Jack Shafer suggests that people should get over their need for “safe spaces” on the opinion pages of the New York Times.
In recent months, New York Times readers brave enough to open the paper’s op-ed pages have been staggered to find opinions there. Yes, opinions!
The initial shock came in April, when Bret Stephens, a refugee from the Wall Street Journal opinion pages, took up residence at the Times, bringing with him his contrarian views on climate change. The Guardian spoke for injured readers everywhere with a piece headlined “NY Times Hired a Hippie Puncher to Give Climate Obstructionists Cover.” The inevitable Change.orgpetition calling for Stephens’ sacking went up, gathering tens of thousands of signatures, and Times reporters and editors savaged him on Twitter.
It is interesting that he chose to start his defense of having diversity represented on the opinion pages of the New York Times by using Bret Stephens as an example. As David Roberts wrote about that decision back in May: “It takes a particular sort of insularity to hire a pro-war, anti-Trump white guy as a contribution to diversity on the NYT editorial page.”