The editor of the New York Times editorial page resigned Sunday after several days of strife over a U.S. senator’s op-ed column.
Not only will James Bennet leave the position, but Jim Dao, the deputy editorial page editor who oversees Op-Eds, will step down from his masthead position, the Times announced.
“Last week we saw a significant breakdown in our editing processes, not the first we’ve experienced in recent years,” Publisher A. G. Sulzberger wrote 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.”
Katie Kingsbury, a deputy editorial page editor, will serve as acting editorial page editor until after the November election, Mr. Sulzberger said.
Mr. Dao will take another newsroom job, and the Times wasn’t immediately clear whether Mr. Bennet, whose brother is Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, would do the same.
The shuffle grew out of a Wednesday column by Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, that called for the use of U.S. military forces under the Insurrection Act to restore order in American cities, which are being wracked by protests, many of them turning violent, over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman.
The column provoked an open staff rebellion with hundreds signing an open letter denouncing it and dozens violating Times social-media policies to attack it online.
New York Times writer and “1619 Project” founder Nikole Hannah-Jones suggested, in an appearance Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program, part of the reason for the staff rebellion over the Cotton column
Ms. Hannah-Jones, whose project on the American Revolution was widely attacked by the field’s top historians for factual inaccuracies and wildly off-base conclusions, argued that the media should not treat the Republican Party fairly because it is a “rogue” organization.
She reasoned that being fair to it, by for example running its senators’ columns, would be “picking sides.” Ms. Hannah-Jones claimed the “main issue” was that Mr. Cotton is “in the party of power” and “he wants to use the military to suppress dissent.”
• James Varney contributed to this report.