When I am angry at a facet of the world where I have peculiar expertise, I write op-eds. And more often than not, they get published somewhere. I might have to shop a piece to several places, but someone usually bites by the fourth or fifth pitch. When I am not angry at the world and just want to inform the world about some aspect of public policy, I write academic manuscripts. Those eventually get published after several rounds of rejection and revision.
One of the rejections was an easy news judgement to reject; I was not saying anything too interesting nor relevant at that point in time. The other rejection was just too esoteric. Those rejections make sense. There is limited real-estate on the New York Times op-ed page. Editorial decisions had to be made on the dozens to hundreds of daily pitches that the editorial page team receives for relevance, newsworthiness, interest and quality of writing. Good arguments on interesting topics will be rejected a dozen times before lunch. That is the nature of editorial discretion for any publisher that has higher standards than an almost top-10,000 blog.
So when the editor of the New York Times defends publishing an op-ed that advocates for a military crackdown on people exercising their constitutional rights as advancing the debate, I call bullshit.
I want to explain why we published the piece today by Senator Tom Cotton. https://t.co/GvWwf7i0Wu
— James Bennet (@JBennet) June 3, 2020
There are arguments within the realm of acceptable discourse. There are arguments outside of that realm as well. NAMBLA’s president does not publish NY Times op-eds. That is a judgement call that this argument is not worthy of public debate.
The argument that the NY Times needs to publish the views of a Senator will shock the press and communication flacks on the Hill who are lucky if they can place one ghost written op-ed signed by their boss in a Congressional session. Plenty of Representatives and Senators will get their op-ed pitches turned down. And that is fine, it is editorial judgement.
This is bullshit.
Coincidentally, I received notification this evening that my small payment for my most recent op-ed is being processed.
— David Anderson (@bjdickmayhew) June 4, 2020