“We’ve examined the piece and the process leading up to its publication,” a spokesperson for The Times said in the Thursday evening statement. “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,” The Times spokesperson added, “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.”
Cotton’s communications director, Caroline Tabler, told CNN Business in a statement, “We weren’t contacted by the New York Times in advance of this statement and our editorial process was similar to our past experiences at the New York Times and other publications. We’re curious to know what part of that process and this piece didn’t meet their standards.”
The statement from The Times capped a day of turmoil inside the nation’s paper of record, with staff engaging in debate over the publication of Cotton’s op-ed and asking The Times’ leadership for answers.
Sulzberger, however, said he would listen to concerns “with an open mind.” He also said that The Times’ leadership would hold a town hall with staff Friday to hear directly from them.
“Cotton and others in power are advocating the use of the military, and I believe the public would be better equipped to push back if it heard the argument and had the chance to respond to the reasoning,” Bennet wrote. “Readers who might be inclined to oppose Cotton’s position need to be fully aware of it, and reckon with it, if they hope to defeat it.”
In an interview on Fox News Thursday evening, Cotton sharply criticized The Times for saying his op-ed didn’t meet its standards. Cotton noted that the op-ed had been defended by Bennet, and said the newspaper had caved to a “mob of woke kids.”
“My op-ed doesn’t meet the New York Times standards,” Cotton said. “It far exceed their standards which are normally full of left-wing, sophomoric drivel.”
The Times’ opinion section was left reeling in September after it fumbled a story about an allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The opinion vertical faced heat last summer for the actions of columnist Bret Stephens.
And last April, the opinion section apologized after publishing an anti-Semitic cartoon in its international edition.