President TrumpDonald John TrumpMitt Romney invokes late father during the Civil Rights Movement amid protests White House wanted to deploy 10,000 troops to control protests: reports Zuckerberg, Chan-funded scientists pen ‘letter of concern’ over Trump, misinformation MORE hit The New York Times on Sunday after its editorial page director resigned over the publication of an op-ed from Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonSunday shows preview: Protests against George Floyd’s death, police brutality rock the nation for a second week Tom Cotton defends Ivanka Trump over canceled commencement speech: ‘Woke’ critics ‘ruined it for everyone’ NYT says Tom Cotton editorial ‘did not meet our standards’ MORE (R-Ark.) that sparked backlash from within the newspaper’s own ranks.
The president slammed the newspaper after it announced James Bennet’s resignation following Cotton’s Wednesday op-ed that called for Trump to use the Insurrection Act to deploy the military to respond to protests over George Floyd’s death.
“Opinion Editor at @nytimes just walked out. That’s right, he quit over the excellent Op-Ed penned by our great Senator @TomCottonAR,” the president tweeted. “TRANSPARENCY! The State of Arkansas is very proud of Tom. The New York Times is Fake News!!!”
Opinion Editor at @nytimes just walked out. That’s right, he quit over the excellent Op-Ed penned by our great Senator @TomCottonAR. TRANSPARENCY! The State of Arkansas is very proud of Tom. The New York Times is Fake News!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2020
The Times said Bennet’s resignation would be effective immediately, and Katie Kingsbury will be the acting editorial page editor through the 2020 election.
“The journalism of Times Opinion has never mattered more than in this time of crisis at home and around the world, and I’ve been honored to be part of it,” Bennet, who was in the role since May 2016, said in a statement.
The Times’s resignation announcement did not specifically mention Cotton’s op-ed but followed internal backlash at the paper over the piece’s publication.
The senator’s op-ed requested “an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers” and included factual errors the newspaper had previously reported on, such as that anti-fascists were “infiltrating” the Floyd demonstrations.
Several Times staffers argued that running the opinion piece put black members of staff in danger, while others said they would stop contributing to or subscribing to the Times.
A handful of Times writers defended the publication of the op-ed, including columnist Bari Weiss.
“Here’s one way to think about what’s at stake: The New York Times motto is ‘all the news that’s fit to print.’ One group emphasizes the word ‘all.’ The other, the word ‘fit,’” Weiss said in a series of tweets following the controversy.
The Times released a statement on Thursday saying Cotton’s op-ed “did not meet our standards,” and the newspaper plans to “examine both short term and long term changes,” including decreasing the number of op-eds published.