New York Times opinion writer and editor Bari Weiss has left the paper, and in the process penned an open letter explaining her exit as the result of “bullying” and an “illiberal” culture at the paper.
Her departure comes after the section’s editor, James Bennet, resigned following newsroom outrage over the decision to publish an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) that called for President Donald Trump to “send in the troops” amid nationwide protests against police brutality and the killing of unarmed Black Americans. Amid that controversy, Weiss publicly claimed that there was a newsroom “civil war” between the “(mostly young) wokes” and the “(mostly 40+) liberals”—an allegation that was disputed by several older paper employees.
In her resignation letter, published Tuesday on her personal website, Weiss accused her former colleagues of “bullying,” claiming that her “work and [her] character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels” and that her fellow employees “smear [her] as a liar and a bigot on Twitter.” She also claimed the paper has engaged in “self-censorship” to appease more progressive readers. “The truth is that intellectual curiosity—let alone risk-taking—is now a liability at the Times,” Weiss wrote.
“We appreciate the many contributions that Bari made to Times Opinion,” Acting Editorial Page Editor Kathleen Kingsbury said. “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 outsize influence the Times’ opinion journalism has on the national conversation.”