Friday, February 12, 2021

NY Post Prints Column NY times Killed

NY Post 2/12/21

Hours after it came out that the New York Times had spiked a column in which Bret Stephens complained about the way the paper handled the ouster of star reporter Donald McNeil Jr., the New York Post has published the article in full.

The Wrap reports the Post took pains to distance Stephens himself from the publication of his spiked column. “The piece has circulated among Times staffers and others — and it was from one of them, not Stephens himself, that The Post obtained it,” the note said.

McNeil’s ouster came after The Daily Beast reported last week that he used the N-word and also made additional sexist and racist comments on a 2019 trip with students. When the story came out, the Times said it had investigated the incident in 2019 and had taken unspecified disciplinary measures. The Daily Beast’s report prompted outrage from New York Times staff and on Friday McNeil quit. In a statement accompanying his resignation, McNeil didn’t address the accusations of racist and sexist comments, and said only that he used the n-word to describe what someone else had said. McNeil apologized for that specific act.

Like McNeil, Stephens also ignored the substance of the other accusations reported by the Daily Beast, and wrote his column as though the only thing McNeil was accused of was his admitted use of the n-word.

After quoting New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet, who said regarding McNeil that “We do not tolerate racist language regardless of intent,” Stephens wrote in part:

“This is not a column about the particulars of McNeil’s case. Nor is it an argument that the racial slur in question doesn’t have a uniquely ugly history and an extraordinary capacity to wound. This is an argument about three words: ‘Regardless of intent.’ Should intent be the only thing that counts in judgment? Obviously not. Can people do painful, harmful, stupid or objectionable things regardless of intent? Obviously.”

Stephens argued that McNeil’s intent in using the word should matter as much as the usage.

Earlier Thursday, NBC News’ Dylan Byers said that Stephen accused New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger of personally spiking the column. But a representative for the Times told TheWrap that the decision came from opinion editor Kathleen Kingsbury. “We kill columns all the time for various reasons,” she told CNN’s Oliver Darcy. “The bar is especially high for columns that could reflect badly on colleagues. And we decided that this column didn’t reach that bar.”

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