Bari Weiss Leaves NY Times, Says Twitter Runs the Paper and She Was Bullied on Slack

Bari Weiss, a writer and editor for the New York Times opinion section, resigned from the newspaper this week. She published her resignation letter to Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger on her own site, and the whole thing is worth a read. Two parts stood out:

1) She wrote that Twitter is the “ultimate editor” of the paper:

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.

2) She said that she was bullied by colleagues on social media and even in the newspaper’s company-wide Slack:

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 would again encourage you to read the whole letter.

Weiss is the no. 1 real-time trend in the country on both Twitter and Google right now. If you can’t tell by her resignation letter, which took a lot of confidence to publish, she is very polarizing. Nonetheless, even if you vigorously disagree with everything that she writes, her assertions here have profoundly scary implications for any media workplace, let alone the paper of record not just for the United States but arguably the whole world.

This could wind up being a Pyrrhic victory for her opponents. After Senator Tom Cotton’s op-ed was shouted down, this happened:

Weiss has a high level of visibility — which was only made higher today — and a lot of well placed friends throughout the media industry. She’ll probably land at a new job soon at an outlet we’ve heard of where she will be well compensated. A lot of the people at the Times who didn’t like her work there will still probably hate-read and/or watch and/or listen to her and rip her on social media, just like before.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.

12 Comments

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  1. The contention that op eds two years ago with little problem would now get a writer in serious trouble, if not fired. If that doesn’t illustrate how insane the New York Times has become, nothing will.

    • Related to your point, as recently as this February, the NYT published an op-ed by one Sirajuddin Haqqani, among the world’s most wanted terrorists, Taliban leader of the Al Qaeda-backed Haqqani network. That is, an active and avid murderer of U.S. soldiers and citizens. The decision to give this butcher prime real estate from which to propagandize was met with not a peep of protest from anyone at the paper.

      But the publishing of an op-ed by a sitting U.S. Senator which contained non-conforming bad think re: the possible use of military force to quell ongoing violent riots in major cities (a view supported by a majority of U.S. citizens), caused mass hysteria, including hallucinatory claims that the ideas expressed placed reporters in physical danger. I wish I was making this up. This, of course, led to the immediate firing (cough, resignation) of James Bennett, editorial page editor and blasphemer against the Cultural Revolution.

      These people are mentally unwell.

  2. She is pro Israel, no wonder the left hates her and calls her a Nazi – that makes a lot of sense. I only wish the left encountered real Nazis, then they wouldn’t use that term ever again. Furthermore, I wish they experienced living in a communist country, like my parents did, and they’d never talk about how great Marxism is.

  3. Weiss makes some strong improper workplace claims. I would be interested to see if she puts her money where her mouth is and files a lawsuit in the near future. I would also like to see the contents of this “Slack” company chatroom in this process.

  4. I’m disappointed that Ms. Weiss lost her job for wrong think. But I’m also disappointed that her public letter doesn’t touch on the disinformation about Trump/Russia, Police Brutality, and so called Systematic Racism the NYT often writes about.These issues are well on there way to destroying our nation. She had a great opportunity to put a hole in this ballon and she missed it.

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