New York Times Buried Critical Kenosha Reporting until after 2020 Election

A man walks by as riots turn into fires after a black man, identified as Jacob Blake, was shot by police, Kenosha, Wis., August 24, 2020. (Stephen Maturen/Reuters)

Nellie Bowles, the former New York Times reporter who is married to Bari Weiss, the former Times op-ed editor whose newsletter Common Sense is a Substack sensation and publishes top-shelf op-eds practically every day, says in the latest edition of Common Sense that she found the liberal narrative about rioting in Kenosha last summer wasn’t true, but the Paper of Record buried her report until after the election last November. Bowles writes:

Until quite recently, the mainstream liberal argument was that burning down businesses for racial justice was both good and healthy. Burnings allowed for the expression of righteous rage, and the businesses all had insurance to rebuild.

This notion, she discovered when she went to Kenosha, was false.

The part of Kenosha that people burned in the riots was the poor, multi-racial commercial district, full of small, underinsured cell phone shops and car lots. It was very sad to see and to hear from people who had suffered. Beyond the financial loss, small storefronts are quite meaningful to their owners and communities, which continuously baffles the Zoom-class.

So she wrote about that. And then:

Something odd happened with that story after I filed it. It didn’t run. It sat and sat.

Now it could be that the piece was just bad. I’ve sent in bad ones before, and I’ll do it again. A few weeks after I filed, an editor told me: The Times wouldn’t be able to run my Kenosha insurance debacle piece until after the 2020 election, so sorry.

There were a variety of reasons given—space, timing, tweaks here or there.

Eventually the election passed. Biden was in the White House. And my Kenosha story ran. Whatever the reason for holding the piece, clearly covering the suffering, financial and otherwise, after the riots was not a priority. The reality that brought Kyle Rittenhouse into the streets was one we reporters were meant to ignore. The old man who tried to put out a blaze at a Kenosha store had his jaw broken. The top editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer had to resign in June 2020 amid staff outcry for publishing a piece with the headline, “Buildings Matter, Too.”

If you lived in those neighborhoods on fire, you were not supposed to get an extinguisher. The proper response — the only acceptable response — was to see the brick and mortar torn down, to watch the fires burn and to say: thank you.

Bowles explained more about the toxic environment she encountered at the Times in a previous post.

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