Remember when the New York Times caved to pressure to pull down an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) advocating for the U.S. military to intervene and stop the rioting and looting in major U.S. cities? If you would recall, a Times editor actually resigned amid outrage from the paper's staff that he would dare publish Cotton's opinion, an opinion they said would put people in danger.
Will the Times retract this op-ed by a Chinese communist propagandist celebrating the authoritarian crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong?
The op-ed, titled "Hong Kong is China, like it or not," was written by Regina Ip, a legislator and member of the Executive Council in Hong Kong. Ip is an advocate for Hong Kong's new expansive national security law, a law supported by the Chinese Communist Party leadership in Beijing that critics say will severely encroach on civil liberties and abuse Hong Kong citizens.
"Hong Kong has been rocked by a series of crises after the eruption of protests last year over a proposed bill (long since withdrawn) that would have allowed the extradition of some suspects in criminal cases to mainland China," Ip writes. "Something had to be done, and the Chinese authorities did it."
Last year, pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong began demonstrations against the planned security law, protesting the pro-Chinese elements of the government in Hong Kong. In response, Beijing announced in May that the communist government would ignore the Hong Kong legislature and impose the security law by fiat, declaring that the protests were evidence the law was needed.
Then the crackdown on protests and free speech began.
As the New York Times itself reported, "the Chinese government has used the letter and spirit of the law to crush Hong Kong's pro-democracy opposition with surprising ferocity." A tenured law professor and pro-democracy advocate at the University of Hong Kong was forced out of his position by authorities. Four young activists were arrested on suspicion of expressing support online for Hong Kong's independence, an act of subversion under the new law. Beijing even canceled an election in Hong Kong, using the coronavirus as a cover, to prevent pro-democracy candidates from winning, according to the Times.
At the time, Ip welcomed the arrests, saying the authorities were "acting in accordance with the law."
Now, Ip's op-ed accuses pro-democracy advocates of having "done great harm to the city by going against its constitutional order and stirring up chaos and disaffection toward our motherland." She defends the decision to postpone the election in Hong Kong as "sound."
Even today, Hong Kong riot police enforcing the security law arrested more than 50 peaceful protesters who had gathered on China National Day. The Chinese Communist Party's tyranny stares the world in the face, and the New York Times runs an op-ed on the same day with the sub-headline, "after months of chaos in the city, something had to be done, and the Chinese government did it."
But Sen. Cotton wrote an op-ed calling for President Trump to invoke the insurrection act to stop criminals in American cities because local and state officials refuse to enforce the law, and somehow that opinion was too extreme.
Yascha Mounk, a contributing editor for The Atlantic, called out the Times for its blatant hypocrisy.
The boss of the NYT op-ed page was fired because he ran a controversial op-ed by a sitting U.S. Senator. But a few… https://t.co/2fpnp9jIiC— Yascha Mounk (@Yascha Mounk)1601567100.0
It is also one of the best examples of, um, systemic racism in American journalism: Want to advocate for brutal me… https://t.co/QCadSy2qzG— Yascha Mounk (@Yascha Mounk)1601567305.0
Mounk is entirely correct, and he doesn't even agree with Cotton's op-ed.
The New York Times is a joke.