A majority of Americans did not support The New York Times’ actions regarding Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton’s op-ed, a recent Harris poll shows.
The poll, conducted June 17th and 18th, said that 54% of Americans felt that the op-ed, originally published June 3, did not threaten the safety of black reporters and editors at The New York Times, while 64% said that they support the paper publishing pieces with views that mirror Cotton’s. Fifty-seven percent said that it was wrong for the Times to apologize for publishing the piece.
Cotton’s piece, titled “Send in the Troops,” called for the military to be deployed in order to stop violence that had occurred in the wake of largely peaceful protests in cities across the country that stemmed from the death of George Floyd, who was killed after a Minneapolis police officer held his knee over Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Almost immediately after its publication, employees at the paper said that it had endangered the lives of their Black colleagues.
On June 5, the Times attached an editor’s note preluding the piece, saying that “given the life-and-death importance of the topic, the senator’s influential position and the gravity of the steps he advocates, the essay should have undergone the highest level of scrutiny.”