The New York Times was dragged on Twitter Wednesday after placing an ad seeking a deputy opinion editor with “a spine of steel” — months after three editors were forced to leave the publication for promoting unpopular debate within the company’s liberal workplace.
In an employment listing posted to the Times website describes the idea candidate as having “a sense of humor and a spine of steel, a confident point of view and an open mind, an appetite for risk and exacting standards for excellence”.
Newsweek deputy opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon was quick to note the irony of the “totally shameless” listing, arguing that the three editors who left their posts at the Grey Lady were guilty of “doing this exact thing.”
“In 6 months, @nytimes lost 3 opinion editors w/ spines of steel, open minds, an appetite for risk, and exacting standards – @bariweiss, @RubensteinAdam, and @JBennet – because their colleagues couldn’t handle a single one of these attributes and their bosses were amoral cowards,” she wrote.
Former editorial page editor James Bennet and editorial assistant Adam Rubenstein resigned over their involvement in the infamous Tom Cotton op-ed that led to turmoil among employees. The Republican lawmaker argued to “send in the troops” to quell violence in cities throughout the country in response to civil unrest following the death of George Floyd.
At the time, Bennett and Rubenstein faced backlash from their own colleagues, who accused them of putting Black staff in “danger.”
The listing comes one week after Times executives sent a note to staffers detailing a recent eight-month probe into the diversity and inclusion at the paper, and vowed to make “fundamental changes” to the company’s workplace culture.
Ungar-Sargon took particular issue with the Times’ commitment to “promote the most important and provocative debate across a range of subjects.”
“The NYT literally fired James Bennet for doing this exact thing. It outed Adam Rubenstein and tossed him to the wolves for doing this exact thing. It allowed Bari Weiss to be bullied out of the newsroom for doing this exact thing. Just totally shameless,” she wrote.
In November, New York Magazine published a scathing inside look at the Times, which detailed the “open secret” that the paper is “published by and for coastal liberals.”
The piece also pointed out that several staffers supported Weiss’ claim that the once-proud paper fostered a toxic culture against non-liberals.