James Bennet Resigns as New York Times Editorial Page Editor

Posted on June 7, 2020

James Bennet has resigned as Editorial Page Editor of The New York Times following the publishing of a controversial op-ed by Senator Tom Cotton. The New York Times made the announcement today.

The Times also announced that deputy editorial page editor Jim Dao is being reassigned to the newsroom. Kale Kingsbury has been named acting Editorial Page Editor.

The op-ed by Tom Cotton is called "Send in the Troops." It calls for the U.S. of "an overwhelming show of force" against Black Live Matter protesters.

An editors' note was added to the op-ed after publication. The note says, "After publication, this essay met strong criticism from many readers (and many Times colleagues), prompting editors to review the piece and the editing process. Based on that review, we have concluded that the essay fell short of our standards and should not have been published."

Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger says in the announcement, "James is a journalist of enormous talent and integrity who believes deeply in the mission of The Times. He oversaw a significant transformation of the Opinion department, which broadened the range of voices we publish and pushed us into new formats like video, graphics and audio. I’m grateful for his many contributions. Katie has been instrumental in reimagining Opinion since she joined The Times from The Boston Globe, where she served as managing editor for digital and won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. I look forward to working with her as she steps into this role at this important moment."

Resigning Editorial Page Editor Bennet says, "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. I’m so proud of the work my colleagues and I have done to focus attention on injustice and threats to freedom and to enrich debate about the right path forward by bringing new voices and ideas to Times readers."

CNN reports that Senator Cotton has accused the Times of caving to a "mob of woke kids" for saying his op-ed did not meet the paper's standards. Cotton argues his column far exceeds "their standards which are normally full of left-wing, sophomoric drivel."

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