Thursday, July 16, 2020

Before There Was SJW Cancel Culture, Bari Weiss Was An Arch-Zionist Neocon Cancel Queen

thegrayzone | Did neocon cancel queen Bari Weiss stage her NY Times resignation to fuel her career?
A closer look at the events surrounding Bari Weiss’ resignation suggests she omitted some critical details about her toxic presence inside the paper, and may have staged her resignation to drum up publicity for her next move.

Back on June 3, neoconservative Sen. Tom Cotton published an op-ed in the New York Times calling for the US military to crack down on Americans protesting lethal police violence. The decision to publish the editorial touched off outrage among Times staff, with many demanding to know how such a fascistic piece made it into print.

It turned out that the staffer who edited the piece, Adam Rubenstein, was a card-carrying neocon hired by the Times in early 2019. Rubenstein was a former editor for the now-defunct Weekly Standard founded by William Kristol – the neocon leader responsible for rustling up pro-Israel money to support Cotton’s electoral ambitions.

New York Times staff claimed that the Cotton op-ed “was edited” by Rubenstein and other staffers “had not been aware of the article before it was published.”

The editorial disaster prompted the dismissal of op-ed page editor James Bennet, who had initially defended running Cotton’s screed.

Before joining the Weekly Standard, Rubenstein was a pro-Israel activist at Kenyon College who once attempted to cancel an appearance by the Palestian poet Remi Kanazi on the grounds that Kanazi was “part of a focus-grouped and incubated hatred.”
Rubenstein’s hiring by the Times complimented its hiring of Bari Weiss and fellow anti-Palestinian bigot Bret Stephens in 2017. In her resignation letter, Weiss acknowledged, “I was hired with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in [the Times’] pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives.”

In 2018, Weiss and Stephens responded to a critic who had called them “Zionist fanatics of near-unhinged proportions.” The two retorted: “The word ‘near’ should not have been a part of the sentence. Otherwise, we happily plead guilty as charged.”

When Rubenstein joined them at the paper, he became Weiss’s personal editor. Both Weiss and Stephens had risen to prominence at the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal, where Rubenstein had also worked as a Robert Bartley Fellow.

When the Cotton column calling for a military crackdown on Black Lives Matter ran less than a year later, the Times’ neocon problem finally came to a head.

This June 5, as 300 non-editorial staffers planned a virtual walkout, Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger convened an all-hands meeting. During the question-and-answer session, according to a report by Vice, employees demanded to know “whether Opinion staff editor and writer Bari Weiss would be fired for ‘openly bad mouth[ing] younger news colleagues on a platform where they, because of strict company policy, could not defend themselves’; whether the opinion section had suggested the topic of the op-ed to Cotton; and what the Times would do to help retain and support Black employees.”

Times staff seemed to be pointing a finger at Weiss and her neocon network for soliciting the Cotton op-ed.

When Weiss resigned on July 14, she complained that colleagues “have called me a Nazi and a racist… Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers.” Yet she failed to acknowledge her apparent role in the Cotton op-ed affair, which was clearly the source of her colleagues’ outrage, painting herself instead as a blameless victim of “illiberal” cancel culture.


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