“Wokeness” has run amok in America’s newsrooms — and heads at big papers have started to roll.
A top editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Stan Wischnowski, gave 20 years to the newspaper before submitting his resignation this weekend — and all it took was one offensive headline to cost him his job.
“Black lives matter. Do buildings?”
According to The Hill, controversy first erupted at the Inquirer last week after it ran the headline, “Buildings Matter, Too,” in an article about property damage — in particular, damage to the city’s architecture — caused by protests and riots that have come in the wake of the death of 46-year-old George Floyd.
The headline faced swift backlash from within the newsroom, and Wischnowski and two other editors promptly issued an apology, vowing to “start immediately” to change its editorial process. But as might have been expected, this ritual contrition failed to mollify the aggrieved. According to The Hill, dozens of minority journalists at the paper skipped work in protest and authored an open letter claiming that the article had put their “lives at risk.”
“The carelessness of our leadership makes it harder to do our jobs, and at worst puts our lives at risk,” they wrote. “We’re tired of shouldering the burden of dragging this 200-year-old institution kicking and screaming into a more equitable age.”
Meanwhile, according to Fox News, the newspaper’s struggles to satisfy the “woke” brigade gave life to the revised headline, “Black Lives Matter. Do Buildings?” and finally, the tortured, “Damaging buildings disproportionately hurt the people protesters are trying to uplift.”
His fate sealed, Wischnowski stepped down Saturday — and with the purification ritual complete and the sinner thoroughly ashamed, the newspaper’s publisher promised to hire a replacement “who embodies our values, embraces our shared strategy, and understands the diversity of the communities we serve,” The Hill noted.
The “woke child mob”
The disquiet at the Inquirer echoed a similar kerfuffle at The New York Times.
The nation’s leading newspaper (once upon a time, at least) was thrown into turmoil after publishing an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) that advocated using the military to quell violent unrest. Under pressure from rebellious staffers, the Times ended up issuing a note stating that the article “fell short of our standards and should not have been published,” the BBC reported.
Over the weekend, James Bennet, the newspaper’s opinion editor and the brother of former presidential hopeful Michael Bennet, stepped down, joining Wischnowski among the host of unpersons in journalism, as Fox reported.
According to Fox, the Times’ publisher issued a chilling message to staff that Bennet had reached an agreement that he “would not be able to lead the team through the next leg of change that is required.”
Cotton, for his part, has mocked the newspaper for surrendering to a “woke child mob from their own newsroom that apparently gets triggered if they’re presented with any opinion contrary to their own,” according to Fox.