In a piece for her fiancĂ©e Bari Weiss’ substack, former New York Times reporter Nellie Bowles revealed late last week that her former employer withheld a story she wrote about the true effects of the Black Lives Matter riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year until after President Joe Biden was elected.

Buried in her column and only vaguely alluded to in the subhead, Bowles explained that the Times sent her to Kenosha last summer during the riots to basically confirm the “mainstream liberal argument” that “burning down businesses for racial justice was both good and healthy” because it “allowed for the expression of righteous rage, and the businesses all had insurance to rebuild.”

But when she arrived in Kenosha and began speaking to the locals, she learned this was not the case.

“The part of Kenosha that people burned in the riots was the poor, multi-racial commercial district, full of small, underinsured cell phone shops and car lots. It was very sad to see and to hear from people who had suffered. Beyond the financial loss, small storefronts are quite meaningful to their owners and communities, which continuously baffles the Zoom-class,” Bowles wrote.

So, she filed a story in August that reflected what she discovered – but that story wouldn’t get published until after the 2020 election. Bowles accepts the notion that the piece could have simply been bad, but a few weeks after she sent it in, she said an editor essentially told her: “The Times wouldn’t be able to run my Kenosha insurance debacle piece until after the 2020 election, so sorry.”

This editor reportedly gave her various reasons, including space, timing, and tweaks.

“Whatever the reason for holding the piece, covering the suffering after the riots was not a priority. The reality that brought Kyle Rittenhouse into the streets was one we reporters were meant to ignore. The old man who tried to put out a blaze at a Kenosha store had his jaw broken,” Bowles wrote.

“If you lived in those neighborhoods on fire, you were not supposed to get an extinguisher. The proper response — the only acceptable response — was to see the brick and mortar torn down, to watch the fires burn and to say: thank you,” she concluded.

The 2020 election was held on November 3, 2020. It took a few days for some states to finish counting ballots, particularly mail-in ballots. Bowles’ Kenosha article was published on November 9. It cuts right to the chase in its headline: “Businesses Trying to Rebound After Unrest Face a Challenge: Not Enough Insurance.”

Bowles explained that while “large chains like Walmart and Best Buy have excellent insurance, many small businesses that have been burned down in the riots lack similar coverage. And for them, there is no easy way to replace all that they lost.”

“In Kenosha, more than 35 small businesses were destroyed, and around 80 were damaged, according to the city’s business association. Almost all are locally owned and many are underinsured or struggling to manage,” she added in the Times article.

No comments:

Post a Comment