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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/15/20

A Country Without an Honest Media Is Lost

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From Paul Craig Roberts Website

Bari Weiss Resigns From New York Times With Hilarious Letter
Bari Weiss Resigns From New York Times With Hilarious Letter
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For some time I have reported to you that -- in place of a media, a media that our founding fathers relied on to protect our society, the United States has a propaganda ministry whose sole purpose is to destroy our society.

I learned of New York Times editor Bari Weiss' resignation letter to A. G. Sulzberger from a relative and from friends who called to ask if I wrote the letter as it sounds so much like me.

No, of course I did not write the letter. This is an extraordinary letter written by a journalist of real principle and integrity who realized that such highly valuable journalistic traits were no longer welcome at the New York Times. Bari Weiss' letter is better than anything I could have written. She lived the experience. I could only infer it.

As a former Wall Street Journal associate editor and columnist, as Business Week's first and for some years only outside columnist in its history, as columnist for Scripps Howard newspapers, for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles, as a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the San Diego Union, and a number of other once prominent newspapers, and as a regular guest on the TV networks, I am no longer permitted on any of these media platforms today.

The reason is that truth does not correspond to their message.

This is what Bari Weiss found to be the case at the New York Times: "a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: truth isn't a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else."

I don't need to go on about this. Here is her letter:

    Dear A.G.,

    It is with sadness that I write to tell you that I am resigning from The New York Times.

    I joined the paper with gratitude and optimism three years ago. I was hired with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives and others who would not naturally think of The Times as their home. The reason for this effort was clear: The paper's failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that it didn't have a firm grasp of the country it covers. Dean Baquet and others have admitted as much on various occasions. The priority in Opinion was to help redress that critical shortcoming.

    I was honored to be part of that effort, led by James Bennet. I am proud of my work as a writer and as an editor. Among those I helped bring to our pages: the Venezuelan dissident Wuilly Arteaga; the Iranian chess champion Dorsa Derakhshani; and the Hong Kong Christian democrat Derek Lam. Also: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Masih Alinejad, Zaina Arafat, Elna Baker, Rachael Denhollander, Matti Friedman, Nick Gillespie, Heather Heying, Randall Kennedy, Julius Krein, Monica Lewinsky, Glenn Loury, Jesse Singal, Ali Soufan, Chloe Valdary, Thomas Chatterton Williams, Wesley Yang, and many others.

    But the lessons that ought to have followed the election -- lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society -- have not been learned. Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn't a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.

    Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions. I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.

    My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. 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. 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. Still 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.

    There are terms for all of this: unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. I'm no legal expert. But I know that this is wrong.

    I do not understand how you have allowed this kind of behavior to go on inside your company in full view of the paper's entire staff and the public. And I certainly can't square how you and other Times leaders have stood by while simultaneously praising me in private for my courage. Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery.

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Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His books, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available (more...)
 

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