The left-leaning magazine The Atlantic has documented how employees at The New York Times are not allowed to mention “Chick-fil-A” and are immediately scolded by management and fellow employees if they do.

Journalist Adam Rubenstein revealed this fact in his piece “I Was a Heretic at The New York Times” which explained how, as a conservative writer hired by the Times in 2019 to bring political balance to the Gray Lady’s editorial line-up, he was regularly attacked by colleagues there for having the very views for which he was hired.

Rubenstein opens his revealing piece with this story,

On one of my first days at The New York Times, I went to an orientation with more than a dozen other new hires. We had to do an icebreaker: Pick a Starburst out of a jar and then answer a question. My Starburst was pink, I believe, and so I had to answer the pink prompt, which had me respond with my favorite sandwich. … So I blurted out, “The spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A,” and considered the ice broken.

But the ice was anything but broken. An immediate chill fell upon the room of new hires. Rubenstein continues,

The HR representative leading the orientation chided me: “We don’t do that here. They hate gay people.” People started snapping their fingers in acclamation.

And this, at the supposed “paper of record.”

The poor man was asked to name his favorite sandwich in a welcoming exercise by his new employer and was publicly corrected on his choice by an official HR representative. His fellow woke employees joined in, making sure he felt appropriately scorned. Yes, just one more example of how the New Left has become the Old Fundamentalists.

When this story got out and some pundits started using it as an example of how truly intolerant the New Left has become, those same liberals tried to deny anything so reactionary could ever happen in their midst. Creative 1619 Project “historian” and NYT darling Nikole Hannah-Jones declared Rubenstein a liar saying the incident “never happened,


But it very much did happen.

Investigative journalist Jesse Singal checked with editors at The Atlantic on Hannah-Jones’ unsubstantiated claim and they explained “the entire piece was fact-checked, as is our standard policy” and the details of the sandwich story “were confirmed by New York Times employees who had contemporaneous knowledge of the incident in question.” Singal shares their official response to him here,

Even Jonathan Chait, political columnist for New York magazine, published a piece there entitled “The ‘Fake’ New York Times Chicken-Sandwich Story Turns Out to Be Quite Real,” and warns his readers it’s time to “stop listening to bad-faith media critics.”

Chait takes a number of his liberal colleagues to task observing, “What’s striking about this episode is that professional journalists stated without qualification that the incident was not merely dubious but definitively and obviously untrue” without offering any actual evidence. He adds, “The only possible answer is that they believed the anecdote was so outrageous it couldn’t possibly have happened.”

Chait disagrees that such behavior is not found among his friends on the left, ”I did believe the chicken-sandwich story because I find cringy behavior like that in elite institutions a not-uncommon phenomenon.” He finds the knee-jerk, evidence-less denial unsurprising too, explaining, “There is a ravenous appetite for a strain of media criticism that relentlessly dumps on any reporting that casts the left in a negative light.”

Chait ends his piece proclaiming that far too often “these critics don’t care what’s true. They only care about what’s useful.”

We should all try mightily to avoid this mistake because an informed and truthful political discourse is essential to a thriving democracy. No one is above honest criticism, be they on the left or the right. And we must all also note that the left has taken over the mantle of being the new fundamentalists in a democratic society, working overtime to control the very thoughts we think and the words we may speak.

This unfortunate truth, after all, was the point of Adam Rubenstein’s Atlantic piece and the reason for his all-too-real sandwich anecdote.


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