Over the years the New York Times have done some good work. Important work. Winning dozens of Pulitzer Prizes in all sort of categories from investigative reporting to commentary. They are also not without controversy from cooperating with the Bush administration, catering to corporate influence… and Commentary. Tom Cotton’s Editorial is a mistake on two fronts.
After years of Trump and Republicans labeling the newspaper as a far left or liberal daily, some people actually believe it. especially liberals. The fact is though, The New York Times is an established corporate entity, apolitical on the surface, but motivated by money. You can see it even in their op-eds.
A few days ago, the New York Times decided to publish an op-ed by Tom Cotton. A far-right Trump loving senator from Arkansas, Cotton published a piece entitled “Send in the Troops.” The senator argued that the Insurrection Act could be invoked to deploy the military across the United States to help put an end to the unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd.
Tom Cotton’s editorial is controversial for various reasons. The most obvious one would be the article’s fascist undertones. Sending in America’s military might across the country to quell some isolated looting is bad enough, but anyone with a rational thought knows they would also be used on innocent protesters. It isn’t a far-fetched stretch of the imagination, it was already done in D.C.
When you take into account the lies within the article and the legality of deploying the troops in the first place, what you have is one fascist piece of… propaganda? Honestly, the only audience that would be moved by this misinformation would be Trump and his MAGA followers. How many of them read the New York Times?
At the end of the day, we have a fascist piece of falsehoods, but the question remains; should the New York Times have published it? I have mixed opinions for an answer and yet the answer is not what bothers me about this controversy.
On the one hand, the NYT is a private company and they are free to publish whatever they like, so long as it does not endanger anyone. Whether this article does that is debatable. At a time when the United States is rushing headlong into fascism, the Times judgement should obviously be questioned. Publishing this type of rubbish on Donald Trump’s behalf, is really a throwback to the same nonsense they pulled during lead up to the Iraq war.
Its judgment, however, is not the only thing that should be questioned. What really makes me mad about this situation is why Cotton and not Chomsky? Far right, but never left.
Indeed, the Times does have it’s fair share of liberals and neo-liberals, conservatives and trash too. Michelle Goldberg, Thomas Friedman, Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss, in that order if you like. What the NYT has never had, is someone on the progressive left, let alone far left.
If your argument for publishing Tom Cotton’s editorial is that people need or deserve different points of view, then why not the other extreme? Cotton is an extreme war mongering right-wing nationalist and conspiracy theorist. Trump with half a brain (which is still not much). His ideological opposite barely exists in the first place.
But I’m willing to settle. End Noam Chomsky’s ban at the paper. If you’re a real news agency, then you should be willing to have on those that have criticized you. How about Richard Wolff? A well-known Marxist economist. There’s a different point a view. How about Moore, Nader or Uygur?
It will never happen. There was a reason the New York Times was so hostile to Bernie Sanders. Why renowned progressive never get a voice on their editorial pages. It’s the same reason you rarely see them on network television. They are a threat to their power and profit.
In the end, Cotton is a threat to the country, but beneficial to the New York Times. In fact, its safe to say the NYT profits greater when Republicans are in power. Less taxes, more liberal readership. Conversely, progressives are a threat to the New York Times, but beneficial to the country.
You can be mad about Tom Cotton’s editorial if you want to. That is fair. At the same time, If you aren’t mad about the Times constantly putting their profit before their civic duty, then you get what you deserve.