New York Times’ 1619 Project lead writer had a meltdown when a critique called out the paper’s inaccurate historical account.
In the same publication, the fellow writer, Bret Stephens, published an about 3,000-word essayon October 9 on the project’s blunders.
The Pulitzer Prize Board was called to revoke its award to Nikole Hannah-Jones, the project’s chief essayist after Stephen’s essay made public and alerted the National Association of Scholars (NAS) to call out the board.
“Journalists are often in the business of writing the first rough draft of history, not trying to have the last word on it,” Stephens began.
“We are best when we try to tell the truths with a lowercase t, following evidence in directions unseen, not the capital-T truth of a pre-established narrative in which inconvenient facts get discarded,” he continued, adding that we’re supposed to comment and report on the political issues of the day, and “not become the issue itself.”
On this note, Stephens relayed, “for all of its virtues, buzz, spinoffs and a Pulitzer Prize – the 1619 Project has failed.”
Stephen’s criticism centered on the project’s revision of America’s “true founding” date to 1619, when the first generation of African slaves made their way to the American colonies.
Stephen argued the revisions were “not minor points.”
“The deleted assertions went to the core of the project’s most controversial goal, ‘to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regards 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” Stephens said.
However, according to the Washington Post, the constructive criticism outraged the project chief’s essayist, calling her critiques as racists through emails ahead of publication.
The Post reported Jones’ tweet that efforts discrediting her work have put her in a “long tradition of [Black women] who failed to know their places.”
Jones then changed her bio in Twitter to “slanderous and nasty-minded mulattress” – referencing Ida B. Wells, a trailblazer journalist, whom the New York Times called with the exact words in 1894.
Despite earlier scrutiny and corrections, the project maintained support from the newspaper since its publication. It’s Editor-in-Chief, Jake Silverstein, even wrote back “historical understanding is not fixed” when a group of historians objected to its false information.
This proved that the Times has no regard for history or the historian scholars if it counters whatever narrative the newspaper wishes to publish.
It was not until several months later, before the Pulitzer Prize award, that the Times finally issued a two-word correction. Jones clarified that some not all colonists kept slavery to seek independence from Great Britain.
Such revision had a great impact considering the project’s wide distribution in schools’ curriculum. Children had been taught that the US is an oppressor, a typical leftists racial theory driving the current woke revolution.
Despite the project’s numerous inaccuracies and corrections, executive director of the Times, Dean Baquet, dismissed Stephen’s criticisms.
“Our readers and I believe our country, have benefited immensely from the principles, rigorous and groundbreaking journalism of Nikole,” Baquet wrote.
Jones earlier claimed, “it would be an honor” for the nation’s massive unrest, which damaged the cities to be called “the 1619 Riots.”