Cotton times: Times Opinion Editor Defends Publishing Tom Cotton’s ‘Send In the Troops’ Op-Ed


Times Opinion Editor Defends Publishing Tom Cotton’s ‘Send In the Troops’ Op-Ed

“Country Braces for a 9th Straight Night of Unrest,” went the headline at the top of the New York Times home page Wednesday evening. Lower down, on the right-hand side, the usual spot for opinion articles, was the headline for an essay by a United States senator that had stirred opposition outside and inside the paper: “Send In the Troops.”

The Op-Ed, written by Tom Cotton, a Republican of Arkansas, argued for the federal government to invoke the Insurrection Act, which would enable it to call up the military to put down protests in cities across the country.

“One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers,” Mr. Cotton wrote.

The Times has reported on the debate within the administration over whether or not to follow this course of action.

In the essay, Mr. Cotton also described instances of looting in New York City as “carnivals for the thrill-seeking rich as well as other criminal elements” and warned that the antifascism movement “antifa” had infiltrated the marches. (On Monday, a Times article described the theory that antifa was responsible for the riots and looting as “the biggest piece of protest misinformation tracked by Zignal Labs,” a media insights company.)

It is not unusual for right-leaning opinion articles in The Times to attract criticism. This time, the outcry from readers, Times staff members and alumni of the paper was strong enough to draw an online defense of the essay’s publication from James Bennet, the editorial page editor.

“Times Opinion owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments, particularly those made by people in a position to set policy,” Mr. Bennet wrote in a thread on Twitter. “We understand that many readers find Senator Cotton’s argument painful, even dangerous. We believe that is one reason it requires public scrutiny and debate.”

Mr. Bennet was the editor in chief of The Atlantic before he became the head of the opinion department in 2016. The opinion section is run separately from the news side. Mr. Bennet reports to the publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, as does the paper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, who is in charge of news coverage. The distinction between opinion pieces and news articles is sometimes lost on readers, who may see an Op-Ed — promoted on the same home page — as just another Times article.

When asked for comment, a spokeswoman for The Times referred to Mr. Bennet’s Twitter thread.

The Times published Mr. Cotton’s essay on a day when the country was gripped by civil unrest prompted by the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

Dec. 3, 2021, 11:50 a.m. ET

Dozens of Times staff members responded to the Op-Ed on Twitter by tweeting the sentence (or variations on it): “Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger.” Discussion of the Op-Ed on social media had included the newspaper’s social media policy, which instructs newsroom employees not to post partisan comments and to be “especially mindful of appearing to take sides on issues that The Times is seeking to cover objectively.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine who won the Pulitzer Prize in commentary last month, tweeted, “As a black woman, as a journalist, as an American, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this.”

The NewsGuild of New York, the union that represents many Times journalists, said in a statement on Wednesday that the Op-Ed “promotes hate.” “This is a particularly vulnerable moment in American history,” the statement said. “Cotton’s Op-Ed pours gasoline on the fire. Media organizations have a responsibility to hold power to account, not amplify voices of power without context and caution.”

Several members of the Times opinion staff, whom the paper allows more leeway on social media, also weighed in. Charlie Warzel, an opinion writer, tweeted, “i disagree with every word in that Tom Cotton op-ed and it does not reflect my values.”

Three Times journalists, who declined to be identified by name, said they had informed their editors that sources told them they would no longer provide them with information because of the Op-Ed.

Roxane Gay, an opinion contributor who is also an advice columnist for the Business section, tweeted her opposition, saying that while she supported the publishing of a range of opinions, the Op-Ed “was inflammatory and endorsing military occupation as if the constitution doesn’t exist.”

Kara Brown, a freelance journalist in Los Angeles, tweeted that she had turned down an assignment from The Times because of the Op-Ed. In an interview, she said the assignment would have been to profile the rapper Noname for the Styles section.

In his tweets on Wednesday, Mr. Bennet noted that the opinion department had published several essays in support of the protests.

Edmund Lee contributed reporting.

Opinion | Tom Cotton: Send In the Military

Editors’ Note, June 5, 2020:

After publication, this essay met strong criticism from many readers (and many Times colleagues), prompting editors to review the piece and the editing process. Based on that review, we have concluded that the essay fell short of our standards and should not have been published.

The basic arguments advanced by Senator Cotton — however objectionable people may find them — represent a newsworthy part of the current debate. But given the life-and-death importance of the topic, the senator’s influential position and the gravity of the steps he advocates, the essay should have undergone the highest level of scrutiny. Instead, the editing process was rushed and flawed, and senior editors were not sufficiently involved. While Senator Cotton and his staff cooperated fully in our editing process, the Op-Ed should have been subject to further substantial revisions — as is frequently the case with such essays — or rejected.

For example, the published piece presents as facts assertions about the role of “cadres of left-wing radicals like antifa”; in fact, those allegations have not been substantiated and have been widely questioned. Editors should have sought further corroboration of those assertions, or removed them from the piece. The assertion that police officers “bore the brunt” of the violence is an overstatement that should have been challenged. The essay also includes a reference to a “constitutional duty” that was intended as a paraphrase; it should not have been rendered as a quotation.

Beyond those factual questions, the tone of the essay in places is needlessly harsh and falls short of the thoughtful approach that advances useful debate. Editors should have offered suggestions to address those problems. The headline — which was written by The Times, not Senator Cotton — was incendiary and should not have been used.

Finally, we failed to offer appropriate additional context — either in the text or the presentation — that could have helped readers place Senator Cotton’s views within a larger framework of debate.

This week, rioters have plunged many American cities into anarchy, recalling the widespread violence of the 1960s.

New York City suffered the worst of the riots Monday night, as Mayor Bill de Blasio stood by while Midtown Manhattan descended into lawlessness. Bands of looters roved the streets, smashing and emptying hundreds of businesses. Some even drove exotic cars; the riots were carnivals for the thrill-seeking rich as well as other criminal elements.

Outnumbered police officers, encumbered by feckless politicians, bore the brunt of the violence. In New York State, rioters ran over officers with cars on at least three occasions. In Las Vegas, an officer is in “grave” condition after being shot in the head by a rioter. In St. Louis, four police officers were shot as they attempted to disperse a mob throwing bricks and dumping gasoline; in a separate incident, a 77-year-old retired police captain was shot to death as he tried to stop looters from ransacking a pawnshop. This is “somebody’s granddaddy,” a bystander screamed at the scene.

Some elites have excused this orgy of violence in the spirit of radical chic, calling it an understandable response to the wrongful death of George Floyd. Those excuses are built on a revolting moral equivalence of rioters and looters to peaceful, law-abiding protesters. A majority who seek to protest peacefully shouldn’t be confused with bands of miscreants.

New York Times says senator Tom Cotton’s op-ed did not meet editorial standards | New York Times

The New York Times has issued a mea culpa over the paper’s decision to publish an op-ed by the Republican senator Tom Cotton entitled: “Send in the troops”.

The decision to run the piece, which advocated for the deployment of the military against protesters rallying against police brutality toward black Americans, drew widespread criticism. Dozens of Times journalists voiced their opposition, noting that inciting a heavy-handed response to the protests put black journalists, and people of color more broadly, in danger.

Times publisher AG Sulzberger initially defended the decision, saying the paper was committed to representing “views from across the spectrum”.

James Bennet, the newspaper’s editorial page editor, also defended the piece, saying in an essay on Thursday: “Readers who might be inclined to oppose Cotton’s positions need to be fully aware of it, and reckon with it, if they were to defeat it. To me, debating influential ideas openly, rather than letting them go unchallenged, is far more likely to help society reach the right answers.”

But in a remarkable reversal on Thursday evening, the paper issued a statement saying the piece fell short of its editorial standards.

“We’ve examined the piece and the process leading up to its publication,” said Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman. “This review made clear that a rushed editorial process led to the publication of an op-ed that did not meet our standards. As a result, we’re planning to examine both short-term and long-term changes, to include expanding our fact-checking operation and reducing the number of op-eds we publish.”

The decision follows a substantial backlash by staff members. Many spoke out on Twitter on Wednesday following the initial publication, posting the same message: “Running this puts Black @nytimes staffers in danger.”

“As a black woman, as a journalist, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this,” tweeted Nikole Hannah-Jones, who last month won a Pulitzer prize for her work on The 1619 Project on the legacy of slavery and racial injustice for black Americans.

The New York NewsGuild called the decision to publish Cotton’s piece “an irresponsible choice”, noting that “invoking state violence disproportionately hurts Black and brown people. It also jeopardizes our journalists’ ability to work in the field safely and effectively.”

On Thursday, more than a dozen employees at the Times also called in sick.

In his column, Cotton condemned “nihilist criminals” out for the thrill of destruction and “leftwing radicals” who want to exploit Floyd’s death to create anarchy. “One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers,” he wrote.

Cotton’s op-ed also contained the claim that Antifa had “infiltrated marches”, which has been debunked by Times journalists.

The protest at the newspaper came as staff at the Philadelphia Inquirer also called in sick over the newspaper’s decision to use the headline “Buildings Matter, Too” on an architecture article, a choice considered tone deaf and insensitive to the Black Lives Matter movement. The Inquirer has since apologized for a “horribly wrong” decision.

Features reporter Brandon Bell wrote on Twitter that he was calling in “sick and tired” to work on Thursday. Some 30 members, out of a staff of about 210, skipped work for the same reason, a spokesman said.

Bell was among those who distributed an open letter of protest, saying African American journalists were tired of careless mistakes that make it harder to do their jobs and, at worst, put lives at risk.

“We’re tired of shouldering the burden of dragging this 200-year-old institution kicking and screaming into a more equitable age,” the letter read. “We’re tired of being told to show both sides of issues there are no two sides of.”

New York Times under fire over op-ed urging Trump to ‘send in the troops’ | New York Times

The New York Times’ decision to run an op-ed from the Republican senator Tom Cotton titled “Send in the troops” is drawing widespread criticism, including from Times staff.

In the piece, Cotton called for the use of US military troops to quell civil unrest, and indicated the president would be justified in doing so under the Insurrection Act of 1807.

“It’s past time to support local law enforcement with federal authority,” he wrote on Wednesday.

“One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers. But local law enforcement in some cities desperately needs backup, while delusional politicians in other cities refuse to do what’s necessary to uphold the rule of law.”

Donald Trump, who has called for law and order and encouraged police to use force to quell protests and unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in the custody of Minneapolis police, retweeted Cotton’s op-ed later in the day.

Numerous New York Times employees, however, tweeted that “Running this put Black @nytimes staffers in danger” along with screenshots of Cotton’s piece.

Former staff members also weighed in, including former New York Times editor and current Los Angeles Times editorial page editor Sewell Chan, the former editorial director of NYT Global, Lydia Polgreen, now head of content at Gimlet Media, and the former Times reporter Kendra Pierre-Louis.

I spent some of the happiest and most productive years of my life working for the New York Times. So it is with love and sadness that I say: running this puts Black @nytimes staff – and many, many others – in danger.

— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) June 4, 2020

I probably shouldn’t tweet this. But the first tweet I got in trouble for at the Times was a thread on the role of the media in amplifying white supremacist messaging.

An editor saw the thread and put it in the paper.

The standards editor read it and I was sanctioned.

— Kendra “Gloom is My Beat” Pierre-Louis (@KendraWrites) June 4, 2020

Nikole Hannah-Jones, who writes about racial injustice for the New York Times Magazine and was the creator of the Pulitzer-winning 1619 Project, said that she was “ashamed” of the paper’s decision to publish.

“I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but to not say something would be immoral. As a black woman, as a journalist, as an American, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this,” she tweeted.

I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but to not say something would be immoral. As a black woman, as a journalist, as an American, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this.

— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) June 4, 2020

James Bennett, the editorial page editor at the New York Times, responded to the backlash by posting an explanation on the Times’ decision to run Cotton’s piece:

“The Times editorial board has forcefully defended the protests as patriotic and criticized the use of force, saying earlier today that police too often have responded with more violence – against protesters, journalists and bystanders,” he wrote.

“As part of our explorations of these issues, Times Opinion has published powerful arguments supporting protests, advocating fundamental change and criticizing police abuses. Times Opinion owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments, particularly those made by people in a position to set policy. We understand that many readers find Senator Cotton’s argument painful, even dangerous. We believe that is one reason it requires public scrutiny and debate.”

The Times editorial board has forcefully defended the protests as patriotic and criticized the use of force, saying earlier today that police too often have “responded with more violence — against protesters, journalists and bystanders.”

— James Bennet (@JBennet) June 3, 2020

“No and no and no – you’ve made one too many bad decisions and clearly should not have run this,” answered the New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis.

“I’ve submitted non-fascist opinion pieces to the Times in the past but no luck so maybe this is just sour grapes,” wrote Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii.

I’ve submitted non-fascist opinion pieces to the Times in the past but no luck so maybe this is just sour grapes.

— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) June 4, 2020

It’s not the first time the paper has faced backlash over a controversial op-ed. Earlier this year readers and staff spoke out against a piece published by the columnist Bret Stephens that critics said embraced eugenics.

The New York Times’s Tom Cotton debacle, and the media’s new reality

In January 1939, the Atlantic published an article titled “I Married a Jew.” In it, the author set out “to tell the world how it really is between a Jew and a Christian, since the world is evidently so intensely interested.”

She confesses that her husband, though lovely in many respects, “still has the Jewish hypersensitivity toward all criticism of his race.” She admits that she frequently tries “to see things from the Nazis’ point of view and to find excuses for the things they do,” only to be met by the “hurt confusion of my husband.” She argues that Jews “must make some practical and rational effort to adapt their ways more graciously to the Gentile pattern, since they prefer to live in Gentile lands. ” She confesses that “our hottest argument concerns the question whether there exists such a thing as a Jewish problem.”

This piece makes its way around the internet every so often as a memento from an anti-Semitic time capsule. The appended comment is always along the lines of: Can you believe the Atlantic published that? The unstated, but obvious, corollary, is no reputable outlet — least of all the Atlantic — would publish any such piece today. An editor would read the words “It is only when Ben is surrounded by his family that he lapses into Jewish ways, and then, no doubt, because of his early Jewish training,” DM her colleagues in astonishment, and send the submission to the trash.

There have always been boundaries around acceptable discourse, and the media has always been involved, in a complex and often unacknowledged way, in both enforcing and contesting them. In 1986, the media historian Daniel Hallin argued that journalists treat ideas as belonging to three spheres, each of which is governed by different rules of coverage. There’s the “sphere of consensus,” in which agreement is assumed. There’s the “sphere of deviance,” in which a view is considered universally repugnant, and it need not be entertained. And then, in the middle, is the “sphere of legitimate controversy,” wherein journalists are expected to cover all sides, and op-ed pages to represent all points of view.

Those boundaries, thankfully, change over time. In 1939, the ideas in “I Married a Jew” were in the sphere of legitimate controversy. In 2020, they’re firmly in the sphere of deviance. Those boundaries are changing again now. The difference is that the change — and the conversation behind it — is playing out in public.

The media’s week of reckoning

Last week, the New York Times op-ed section solicited and published an article by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) arguing that the US military should be deployed to “restore order to our streets.” The piece set off an internal revolt at the Times, with staffers coordinating pushback across Twitter, and led to the resignation of James Bennet, the editor of the op-ed section, and the reassignment of Jim Dao, the deputy editor.

That same week, Stan Wischnowski, the top editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, resigned after publishing an article by the paper’s architecture critic titled “Buildings Matter, Too.” David Boardman, the chair of the board that owns the Inquirer, said Wischnowski had done “remarkable” work but “leaves behind some decades-old, deep-seated and vitally important issues around diversity, equity and inclusion, issues that were not of his creation but that will likely benefit from a fresh approach.”

One interpretation of these events, favored by frustrated conservatives, is that a generation of young, woke journalists want to see the media remade along activist lines, while an older generation believes it must cover the news without fear and favor, and reflect, at the very least, the full range of views held by those in power.

“The New York Times motto is ‘all the news that’s fit to print,’” wrote the Times’s Bari Weiss. “One group emphasizes the word ‘all.’ The other, the word ‘fit. ’”

Another interpretation is that the range of acceptable views isn’t narrowing so much as it’s shifting. Two decades ago, an article like Cotton’s could easily be published, an essay arguing for abolishing prisons or police would languish in the submissions pile, and a slogan like “Black Lives Matter” would be controversial. Today, Black Lives Matter is in the sphere of consensus, abolishing prisons is in legitimate controversy, and there’s a fight to move Cotton’s proposal to deploy troops against US citizens into deviance. The idea space is just as large as it’s been in the past — perhaps larger — but it is in flux, and the fight to define its boundaries is more visible.

“Those are political decisions,” says Charles Whitaker, dean of the Medill School of Journalism. “They are absolutely governed by politics — either our desire to highlight certain political views or not highlight them, or to create this impression that we’re just a marketplace of ideas.”

The media is changing because the world is changing

I was a blogger in the early aughts, before I ever imagined becoming a journalist. That was, in retrospect, when the mainstream media began losing control over the conversation, though it was hard to imagine it at the time. In 2005, I was hired at the American Prospect. I went on to spend four years at the Washington Post and then co-found Vox in 2014. Over that time, the media has changed, dramatically, because the world has changed dramatically. Four trends in particular are converging to create the current moment.

First, business models built around secure local advertising monopolies collapsed into the all-against-all war for national, even global, attention that defines digital media. The New York Times, the LA Times, and the Washington Post might have competed for scoops in the ’80s, but they didn’t really compete for subscribers because they were rooted in different places. Now, they do — and they also compete with hundreds of other outlets. An audience that has more choices is an audience that has more power. Outlets are more sensitive to how they’re perceived because the threat of losing readers is very real.

Second, the nationalization of news has changed the nature of the audience. The local business model was predicated on dominating coverage of a certain place; the national business model is about securing the loyalties of a certain kind of person. This has been a particular challenge for the Times, which wants to be the paper of record for everyone but is a particularly central institution for liberals and is often caught in conflict with President Trump and his allies. But it goes far beyond the Times. All publishers are now in a tighter feedback loop with their audience’s interests and perspectives, chasing a more segmented audience, in ways that put more pressure on their own coverage decisions. I’ve written about this transformation at length, and I don’t think its importance can be overstated.

Third, America is in a moment of rapid demographic and generational change. Millennials are now the largest generation, and they are far more diverse and liberal than the generations that preceded them. The oldest millennials are now 40, the youngest 26 — which means they increasingly dominate workplaces, and they are a customer base any healthy business needs. In newsrooms, specifically, they are now numerous enough, senior enough, and powerful enough to make their views heard. And their views on which ideas go into which spheres are different from the generation that preceded them. Their emphasis on a diverse and inclusive workplace is different from the generations that preceded them. That isn’t to deny the existence of leftist boomers or alt-right millennials, but the center of generational gravity is changing, and institutions are changing in response.

“Organizations that have embraced the mantra that they need to diversify have not as quickly realized that diversifying means they have to be a fundamentally different place,” says Jelani Cobb, the Ira A. Lipman professor at the Columbia Journalism School and a staff writer at the New Yorker. “If you want to bring in different perspectives, you’ll have a different culture and different environment that will lead you to make different decisions.

Fourth, the rise of social media empowered not just the audience but, crucially, individual journalists, who now have the capacity to question their employer publicly, and alchemize staff and public discontent into a public crisis that publishers can’t ignore. Almost as important is the existence of internal communication channels like Slack that create spaces where staffers can easily communicate and coordinate.

“Reporters aren’t shut down by their bosses who say, ‘These are our standards, this is how it’ll be done,’” says Whitaker. “They have a whole other platform on which to continue that discussion, rally troops. That’s throwing everyone for a loop.”

It’s also forcing conversations and debates that would have once remained private into the public. There’s nothing new about generational and technological upheaval transforming the news — Matt Pressman’s On Press: The Liberal Values That Shaped the News is an excellent account of this dynamic in a past generation — but it used to be a quieter process, with debate contained inside newsrooms and change happening through retirement and recruitment. Now it happens, at least in moments of rupture, in public.

The media prefers to change in private. Now it’s changing in public.

The news media likes to pretend that it simply holds up a mirror to America as it is. We don’t want to be seen as actors crafting the political debate, agents who make decisions that shape the boundaries of the national discourse. We are, of course. We always have been.

“When you think in terms of these three spheres — sphere of consensus, of legitimate debate, and of deviancy — a new way of describing the role for journalism emerges, which is: They police what goes in which sphere,” says Jay Rosen, who teaches journalism at NYU. “That’s an ideological action they never took responsibility for, never really admitted they did, never had a language for talking about.”

It’s interesting to imagine what would’ve happened if the Times had simply never solicited Cotton’s op-ed, or if he had submitted it and they had passed. The answer, quite clearly, is nothing. That would have been perfectly normal. It’s because the op-ed was reclassified as deviant after its publication, through a semi-public process, that it’s become such a flashpoint. It made visible a process that is often invisible, and it turns out that process is messy and contested.

Trump has sharpened the contradictions here. He and his allies operate in ways that are fundamentally opposed to the basic values that animate newsrooms. This has long caused newsrooms trouble — consider the endless effort to find euphemisms for the word “lying” when describing the president’s comments in headlines. With Cotton’s op-ed, the decision that ultimately got made pushed the views held by the president of the United States and most of his supporters into a sphere of deviance — or maybe a more modern term would be “deplorability.” That is not the kind of choice news outlets are comfortable making.

One of the central instabilities of the era is that media and cultural power runs 10 years ahead of demography, and political power 10 years behind. Donald Trump and the Republican Party hold power because our system of government empowers an older, whiter, more reactionary minority to wield majority political power through the structure of the Electoral College, the design of the Senate, and the lifetime appointments of the Supreme Court. But they feel locked out of cultural and media power, which is disproportionately urban, diverse, and focused on serving the rising generation of consumers and tastemakers.

You see that collision here. Both sides feel the other is illegitimate, that they’re misusing their power and betraying the values of the institutions they control. In truth, they’re fighting over those values, over the boundaries of the debate, and the differences have become sharp enough to force institutions to pick a side. That’s new, particularly for the institutions that used to be able to straddle, and even define, the divides. But it reflects changes that have been reshaping the country for decades.

“The Times used to be the ecosystem,” says Cobb, “and now the Times is in an ecosystem, and it’s vulnerable to what happens there.

The New York Times Tom Cotton op-ed: Why the media must defend American values

Last week, the New York Times editorial page published an op-ed by Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton calling for a wide-scale military crackdown on riots and looting that broke out on the periphery of protests against police brutality.

It immediately caused an uproar both inside and outside the Times, as covered in the Times itself, the Washington Post, Slate, and here at Vox by my colleague Zack Beauchamp. That was followed by a plaintive editorial from the head of the Times opinion page, James Bennet, attempting to explain the decision to run the piece, then an official apology from Times editors, and then, on Sunday, Bennet’s resignation.

In his excellent explainer on what happened and the history of tensions between the Times opinion and news sides, Beauchamp asks some questions that I want to pull out and mull over. They get at a core dilemma facing political media in the Trump era.

“Does every idea that’s popular in power, no matter how poorly considered, deserve some kind of respectful airing in mainstream publications?” he asks. “Or are there boundaries, both of quality of argument and moral decency, where editors need to draw the line — especially in the Trump era?”

There clearly are boundaries. The Times would not publish an op-ed advocating for a return to chattel slavery in the US. Presumably no mainstream US publication would. If it was found that a US senator (or a group of them) believed in the return of slavery, the Times would not give the senator space to make his case in the op-ed section. It would assign reporters to cover the story, like a scandal.

That slavery is abhorrent is taken as a background assumption informing coverage, not a subject of legitimate debate in which both sides deserve a hearing.

So the question is where are the boundaries and, just as importantly, who draws them? Who decides what is in bounds and out of bounds? Is it the press’s job to draw those lines and defend those boundaries?

These questions are at the heart of the Cotton affair, and they have haunted all of journalism since Donald Trump became president.

“The pace of looting and disorder may fluctuate from night to night, but it’s past time to support local law enforcement with federal authority,” Sen. Tom Cotton argued in his op-ed.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

I’ll argue in this post that Cotton’s op-ed doesn’t meet the Times’s standards, not only because it contains inaccuracies but because it reflects a worldview incompatible with the baseline small-l liberal values that make the Times’s work, and journalism generally, possible.

That doesn’t just pose problems for the opinion side of the news business; it’s an even bigger challenge for the news side, which has been habituated to a notion of “objectivity” that makes telling the real story impossible.

The movement Trump represents, of which Cotton is an aspiring leader, has drifted into a racialized authoritarianism that is increasingly incompatible with liberal democracy. And because it is part of the core purpose of journalism to defend liberal democracy, that is the story it should tell.

Cotton’s perspective is based on error

In an email to Times staff, publisher A.G. Sulzberger explained how the Times decides what pieces to run: “We don’t publish just any argument,” he said, “they need to be accurate, good faith explorations of the issues of the day.”

Cotton’s op-ed did not meet either standard, accuracy or good faith.

First, accuracy. Cotton described the anti-police brutality protests, and specifically the rioting, as “nihilist criminals … simply out for loot and the thrill of destruction, with cadres of left-wing radicals like antifa infiltrating protest marches to exploit Floyd’s death for their own anarchic purposes.”

The Times’s own reporters looked into the rumor of widespread involvement in the protests of antifa, the quasi-anarchist, loosely organized leftist anti-fascist movement. Though dozens of Republicans have advanced that rumor as fact, the Times found it a piece of “protest misinformation” spread deliberately on social media.

Cotton overwhelmingly ascribes the scattered violence of the first few nights to rioters, listing every instance of a police officer being hurt, but does not mention any of the more numerous cases of injured protesters (and journalists). There are dozens upon dozens of videos from the last week showing police using rubber bullets, stun grenades, truncheons, and tear gas, without cause, on unarmed protesters. It is police, over and over again, turning protests into violent clashes, acting not as peacekeepers but, as Vox’s Anna North and Catherine Kim put it, as “counterprotesters.”

Cotton asserts that “one thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain, and ultimately deter lawbreakers.” But aggressive, heavily armed police have only exacerbated the violence. What seems to have reduced it in the past few nights is the drawdown in police presence (along with pleas for peace from figures such as Killer Mike). Sending in more heavily armed law enforcement geared up for hostile crowd control would almost certainly spark more violence, not less.

Meanwhile, as Maggie Koerth and Jamiles Lartey write for FiveThirtyEight, several cities and police forces have demonstrated that dialogue and deescalation work to avoid violence.

“There’s this failed mindset of ‘if we show force, immediately we will deter criminal activity or unruly activity’, and show me where that has worked,” Scott Thomson, the former chief of police in Camden, New Jersey, told them.

Cotton is simply wrong about the level of violence, who is causing it, and what would work to end it. The op-ed is now topped with an editor’s note noting some of the inaccuracies.

Democratic institutions, including journalism, assume a level of good faith

The Times editors seem to have more trouble with the other part of Sulzberger’s requirements: “good faith.” The best they can bring themselves to say in the note above the piece is that “the tone of [Cotton’s] essay in places is needlessly harsh and falls short of the thoughtful approach that advances useful debate.”

The tone? Really?

Sulzberger and Bennet fashion themselves old-school, small-l liberals, devoted to an open marketplace of ideas where a range of differing views can be heard. Bennet in particular emphasized challenging the Times’s liberal readers (often with disastrous results, as Beauchamp reports), but that has been a goal of the editorial page from the beginning.

The small-l liberal model is roughly as follows: Certain shared values and rules, enshrined in America’s founding documents and developed in its social and legal traditions, define the small-d democratic playing field. Values like respect for accuracy and shared facts, devotion to equality under law and democratic participation, and opposition to unlawful power are necessary to create a level playing field, but on that field, ideas about government and issues of the day should compete on merit. The more speech the better; let the best speech win. (Obviously I’m describing the liberal ideal, never actually reached in practice, either journalistically or politically.)

To act with good faith in this model is to accept those shared values, rules, and norms and agree to compete within the boundaries of the playing field — to play by the rules. The marketplace of ideas only works if it is open to any idea that conforms to those rules and closed to ideas that reject them.

Here’s the thing, though. While Cotton very deftly exploited the liberal tolerance that Sulzberger and Bennet are so proud of to get his piece published, he does not share that tolerance. The movement he represents — he is often identified as the “future of Trumpism” — is ethnocentric and authoritarian. It is about maintaining the power and status of rural and suburban white people, even as they dwindle demographically, by allying with large corporate interests and using the levers of government to entrench minority rule.

Such a movement is incommensurate with the shared premises that small-l liberals take for granted. Minority rule is incompatible with full democratic participation. A revanchist movement meant to restore power to a privileged herrenvolk cannot abide shared standards of accuracy or conduct. Will to power takes precedent over any principle.

By Sulzberger’s standard, the GOP is not acting, and cannot act, in good faith.

I’ve written about the Republican Party’s decline in more detail here and here (and of course literature on the subject is voluminous, including an excellent book by one Ezra Klein), but for now it is enough simply to note that the party has remained steadfastly and obsequiously supportive of Donald Trump, whose hostility to small-l liberal values is, at this point, unmistakably clear.

There is no way to square support for Trump with the respect for accuracy and good faith that are the Times’s minimal standards, because support for Trump means support for an ever-shifting set of rationales and conspiracy theories reverse-engineered to serve a will to power.

There is no Trumpism but Trump

A few days before Cotton’s op-ed ran, Attorney General Bill Barr personally instructed federal troops to clear Lafayette Square near the White House so that the president could hold a photo-op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Around half an hour before the city’s stated curfew, federal agents used tear gas and rubber bullets to drive peaceful protesters out. Among those driven away by the gas were clergy from the church itself, who said they were never notified the president was coming and later expressed horror at how the church was used.

Trump tromped in, held up a Bible for the cameras, and tromped back to the White House.

It was pure authoritarian theater, gassing protesters so he could signal to his white evangelical base that he is still on their side.

Around the same time that Trump began to address the country, federal law enforcement officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear out peaceful protesters in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church.Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Several minutes later, Trump emerged from the White House to have his photo op in front of St. John’s.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump was joined by (from left) Defense Secretary Mark Esper Attorney General Bill Barr, White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.Patrick Semansky/AP

The Right Rev. Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop for Washington, DC, condemned President Trump shortly after law enforcement officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a peaceful protest.Roberto Schimdt/AFP via Getty Images

Trump has made no secret of his feelings toward protests and law enforcement generally. He once told Breitbart, “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump — I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

He has advocated for the failed and racist “stop and frisk” policy to be expanded to new cities and called Democrats “anti-police.” He removed Obama-imposed limits on military equipment sold to police, encouraged police brutality, told states to “dominate” protesters, threatened protesters with “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons,” and tweeted, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” a prominent segregationist rallying cry from the civil rights era. He wanted to deploy 10,000 active-duty American soldiers to US cities to quell domestic protests and considered firing his secretary of defense, Mark Esper, when Esper resisted.

All this comes in the context of a long history of lurching authoritarianism. The first thing Trump did on entering office is flout the longstanding US tradition of presidents separating from their personal financial interests while in office. His business interests are still mixed up in affairs of state in ways no one fully understands, and his administration is openly deferential toward sectors of the economy that pledge loyalty to him.

He has completely shut down congressional oversight and is currently engaged in a purge of inspectors general, the independent watchdogs within government agencies. One of those IGs, at the State Department, was in the final stages of an investigation into whether some of Trump’s arms deals with the Saudis were legal.

He has pushed for loyalty tests at the FBI, the State Department, and the Department of the Interior, put immigrant kids in cages, used state power to force international allies to launch bogus investigations of his political opponents, and flouted impeachment despite compelling evidence of his guilt. He voiced support for the armed mob of right-wing protesters that stormed the Michigan legislature.

He has waged relentless war on independent journalism, called journalists enemies of the people, threatened to sue journalists, and denounced or threatened any media platform that fact-checks him.

Throughout it all, he lies, lies, lies — 18,000 times during his presidency, as of April. There is no discernible set of principles or governing philosophy at work, only Trump’s day-to-day impulses as he watches Fox News, stews in the residency, and tweets.

Trumpism, if there is such a thing, is a shameless disregard for norms and laws in service of a will to power. It runs on demands for loyalty, disregard of oversight, and devotion to dominating and humiliating opponents.

Yet the GOP has supported him, enabled him, and protected him from accountability, right up to voting him free of impeachment, covering for his disastrous coronavirus response, and echoing his calls for state violence. The party has followed his every impulse.

The GOP has made a devil’s bargain with Trump. They will overlook his rhetorical incontinence, disastrous incompetence, nepotistic corruption, and authoritarianism as long as he protects his corporate sponsors and wages a culture war on behalf of rural and suburban whites.

That’s why he’s going around shouting “LAW & ORDER!” He means “law and order” the way Nixon meant it, as Chris Hayes has described: as a dog whistle to refer to state repression of the “other” — immigrants, deviants, hippies, antifa, gangs, “nihilist criminals simply out for loot and the thrill of destruction,” and always, always people of color, especially black people. It is black people who will bear the brunt of the military crackdown Trump and Cotton envision.

President Trump, surrounded by his top advisers, speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden on June 5.Evan Vucci/AP

Racist authoritarianism is at the core of Trump’s movement. It cannot be truthful or democratic, because neither the facts nor a majority of Americans support it. It cannot engage in good-faith argument, because good-faith debate, like democratic liberalism itself, is premised on values that transcend partisan advantage, and the GOP no longer feels bound by any such principles.

What it has to offer is not “accurate, good faith explorations of the issues of the day,” but what is found in Cotton’s op-ed: paranoid domination porn about state violence visited on political enemies, meant to whip up authoritarian sentiment.

Should the New York Times play a role in channeling those sentiments to its readers? On the opinion side, the answer seems easy — no — but on the news side, matters are more complicated.

Journalistic objectivity looks different from the outside

There has been endless debate about how the press should deal with Trump and Trumpism. Few people seem to think it is doing very well.

The problem is not that the Times and other mainstream outlets aren’t publishing lots of true and important stories. The problem is that they don’t seem to be naming the rise of racialized authoritarianism, which is a very different thing.

Complaints about this come in various forms, that the press is “normalizing” Trump by downplaying the extremity of his actions, or that “both sides” journalism is presenting racist authoritarianism as a legitimate political stance.

If a journalist makes the baseline assumption that a political act or expression was undertaken in good faith — as part of a contest held within the boundaries of democratic liberalism and its assumptions — then she will attempt to remain neutral, presenting it and its critics as equivalent positions in an open political dispute.

Over years of relentless “working the refs,” bullying reporters and editors for more favorable coverage, conservatives have convinced journalists that the initial assumption of good faith is what it means to practice journalistic objectivity. One must accept every new claim as though recently dispatched from the turnip truck.

Republicans are throwing democracy overboard, suppressing minority votes, and working to ensure that the November elections are as chaotic as possible

What would it mean to behave differently? Think of foreign correspondents, dispatched to other countries to cover politics. They are skeptical of everyone and, ideally, objective in a way only an outsider can be.

But that objectivity does not result in an equal measure of good faith extended to everyone, or an equal measure of positive and negative coverage for all parties. Why would it? That’s not objectivity, that’s a very rigidly proscribed subjectivity, an imposition of symmetry on social dynamics that are rarely symmetrical. Indeed, it is precisely the objectivity of the foreign correspondent that allows her to learn from experience, identify those who are and aren’t abusing power, and call out guilty parties without fear or favor.

What would a foreign correspondent think? Let’s ask her. Here’s Amelia Brace, an Australian reporter who was covering the protests in Lafayette Square. Though she identified herself to police as a journalist, she, along with her camera operator, was attacked and beaten by them as they cleared the way for Trump’s photo-op.

“I’ve been in protests just as serious as that, but I’ve never, ever seen police behave that way, not just to the media but to the protesters on the street,” she told the Times. “If we’re getting attacked, it’s just another part of democracy falling down here.”

Democracy is falling down here. The president’s party is no longer committed to it, at least not at the expense of white minority rule. As the two come into conflict, Republicans are throwing democracy overboard, suppressing minority votes, and working to ensure that the November elections are as chaotic as possible.

The GOP today is acting in bad faith. To any foreign correspondent, it is obvious. They have seen right-wing strongmen use resentment and violence to turn democracies into autocracies. They know there are far-right parties across the world’s developed democracies that would do the same if they could. It is a familiar story, and it is playing out in almost caricatured fashion in the US today.

Journalism in an era of bad faith

The rise of right-wing authoritarianism is the headline story of US politics, but the domestic mainstream media is prevented by its own anachronistic habits and norms from telling it.

That’s because US journalists, under the funhouse-mirror version of objectivity that dominates mainstream media, are not allowed to learn anything about Republicans. Failing to extend the presumption of good faith to people who have betrayed it repeatedly for decades is “bias.” Covering too many of one side’s lies without ginning up some sort of equivalent negative coverage for the other side is “bias.”

Because journalists must encounter each episode anew, free of assumptions, Trump is forever allowed to set the pace. He does or says something unhinged, and as the marketplace-of-ideas fact-checkers scurry to correct the record, he does or says something else unhinged. He is always the protagonist, with “critics” trailing in his wake like a Greek chorus.

From kids in cages to migrant “invasions” to impeachment to coronavirus to racist police violence, the news is coming at everyone too fast, one gut punch after another, with no time to regain our senses. Even if the media reports on all of it accurately, it’s wildly difficult for the average half-tuned-in media consumer to figure out WTF is going on — what it all means.

The media has largely failed to convey that all these episodes are part of the same drama: a major political party’s escalating attempts to entrench a durable autocratic regime.

(Times media reporter Ben Smith has a story about how this very critique is breaking out in national newsrooms among a new generation of reporters. Ex-Times ombudsman Margaret Sullivan has a great column on the same issues.)

Why isn’t the Times covering rising GOP authoritarianism as a scandal rather than yet another partisan disagreement? Why doesn’t the publication consider it out of bounds, beyond the boundaries of good-faith dispute within a democracy?

President Trump walks with Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley, and others from the White House to visit St. John’s Church after the area was cleared of people protesting with tear gass and rubber bullets.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Secret Service in riot gear stand guard while President Trump stands in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo.Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Times editors might say the very fact that authoritarianism is a reasonably popular position (estimates put the hardcore Trump-loving GOP base at around 20 percent of the country) puts it in bounds. But that is tantamount to saying that there are no boundaries at all, that America is whatever the loudest and most powerful voices say it is, that any political movement is, from the perspective of the objective journalist, as good or bad as any other.

It is tantamount to saying that journalism requires neutrality in any conceivable political debate, that there are no values, norms, assumptions, or practices that the media should actively defend and advocate for, as an institution.

Press critic Jay Rosen of NYU took on this dysfunctional notion of objectivity recently in a column about how the press should deal with Trump. His message was simple, captured in his headline: “You cannot keep from getting swept up in Trump’s agenda without a firm grasp on your own.”

The media must begin to assert some agency over the stories it covers and how it covers them, based on its own values. In discussing journalistic objectivity, Rosen agrees that the media’s work should not be politicized, i.e., produced expressly to help one party/candidate or another.

On the other hand, he says, media cannot help but be political. Modern journalism was meant to play a political role, to expose the truth and hold politicians accountable to the small-l liberal values that make liberal democracy possible. It cannot remain neutral when those values are under threat. Like other institutions — science, the academy, and the US government itself — its very purpose is to both exemplify and defend those values. Its work is impossible without them.

The press should always be fair in the application of its values and standards, but doing so will mean making clear when there is an asymmetry.

The Democratic Party is basically an amalgam of center-left and left parties familiar in other advanced democracies. It has a fairly normal distribution of opinion, a normal level of infighting and incompetence — it is, in the grand scheme of advanced democracies, a normal political party.

The Republican Party has drifted further right than any major party in the democratic world and descended into a paranoid fantasia, shielding an aspiring autocrat from accountability and echoing his calls for loyalty tests and military crackdowns.

The American public, by and large, does not understand this asymmetry and its implications. They do not understand that right-wing authoritarianism is perilously close to toppling US democracy because they are not able to pick that signal out of the noise of daily “balanced” news coverage, wherein everything is just another competing claim, just another good-faith argument to hash out through competing op-eds.

The signal is too faint. Some high-profile Republicans are trying to boost it, pledging not to vote for Trump. Longtime public servant James Miller tried to boost it by resigning from the Defense Department in the wake of Trump’s photo-op stunt. Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and former Chief of Staff John Kelly are trying to boost it. Hell, even Taylor Swift is doing her part.

But it is the media’s responsibility above all. It must sound the alarm, if only to defend the conditions that make it possible. The journalists injured and arrested so far would not be the last in Tom Cotton’s America.

Even in the face of the inevitable pressure campaign from the right, even amid an information environment choked with conspiracies and nonsense, the press must boost that signal — it must tell the real story of what’s going on — before it is too late.

NYT opinion editor resigns after outrage over Tom Cotton op-ed

Bennet added in the Sunday statement: “The journalism of Times Opinion has never mattered more than in this time of crisis at home and around the world, and I’ve been honored to be part of it. I’m so proud of the work my colleagues and I have done to focus attention on injustice and threats to freedom and to enrich debate about the right path forward by bringing new voices and ideas to Times readers.”

His resignation comes as hundreds of thousands of people have protested police brutality across the country, angered by the death of George Floyd — and black Americans before him — at the hands of white police officers. Much of these protests have been peaceful, though there have been some riots and looting. Increased military and police presence at demonstrations have also heightened tensions, leading to some clashes and videos of law enforcement using excessive force.

Developing News on Nationwide Protests

The Wednesday opinion piece by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), titled “Send the Troops In,” advocated for deploying the military for riots. The senator described looting in New York City as “carnivals for the thrill-seeking rich as well as other criminal elements,” and wrote that leftist antifa movement had infiltrated protest marches — which an earlier Times article had called misinformation.

The column immediately drew backlash, with dozens of Times journalists voicing their opposition, tweeting the headline, caption and a form of the phrase “Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger.”

Nikole Hannah-Jones, who recently won a Pulitzer prize for the 1619 Project, which examines the legacy of slavery in America, tweeted: “I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but to not say something would be immoral. As a black woman, as a journalist, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this.”

Both Sulzberger and Bennet first defended the decision to run the column. Bennet wrote in an essay that “debating influential ideas openly, rather than letting them go unchallenged, is far more likely to help society reach the right answers.”

But on Thursday evening, the Times reversed itself and said the column had not met editorial standards. The Times reported that Bennet said in a meeting with staff members that he had not read the essay before it was published. And the paper added an editor’s note to the top of the original column.

“We’ve examined the piece and the process leading up to its publication,” said Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman. “This review made clear that a rushed editorial process led to the publication of an op-ed that did not meet our standards. As a result, we’re planning to examine both short-term and long-term changes, to include expanding our fact-checking operation and reducing the number of op-eds we publish.”

The Daily Beast reported that top editors apologized to Times staff in a long, tense internal meeting, acknowledging that Cotton had been invited to write the column. Bennet said he was sorry for “the pain that this particular piece has caused.”

President Donald Trump quickly weighed in on Bennet’s resignation.

“Opinion Editor at @nytimes just walked out,” he wrote on Twitter. “That’s right, he quit over the excellent Op-Ed penned by our great Senator @TomCottonAR. TRANSPARENCY! The State of Arkansas is very proud of Tom. The New York Times is Fake News!!!”

Opinion Editor at @nytimes just walked out. That’s right, he quit over the excellent Op-Ed penned by our great Senator @TomCottonAR. TRANSPARENCY! The State of Arkansas is very proud of Tom. The New York Times is Fake News!!!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2020

A short while later, Cotton retweeted the president and took offense at media headlines asserting that he had called for military force against protesters.

“This is false and offensive,” he tweeted. “I called for using military force as a backup — only if police are overwhelmed — to stop riots, not to be used against protesters. If @nytimes has any decency left, they should retract this smear.“

Cotton indeed drew a clear delineation in his op-ed, condemning what he called “a revolting moral equivalence” among liberals “of rioters and looters to peaceful, law-abiding protesters.” But elsewhere in his essay, Cotton pointed to public polling that showed a majority of registered voters “would support cities’ calling in the military to ‘address protests and demonstrations’ that are in ‘response to the death of George Floyd.’”

Bennet, who previously served as editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, was rumored to be a candidate to run The Times after Executive Editor Dean Baquet stepped down.

The Sunday announcement from the Times came a day after Stan Wischnowski, the top editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, said he would resign following criticism for publishing the headline “Buildings Matter, Too” as civil unrest grew over George Floyd’s death. The controversy led to a public apology, and dozens of the paper’s journalists of color called in “sick and tired of not being heard.”

More media companies are reckoning with former and current employees voicing their disapproval of leadership and internal structures they say have harmed journalists of color. On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had been accused of barring two journalists from covering anti-racism protests because they were seen as biased for being black.

CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to clarify the distinction Sen. Tom Cotton outlined in his op-ed between protesters and rioters.

90,000 The history of the emergence of fabrics – article from the company KARIGUZ

Tissue history

One of the oldest textile materials was the hides of slaughtered animals. They perfectly protected from the cold and served ancient people as clothing, carpet, sleeping place and doors. There are 4 natural fibers that humans cultivated in antiquity, but still produces them. These are linen, cotton, silk and wool. Over time, people have moved from manual to automated processing, although the general meaning has remained the same.


Flax was the first fiber that humans cultivated. Scientists discovered that as early as the 8th millennium BC, humans were producing flax fibers using primitive tools. It was grown and spun in many states of the ancient world. In ancient Greece and Rome, flax was considered a symbol of fidelity and purity. Linen fabrics were also woven in Ancient Egypt. Egyptian flax was famous throughout the ancient world. One of the varieties of Egyptian linen was fine linen, a very thin linen fabric.This fabric was very precious and was even considered a symbol of power. It was discovered that Egyptian fine linen was used in mummification in royal burials. Linen was woven on horizontal looms. After spinning, the fabric was stretched in a special way. The quality of the linen was determined by how well the fabric was made to stretch. After stretching, the linen fabric was bleached in the sun. The final finishing was already out of necessity: the fabric was polished and pleated, embroidered with threads, beads and gold.


Another ancient fiber cultivated by man was wool. It was used along with linen fabrics. Wool was produced already in the 4th millennium BC. Woolen fabrics were spun in every household in Ancient Babylon. They were dyed purple. They were very expensive and only very noble persons could afford them. the fabric was dyed with a dye obtained from the bodies of special mollusks, and in order to obtain one gram of dye, ten thousand mollusks had to be processed.Woolen fabrics were produced in India, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rus. They were used for clothes and interior decoration in the form of curtains located in doorways. In Russia, women’s clothes and wedding shirts for men were sewn from thin cloths.


The first mention of cotton dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. Then cotton began to be produced in India. It was from India that Alexander the Great brought colorful printed cotton fabrics.Thereafter, cotton fabrics spread throughout the Mediterranean. The finest cotton muslins were produced in Rome. And the ancient Greeks called cotton “wood wool”.


The homeland of silk is China, it appeared there in the III – II millennium BC. There are many legends about its origin, according to one of them the Chinese empress Heng Ling-Chi accidentally dropped a silkworm cocoon into hot water. Then he began to unfold in the finest threads. Since then, silkworm breeding began.For a long time, other countries could not discover the secret of the production of Chinese silks. They thought that silk was a tissue of plant origin, that it was produced by huge beetles, that silk came from the very land of China.

Each era made its own adjustments in the production of fabrics: the methods of finishing and weaving changed, manual labor was replaced by automated, but something remained unchanged. To this day, these ancient fabrics are very common in our daily life – we sew clothes from them, decorate interiors, use them for industrial needs, taking their existence for granted.Perhaps we should be more attentive to the world around us and things, often remembering the great work that our ancestors put into our prosperous future.

10 unexpected inventions of the First World War

  • Stephen Evans,
  • BBC, Berlin

Photo author, Reuters

Photo caption,

For Over the past hundred years, wristwatches have undergone a noticeable evolution.

The First World War presented mankind with a number of unexpected inventions that have nothing to do with the military industry. Today we recall only a few of them that have become a part of everyday life and have radically changed our lifestyle.

1. Sanitary napkins

The history of this household item, which has become familiar to women for a long time, is associated with the appearance of cellucotone or cellulose wool – a material with a very high absorption rate. And specialists of the then small American company Kimberly-Clark began to produce it even before the start of the First World War.

Head of Research Ernst Mahler and Vice President James Kimberley toured pulp and paper mills in Germany, Austria and the Scandinavian countries in 1914. There they noticed a material that absorbed moisture five times faster and cost producers half the price of cotton.

Kimberly and Mahler took samples of cellulose wool with them to America, where they registered a new trademark. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Kimberly-Clark began producing dressings at a speed of 100-150 meters per minute.

However, the Red Cross nurses who bandaged the wounded and appreciated the new dressing material began to use it in a different capacity. This misuse of cellucotone became the basis for the company’s prosperity.

“After the end of the war in 1918, the production of dressings had to be suspended, since the main consumers – the army and the Red Cross – no longer needed them,” – the current representatives of the company say.

Almost 100 years ago, enterprising businessmen at Kimberly-Clark bought up leftover cellulose wool from the military and created a new product and a new market.

After two years of intensive research, experimentation and marketing, the company has produced a sanitary napkin with 40 thin layers of cellulose wool wrapped in gauze.

In 1920, in a small wooden shed in Nina, Wisconsin, pads were mass-produced, which were handcrafted by female workers.

The new product was dubbed Kotex (short for cotton texture). He entered the shelves in October 1920, about two years after the signing of the armistice agreement.

2. … and paper handkerchiefs

It was not so easy to advertise sanitary pads, because it was simply indecent to talk out loud about the menstrual cycle then, besides, women were embarrassed to buy them from male sellers.

The company agreed with the pharmacies that sold the pads of this brand to display two boxes at the checkout. From one woman took a package with pads, put 50 cents in another, but if these boxes were not observed at the checkout, then she could simply say the word “Kotex”.It sounded like a password, and the seller immediately knew what was needed.

Gradually the new product gained popularity, but not as quickly as Kimberly-Clark would have liked. It was necessary to look for a new application for this remarkable material.

In the early 1920s, one of the company’s employees, Bert Furness, had the idea to refine the cellulose under a hot iron, which made its surface smooth and soft. In 1924, after a series of experiments, facial wipes were born, which were named Kleenex.

3. Quartz lamp

In the winter of 1918, about half of all children in Berlin suffered from rickets, one of the symptoms of which is bone deformities.

The causes of this illness were unknown at the time. It was assumed that this had something to do with poverty.

Photo author, Getty

Photo caption,

The healing effect of ultraviolet baths – the discovery of Dr. Guldchinsky

Berlin doctor Kurt Guldchinsky noticed that many of his patients with rickets were very pale, without any sunburn.He decided to conduct an experiment on four patients, including a three-year-old boy. All that is now known about this child is that his name was Arthur.

Kurt Guldchinsky began to irradiate this group of patients with ultraviolet rays from mercury-quartz lamps. After several sessions, the doctor discovered that the children’s skeletal system began to strengthen.

In May 1919, with the onset of the summer season, he began to sunbathe the children. The results of his experiments caused great resonance.

All over Germany, children were seated in front of quartz lamps. Where lamps were in short supply, as in Dresden, for example, even lamps removed by social workers from street lamps were used.

Later, scientists found that UV lamps promote the production of vitamin D, which is actively involved in the synthesis and absorption of calcium by the body. Calcium, in turn, is needed for the development and strengthening of bones, teeth, hair and nails.

So the treatment of malnourished children during the war years led to a very useful discovery about the benefits of ultraviolet rays.

4. Summer time

The idea of ​​moving the hands one hour forward in the spring and one hour back in the fall existed even before the start of the First World War.

Benjamin Franklin presented it in a letter to the Paris Journal back in 1784. “Since people do not go to bed at sunset, the candles have to be wasted,” the politician wrote. “But in the morning the sunlight is wasted, because people wake up later than the sun rises.”

Similar proposals were made in New Zealand in 1895 and in Great Britain in 1909.However, they led nowhere.

The First World War contributed to the realization of this idea.

There was a shortage of coal in Germany. On April 30, 1916, the authorities of this country issued a decree according to which the hands of the clock were moved from 23:00 pm to 24:00. The next morning, everyone had to wake up, thus, an hour earlier, saving an hour of daylight hours.

The German experience quickly migrated to other countries. In Britain daylight saving time switched on May 21, 1916, followed by other European countries.On March 19, 1918, the United States Congress established multiple time zones and introduced daylight saving time from March 31 until the end of World War I.

After the conclusion of the truce, daylight saving time was canceled, but the idea of ​​saving daylight hours remained waiting for better times, and, as we know, these times eventually came.

5. Tea bags

The tea bag does not owe its origin to wartime problems. It is believed that tea in small bags was first sent to customers by an American tea merchant in 1908.

Photo author, PA

Photo caption,

The soldiers of the First World War called tea in a bag a “tea bomb”

Someone from the fans of this drink dropped or dipped such a bag into a cup of boiling water, initiating a very convenient and fast brewing method tea. So, at least, representatives of the tea business say.

During the First World War, the German company Teekanne remembered this idea and began to supply tea bags to the troops. The soldiers called them “tea bombs”.

6. Wristwatch

It is not true that a wristwatch was invented especially for military personnel during the First World War. However, it is certain that during these years the number of men who wore watches increased many times.

Already after the war, wristwatches became a common attribute by which time was checked.

However, at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, any man who lived in prosperity did this with the help of a pocket watch on a chain.

Women were pioneers in this regard – Queen Elizabeth I, for example, had a small watch that she could wear on her wrist if needed.

But for the participants of the First World War, timing became an increasingly important problem, especially when it was necessary to synchronize mass demonstrations or artillery shelling.

A watch appeared that left both hands of a soldier free, that is, a wristwatch. They were also convenient for aviators. So a pocket watch on a solid chain, one might say, has sunk into oblivion.

During the Boer Wars, Mappin and Webb produced a wrist watch with lugs through which a strap could be threaded.Later, this company, not without pride, declared that its products were very useful during the Battle of Omdurman – the general battle of the Second Anglo-Sudanese War.

But it was the First World War that made wristwatches an everyday necessity. It was especially important to coordinate the actions of different units during the creation of an artillery fire curtain – that is, ground artillery fire before the infantry attack. A mistake in a few minutes could cost many of the lives of its own soldiers.

The distances between the various positions were too great to use signals, there was too little time to transmit them, and it would be unwise to do this in front of the enemy. So the wristwatch was a great way out of the situation.

The H. Williamson company, which produced the so-called trench watch in Coventry, reported in its 1916 report: “It is known that already one in four soldiers has a wristwatch, and the remaining three will get one at the earliest opportunity.”

Some brands of wrist watches, which have become a symbol of luxury and prestige, date back to the First World War. The Tank model by Cartier was introduced in 1917 by the French craftsman Louis Cartier, who created this watch inspired by the shape of the new Renault tanks.

7. Vegetarian sausages

If you think soy sausages were born somewhere in the mid-1960s in California thanks to some hippies, you are wrong.

Soy sausages were invented by Konrad Adenauer, the first chancellor of post-war Germany.This food product has become a symbol of endurance and conscientiousness – it would be too cruel to say that the taste of sausages left much to be desired.

During World War I, Adenauer was the mayor of Cologne, whose inhabitants were starving due to the British blockade.

Possessing a lively mind and talent as an inventor, Adenauer began to look for products that could replace bread and meat in the diet of the townspeople.

He started with a bread roll recipe that used barley, rice and corn flour instead of wheat flour.It turned out to be quite edible until Romania entered the war and the supply of cornmeal came to an end.

From experimental bread, the mayor moved on to experimental sausages. He suggested using soy instead of meat. His work began to be called “sausages of the world” or “Cologne sausage”. Adenauer decided to patent his recipe, but the Reich Patent Office refused him.

It turns out that when it came to sausages and sausages, the rules of Germany were very strict – to be called such, these products had to contain meat.In short, no meat – no sausages.

It may seem strange, but Adenauer was more fortunate in this regard with the enemy of Germany: the British King George V granted him a patent for soy sausage on June 26, 1918.

Later, Adenauer invented the “Electric Track Killer Rake”, a device for removing dust generated by a car, a toaster lamp and much more. However, none of these developments were put into production.

But the patented “Cologne sausage” with soy contents went down in history.

Vegetarians around the world should raise a glass of bio-wine to the humble German finance minister who created such an irreplaceable dish for them.

8. Zipper

Since the middle of the 19th century, many people have tried to create a device that would help to connect clothing and footwear in the fastest and most convenient way.

However, luck smiled on the American engineer Gideon Sundbeck, who emigrated to America from Sweden.

He became the chief designer of the Universal Fastener Company, where he invented the Hookless Fastener: a slider bar connected the teeth attached to two textile bands. Sundbeck received a patent for his version of the “lightning” in 1913.

The US military began using these zippers in military uniforms and shoes, especially in the navy. After the First World War, zippers migrated to civilian clothing, where they continue to flourish to this day.

9. Stainless steel

For a steel that does not rust or corrode, we have to thank Harry Brearley from Sheffield, England.

According to documents from the city archives, “in 1913, Brearley developed what is considered the first example of” stainless “or” pure “steel – a product that revolutionized the metallurgical industry and became a major component of the infrastructure of the modern world.”

The British military was just racking their brains over what metal is the best to make weapons.

Photo author, Reuters


Stainless steel found a lot of applications in the twentieth century

The problem was that gun barrels began to deform under the influence of high temperatures and friction. Metallurgist Brearley was asked to create an alloy that could withstand high temperatures, chemical elements, and so on.

Brearley began to conduct experiments, testing the properties of various alloys, including those with a high chromium content.

According to legend, many of the experiments, in his opinion, ended in failure, and the rejected ingots ended up in a heap of scrap metal. However, Brearley later noticed that some of them did not succumb to rust.

Thus, in 1913, Brearley discovered the secret of stainless steel.

During the First World War, new aircraft engines were made from it, but later they began to make spoons, knives and forks from stainless steel, as well as countless surgical instruments, without which not a single hospital in the world can do today.

10. Communication system for pilots

Before the First World War, an aviator was in the air face to face with an aircraft. He could not talk to either other pilots or ground services.

At the beginning of the war, communication between army units was carried out mainly using telegraph lines. However, often shelling or tanks put them out of action.

The Germans also managed to find the key to the British telegraph ciphers. At that time, other means of communication were used – couriers, flags, pigeon mail, light signals or horse messengers, but each of them had its drawbacks.

Photo author, PA

Photo caption,

A modern pilot in flight is associated with an air traffic controller

Aviators had to make do with shouts and gestures. It was no longer good for anything. Something had to be done. Wireless communication became the solution.

Radio technology was then in its infancy. During the First World War, relevant research was carried out in Brookland and Biggin Hill; by the end of 1916, serious successes were achieved.

“The first attempts to install radiotelephones on airplanes ended in failure, as the noise of the engine created a lot of interference,” writes historian Keith Trower in one of his books on the development of radio in Britain.

According to him, later this problem was solved by creating a helmet with a built-in microphone and headphones. Thanks to this, civil aviation in the post-war years “took off” to new heights, and the gestures and shouts with which the aviators had to get in touch are a thing of the past.

Deceptive environmental protection


Edition of the “Private Correspondent”

Why “Chascor” turned green?

We have tried for a long time to write this editorial statement.We wanted to fit into it 12 years of work, 45 thousand articles (and even a little more), several editions and infinity of work and effort. And also – try to explain the ongoing changes to our readers.

Vitaly Kurennoy

Traditional values ​​and dialectics of criticism in a society of singularity

Nikolai Patrushev’s article on Russian values ​​is interesting in itself, but also evoked a vivid response from Grigory Yudin, who exposes the paradigm of “values”, apparently interpreting it as something purely Russian-original, and the very concept of “value” characterizes as “rotten”.I will try to express here my attitude to this interesting remark, and at the same time comment on the nature of the statement about which it appeared.

Ivan Zasursky

It’s time to start publishing all diplomas and dissertations!

An open letter from the President of the Association of Internet Publishers, member of the Council under the President of the Russian Federation for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights Ivan Ivanovich Zasursky to the Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Valery Nikolaevich Falkov.

Sergey Vasiliev,

What kind of money do we need?

Do you need investments in small business now and what really requires investments?

Over the past decades, our market has been saturated with many modern spaces for trade, entertainment and services. If you look at our figures for the saturation of retail space for grocery, clothing, furniture, construction retail, we will see that they have long overtaken the leading countries of the world.Moreover, among our cities in terms of this indicator, it is not Moscow that is leading at all, as it might seem, but Samara, Yekaterinburg, Kazan. Moscow is only in 3-4th place.

Ivan Zassoursky

Post-Trump, or California in the era of the early Noosphere

A long and confusing story of one trip from the words of a traveler

Sitting in my office at the journalism department, Lawrence Lessig listened with interest to the story about reform attempts copyright – from Dmitry Medvedev’s beautiful attempt to enter through the G20, ruined by the Eurozone crisis over Greece, to the not-so-beautiful second attempt by Medvedev to enter through the G7 (they even refused to speak).Now, I assured him, we can definitely – through BRICS – the main thing is to make the right proposals! Lawrence, oddly enough, agreed. “Come to the Grand Re-Opening of Public Domain,” he said, “everyone will be there, so we’ll discuss.”

Nikolay Podosokorsky

Virtual friendship

Communication tendencies in Facebook

Friendship on Facebook is a relative thing. Yesterday a person wrote to you that he admires you and your “network activity” (do not ask me what it is), and today he writes that you are a quilted jacket, a bastard, “uncovered” and in general “everything is clear with you” (should you write that what do you really think about Crimea, Ukraine, the USA or the West).

Marat Gelman

Materialism manual

“What am I thinking? I’m trying to cultivate a materialist in myself. But it doesn’t work. ”

Many people poured onto the beach today. From the point of view of a materialist researcher, it was a certain number of two-legged bodies, say thirty men and thirty women. There were more highs than lows. There are more thin people than fat ones. There are few blondes. Half – after fifty, one eighth of the elderly and children.A quarter are young people. An inquisitive scientist, perhaps, could find out the volume of the brain of each of us, the color of the eyes, would take forty blood tests and somehow divide everyone according to some criteria. And I would even do a genetic analysis for a thousand bucks each.

Dmitry Voloshin,

The theory of self-disbelief

About why we are afraid of real actions

We live in interesting times. Time for open discussion, fast travel and slow action.It seems that everything is there for making decisions. Information, a lot of structured information, mass, and means of its analysis. Wednesday, open controversial environment, the acquired skill of expressing one’s opinion. People, many intelligent people, honest and active, dreaming of changing at least something, thinking in categories of goals that go beyond the limits of life.

Silent love

“We met after the concert. I finished the work late, after midnight, I was collecting the equipment, I went out, I looked, sitting on the street, such a lonely one.I recognized her – saw her on stage. I went up to her, began to talk, and she told me “yyy”. Then she took out a notebook, wrote down her name, and added that she had nowhere to go, she had a falling out with a guy, and her parents were in another city. Well, I invited her to my place. At that time, the wife had already moved out. So we live together for six months. ”

Mikhail Epstein

Simpsychosis. Soul – mistress and slave

Nature knows such a phenomenon as symbiosis – the coexistence of organisms of different species, their biological interdependence.This phenomenon remains largely a mystery to science, although it was discovered by the Swiss scientist S. Schwendener back in 1877 when studying lichens, which, as it turned out, are complex organisms consisting of algae and fungi. The same power of indissolubility can act between people – on a mental, not a biological level.

Lev Simkin

A person from the award list

On the “People’s feat” website there are award lists for Simkin Isaakovich Simkin.My father. He himself saw them not so long ago for the first time. All four. The latter, 1985, does not count, then Chernenko awarded all veterans with the Orders of the Patriotic War. And the rest, those dated to the forty-third, forty-fourth and forty-fifth years, he listened with great interest. I listened, because it is difficult for him to read, the font is too small. Still ninety.


Oleg Davydov

Catherine’s Wheel

The current of suffering flowing through time

On December 7, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Day of Remembrance of the Great Martyr Catherine of Alexandria.This saint was considered in Russia the patroness of weddings and pregnant women. On her day, the girls wondered about their betrothed, and the guys arranged sled races (and therefore Catherine was called Sannitsa). All in all, it was one of the happiest holidays of the year. However, there is nothing funny about Catherine’s story.

Eve Fairbanks

Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

On December 5, 2013, Nelson Mandela died in Johannesburg at the age of 95. When he was sick, Eve Fairbanks wrote this article about his life and legacy

The achievements of Nelson Rolilahla Mandela, the first democratically elected President of South Africa, put him on a par with the likes of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and a pantheon of rare individuals who, with their deep insight and clear vision of the future, have transformed entire countries.Thrown into jail for 27 years by the white minority of South Africa, Mandela emerged from captivity in 1990, ready to forgive his oppressors and use his power not for revenge, but to create a new country based on racial reconciliation.

Hammer of witches. Does witchcraft exist?

On December 5, 1484, the witch hunt began

On December 5, 1484, Pope Innocent VIII’s famous “Vedic bull” – Summis desiderantes was published. From that day on, the Holy Inquisition, which until now enthusiastically monitored the purity of the Christian faith and the observance of the dogmas, took up the task of destroying all witches and generally strangling witchcraft.And in 1486 the book “The Hammer of the Witches” was published. And soon it overtook even the Bible in circulation.

Alexander Golovkov

Reign of unfulfilled hopes

190 years ago, on December 1, 1825, Emperor Alexander I, who ruled Russia from 1801 to 1825, died

Alexander I became the first and last ruler of Russia to do without organs, guarding state security by secret search methods. We lived like this for a quarter of a century, and the state did not perish.In addition, he came close to the line beyond which the country could get rid of slavery. And also, having won a victory over Napoleon, he led a coalition of European monarchs.


“Music of the Earth” of our

Pianist Boris Berezovsky never ceases to amaze his fans: either Prokofieva will play like Chopin – tenderly and lyrically, then she will appear at the piano as a delicate and refined accompanist – this is he who is accustomed to being a soloist.Now he acted as the artistic director of the festival-competition “Music of the Earth”, where he combined folklore and classics. Boris Berezovsky himself told the “Private Correspondent” about the concept of the festival and its participants.

Andrey Yakhimovich: “Play with your spinal cord, develop anti-money”

Conversation with Andrey Yakhimovich (Cement group), one of those who created not only Latvian, but also Soviet rock, the founder of the Riga Rock Club, a wise counterculturalist and a real Riga citizen – like good coffee with black balsam with an interesting companion in the Old Town of Riga.Suddenly, doomedly funny and paradoxical.

“Every dog ​​is a personality”

Interview with a specialist in dog behavior

Antoine Najaryan is a well-known specialist in dog behavior throughout Russia. When compared to dog handlers, he claims that his work is something completely different, and asks not to be confused. It is not for nothing that dog owners turn to Najaryan from all over the country: what they do with animals is amazing and seems impossible.

Yuri Arabov: “As soon as I find God, I will die, but for me it will be happiness”

Yuri Arabov is one of the most successful and famous Russian screenwriters.He works with directors of very different outlook and style. Arabov’s latest works are “Faust” by Alexander Sokurov, “Yuryev’s Day” by Kirill Serebrennikov, “Room and a half” by Andrey Khrzhanovsky, “Miracle” by Alexander Proshkin, “Horde” by Andrey Proshkin. All these films were met by critics and audiences with great interest, they all became events. It’s hard to believe that these plots were invented and written by one person. Our correspondent spoke with Yuri Arabov about his childhood and Moscow in the 60s, about the heroes of his scripts and his religious quest.

90,000 Turkmen authorities use forced labor to pick cotton

Since Soviet times, Turkmenistan has retained the practice of massive use of forced labor in picking cotton. Tens of thousands of high school students from cotton-growing regions spend 1.5-2 months every autumn picking cotton, and employees of state institutions and enterprises are forced to leave for harvesting under the threat of dismissal.

In July 2002, the Law “On guarantees of the rights of the child” was adopted, which declared a ban on “attracting students during the school year to agricultural and other work not related to the educational process.”The law, however, remained a formal declaration used by the authorities mainly for foreign policy propaganda.

In May 2004, Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov, speaking at a congress of the Youth Union, promised that he would “put an end to the use of child labor in cotton fields.” On September 16, 2004, at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, he stressed that this year “schoolchildren and students, as well as employees of enterprises and institutions, will not be involved in picking cotton.” “Let the cotton be harvested by those who sowed it,” the president said.On September 27, at a government meeting, Niyazov demanded “to suppress any attempts to involve schoolchildren and employees of organizations and institutions in the harvesting.”

Despite these claims, forced labor continued to be used extensively by the authorities in the cotton-growing regions from the early days of the harvest campaign. Starting from September 13, in rural areas of these regions, almost all schoolchildren in grades 6-9 were sent to pick cotton. “Three of my children were sent with other schoolchildren to pick cotton,” says a resident of the Gubadag etrap of the Dashoguz velayat.“The same situation, according to relatives, is in Murghab / Mary velayat /”.

It is somewhat easier this year for city schoolchildren. In Dashoguz, students of two elite schools (schools for young mathematicians and physicists and schools with in-depth study of German and English) were able to continue their studies for the first time this fall. In other city schools, from about September 20, after two or three lessons, schoolchildren in grades 6-9 were sent home to change their clothes and then taken to the fields. Together with the students, their class teachers also went to the harvesting work.Students of secondary specialized educational institutions (pedagogical, medical, music schools, etc.) were mobilized for cleaning. A month later, the pressure on city schools eased, sending students to work began only on Sundays. Teachers and schoolchildren of etraps (districts) are still, instead of studying, employed in cotton fields.

According to regulatory documents, cotton pickers should be paid at the rate of 500 manats (about 0.02 USD) per 1 kg. However, in practice, tenants often offer prices of 150-200 manats.Part of the money is taken by teachers, allegedly for the needs of the school.

“My son brings in 1-2 thousand manats, and even then not every day,” complains the mother of a sixth-grader from the city of Kunya-Urgech.

“Our teacher takes all the money that the tenant pays for her work,” says a ninth grade school student in Dashoguz. “She says she uses them for the needs of the class.”

In reporting, the amount of cotton harvested is usually overstated. “We are making an agreement with the tenant,” says a teacher of one of the schools in the city of St.Dashoguz. – For example, we hand over no more than 300 kilograms per day, but the tenant gives us a receipt indicating the larger figure – 500 or 600 kilograms. For this we agree with the prices of 150 manats per kilogram. ”

In addition to students, since mid-September, conscripts have been used for harvesting, as well as employees of various enterprises and government agencies. Some of them go to the fields in the morning and return home in the evening, others are sent to clean up on a long business trip.An employee mobilized to pick cotton retains his salary at the place of his main job. He must provide himself with food.

“A lot of money is spent on food,” says a nurse in the Dashoguz city polyclinic. “And we were recently paid only for August, although October is already coming to an end.”

The mobilized townspeople who have money are hiring the unemployed in their place. This practice is widespread in Turkmenistan. “A teacher I know paid me $ 600,000.manats for me to work instead of her for a month on cleaning chlorine, and gave another 100 thousand for food. It’s not much, but you have to agree, ”says one of the mercenaries.

To prevent local residents from being distracted from picking cotton, the authorities, as in previous years, limited the opening hours of bazaars. In Kunya-Urgench in September, it was allowed to trade at the bazaar only on Sunday. In other districts of the Dashoguz velayat, bazaar trade is allowed only in the evening (from 6 pm to 8 pm) and for several hours on Sunday.In Dashoguz itself, the market operates without restrictions (an attempt to limit its opening hours in 2001 led to a riot of traders).

90,000 H&M and Nike began boycotting in China. Brands ditch Xinjiang Uyghur cotton

The Chinese public is boycotting H&M, Nike and other international companies that have refused to use Xinjiang cotton and accused the Chinese government of persecuting Uyghur Muslims and using slave power. It is reported by the Global Times.

A statement by H&M circulated on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter Weibo, in which the company expressed concern about reports from human rights defenders about the use of forced labor in Chinese factories. The open letter was published back in the fall of 2020, but didn’t get the attention of the Chinese until this week.

Weibo users launched the hashtag #ISupportXinjiangCotton (“I support Xinjiang cotton”), which is accompanied by photos of users posing in clothes of the domestic brand Li Ning.The company of the Wuikatimes shopping center chain in the Xinjiang capital Urumqi, where the H&M store is located, demanded that the brand apologize to the Xinjiang people.

The Wall Street Journal writes that the Didi taxi app can no longer list H&M as a destination. Some mobile cards stopped showing the store in search results.

According to The New York Times, H&M, Nike and other brands may have launched the campaign following EU sanctions imposed on March 22 against Uyghurs.

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