Editorial page editor James Bennett announced at the meeting that Cotton’s op-ed, published online on Wednesday, would not be published in Sunday’s print, as originally planned, multiple workers who saw the virtual town hall told CNN Business.
Bennett, who apologized for the frustration, added that the Times would add an editor’s note to the online version of the cotton swab, people said.
The Cotton section, published under the headline “Send the Army,” argued that the Rebellion Act could be used to deploy troops across the country to help local law enforcement with the unrest that has erupted since George Floyd’s death.
The option was published in the Times’ opinion section, but both Opinion and Newsroom staff – who work separately from each other – were publicly dissatisfied this week.
A spokesman for The Times did not dispute the details of the story. Carolyn Tebiller, Cotton’s communications director, told CNN Business that the Times has not contacted the senator’s office since Thursday evening.
Present at the town hall on Friday were AG Sulberberg, publisher of the Times, Dean Bouquet, executive editor, Joe Kahn, managing editor, Mark Thompson, chief executive officer, and Bennett.
Sulzerberg Town Hall, which issued the Tipid defense for the release of the op-ed on Thursday, said the cut piece should not have run on The Times, people on the call said.
According to two people on the call, Bennett admitted to staff that he had not personally read the passage before it was published, although he said it had been reviewed by senior editors, saying the process had “broken down” and “run out.”
Bennett – who was described by staff as “disturbed” and “shaken” by the call – published an article defending Cotton’s decision to run op-ed less than 24 hours before his comment.
Bennett said conversations with his black colleagues influenced his thinking, according to someone on the call.
Both Bennett and Salzberger said the op-ed process was inadequate for the moment and had structural problems, a separate individual said in the call.
Bennett was asked about the tweet by Barry Weiss, author of the opinion section. In a Twitter series on Thursday, Weiss said there was a “civil war” between the “wok” and the elderly “liberals” inside the magazine.
Bennett expressed dissatisfaction with Wage’s tweets. Weiss did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The two men on the call said Bowet, who heads the Times’ newsroom, shared his own experience as a black man in America with colleagues.
Bowet told staff that he has made a significant impact in journalism, but walking the streets in jeans and sneakers makes him look different in the eyes of society.