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‘Furor’ at New York Times after union attacks paper for going after ‘one of its own,’ but then deletes tweet saying it was ‘error’

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Stephens argued in his piece that the project, which contends that America’s true history began in 1619, the year African slaves arrived in the US, has been a “gift” to critics of the Times who argue the paper has become “fake, biased, partisan and an arm of the radical left.”

“Journalists are, most often, in the business of writing the first rough draft of history, not trying to have the last word on it. We are best when we try to tell truths with a lowercase t, following evidence in directions unseen, not the capital-T truth of a pre-established narrative in which inconvenient facts get discarded,” Stephens wrote. 

The dissenting opinion appeared to not sit well with the Guild, as they tweeted out their own criticism of the story and used it to criticize the Times itself.

“It says a lot about an organization when it breaks its own rules and goes after one of its own. The act, like the article, reeks,” their account tweeted. 

That tweet, however, was deleted the very next day with the union chalking it up to an “error.”

“We deleted our previous tweet. It was tweeted in error. We apologize for the mistake,” they tweeted. 

The “error” has only earned the paper and the union plenty of criticism and mocking on social media.

“God forbid they admit that it was a lowbrow move on their part, one for which they genuinely feel remorse, as opposed to some technical error,” journalist Mike Breslin tweeted.

“This is a bad look for journalism,” CNN’s SE Cupp wrote about the Guilds’ tweet.

New York Times’ media columnist Ben Smith tweeted that someone with the Guild posted the tweet without “internal discussion” and caused “furor” and “heated objections” from colleagues.

Times’ publisher AG Sulzberger went into cleanup mode following the Guild’s tweet, assuring its backing of the 1619 Project and that Stephens’ piece does not represent an “institutional shift” in the paper’s support for the work.

“I believe strongly in the right of Opinion to produce a piece, even when – maybe even especially when – we don’t agree with it as an institution,” the publisher claimed. 

The 1619 Project has become hotly debated in recent months with the Trump administration seeking to block the progressive piece from being taught in schools, and numerous critics accusing the work of distorting history and calling on Hannah-Jones’ Pulitzer to be revoked

The debate over the 1619 Project is only one of the many controversies the Times has found itself in this year. The paper found itself dealing with internal protests after publishing an op-ed over the summer from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) calling for the military to be used as a last resort to deal with violent Black Lives Matter protests in cities across the US. 

This led to James Bennett, the editorial page editor at the time, to step down. Opinion columnist and editor Bari Weiss left too, revealing there was a “civil war” at the paper. 

“Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery,” she wrote in a fiery resignation letter. 

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