Editorial: NYT correct to print anonymous column by senior Trump administration official

In the wake of the controversy surrounding the anonymous column published in The New York Times last week, the editors of the Tropolitan fully support the Times’ decision to run the column without revealing the identity of the author. 

The op-ed titled “I am part of the resistance inside the Trump administration” has brought an immediate reaction from President Donald Trump, who went as far as asking the attorney general to investigate the author as a threat to national security. 

Despite the debate on the implications of this op-ed, the integrity of The New York Times and its editorial process stands unblemished as The Times followed the journalistic standards a news entity is supposed to maintain in dealing with such unusual circumstances.  

Anyone who has worked in a newsroom knows that running a story or column entails a long editorial process and content needs to meet set standards where sources are vetted, facts are checked and multiple editors look through the story before it is considered ready for print. The Tropolitan, for example, requires at least six different individuals to go through a story multiple times before it is considered print-ready. 

The New York Times, a significantly larger organization, has many more people involved in the editorial process before the story is considered print-ready. Furthermore, The Times, in dealing with sensitive information like this, would involve its legal team somewhere along the process. 

Therefore, multiple people on the editorial staff know the identity of the writer, and only after thorough consultation would they decide to run an anonymous column.  

Nevertheless, we hold that if the White House is indeed as chaotic and divisive as it is portrayed to be, assuring the American people that there are adults in the room looks more like an attempt by the writer to protect himself rather than being for the public good. 

The writer mentions that there were talks of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president, but they decided against it as it could lead to a constitutional crisis. 

But these checks and balances are in place to solely prevent the actions of a president from actively harming the nation. 

If the White House needs to assure citizens that there are “adults in the room,” then a constitutional crisis already exists. The only difference is whether the people involved want to acknowledge it. 

Whether the situation is as bad as the op-ed describes or an attempt by factions in the administration to protect themselves from potential actions against Trump is a question for another day, but the answer to whether The New York Times acted with integrity and made the right call is a resounding yes. 

Editors Note: The views expressed are the unanimous opinion of the editors of the Tropolitan. Editorials stand as the official, corporate opinion of the Tropolitan.  Our opinions are not influenced by campus organizations or societies, university administration or political parties. 

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