Bari Weiss Resigns From New York Times Due To ‘Constant Bullying’ By Colleagues
One year ago, opinion editor Bari Weiss resigned from The New York Times, penning a scathing letter of resignation in which she alleged that she was subjected to “constant bullying” from colleagues who deemed many of her ideas “wrongthink.” Weiss said she was hired by the Times in 2017 to bring in “voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages,” including centrists and conservatives, as part of an effort prompted by the Times’s admitted “failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that it didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers.”
“But the lessons that ought to have followed the election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned,” Weiss said in her letter addressed to publisher A. G. Sulzberger. “Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”
Weiss said her work and character were “openly demeaned” and she was the target of “unlawful discrimination” in the toxic work environment she described at the Times.
“Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times,” Weiss wrote.” 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.”
“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,’” she said.
In 2018, Weiss was accused of racism after she commented on U.S. Olympic skater Mirai Nagasu’s historic triple axel at the Olympics, writing in a tweet, “Immigrants. They get the job done.” Nagasu, the daughter of Japanese immigrants, became the first American woman to successfully perform the triple axel at the Olympic figure skating competition. Weiss deleted her tweet, which was also a reference to “Hamilton,” after online criticism.
In a statement on Weiss’s departure, acting editorial page editor Kathleen Kingsbury said, “We appreciate the many contributions that Bari made to Times Opinion. I’m personally committed to ensuring that The Times continues to publish voices, experiences and viewpoints from across the political spectrum.”“Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery,” Weiss wrote in her resignation letter.
No employee or employer has the right to bully or diminish another. No neighbor, citizen, person has the right to disrespect another merely due to a disagreement in beliefs. If I call the ocean blue and you call it colorless, then most likely it is due to our different perspective. That is what makes the United States great, and why we have freedom of speech; to protect the different perspectives.
Revering, not just tolerating, a different opinion is what creates new ideas. If all we ever hear is a parroting of the same information, if all we do is shut out a differing perspective, then our ability to see out of our box becomes mute. Attorneys and Law Firms must listen and civilly respond to all opinions – not just the ones we agree with. Good attorneys attempt to understand the merits of all perspectives and address them in good faith. That is how you find a solution and not just stoke a problem.