Going Out with a Bang: NY Times Style

By | July 16, 2020

[July 16, 2020]  It isn’t easy to run a business.  To do it successfully during poor economic times is even more problematic.  A few days ago, the recently-hired New York Times opinion editor, published a scathing resignation letter about the “toxic and destructive” culture of the old Gray Lady.  Bari Weiss posted her letter in a classic example of going out with a bang.

When a business has a clear and compelling mission, sticks to time-honored values, and is lead by experienced, honorable, and open folks, then even hard times can be overcome.  Those who believe this is easy, have yet to experience the competitive nature of the news market or any real commercial activity.  That is why it is vital to ensure core values are established and enforced.  That is not what is happening at the once-proud New York Times.

In her exit from the NY Times, Weiss does something more than make noise.  She lays bare a hostile, coercive workplace, and describes incidents and insults that reveal the inner-workings of a newspaper company in decline.  Her letter paints the entire news organization akin to a “woke” college campus where dissent is demonized and silenced by threats.1  Nasty?  Yes, of course, it is.

In a statement dating recently from 2018, owner Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. wrote that the NY Times would “continue to resist polarization and groupthink by giving voice to the breadth of ideas and experiences.”  Further, he justified the newspaper “because we believe journalism should help people think for themselves.”

The fact is, the NY Times is doing precisely the opposite.  Weiss has made it clear to us that Sulzberger has betrayed the fundamental responsibilities of journalism and its principles.  She states that “a new consensus has emerged … that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”   Her resignation letter is a hard-core attack on the self-assumed moral superiority of those that work at the Times.

Others have said that the Times no longer functions as an actual American newspaper.  It’s new “mission” (unwritten, of course) is to rewrite the story of America, one that dovetails with the paper’s obsession with race, gender, and identity politics.  Standard articles outside the opinion section, are now in lockstep with any cause that hurts America and degrades its great history.

The message is clear, the official party line is the only acceptable position, and you either go along or get out.


  1. https://nypost.com/2020/07/14/bari-weiss-exposes-how-the-times-has-gone-astray-goodwin/
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

30 thoughts on “Going Out with a Bang: NY Times Style

  1. Wesley Brown

    Great article. Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. is “woke”. Ha Ha Ha. He inherited his job from his dad. Now he is systematically dismantling the Times and I say good riddance. Maybe the paper will be replaced by something really useful.

  2. Sherry Sauerwine

    Frankly Bari Weiss’ resignation letter was whingy. The Times never censored her opinion pieces nor did they fire her. Her issue was the fact that many of her colleagues didn’t like her. She admitted that management at the Times encouraged and praised her work. She wrote some offensive comments about the newsroom being in two camps — the “wokes” — which she considered herself to be and the “over 40s” — ie. the older members of the newsroom whom she considered to be insufficiently “woke.” Her co-workers were offended and let her know it and as a result her feelings were hurt. She also made snarky comments on twitter and not only was lambasted by co-workers but also the “twitter – verse” — so instead of sticking around and facing what she’d created — she ran away and on the way out the door burned a lot of bridges. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen and shut up.
    She had a golden opportunity — an opinion column at the most important newspaper in the US and she ran away from it. Nothing heroic or remotely admirable about someone who creates their own problems and then runs away and can’t take responsibility for those problems. Much like the moron in the WH who can’t take responsibility for having fumbled the pandemic response and as a result causing thousands of unnecessary deaths along with the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

    1. Jonathan B.

      Hi Sherry, good points here and I am in agreement about Bari Weiss. I sure dislike whiners as much as anybody. But it still exposes a culture of corruption at the NY Times. Not only that but my BS meter is going off whenever the NYT editors figure they can lecture us as if they are pure as the driven snow. They are more corrupt morally than we can imagine. Furthermore, they are completely ignorant about history, understand our culture, or even have a desire to.

  3. Dennis Mathes

    Hi Gen. Satterfield. I’ve generally found that there are many who would compromise their ethical stance on many issues without much real thought. Perhaps these folks are those who would readily compromise their integrity and yet demand others stay the course. Now, I know I’m talking to the crowd but this case with the NY Times is amazing in that someone actually went off the reservation for a change. It has allowed us to look inside a declining organization; one with leadership problems (mostly self-inflicted) and employee morale issues.

    1. Maureen S. Sullivan

      Good point, Dennis. Thanks. I too liked today’s article. Gen. Satterfield continues to do a great job of keeping us up-to-date with leadership issues.

  4. Wesley Brown

    Great article, Gen. Satterfield. We don’t have to be biased to point out what is obvious and before our face. Telling the truth can get you in trouble with the “mobs” of Twitter and the like. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing.

  5. Sadako Red

    It is not a surprise that newspapers have been failing in the past few decades. Most say that is because of the Internet and falling ad revenue. But the real reason is that they went off the path of telling us the news and letting us figure out what it means. They now believe they are the crusaders of righteousness and justice and that anything they do to target any perceived “evil” (by their definition) can be attacked without remorse or repercussion. Like Gen. Satterfield says, they believe themselves morally superior; just like the Nazis did in the 1930s and 40s.

    1. Lady Hawk

      Great to hear from again RED. I love your guest articles. Any time you want, please publish another one in this leadership blog. Oh, your comment is great. There has been a seismic shift the mission of journalists in the West and you have laid it bare for all of us to read. They believe anyone who disagrees with their viewpoints are evil and must be destroyed at all costs.

  6. Linux Man

    I would never touch the newspaper written by a bunch of prima donnas from Manhattan any way, so I’m not missing out. Their entire lives are spent in an ideological bubble. All other ideas are foreign, evil, and should be immediately destroyed. That is what professors are teaching our young today.

  7. Shawn C. Stolarz

    I highly recommend that readers of Gen. Satterfield’s blog go back in time and read an article he wrote back in 2017 before all this happened. He wrote in his journal back in 2005-06 during one of his combat tours of duty in Iraq what he thought of the media. He called is bias, today we call it fake news.
    “The U.S. War in Iraq: My View (the Media)”

    1. Janna Faulkner

      Quotable quote from this article — “This media are largely the same. I put these mass media guys in the same class as terrorists: they are cowards. At least you can trust that the terrorist will try to kill you. ”
      POW, POW, he gives them one to the chin.

      1. Harry B. Donner

        Ouch!!! I went back to re-read his article. Powerful. More powerful than I would have thought. Shows that this has been going on for a lot longer than most of us realize.

  8. Kenny Foster

    IMHO, journalism is going down fast as a ‘profession.’ Well, I no longer consider it a real profession but one that is faking it.

    1. Yusaf from Texas

      It is, and I don’t say this lightly, a battle for the soul of the profession. And if you take a snapshot of this moment, those who believe in the old-fashioned notions of fairness and balance are losing.

    2. Eric Coda

      That’s why the editorial page editor of the New York Times was forced out, that’s why the editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer was forced out, and that’s why a vast swath of this country no longer trusts the media.

  9. Greg Heyman

    The New York Times’ leadership recently apologized to the paper’s staff for running an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., the enemies of “fake news” high-fived and Free Speech collapsed from embarrassment.

    1. Randy Goodman

      This unnecessary spectacle is about the gradual shrinking of the free marketplace of ideas.

      1. Max Foster

        So very true, Randy. Thanks for a short, on-target conclusion to what we all know. Journalism is dead. I say that not as a slogan but as the obvious truth. It’s been a long time coming. Don’t believe me? Go take a journalism course in ANY college and you will see “woke” professors teaching “morality” of their own, shifting viewpoints. It’s a corrupt enterprise and will be until it completely collapses on its own accord and that day is coming soon.

        1. JT Patterson

          Wow, excellent comment Max. Yes, journalists are now flocking to hyper partisan businesses while the rest of American watches and shakes her head in disgust.

        2. Willie Shrumburger

          Freedom of speech has taken another blow to the gut. I wonder what it is like to belong to an organization or a profession that has the job of killing off freedom, honor, and integrity? You would have to be good at lying to yourself.

          1. Martin Shiell

            Willie, thanks! You are sadly but absolutely correct. The very basis of our freedoms is being undermined by the NY Times and others who continue to support them. Just look at what they have supported and that will tell you a lot: rioting is okay, looting is expected, murder is not their fault. It goes on and on. The Old Gray Lady is in freefall. I hope to be there when she lands.

    2. Otto Z. Zuckermann

      …and on a related note, the top editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer also resigned over the weekend for a headline that read, “Buildings Matter, Too.”

    3. Xavier Bordon

      No one who is with it mentally should be surprised.

      1. Georgie M.

        Ha Ha. Found your comment very funny. Thanks Xavier. I will posture the opinion that most people know the truth of the failure of journalism but are just too scared to admit it or even say it out loud for fear of retaliation. Gen. Satterfield is not afraid to say it and I love him for it.

  10. ARay Pittman

    Of course I heard about this right away and read the letter – now twice – and it is something to behold. We’ve all known for a long time now that the NYT is a corrupt new organization. Long ago they started publishing classified military information. They’ve been corrupt for along time and the only way to stop it is from within.

    1. Mr. T.J. Asper

      Yes, you are right ARay that the NYT is fully corrupt and is worthless for news. Their entertainment and sports section is pretty good and I think that is the only reason anyone takes it any more. Their past reputation also helps keep them afloat but that will only last so long.

    2. Tom Bushmaster

      You would think the paper’s owner would do something about this, especially now that the whole “fiasco” is in the public eye.

      1. Fred Weber

        Owner Arthur Sulzberger, Jr IS THE PROBLEM. He inherited the job from his father. Both were worthless and I’m surprised the NYT is still in business.


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