Cotton praises NY Times for 'standing up to the woke progressive mob' in publishing opinion piece

Cotton praises NY Times for 'standing up to the woke progressive mob' in publishing opinion piece
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonGOP senator calls reporting on Russia bounties 'absolutely inaccurate' after White House briefing New legislation required to secure US semiconductor leadership Sunday shows preview: With coronavirus cases surging, lawmakers and health officials weigh in MORE (R-Ark.) praised The New York Times for publishing his opinion piece and standing up "to the woke progressive mob in their own newsroom" during an interview on Fox News on Thursday.

The comments from Cotton come after several Times reporters voiced outrage over the paper's decision to run the opinion piece titled, "Tom Cotton: Send In the Troops" on Wednesday. It was published after Trump has pushed for a more aggressive response, including considering sending in the military, to quell the instances of violence and looting seen amid the largely peaceful protests after the death of George Floyd under policy custody.

In his opinion piece, the Arkansas lawmaker argued that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE should send in the military in response to the violence, which he said was tarnishing peaceful protests. The Insurrection Act authorizes the commander in chief to deploy active-duty troops within the United States to enforce federal or state laws under certain circumstances, though it is used infrequently. 

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"I will commend The New York Times leadership," Cotton told "America's Newsroom" on Thursday. "We obviously don't agree on very much. But, in this case, they ran my opinion piece with which they disagreed. And, they’ve stood up to the woke progressive mob in their own newsroom. So, I commend them for that."

Several Times journalists took to Twitter to voice their disagreement with the paper's decision to publish Cotton's piece, including "1619 Project" creator Nikole Hannah-Jones, advice columnist Roxanne Gay and opinion page staffer Charlie Warzel.

“As a black woman, as a journalist, as an American, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this," Hannah-Jones tweeted to her 300,000 followers.

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Editorial page editor James Bennet said that he personally opposed sending in troops and said "my own view may be wrong" on publishing Cotton's opinion piece, but he defended the decision to publish it.

"It would undermine the integrity and independence of The New York Times if we only published views that editors like me agreed with, and it would betray what I think of as our fundamental purpose — not to tell you what to think, but to help you think for yourself," he wrote in defense of publishing the opinion piece.