The New York Post:
Thunk, thunk. The career guillotine at The New York Times was busy Friday, dispatching two men found wanting by the Purity Police.
When the shock wears off, the former employees might consider their departures a blessing. At least they are no longer marooned on an island that evokes “Lord of the Flies.”
The two cases are unrelated, but Donald McNeil Jr. and Andy Mills share the fact that the Times knew about their specified conduct years ago but took little or no action. It reprimanded McNeil and hired Mills despite Mills’ confessing he had engaged in unwanted sexual pestering with co-workers years earlier at NPR.
Yet top editor Dean Baquet, egged on by witch-hunting staff members, suddenly decided to revisit the cases and concluded both offenses could no longer be tolerated, so off with their heads.
This is not moving the goal posts. This is rewriting the rules to satisfy the mob.
Such is life in Wokestan, where notions of misconduct are malleable and arbitrary. Social-justice activists stalk a newsroom that is racialized and radicalized, hunting for reasons to be offended. When they are, the ax falls.
The ax doesn’t always fall equally.
A female reporter at the paper got her scoops by sleeping with a government source, who went to prison for leaking classified information while she kept her job. The star female reporter who fell for the false claims of a wannabe jihadist on the “Caliphate” podcast got demoted, but Mills, her white male producer, is suddenly sent packing because Twitter users dug up his randy behavior at NPR.
At the Times, he had been promoted and was not blamed for the “Caliphate” debacle. But as Mills put it in his resignation letter, “another story emerged online: that my lack of punishment came down to entitlement and male privilege.”
The twin firings illustrate how mercurial Baquet has become and suggest his main focus is obeying the loudest voices in the newsroom. When reporters and editors gang up to complain about colleagues, including former op-ed page editor James Bennett, Baquet, along with publisher A.G. Sulzberger, promptly delivers pink slips. Careers and years of service are tossed aside like trash.
Opinion writer Bari Weiss, in her fiery resignation from the Times last year, decried the mob mentality running the paper, declaring that “Twitter has become its ultimate editor.”