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NYT staff revolt over Sen Tom Cotton's op-ed calling for military force against protesters

Writers and staff from the New York Times have issued a rare but grating criticism for the publication after Senator Tom Cotton wrote an incendiary and 'facist' op-ed calling for the use of military force against protesters. 

The Republican senator from Arkansas took to his op-ed on Wednesday to call for the 'overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers' from the various protests that have spawned across the United States.  

Cotton claimed that the Insurrection Act authorizes the president to 'employ the military "or any other means" in "cases of insurrection, or obstruction to the laws.' 

The Republican senator from Arkansas took to his op-ed on Wednesday to call for the 'overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers'

Tom Cotton's op-ed was eviscerated on Twitter by the New York Times community and many readers declared their intent to stop reading the publication altogether

'Throughout our history, presidents have exercised this authority on dozens of occasions to protect law-abiding citizens from disorder,' Cotton claimed. 

'Nor does it violate the Posse Comitatus Act, which constrains the military’s role in law enforcement but expressly excepts statutes such as the Insurrection Act.

Cotton's op-ed was eviscerated on Twitter by the New York Times community and many readers declared their intent to stop reading the publication altogether. 

Op-ed contributor and author Roxane Gay declared that the op-ed but black staff at the New York Times in danger. 

Op-ed contributor and author Roxane Gay declared that the op-ed but black staff at the New York Times in danger.

Gay continued: 'As a NYT writer I absolutely stand in opposition to that Tom Cotton “editorial.” We are well served by robust and ideologically diverse public discourse that includes radical, liberal, and conservative voices. 

'This is not that. His piece was inflammatory and endorsing military occupation as if the constitution doesn’t exist.'

Many pointed out that the op-ed was released on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 when Chinese troops killed thousands of young protesters who they claimed had been 'rioting.'

'The decision to publish @SenTomCotton calling for troop deployments to quell unrest falls short of sound journalistic practice,' said former NYT's Op-Ed Editor Sewell Chan. 

Gay continued: 'As a NYT writer I absolutely stand in opposition to that Tom Cotton “editorial.” We are well served by robust and ideologically diverse public discourse that includes radical, liberal, and conservative voices

'This is not that. His piece was inflammatory and endorsing military occupation as if the constitution doesn’t exist'

Many pointed out that the op-ed was released on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 when Chinese troops killed protesters

'It calls for “an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers” but offers no evidence that existing law enforcement efforts—by National Guard troops, county sheriffs, city police departments—is failing,' Chan continued.

'As @EsperDoD said today: “The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort—and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act."'

Chan said that the NYT has published controversial and provocative perspectives in the past - and especially during his time as editor. But he asserted that Cotton's piece was not 'original' or 'timely.'

'The decision to publish @SenTomCotton calling for troop deployments to quell unrest falls short of sound journalistic practice,' said former NYT's Op-Ed Editor Sewell Chan

'It might have been 2 days ago, but Pentagon, @EsperDoD and Mattis have been clearly pushing back,' he added. 'The governors haven't asked for military deployments—in fact, several told Trump it would make things much worse'.

'#TruthMatters, and I will always read @nytimes. But the richest, largest and most powerful newspaper in America needs to exercise discretion and prudence in the use of its platform. This fell far short.'

Brian Schatz, a Senator from Hawaii, shared that he had sent numerous 'non-fascist opinion pieces to the Times,' calling Cotton's piece 'sour grapes.' 

He shared that he had done one on climate, one for medicaid and one for debt free college.

Others rebuked the Times leadership for running the piece at all. 

'You think that Cotton is using the Times' neutered bothsidesism to call for domestic massacres but in fact the Times ownership and leadership are using Tom Cotton to launder their own desire for and advocacy of domestic massacres in the name of order and getting back to Cipriani,' stated author Jacob Bacharach.

Brian Schatz, a Senator from Hawaii, shared that he had sent numerous 'non-fascist opinion pieces to the Times,' calling Cotton's piece 'sour grapes'

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