The New York Times came under massive scrutiny after the US drone strike in Afghanistan, which killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
In 2020, the Times published the op-ed of Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani who was sheltering al-Zawahiri at the time of the US drone strike.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton also took aim at the liberal media network and advised them to improve their publishing operations to avoid giving platforms to global terrorists.
New York Times Needs to Be More Careful
In the op-ed titled, “What We, the Taliban, Want,” Haqqani emphasized the Taliban were dragged into the anti-American war and they never intended to fight America.
While Haqqani urged America to stop killings in Afghanistan, he did not utter a word about his own organization, which led efforts to bring instability not only to America, but also in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, Haqqani vowed the Taliban would inculcate the voice of every Afghan in the government-making process whenever America announces its departure from the war-torn country.
TERRORIST AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI KILLED IN THE HOME OF A NEW YORK TIMES CONTRIBUTOR:
Sirajuddin Haqqani … https://t.co/n7pWYrBdGt
— Soph (@sophiatseliem) August 3, 2022
Currently, Sirajuddin is the interior minister of Afghanistan, which makes him an important official of the Taliban administration.
Even though he remained involved in various atrocities of the American forces in Afghanistan, the Times only mentioned him as the “deputy leader of the Taliban.”
Senator Tom Cotton also wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in 2020, which slammed the violent rioters after the death of George Floyd.
Back then, Cotton insisted the Trump administration should send military forces to quell the violent left uprising in different cities.
While staffers of the New York Times did not protest the publishing of Haqqani’s op-ed, they resisted against the opinion of Cotton and slammed their own network for platforming right-wing ideology.
In the wake of rising criticism from the left, editorial page editor James Bennet ended up resigning, which showed the left-leaning inclination of the media network.
So, after the killing of al-Zawahiri, Cotton emphasized the New York Times needs to improve its process of accepting op-eds.
The @nytimes really needs to improve its process for accepting op-eds. I know there’s some hard feelings on their part, but I’ll promise not to harbor al Qaeda leaders if they want to publish me again. https://t.co/TE5NqvXNOa
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) August 2, 2022
New York Times Still Has the Soft Corner for Haqqani
After the drone strike, the New York Times reported news by specifically mentioning al-Zawahiri was residing in the home of Sirajuddin Haqqani’s aide at the time of his death.
However, as different media outlets chided the New York Times for giving its platform to the terrorist, the outlet ended up stealth editing its page.
In its modified version, the newspaper deleted the paragraph which mentioned Sirrajudin Haqqani and didn’t even leave the editor’s note.
Even after facing massive backlash after publishing Haqqani’s op-ed, the Times defended its controversial approach. The spokesperson of the liberal media network asserted every “newsworthy viewpoint” will be entertained in the Times’ opinion pages.
Now, Haqqani is involved in sheer human rights abuses under the Taliban regime.
Women and girls are barely allowed to do jobs in Afghanistan; the country is once again providing fertile grounds to Al-Qaeda, which was behind the unfortunate 9/11 disaster.
This article appeared in TheDailyBeat and has been published here with permission.