Jewish journalist resigns claiming 'bullying' at New York Times

Op-ed writer Bari Weiss says colleagues called her a 'Nazi' and complained she was 'writing about Jews again'


The Jewish journalist and author Bari Weiss has resigned from the New York Times, citing “constant bullying” from colleagues, and saying that Twitter has become the “ultimate editor” of the paper.

Co-workers had “called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m “writing about the Jews again,” she said in her resignation letter posted on her website.

She accused the paper’s editors of chosing and telling stories to satisfy a progressive narrative for “the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions.” History, she added, “is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.”

Ms Weiss, author of ‘How to Fight Anti-Semitism’ , says that senior employees “smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action.”

Describing herself as a centrist, she accuses the papers editors of praising her in private for her courage. 

“Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery,” she writes.

“The truth is that intellectual curiosity — let alone risk-taking — is now a liability at The Times. Why edit something challenging to our readers, or write something bold only to go through the numbing process of making it ideologically kosher, when we can assure ourselves of job security (and clicks) by publishing our 4000th op-ed arguing that Donald Trump is a unique danger to the country and the world? And so self-censorship has become the norm.

“What rules that remain at The Times are applied with extreme selectivity. If a person’s ideology is in keeping with the new orthodoxy, they and their work remain unscrutinized. Everyone else lives in fear of the digital thunderdome. Online venom is excused so long as it is directed at the proper targets.” 

She points out that an ‘editor’s note’ was attached to a travel story about Jaffa shortly after it was published because it “failed to touch on important aspects of Jaffa’s makeup and its history.

“But there is still none appended to Cheryl Strayed’s fawning interview with the writer Alice Walker, a proud antisemite who believes in lizard Illuminati. “

She says that a “new McCarthyism” has taken hold at the paper, that stifles those who do not agree with a left-wing narrative.

“All this bodes ill, especially for independent-minded young writers and editors paying close attention to what they’ll have to do to advance in their careers. 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. Eventually, the publisher will cave to the mob, the editor will get fired or reassigned, and you’ll be hung out to dry.”

"We appreciate the many contributions that Bari made to Times Opinion," the paper's acting editorial page editor Kathleen Kingsbury said.

Ms Weiss joined the NYT in 2017 as part of former opinions editor James Bennet’s attempt to expand the range of viewpoints in the section. But she proved controversial, and had previously complained of being attacked by "a far-left mob". 

In March she told the JC of the rise in antisemitism in the US: “Things that were once, even a few years ago, unsayable are now sayable.
“One of the strongest signs of it is the thriving of conspiracy theories.”

“A society where conspiracy theories thrive is always one where antisemitism thrives, because it is a society that has replaced facts and truth with lies.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive