The New York Times op-ed page is not your safe space

Over the summer, umbrage fever spread to conservatives exposed to the “Red Century” series, the paper’s continuing op-ed exploration of “the history and legacy of Communism, 100 years after the Russian Revolution.” Why is the Times rehabilitating Communism, one Federalist writer asked, instead of dealing “forthrightly with the horrors of the Soviet regime”? Another Federalist writer called “Red Century” a “bizarre nostalgia series about communist dictatorships.” Among the stories the Federalist took exception to were “Why Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism,” “Thanks to Mom, the Marxist Revolutionary” and “When Communism Inspired Americans.” “The ghost of Walter Duranty still lives at the New York Times,” the Federalist’s Inez Feltscher wrote.

It was the left’s turn to cry this week, as the page published an op-ed by Erik Prince, the founder of the Blackwater mercenary army and Betsy DeVos’ brother. Prince proposed a potentially self-dealing solution to the Afghanistan stalemate: A mercenary army of about 6,000 to assist an American Special Operations force of 2,000. The New Republic disparaged the piece as a Prince sales pitch. Huffington Post Editor in Chief Lydia Polgreen tweeted, “Unbowed, a newspaper continues to flog its lousy opinion piece.” Also taking exception to the Times’ editorial judgment were writers at Slate and GQ. New York magazine took the easy route, scraping Twitter for the inevitable parody headlines.