To: Dean Baquet, Executive Editor
New York Times: Suspend Thomas Friedman
We urge the New York Times to suspend columnist Tom Friedman for abandoning basic standards of journalism in writing a piece idolizing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
Why is this important?
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote an article he named “Saudi Arabia's Arab Spring, At Last." He maintained that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was bringing a new era of liberty to Saudi Arabia even though it is obvious that the reverse is happening. As Salman is grasping more and more power we see the ramping up of censorship, arrests, imprisonments without fair trials and other forms of repression against dissent. Friedman barely mentioned Salman’s war on Yemen terming it a “humanitarian nightmare” as if it were some natural event like a flood or earthquake rather than a deliberate attempt to force Salman’s will on Yemen through violence and siege. Nor does he explain that the U.S. government has given Salman a blank check for his violence and human rights outrages. Friedman’s article was a piece of propaganda and he should be disciplined by the Times out of respect for journalistic integrity.