Lib NYT Editor Learns What It's Like To Be Conservative - Demoted After Ilhan Omar Tweet


Say the wrong thing, and you might find yourself out of a job. Share the wrong opinion, and you may be forced to take a demotion.

That’s seems to be the situation at The New York Times, where an editor’s career has been sidetracked after he posted fairly mundane comments about demographics. It’s yet another example of how quickly the left becomes intolerant of diverse views the moment someone doesn’t parrot their talking points.

“The New York Times is demoting its deputy Washington editor, Jonathan Weisman, over a pair of controversial tweets, removing him as a congressional editor and saying he will no longer be active on social media,” The Hill reported on Tuesday.

Weisman was pressured to apologize — through “grovel” might be a better word — after he wondered how well Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota understood Midwestern voters.

The tweet that cost Weisman his position with The Times was a reply to a liberal operative claiming that Tlaib and Omar are “from the Midwest.”

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“[Rashida Tlaib] + [Ilhan Omar] are also from the Midwest,” tweeted Waleed Shahid, who works as a spokesperson for the far-left “Justice Democrats,” and who previously worked for Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

In response, Weisman noted that his claim was a bit of a stretch.

The comment was quickly labeled racist, despite the fact that the Times journalist said nothing about race and appeared to be making a halfway valid point. Omar is not “from the Midwest,” but was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, an African city with a population of 2.5 million.

Tlaib was born in Detroit, Michigan, a densely populated city that is much further to the political left than the more rural areas that tend to define Midwestern life. Weisman himself said that this was the main point he was trying to make, but it didn’t seem to matter.

“I tried to make a point about regional differences in politics between urban and rural areas. I deleted the tweets because I realize I did not adequately make my point,” the Times journalist posted.

Shahid accused Weisman of “repeating Trump’s racism” and blasted the journalist in a series of tweets.

“They do us all a disservice when they echo Trump’s dog whistles that tell us some people are more ‘American’ or ‘Midwestern’ than others,” he said.

Welcome to 2019, when believing that people from vastly different regions and cultures might not have identical values is verboten. Reverse it for a moment to see the ridiculousness: If someone from Wisconsin moved to, say, Guadalajara, would Shahid chastise people for noting that the Midwesterner might not understand Mexican culture as deeply as locals whose families lived there for generations?

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What used to be obvious is now off limits, and even trying to talk about these issues can end one’s career.

Another of Weisman’s tweets also contributed to his demotion, despite being 100 percent factual.

“Justice Democrats has backed another primary challenger, this one seeking to unseat an African-American Democrat, Joyce Beatty, who represents Columbus,” the journalist posted last Wednesday. The statement was true, but failed to note that the challenger was herself black.

For these sins, The Times pushed Weisman to apologize and revealed that he would be moving down the totem pole.

“Jonathan Weisman met with [Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet] today and apologized for his recent serious lapses in judgment. As a consequence of his actions, he has been demoted and will no longer be overseeing the team that covers Congress or be active on social media,” the statement from the newspaper said.

“I accept [Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet’s] judgment.,” Weisman said, according to The Times. “I think he’s right to do what he’s doing. I embarrassed the newspaper, and he had to act.”

Saying anything that doesn’t fit the narrative or holding any unapproved opinion is now “embarrassing.” It would be humorous that the liberal Times is now eating its own, except for the fact that this type of thing has been happening to conservatives for years.

Of course, The New York Times can demote or fire anybody they wish. But the real story here is how intolerant of actual intellectual diversity the left has become, and how quickly they brow-beat anyone who doesn’t fall into line.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.