NYT editor resigns amid outrage over controversial op-ed

The New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet resigned due to a controversial op-ed written by a Republican Senator which received widespread criticism, according to the paper

Photo Courtesy: IANS
Photo Courtesy: IANS
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IANS

The New York Times' editorial page editor James Bennet resigned due to a controversial op-ed written by a Republican Senator published last week which received widespread criticism, according to the paper.

According to an article published Sunday night on the newspaper's website, the Times' publisher A.G. Sulzberger said he and Bennet both "concluded that James would not be able to lead the team through the next leg of change required", reports Xinhua news agency.

The piece by Republican Senator Tom Cotton, titled "Send In the Troops", advocated the deployment of the military across the US to help respond to violence and chaos that erupted in protests over George Floyd's death.

The op-ed was met with widespread criticism that it put African-Americans in danger, as many believe the presence of military force would lead to an escalation of tensions.

Its publication has also prompted criticism within the Times. Over 800 staff members have signed a letter of protest to senior editors and the company's executives, arguing that Cotton's article contains misinformation, especially for his depiction of "antifa".

On June 5, a lengthy note was added to the op-ed on the Times' Website, saying "the essay fell short of our standards and should not have been published".

"For example, the published piece presents as facts assertions about the role of 'cadres of left-wing radicals like antifa'; in fact, those allegations have not been substantiated and have been widely questioned," said the note.

It also said the tone of the op-ed is "needlessly harsh and falls short of the thoughtful approach that advances useful debate".

Bennet said in a staff meeting on June 5 that he had not read the essay before it was published, and apologized for the Op-Ed, the Times reported.

Bennet's deputy, James Dao, is being reassigned to the paper's newsroom.

Cotton on Sunday retweeted a Times' article on Bennet's resignation, commenting it was "false and offensive".

"I called for using military force as a backup-only if police are overwhelmed to stop riots, not to be used against protesters," he argued in the tweet.

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