Opinion: Kevin de León’s defenders emerge, but they’re still a minority
What do the defenders of the New York Times’s Kevin de León, the Times’ editor, have to say?
As one of the most visible public officials in the United States, de León has been the victim of some of the most egregious abuses of power.
He has been accused of committing a “war on journalism,” according to New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, who described the Times’ firing of a veteran, Pulitzer-Prize-winning, investigative reporter as “the worst and most blatant example of journalistic persecution in a decade of newsroom tumult.”
Since his ouster, the Times has struggled with the ethical implications of de León’s departure, particularly because they are taking on a controversial figure who is, ironically, an unlikely spokesperson for the paper.
De León’s supporters and critics emerged from the newsroom battle. The New York Times’ former editor Bill Keller and former Times columnist Frank Rich joined the de León defenders. But there are still a number of critics who argue his ouster was warranted.
Here are some of the things we learned from two recent op-eds about the Times’ de León controversy.
The New York Times’ editorial board is not unified
“Every day I say to myself, ‘What is the point of me saying all that’?,” Rich wrote in response to a Times editorial board member’s response to their decision to publish an op-ed from de León’s critics.
The “point of me saying all that” is to show that at the Times, a single, unified voice matters.
In a column that he wrote for the Wall Street Journal, Rich argued that an editorial “is not a consensus. It’s not that all of us do the same thing. It’s that everybody gets to decide what we do