“We’ve examined the piece and the process leading up to its publication. This review made clear that a rushed editorial process led to the publication of an Op-Ed that did not meet our standards. As a result, we’re planning to examine both short term and long term changes to include expanding our fact checking operation and reducing the number of Op-Eds we publish,” Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy said Thursday.
This followed Editorial Page Editor James Bennet’s attempt at defending the decision to publish Cotton’s piece.
We understand that many readers find Senator Cotton's argument painful, even dangerous. We believe that is one reason it requires public scrutiny and debate.— James Bennet (@JBennet) June 3, 2020
It failed to go over well with netizens - or even the Times’ own staffers.
Your own Black staffers are tweeting you guys right now about how publishing this puts them in danger. Are you going to address that or continue to ignore it?— Danie The Degenerate (@daniecal) June 4, 2020
Because back in the day, NYT used to take this position on fact-checking op-eds pic.twitter.com/DQC5mxC3Uu— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 4, 2020
in approximately 1-3 months, when shit is even worse than it is now, i better not see you being one of the people hand wringing about how we got here. because i will absolutely point you right back to this thread where you defended your choice to give a fascist a platform.— EricaJoy (@EricaJoy) June 4, 2020
thank you. I needed the nuanced “shoot the protestors with machine guns” side of the argument which was missing from the discourse.— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) June 4, 2020
Sputnik reported on the published piece in question, which called for US President Donald Trump to “restore order” in the country by sending in armed US troops to crush lawlessness.
Many protests honoring the memory of George Floyd have been peaceful, but nevertheless, Cotton argued that there needs to be an “overwhelming show of force.”
“One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers,” Cotton contended. “But local law enforcement in some cities desperately needs backup, while delusional politicians in other cities refuse to do what’s necessary to uphold the rule of law.”
While he said that the “overwhelming” amount of troops would be confronting “lawbreakers,” such a move would likely increase the number of journalists, peaceful demonstrators and other nonviolent individuals who have been killed and injured by authorities in recent days.
In just one example, Sean Monterrosa, a 22-year-old resident of San Francisco, California, was killed at a Walgreens by a Vallejo Police officer earlier this week. The San Francisco Chronicle noted that the fatal shots were fired by the officer from within his vehicle after Monterrosa took a kneeling position and raised his hands above his waist. The officer apparently believed Monterrosa was holding a gun, but police investigators later found that was not the case, as he had only “a long, 15-inch hammer tucked into the pocket of his sweatshirt,” according to the peper.
The officer who fired the shots and other officers involved have been placed on administrative leave amid investigations by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office and the Vallejo Police Department.
In addition to a number of other similar cases involving the death or injury of non-violent people or peaceful demonstrators, the Trump administration - which Cotton directly addresses in his op-ed - has also been called into question by the American Civil Liberties Union via a recently-filed lawsuit.