NY Times acting editorial page editor tells staff to flag her if opinion pieces 'give you the slightest pause'

The acting editorial page editor at The New York Times is now urging staff to alert her if anything published in the Opinion section of the paper "gives you the slightest pause" following the uproar sparked by the op-ed written by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

Kate Kingsbury, who previously served as the deputy editorial page editor of the paper, has stepped into the role left vacant by James Bennet, who resigned on Sunday as the Times addressed condemnation from its own staff over the Cotton piece. The senator had called for troops to be sent in if police could not stop violence erupting from protests over the death of George Floyd last month.

In a report addressing Bennet's resignation, Kingsbury did not provide a comment to the Times. However, according to the paper, she did say that "until a more 'technical solution' is in place, anyone who sees 'any piece of Opinion journalism — including headlines or social posts or photos or you name it — that gives you the slightest pause, please call or text me immediately.'"

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Kate Kingsbury had a message for her staff as she took over for James Bennet as acting editorial page editor.

Kate Kingsbury had a message for her staff as she took over for James Bennet as acting editorial page editor. (Montage)

Critics slammed the new precedent being set at the Times, particularly over anything giving staff "the slightest pause."

"We should embrace more speech, more ideas, and a diversity of opinions," Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr reacted.

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"Having already turned their news section into an opinion page the Times will now turn its opinion page into a news section," The Federalist New York correspondent David Marcus said.

"The immense privilege it takes to go Karen on your employer for even the slightest perceived slight..." Fourth Watch media critic Steve Krakauer tweeted.

"New York Times University," conservative commentator Stephen Miller quipped.

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A report published by the Times on Sunday addressed the resignation of Bennet, who publicly defended publishing the Cotton op-ed but later apologized to colleagues during an internal meeting. Bennet was said to have admitted that he himself did not read the op-ed before it was published.

Jim Dao, the Times deputy editorial page editor, has also been reassigned.