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The New York Times' tagline. Does it still hold true? Or should it be changed to "All the News That Won't Make Anyone Angry"? 

NEW YORK CITY -

The New York Times opinion editor, James Bennet stepped down on June 7th, after Arkansas Junior Senator Tom Cotton published an opinion piece in the newspaper in which he called for the government to “send in the troops” to “quell” protests around the country. Bennet had served as the legacy newspaper's opinion editor since 2016.  Arguably different than recent editorial departures (which you can read about here) this one was different.

 

Scrolling through Twitter feeds Cotton's op-ed was noticeably overdramatized. Is he a great person? No. Does Rabble Rouser condemn sending in anonymous military troops to deal with protesters - no.

 

This is about Bennet. His job was to oversee the op-ed department of The New York Times. At a time in America where journalists are losing eyes, not in Syria but on American streets, where journalists, armed with video cameras are being deliberately targeted with unnecessary force by police officers - this needs to be discussed. We are in a time of upheaval and of righteous (and far delayed) anger. Cotton's words are not the property or the liability of Bennet - a man who's job it is to publish people's opinions. He was doing his job, and, most importantly, remaining objective.

 

When all news becomes subjective and editors are fired because they published someone's opinion, that many disagreed with, they should not be fired. This creates a dangerous precedent and adds to the gap in American media between subjectivity and objectivity.

Liberal media plays the holier-than-thou card, but doesn't that have to include freedom of the press? The firing of Bennet was not a righteous move of martyrdom, it was an attack on the free press, a disowning of the structures that we need now more than ever. The New York Times, has "All the News That's Fit to Print", become only news that appeases the masses? 

Tell us, did The New York Times make the right decision? Give us your rabble rousing opinion!

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James Bennet, former opinion editor of The New York Times 

AP File/Larry Neumeister 

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