The New York Times has come under fire after it published an Op-ed by Republican senator Tom Cotton who called for the military to be brought in to take charge of the situation as protests erupted in major US cities over George Floyd's killing.
"In these circumstances, the Insurrection Act authorizes the president to employ the military “or any other means” in “cases of insurrection, or obstruction to the laws," Cotton wrote in the piece. He lashed out at protesters for 'rioting, looting and attacking police personnel."
"This week, rioters have plunged many American cities into anarchy, recalling the widespread violence of the 1960s," he begins by saying.
"Bands of looters roved the streets, smashing and emptying hundreds of businesses. Some even drove exotic cars; the riots were carnivals for the thrill-seeking rich as well as other criminal elements,"he wrote further.
The New York Times has come under fire over the article, even from its own staff saying that it put the life of black staffers at risk. The journalists with the NYT posted a screenshot of the article and wrote how they felt vulnerable and at risk.
All over my feed today, NYT staffers in protest against pro-military op-ed from Republican senator Tom Cotton. Running this put Black @nytimes staffers in danger. pic.twitter.com/QxJ5S75BSl— Assia Labbas (@assialabb) June 4, 2020
I spent some of the happiest and most productive years of my life working for the New York Times. So it is with love and sadness that I say: running this puts Black @nytimes staff - and many, many others - in danger. pic.twitter.com/1EIvzgORWj— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) June 4, 2020
However, James Bennet, the editorial page editor later clarified and wrote, “Times Opinion owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments, particularly those made by people in a position to set policy,” Mr. Bennet wrote in a thread on Twitter. “We understand that many readers find Senator Cotton’s argument painful, even dangerous. We believe that is one reason it requires public scrutiny and debate.”
We understand that many readers find Senator Cotton's argument painful, even dangerous. We believe that is one reason it requires public scrutiny and debate.— James Bennet (@JBennet) June 3, 2020