The Story Behind the New York Times’ Anonymous Op-Ed Blasting Trump

Several days ago a senior official in the Trump administration used an intermediary to contact New York Times op-ed page editor Jim Dao.

Through the go-between, the senior official expressed interest in writing an explosive piece for the paper, describing a “resistance” to President Trump within the government that works overtime to protect the United States from the president’s worst impulses.

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3 thoughts on “The Story Behind the New York Times’ Anonymous Op-Ed Blasting Trump

  • September 6, 2018 at 10:01 am
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    Hiding behind the tag of anonymous who are we to believe? The credibility and fact-checking of The New York Times, the go-between or the alleged traitor who would have us believe they stand for the greater good? When you willingly accept employment and are paid for performance there is a high expectation one does not become a rat. Imagine if there was a disgruntled rat on the editorial board who supplied information to the competition. Whoever this person is, in all decency, they should resign and leave the working environment that apparently has become so intolerable to them. As is stands right now, any journalist or media outlet touching this is bad business for all. It is deplorable actions like this taken by The New York Times that keep refueling media bashing.

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  • September 6, 2018 at 10:30 am
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    Mr. Trump has attempted to destroy all norms of decency and manners in his communications. He has no right to expect the usual courtesy of a signed column. This is a man who has pretended to be other people when reaching out to the press, and habitually lies to our Country. He has made this bed.
    For those who excuse him, saying we knew what he was before the election happened: Campaigns are quite different from the Presidency. He shows no respect for the office, our citizens, or anyone besides himself.

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  • September 6, 2018 at 11:47 am
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    I disagree with all criticisms, and also all supporting rationale I have heard regarding publishing of the anonymous Op Ed by the New York Times (on this page and everywhere else, including from President Trump).
    In my 40 years as a newspaper publisher and editor, I authorized the publication of only a few anonymous Op Ed pieces and letters, and rejected many, many more.
    Our determination for agreeing to leave a name off the submissing stemmed from two strict criteria based on the fundamentals of our role as a newspaper as a conduit of information to the public, and the first one had to pass before the second was considered.
    Firstly, since job one for our publication was to inform the public, we asked ourselves, Was the information in question significant enough that the public needed to know? Note that we made a point in each such a case to debate the reasons, challenging ourselves as to why it was important that the public be so informed.
    Secondly (and only if the answer to #1 was yes), we considered that if the name of the source were revealed, would their life or livelihood or other important aspects of their (or their family’s) lives be threatened?
    We would as a matter of course investigate the person, their background and reputation and the details involved and discuss or debate the implications of the contents being revealed such that we could make a judgement in the most informed way.
    Thus, based on the above, the judgement (or rather my opinion) of what was done in this case:
    It is apparent that it was the duty of the New York Times to publish that Op Ed to inform their readers on something that would be of great interest to them.
    Given the potential recriminatory threats to the author, withholding the identity was appropriate.
    I say the New York Times was just doing their job.

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