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7 Jun, 2020 15:48

Woke Justice: Philadelphia Inquirer chief editor loses job over ‘Buildings Matter, Too’ headline

Woke Justice: Philadelphia Inquirer chief editor loses job over ‘Buildings Matter, Too’ headline

Stan Wischnowski, top editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, faced the need to resign as the newspaper dared to question the consequences of the riots damaging the city’s historic center.

The headline, which read “Buildings Matter, Too,” sat atop a Tuesday column that in all respects was sympathetic to the crowds of protesters and rioters, even going as far as calling the smashing and burning of historic shopfronts “a just and justified response” to police brutality. Columnist Inga Saffron lamented though, that these buildings – and those in the city’s black neighborhoods – may never be rebuilt the same.

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Still, the headline didn’t sit well with the woke society, who saw its resemblance to “Black Lives Matter” as “deeply offensive.” That’s what Wischnowski and his fellow editors wrote in a public apology on Wednesday, after 44 Inquirer journalists called in sick, claiming that the headline “puts our lives at risk.”

Despite issuing a groveling apology, Wischnowski still had to step down. In announcing his departure on Saturday, the paper described how its journalists physically cried during an “intense and emotional” Zoom meeting with Wischnowski on racial issues during the week.

Wischnowski explained to these disgruntled writers that he had doubled minority representation in the newsroom during the last four years, and promised more such hires. However, his efforts weren’t good enough, and he will now leave the Inquirer’s Market Street office in a week’s time, after 20 years of service at the paper, 10 as its top editor.

In those 10 years, Wischnowski’s team won a Pulitzer Prize for investigating violence in Philadelphia schools, and the Inquirer’s work on “COVID-19, public school and environmental safety, criminal justice reform, and the accountability of state and local government” made “Philadelphia a better place,” Jim Friedlich, executive director of the organization that owns the paper, said in a statement on Saturday.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer isn’t the only newspaper whose newsroom seemingly bristles with social justice sentiment. The New York Times – which publishes articles calling on its white readership to extort money from their relatives for anti-racism organizations and berates them for their ‘white privilege’ – tore itself apart last week after it published an op-ed by Republican Senator Tom Cotton (Arkansas) calling for the US military to be turned loose on rioters in an “overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers.”

Just like their colleagues in Philadelphia, the Times’ journalists declared that the column “put them in danger.” More than 800 staff complained and 160 threatened to walk out, prompting the higher-ups to announce that the column “did not meet our standards.”

The New York Times has advocated for harsher and more deadly military force on numerous occasions – albeit abroad. However, on hot-button social issues at home, the paper sounds like an uber-liberal campus newsletter. According to NYT opinion writer Bari Weiss, that’s because there’s a “civil war” raging within the newsroom, between aging liberals and “young wokes.”

The “old guard,” she wrote on Twitter, are a mostly libertarian bunch, while the “new guard” believe psychological safety trumps free speech, essentially bringing the “safe space” culture of the modern campus to the newsroom.

Weiss claimed that this war is raging “inside other publications and companies across the country.” Wischnowski appears to be its latest casualty.

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