Tom Cotton, The New York Times, and the People Who Just Don’t Get It

For some time now, leading anti-Trump journalist David Frum has offered as the pinned tweet atop his Twitter page, the prediction, “When this is all over, no one will admit to ever having supported it.” A near corollary forecast will most assuredly prove as true — that many more will claim to have opposed Trump than ever really did.

The current case in point is the latest contretemps at The New York Times, over Tom Cotton’s Op-Ed calling on Donald Trump to “employ the military” in an “overwhelming show of force” against Black Lives Matter demonstrations and disturbances. Faced with an uprising in its ranks, the Times confessed to error in publishing the piece, but its acknowledgment notably ignored the newspaper’s gravest error. While the paper placed blame on “process” and failures of “fact-checking,” its greatest error was in thinking the Op-Ed worthy of publication at all.

Originally published June 11, 2020. Read more at my Medium page.

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