How the Mainstream Media Failed the Free Press

On Tuesday, writer and editor for the New York Times opinion department Bari Weiss submitted her resignation from the newspaper. Weiss began her career at the Wall Street Journal and The Tablet, followed by three years at the New York Times as an Op/Ed writer. Though publisher A.G. Sulzberger refused to comment, Kathleen Kingsbury, the acting editorial page editor, 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 in the Opinion report.”

Despite a prominent member of the writing staff, Weiss never displayed the increasingly radical viewpoints of her fellow writers. As the New York Times rocketed hit pieces at Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanagh with unsubstantiated rape allegations during his inauguration, Weiss questioned if a terrible drunken mistake he made in his teenage years disqualifies him from a Supreme Court position. She didn’t bend a knee to the Twiter mobs after being smeared as a racist after tweeting out “Immigrants: we get the job done” with a video of Mirai Nagasu’s, an Olympian figure skater for Team USA, triple axel in 2018, instead calling the denigrations “another sign of civilization’s end.”

And in her departure, she left us a letter. A beautiful, 1,500-word criticism of the paper and the reasons for her resignation. Signed to Sulzberger, Weiss poignantly dismantles any credibility that remained for the Times and exposes the startling underbelly of the Times’ true intentions. As Ted Cruz tweeted out, “Wow… If you read only one thing this week, read this eloquent, profound, incisive—and true—letter.” For anyone with a desire to understand the modern media apparatus and the depths of its corruption, this letter cannot be missed. Don’t stop at this article and miss such a critical piece of political documentation.

Weiss begins by searing the work environment within the New York Times. Recounting the hateful bullying, her fellow writers incessantly called for her removal, insisting her presence kept the Times from being genuinely “inclusive”. Some even posted an ax emoji next to Weiss’s contact. Heinous name-calling and sneering jabs towards her subject matters became routine, even on public forums like Twitter. And, obviously, no punishment ever came upon those who engaged in the persecution.

But why her letters matter so deeply to modern America lies with how deceitful the Times showed themselves to be to Weiss and their discriminatory treatment of opposing ideas. Originally hired to imbue more centrist viewpoints into the Opinion section of The New York Times, Weiss endured vicious harassment by her fellow writers for the backward sin of disagreeing, the very reason the Times brought her on board. So extensively, Weiss offered three rules for writing at the Times, “Rule One: Speak your mind at your own peril. Rule Two: Never risk commissioning a story that goes against the narrative. Rule Three: Never believe an editor or publisher who urges you to go against the grain.”

Of course, journalism and news and the qualifications of such range vastly in definition. Whether a noble Adolph S. Ochs’ “All the News That’s Fit to Print” perception or more in line with sheer novelty value, impartiality and dedication to fact takes precedence over personal opinions and adherence to an agenda. But, in modern times, news has shifted away from objectivity and into orthodoxy. From providing pure facts, even if offensive or uncomfortable, and trusting a free-thinking reader to form their own opinions to shoving manipulated storylines supporting nonexistent narratives down reader’s throats, commandeering singular lines of thought. From challenging readers with new, enriching ideas to succumbing to the confirmation bias of an insatiable woke mob.

In brazen attempts to mold history into their demented, radical visions to satisfy a sliver of the population, objectivity and thoughtful challenges must be shunned into oblivion. Increasingly insane progressive checkpoints must be met, amplified with every piece published. Like plates tectonic, wokeness dares further wokeness, issuing a provocation that propels writers, already so disconnected from the average American, into praises of diversity for communist dictatorships and the doxxing of teenagers. The dedication to this ritual is astounding.

The First Amendment endows the people with a right to free press, namely free from government influence, thus immunizing criticisms of the government from federal prosecution. However, free does not necessarily entail government autonomy. Though equally essential, compliance under an ideology or narrative poses the true threat to American democracy. Without multiplicity of ideas present and the free exchange of such in our democracy, tyranny of ideology rules. And if the popular media itself stifles the free exchange of ideas, all America will be left with is indoctrination.

However, birthed from these smoldering remains of a once-proud newspaper lays a new mission, urgent and wholly unique to our era. An opportunity for a new generation of writers and editors to fill the void of honest and principled journalism. The demand for creative debate and sincerity in reporting persists and as mainstream media collapses on itself to serve a narrow few, an industry built on free-thinkers now has become desperate for the freedom of thought. This call to action must be heard and it must be lived. Suffocating the free exchange of ideas within our popular media corrodes and eventually hollows out our democratic institutions, replaced by ideological tyranny underneath fringe slivers of the population.

Weiss’s resignation should serve as a warning. As she asserted, “America is a great country that deserves a great newspaper.” Without the reinstatement of multiplicity, our democracy will succumb to the orthodoxy of our popular media. And we need great writers and editors to see this through.

The link to the full letter is below.


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