"Resignation Letter"

Redakteurin Bari Weiss beklagt öffentlich die Zustände bei der „NYT“ – und kündigt

"NYT"-Redakteurin Bari Weiss bei einer Diskussionsveranstaltung im Jahr 2019, Foto: imago images / ZUMA Press

Die „New York Times“-Redakteurin Bari Weiss berichtet in einem offenen Brief von ihren Erfahrungen bei der Zeitung. Sie erzählt davon, dass nicht-progressive Meinungen im Keim erstickt oder zensiert würden. Manche Kollegen hätten Angst, ihre Sicht auf die Dinge zu publizieren.


Weiss‘ offener Brief ist explizit an den Herausgeber der New York Times, Arthur Sulzberger, gerichtet, den sie mit „A.G.“ abkürzt. Weiss war im Meinungsressort der Zeitung beschäftigt, wo sie einerseits eigene Meinungsstücke publizierte, sich andererseits darum kümmerte, Gastautoren für die Zeitung zu gewinnen.

Weiss beklagt in ihrem Resignation Letter unter anderem angebliche Bemühungen mancher Redakteure, konservative Meinungen und solche, die von einer progressiven Agenda abwichen, im Keim zu ersticken. Zudem schreibt sie, dass sie für die Auswahl ihrer Gastautoren und ihre eigenen Texte von Teilen der Belegschaft gemobbt und als „Nazi“ beschimpft wurde. Im Folgenden fünf zentrale Punkte aus ihrer öffentlichen Kündigung. Um Weiss‘ Aussagen nicht zu verfälschen, publiziert MEEDIA diese im Original.

Weiss über ihre Mission bei der New York Times

I was hired with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives and others who would not naturally think of The Times as their home. The reason for this effort was clear: The paper’s failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election (Die Wahl Donald Trumps – Anm. d. Red.) meant that it didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers. (…) The priority in Opinion was to help redress that critical shortcoming.

Weiss über die Themenauswahl der Zeitung

Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions. I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.

Weiss über ihre unschönen Erfahrungen mit Kollegen

My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. (…) Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action.

Weiss über interne Zensur und Selbstzensur

If a piece is perceived as likely to inspire backlash internally or on social media, the editor or writer avoids pitching it. If she feels strongly enough to suggest it, she is quickly steered to safer ground. And if, every now and then, she succeeds in getting a piece published that does not explicitly promote progressive causes, it happens only after every line is carefully massaged, negotiated and caveated.

Weiss über ihren Abschied und den ehemaligen NYT-Besitzer Adolph Ochs

I can no longer do the work that you brought me here to do – the work that Adolph Ochs described in that famous 1896 statement: “to make of the columns of The New York Times a forum for the consideration of all questions of public importance, and to that end to invite intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion.” Ochs’s idea is one of the best I’ve encountered. And I’ve always comforted myself with the notion that the best ideas win out. But ideas cannot win on their own. They need a voice. They need a hearing. Above all, they must be backed by people willing to live by them.

Weiss‘ Resignation Letter können Sie hier in Gänze lesen.