New York Times Says Senator’s Op-Ed Did Not Meet Standards

“Yeah, there are a few in there,” Mr. Rubenstein responded, adding an emoji of a frowning face.

Mr. Scales objected again in the Opinion section’s Slack channel shortly after it was published online, calling the Op-Ed “highly inappropriate.” At the time he was unaware that the essay had already appeared online, he said in an interview.

Mr. Rubenstein referred a request for comment to a spokeswoman, who did not reply to inquiries.

In a video meeting of the opinion department on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Bennet and James Dao, the deputy editorial page editor, acknowledged that there had been a breakdown in the process of preparing the essay for publication, according to four people who attended it. The editors said that the article had been fact-checked, but added that they would fact-check it again. Mr. Dao did not reply to a request for comment.

Mr. Baquet, the executive editor, who oversees the news division, which is run separately from the opinion department, said he heard from a number of reporters and editors who believed that the Op-Ed did not meet the standards of The Times.

“When my newsroom is agitated, I respond to that,” he said.

He acknowledged that some readers might not be aware of the wall separating the news and opinion departments. He said he first saw the Op-Ed when it was posted online.

“I’ve had very sophisticated people say to me, ‘I had no idea that opinion and news were separate,’” he said, adding, “I don’t think we’ve always done the best job in the world explaining that to people and making the distinction.”

Mr. Baquet declined to comment on the substance of the Op-Ed, but said he agreed with those who believe the opinion section should include a wide range of views.

In the days leading up to the Op-Ed’s publication, Mr. Cotton called for military action against what he saw as violent protests in a series of tweets. In one he called for “No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters.” Giving “no quarter” to enemy combatants is considered a war crime in modern international conflicts, under a statute of the International Criminal Court.