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16 Dec 2023
Ian Hanchett

NextImg:CNN's Coates: Ex-NYT Editor Revealed Other Top Editor Wanted It to Be 'a Parrot' for the Left with Trigger Warnings

On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” CNN Chief Legal Analyst and host Laura Coates reacted to Economist columnist and former New York Times Editorial-Page Editor James Bennet’s article criticizing The Times where he wrote that “one of the top newsroom editors urged me to start attaching trigger warnings to pieces by conservatives” by stating that such a suggestion reflects someone who is doing “the job of a parrot” for the left.

Host Bill Maher said, “He also mentions — he said, ‘[one of the top newsroom editors]’ somebody at one point suggested that they put a trigger warning in any op-ed that was written by a conservative. That, to me, is a very different paper than the one I grew up with. They would never have suggested putting a — because of a conservative viewpoint, you have to be prepared to hear it, you can’t just read it?”

Coates responded, “[T]he idea of truth being triggering, such that you need to censor it is such a slippery slope. To be warned about facts in such a way — I understand graphic images and saying to people, hey, listen, prepare, you’re getting ready to see something really disturbing in a visual — but the notion that you have to be prepared as if to assume that the audience is only going to have one point of view, that’s really undermining why people should seek out the news. Because it can’t be that I’m writing to one audience. We talk about the audience of one. We talked about that being a horrible thing when it came to Donald Trump and anyone who wants to actually have an expansive base of people and try to not only preach to the choir. But when you have a trigger warning to suggest that I’m already telling you that what they’re saying is going to be disbelieved and ought to be disbelieved, you are not doing the job of a watchdog, you’re doing the job of a parrot, we don’t need those.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett