James Bennett has resigned as editor of The New York Times’ editorial page following the publication of an opinion piece by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., that called on President Donald Trump to “send in troops” to quell violent protests over the death of George Floyd.
Bennett green-lit publishing the story.
The paper announced his resignation Sunday.
“Last week we saw a significant breakdown in our editing processes, not the first we’ve experienced in recent years,” said A. G. Sulzberger, the paper’s publisher, in a note to staff. “James and I agreed that it would take a new team to lead the department through a period of considerable change.”
Bennett said he did not personally read Cotton’s story before it was published, although he defended his decision to run it.
“We published Cotton’s argument in part because we’ve committed to Times readers to provide a debate on important questions like this,” he said in the June 4 statement.
Some Times employees organized a protest on social media and said running the story put black staff members in danger.
Bennett on Sunday said he was proud of his colleagues’ work.
“The journalism of Times Opinion has never mattered more than in this time of crisis at home and around the world, and I’ve been honored to be part of it,” Bennet said in a statement. “I’m so proud of the work my colleagues and I have done to focus attention on injustice and threats to freedom and to enrich debate about the right path forward by bringing new voices and ideas to Times readers.”