Bari Weiss: Covid has exposed the hypocrisy of the elites

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Fighting — or even participating in — a culture war is a dangerous business. It is especially so when that war is being fought behind enemy lines. So when Bari Weiss was hired by The New York Times as an opinion editor after Donald Trump’s election victory in 2016, it was a risky move.

A self-described classical liberal, Weiss was hired to bring more conservative and centrist voices to the paper, but she quickly found herself at odds with its hyper-progressive staff. Tensions reached a breaking point when NYT writers complained about Senator Tom Cotton’s op-ed calling for the troops to be sent in during the BLM protest — something Weiss had helped to commission and edit.

Weiss subsequently left the paper to launch her own Substack, but her experience at one of liberal America’s most hallowed institutions exposed her to the inner workings of the paper and its gilded readership. In a conversation with Freddie Sayers, Weiss suggests that the illiberal direction legacy publications like the NYT have moved towards is emblematic of a broader chasm between the “haves and have-nots” in America, as highlighted by this week’s MET Gala event.


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