The newsroom revolt that followed The New York Times publishing an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., about using troops to end rioting and looting in American cities was a turning point in the newspaper’s history. That incident was crucial in determining that leftist journalists would enforce groupthink policies, silencing conservative viewpoints. Their victory was sealed weeks later, when the NewsGuild of New York, the union that represents Times employees, issued a set of demands.
The manifesto claimed to be about “diversity, equity and inclusion.” The union’s diktat mandated hard racial quotas that would go far beyond the paper’s long-standing affirmative action policies to increase the number of select racial groups the Times hired, adding new layers to the paper’s existing efforts to increase race-conscious employment.
In a move that would ensure the end of ideological diversity at The New York Times, the manifesto also called for a new step in the editorial process before any article — news, feature, or opinion — is published. The Times already employs an army of editors, yet should publisher Arthur G. Sulzberger heed the union’s memo — and it’s hard to imagine he won’t — all articles will undergo “sensitivity readings,” in which a new class of editor will enforce the same kind of intolerance demanded by the newsroom mob against Cotton’s ideas.
Their demands will become official policy, rather than a loose understanding that occasionally allows dissent against leftist orthodoxy to slip into the paper. This will be a seismic shift in the culture of publishing.