NY Times Public Editor Slams Paper on Diversity, NYT Runs OpEd Verifying...

NY Times Public Editor Slams Paper on Diversity, NYT Runs OpEd Verifying Why It’s Needed 9 Days Later


The newsroom’s blinding whiteness hit me when I walked in the door six months ago. It’s hardly a new problem here, but it’s one that persists even as the country grows more diverse and The Times grows more global.

“Traveling to other departments, Metro has only three Latinos among its 42 reporters, in a city with the second largest Hispanic population in the country. Sports has one Asian man, two Hispanics and no African-Americans among its 21 reporters, yet blacks are plentiful among the teams they cover and the audience they serve. In the Styles section, every writer is white, while American culture is anything but.”

The above was written by New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayd in a blistering indictment of the paper’s lack of diversity in the newsroom. What she wrote hit the Times’ site on December December 17.  By December 26, an OpEd appeared on the site that was a case study in why that diversity was desperately needed.

In an OpEd by Sorry, Liberals. Bigotry Didn’t Elect Donald Trump,” there was yet another attempt to make the race-wasn’t-a-big-factor argument. Another race denial OpEd appeared in the Times on November 9 by Michael Lerner called “Stop Shaming Trump Voters.”

Meanwhile the Kuhn article appeared at the end of the week in which Trump’s New York State co-chair went on a racist tirade directed at first lady Michelle Obama and the President.  The Paladino incident was preceded by a Ku Klux Klan Trump celebration parade, numerous incidents of Trump linked racism across the U.S. including a church being defaced in Alabama.

In a country with 400 years of negative race history directed at Blacks and Indians it goes without saying that the argument was an interesting one to be making.  That Donald Trump spent much of the 2016 campaign railing against immigrants and urban communities in a stereotypical way that would make George Wallace swell with pride was even more telling.

That Kuhn’s OpEd arrived at the end of a week filled with news of the racism of Donald Trump’s State Director and friend Carl Paladino made the OpEd all the more incredible. Yet here we are.

Donald J. Trump won the white working-class vote over Hillary Clinton by a larger margin than any major-party nominee since World War II. Instead of this considerable achievement inspiring introspection, figures from the heights of journalism, entertainment, literature and the Clinton campaign continue to suggest that Mr. Trump won the presidency by appealing to the bigotry of his supporters. As Bill Clinton recently said, the one thing Mr. Trump knows “is how to get angry white men to vote for him.”


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Lauren Victoria Burke
Twitter: @LVBurke / Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist who analyses politics and justice reform. She created Crewof42.com, a blog that covers the work of African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke has also been a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears weekly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin. She has also appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton and Up with Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. She is also a contributing writer for NBCNews.com and TheRoot.com Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. E-mail: LBurke007@gmail.com. Instagram: LVB325.