Saturday, October 1st | 6 Tishri 5783

April 28, 2021 10:43 am

New York Times Opinion Page Strips Peter Beinart, Shmuel Rosner of ‘Contributor’ Titles

avatar by Ira Stoll


Peter Beinart. Photo: Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons.

Bye-Bye Beinart.

In October 2020, the New York Times promoted Peter Beinart to “contributing opinion writer” after Beinart renounced Zionism. Now, not even seven months later, the Times appears to have unceremoniously dumped him overboard, announcing “an update to our roster of contributing opinion writers” with Beinart noticeably absent.

“A smaller roster of regular contributors will allow space for even more outside views,” a note from Times opinion editor Kathleen Kingsbury said.

Beinart did not immediately reply to an email from the Algemeiner seeking comment.

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Beinart was one of two writers who had written frequently about Israel and the Middle East who was stripped of the “contributing opinion writer” title.

Another was Shmuel Rosner. In an email responding to a query from The Algemeiner, Rosner explained, “after almost a decade of writing for them, I will no longer be a contributing writer for the NYT. We parted ways cordially, and I thanked them for tolerating me for so long.”

“I continue as a senior fellow at JPPI, an analyst for Kan News TV, the chief NF editor at Kinneret-Zmora, the chief editor of and a political editor for the Jewish Journal. So, for now, my hands are full,” Rosner wrote.

A source familiar with the Times’ opinion operations said the paper had changed its entire system, dropping dozens of continuing opinion writers until the larger group had been pared down to a select 16, who will have clearer responsibilities and more multimedia obligations.

Beinart, too, will have no lack of a platform. He’s started a newsletter on Substack, “The Beinart Notebook: Politics, Foreign Policy and (occasionally) the Jews,” where he joins another former New York Times opinion writer, Bari Weiss.

As of April 27, Beinart’s Twitter bio and City University of New York bio still listed him as a “contributing opinion writer at The New York Times,” suggesting that either the New York Times change came abruptly, or that he has been slow to update the online profile material. An April 7 column he published in the Times carries the “contributing opinion writer” label.

For brevity in tours of the Times opinion page, Beinart has distinguished company. William Kristol lasted “little more than a year,” as a Times news article about his departure put it. Charlie Warzel joined the Times opinion page in 2019 and is reportedly leaving for Substack. Adam Rubenstein, who joined the paper’s opinion operation in July 2019, departed in December 2020. In 2018, the Times un-hired an opinion writer, Quinn Norton, before she even started work.

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. His media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.


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