On June 3, 2020, nine days past George Floyd’s death, the country was in the midst of civil unrest that showed no signs of organically abating.
The third precinct police station in Minneapolis was a smoldering heap of ash. Across America, cities burned. Some cities burned a little, others burned a lot. In the end, there was over $2 billion in insured damage and countless more in uninsured damage caused by rioters and looters. More than 20 lives were lost. Hundreds of police officers were injured.
Also on June 3, 2020, the New York Times published an op-ed by a sitting United States Senator. The op-ed called for a crackdown, not on legitimate, constitutionally protected protestors but on the indiscriminate rioting and damage caused by criminals and goons dressed in black and cowards hiding their faces. The op-ed called a group that everyone knew was involved in broad rioting. Antifa. Tom Cotton had submitted the op-ed and the Times ran it.
But another “riot” broke out, not in the streets of New York but in the newsroom. It wasn’t a riot in the literal sense – the rioters didn’t burn the building down, but they got their torches out and demanded heads. “How dare the New York Times run an op-ed like this!?” Staff, some of them straight out of J School and writing obituaries, were demanding the resignations of editors who had the gall to approve Tom Cotton’s op-ed. The mob got their capitulation. They had their head on a stick. The opinion section editor, James Bennet, was forced out by the mob. The publisher surrendered and demanded that Bennet apologize.
This week, Bennet recalled the witch hunt for what it was. A mob of leftist progressive goons demanding progressive fealty. Bennet said the publisher “set me on fire” and that paper “blew the opportunity to make clear that the New York Times doesn’t exist just to tell progressives how progressives should view reality”, said Bennet.
Bari Weiss left the New York Times, in no small part because the publisher bowed a knee to a mob who claimed the Cotton op-ed put “black staff” members in harm’s way.
Two days after the op-ed was published, the Times printed an apology above the online version. It began with this groveling prose:
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.
The Cotton op-ed didn’t put any lives in danger. No black or minority Times employee was threatened or in danger because of it. Those claims were hyperbolic nonsense.
In 2022, the New York Times would never publish a Cotton-like opinion piece because at the Times, as noted by Bari Weiss in her resignation letter, the publisher and editors no longer control the dialogue and tenor at there. It’s the goons in the newsroom who, if they scream loud enough, get their way. Editorials by an eco-terrorist will get a green light because, as Bennet describes, it fits within the progressive framework and expresses progressive “reality”. When Biden claims that we are under an existential threat because of climate change, publishing an op-ed by a man who wrote a book called “how to blow up a pipeline” seems appropriate. That op-ed was published on Thursday, October 20, 2022, penned by eco-extremist and often labeled eco-terrorist, Andreas Malm.
Was there a revolt in the Newsroom? Will an editor get the boot because they published an op-ed praising eco-vandals and eco-terrorist? No.
The Malm op-ed doesn’t dance around. There is a call to arms. The destruction of property to stop fossil fuel use and consumption is permitted, even mandated. He says it plainly and directly:
For the planet to retain a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels, all oil and gas production in rich countries — including the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and Qatar — must be terminated within 12 years. Not only can there be no new fossil fuel installations; 40 percent of reserves already developed must be left in the ground.
As for the ethics of property destruction, it is not, in this case, very complicated. Fossil fuels kill people. If you disrupt the flow of such fuels and damage the machinery they impel, you prevent deaths.
You may destroy an inanimate object — and no one in the climate movement is suggesting anything other than targeting dead things — so as to protect living beings. Or, put differently, if you are locked in a house on fire, you have a right to break some windows to get out.
Holy flipping mackerel. The @nytopinion platforms an eco-terrorist:
"Mr. Malm is the author of “How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire.”"
"When activists from the same group smashed gas stations in April this year, they hit the nail on the head." pic.twitter.com/Rm3xoKKasn
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) October 21, 2022
At the New York Times, Tom Cotton’s suggested that to prevent property destruction and the deaths that followed the government could utilize police tactics and the military. The country didn’t employ those tactics and the country burned. People died.
In 2022, the Times has no objection to publishing the opinion of an eco-terrorist who advocates property destruction and the immediate termination of fossil fuel use. In his opinion, “destruction” of what he euphemistically called “dead things” like SUVs, gas stations, and blowing up pipelines is allowed because, if we don’t, the planet will die.
The Times green-lit and published an op-ed that quite literally called on eco-terrorists to ruin, destroy and disable property because our “house is burning”.
Are there any adults left at the New York Times? In my opinion, no. All the adults left or were fired.