The New York Times issued a statement on Thursday saying that a “rushed editorial process” led to publishing an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) in which he called for the U.S. military to help restore order.
Cotton, an Army veteran, wrote:
One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers. But local law enforcement in some cities desperately needs backup, while delusional politicians in other cities refuse to do what’s necessary to uphold the rule of law.
The Times quickly faced backlash from the left, who said they were cancelling their subscriptions.
By Thursday evening, the paper issued a mea culpa, saying it would “reduce” the number of Op-Eds it would publish in the future:
We’ve examined the piece and the process leading up to its publication. This review made clear that a rushed editorial process led to the publication of an Op-Ed that did not meet our standards. As a result, we’re planning to examine both short term and long term changes, to including expanding our fact checking operation and reducing the number of Op-Eds we publish.
The New York Times has stopped defending its Tom Cotton op-ed. Here's a statement from a company spox: pic.twitter.com/Dxdo82X9nP
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) June 4, 2020
Cotton on Monday encouraged the president to use active-duty forces to help restore order amid violent riots across the country, which saw the looting stores, damaging of small businesses and restaurants, murder of police officer Patrick Underwood and retired police chief David Dorn, and defacing of national monuments and a fire in a historic church just a block away from the White House.
Trump fully activated the D.C. National Guard and ordered active-duty troops to the Capitol-region to use if necessary, sparking an outcry from the anti-Trump national security establishment, who claimed Trump was politicizing the military.
Some observers noted that the Times stood by its publishing of op-eds by a host of authoritarian leaders, as well as the Taliban, who killed thousands of U.S. forces in Afghanistan:
An op-ed from a U.S. senator did not meet the editorial standards of the @NYTimes, but op-eds by Vladimir Putin, Nicolas Maduro, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Taliban did. https://t.co/sQvASoNfZ2 pic.twitter.com/VjrHKdFRDY
— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) June 4, 2020