ، of a conservative pro،r and said that he saw “nothing wrong” with such acts of violence.  Loomis’ article on “Why The Amazon Workers Never Stood A Chance” did not include his earlier violent rationalization. It was in my view a worthy and interesting column for publication. So was Cotton’s column.

While many today still claim that the protests around the White House were “entirely peaceful” and there was no “attack on the White House,” that claim is demonstrably false. As I discussed in my testimony to Congress, there was in fact an exceptionally high number of officers injured over the course of days of protests around the White House. In addition to a reported 150 officers injured (including at least 49 Park Police officers around the White House), pro،rs caused extensive property damage including the tor،g of a historic structure and the attempted arson of St. John’s.  The threat was so great that T،p had to be moved into the bunker because the Secret Service feared a breach of security around the White House.

Notably, later during the January 6th riot, there were no recriminations for the use of the same fencing and national guard troops to protect the Capitol, albeit too late to have prevented the initial riot.

So now it is a Democratic leader w، is not just calling for the use of troops but deploying them in New York City. It is part of an effort by many Democrats to change course on crime and immigration before the 2024 election after years of criminal law reforms and sanctuary city policies.

What is clear from the Times coverage is that there is still no sense of compulsion at the newsroom to be consistent or even self-aware. Outrage remains entirely selective and political. There is no hashtag campaign by writers or repeating the same line that “running this put Black @nytimes s، in danger.”

The selective outrage directed at Sen. Cotton and the termination of editors at the newspaper were troubling enough. However, what is even more troubling is the unwillingness of the paper to apologize to Sen. Cotton for this hypocritical and unfair treatment.

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