Bari Weiss

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Bari Weiss
Born (1984-03-25) March 25, 1984 (age 37)
EducationColumbia University (BA)
OccupationJournalist
EmployerThe Wall Street Journal (2013–2017)
The New York Times (2017–2020)
Die Welt (2021–present)
Spouse(s)
Jason Kass
(m. 2013; div. 2016)

Nellie Bowles
(m. 2021)
Websitebariweiss.com

Bari Weiss (born March 25, 1984) is an American journalist, writer, and editor. From 2013 until 2017, she was an op-ed and book review editor at The Wall Street Journal.[1] From 2017 to 2020, she was an op-ed staff editor and writer about culture and politics at The New York Times.[2] Since March 1, 2021, she has worked as a regular columnist for Die Welt.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Weiss was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Lou and Amy Weiss, former[4] owners of Weisshouse,[5] a Pittsburgh company founded in 1943 that focuses on high-end flooring, contemporary home furniture & custom-made kitchens. They now own flooring company Weisslines.[6] She grew up in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, and graduated from Pittsburgh's Community Day School and Shady Side Academy. The eldest daughter among four sisters, she attended the Tree of Life Synagogue and had her Bat Mitzvah ceremony there.[7][6] After high school, Weiss went to Israel on a Nativ gap year program, helping build a medical clinic for Bedouin in the Negev desert, and studying at a feminist yeshiva and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[6][8]

Weiss attended Columbia University in New York City, graduating in 2007. She founded the Columbia Coalition for Sudan in response to the War in Darfur.[9] Weiss was the founding editor from 2005 to 2007 of The Current, a magazine at Columbia for politics, culture, and Jewish affairs.[10][11] Following graduation, Weiss was a Wall Street Journal Bartley Fellow in 2007, and a Dorot Fellow from 2007 to 2008 in Jerusalem.[7][12]

Columbians for Academic Freedom[edit]

As a student at Columbia, Weiss took an active role in the Columbia Unbecoming controversy. Following the release of the film Columbia Unbecoming in fall 2004, alleging classroom intimidation of pro-Israel students by pro-Palestinian professors, she co-founded Columbians for Academic Freedom (CAF) together with Aharon Horwitz, Daniella Kahane, and Ariel Beery. Weiss said she had felt intimidated by Professor Joseph Massad in his lectures,[13] and she thought he spent too much time talking about Zionism and Israel for a course about the entire Middle East.[14]

In response to the release of the film, Columbia put together a committee to examine the allegations.[15] The committee criticized Massad, but emphasized a lack of civility on campus, including from pro-Israel students who heckled some of their professors.[16][17] Weiss criticized the committee for its focus on individual grievances, maintaining that students were intimidated because of their views.[18]

In her 2019 book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism, Weiss describes the contentious atmosphere during this period as giving her "a front row seat to leftist anti-Semitism" at the university.[19]: 94  The activism initiated by Weiss was alleged by Glenn Greenwald to be "designed to ruin the careers of Arab professors by equating their criticisms of Israel with racism, anti-Semitism, and bullying, and its central demand was that those professors (some of whom lacked tenure) be disciplined for their transgressions."[20] Weiss has called Greenwald's characterizations "baseless", saying that she "advocated for the rights of students to express their viewpoints in the classroom", adding, "I don't know when criticizing professors became out of bounds."[21]

Career[edit]

In 2007, Weiss worked for Haaretz and The Forward.[6] In Haaretz, she criticized the tenure promotion of Barnard College anthropologist Nadia Abu El-Haj[22] over a book that Weiss alleged caricatured Israeli archaeologists.[23] From 2011 to 2013, Weiss was senior news and politics editor at Tablet.[6][24]

2013–2017: The Wall Street Journal[edit]

Weiss was an op-ed and book review editor at The Wall Street Journal from 2013 until April 2017.[1] She left following the departure of Pulitzer Prize winner and deputy editor Bret Stephens, for whom she had worked, and joined him at The New York Times.[25]

2017–2020: The New York Times[edit]

In 2017, as part of an effort by The New York Times to broaden the ideological range of its opinion staff after the inauguration of President Trump, opinion editor James Bennett hired Weiss as an op-ed staff editor and writer about culture and politics.[26][27][28] Through her first year at the paper, she wrote opinion pieces advocating for the blending of cultural influences, something derided by what she termed the "strident left" as cultural appropriation.[29] She criticized the organizers of the 2017 Women's March protesting the inauguration of President Trump for their "chilling ideas and associations," particularly singling out several individuals she believed to have made antisemitic or anti-Zionist statements in the past.[30] Her article about the Chicago Dyke March, asserting that intersectionality is a "caste system, in which people are judged according to how much their particular caste has suffered throughout history,"[31] was condemned by playwright Eve Ensler, creator of the Vagina Monologues, for misunderstanding the work of intersectional politics.[32] Other sources condemned the article as fundamentally misunderstanding the definition of intersectionality.[33][34][35]

In January 2018, Babe.net published an anonymous woman's allegation that comedian and actor Aziz Ansari's behaviour during a date rose to the level of sexual assault. Weiss published a piece titled "Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being a Mind Reader", one of many polarized responses to this incident in the context of the #MeToo movement.[36][37][38] Weiss was one of several writers, including the Atlantic's Caitlin Flanagan, who argued that the woman who wrote the piece ignored her own agency, not considering her own ability to speak up and leave the situation. Danielle Tcholakian of Nylon magazine criticized Weiss's arguments as simplistic and indicative of a "generational gap".[39][undue weight? ]

In March 2018, Weiss published the column "We’re All Fascists Now" in which she argued that members of the left-wing are increasingly intolerant of alternate views, presenting varied examples. Shortly after publication, the piece was corrected and an editorial note was placed on it because one of the examples used was a fake antifa Twitter account. This account had been identified as fake in multiple media outlets in 2017, as a right-wing masquerade aimed at discrediting the left-wing protest movement.[40][41][42]

In May 2018, Weiss published "Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web". This piece profiled a collection of thinkers who share an unorthodox approach to their fields and to the media landscape. Weiss collectively described them as the Intellectual Dark Web, borrowing the term from Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital. Outlets have commented on and critiqued the label through 2020.[43][44][45]

On June 7, 2020, the Times editorial page editor, James Bennet, resigned after more than 1,000 staffers signed a letter protesting his publication of an op-ed[26] by U.S. Senator Tom Cotton saying that since "rioters have plunged many American cities into anarchy," soldiers should be sent as backup for the police to end the violence. Bennet later stated he had not read the op-ed beforehand.[46] Weiss characterized the internal controversy as an ongoing "civil war" between what she called young "social justice warriors" and what she identified as older, "free speech advocate" staffers.[46][47][48] This characterization was disputed by numerous other journalists and opinion writers at the Times; Taylor Lorenz, a technology reporter who covers internet culture, described it as a "willful misrepresentation" that ignored the numerous older staffers who had spoken out, while Jamal Jordan, the Times' digital storytelling editor, criticized her for not listening to her black colleagues and instead dismissing their concerns as a "woke civil war".[46]

2020: Resignation from The New York Times[edit]

Weiss announced her departure from The New York Times on July 14, 2020, publishing a resignation letter on her website criticizing the Times for capitulating to criticism on Twitter and for not defending her against alleged bullying by her colleagues.[49] Weiss accused her former employer of "unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge".[2]

In her letter Weiss said, "Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions." She also wrote, "Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times, but Twitter has become its ultimate editor."[50]

Her letter was praised by U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Kelly Loeffler; Donald Trump Jr.; political commentator Ben Shapiro;[51][52] former Democratic presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson; and political commentator Bill Maher.[53][54][55] Conversely, Weiss's resignation letter attracted substantial criticism from left-leaning media sources.[56] Alex Shephard criticized the content of Weiss's letter in The New Republic, calling Weiss's resignation a form of "self-cancellation" and part of a pattern in Weiss's work of "taking thin, anecdotal evidence and framing it in grandiose, culture-war terms".[57] Writing in The Guardian, Moira Donegan called Weiss a "professional rightwing attention seeker" and disputed her claim that social media's influence had led to a hostile media environment for conservatives.[58]

On October 27, 2020, Weiss appeared on the American talk show The View to discuss cancel culture, which she called "wrong and deeply un-American"; she continued, "I believe that no one should be hung or have their reputation destroyed or lose their job because of a mistake or liking a bad tweet."[59][60]

Since 2020, Weiss occasionally wrote articles for the German newspaper Die Welt. Beginning from March 1, 2021 she has worked as a regular columnist for Die Welt.[3]

2021: Substack launch[edit]

In January 2021, Weiss launched a Substack newsletter.[61] In February, she interviewed Gina Carano about her firing from The Mandalorian.[62][63]

Political views[edit]

According to The Washington Post, Weiss "portrays herself as a liberal uncomfortable with the excesses of left-wing culture,"[64] and has sought to "position herself as a reasonable liberal concerned that far-left critiques stifled free speech."[65] Vanity Fair described Weiss as "a provocateur".[6] The Jewish Telegraphic Agency said that her writing "doesn't lend itself easily to labels."[66] Weiss has been described as conservative by Haaretz, The Times of Israel, The Daily Dot, and Business Insider.[67][68][69][70] In an interview with Joe Rogan, she described herself as a "left-leaning centrist".[71]

Weiss has expressed support for Israel and Zionism in her columns. When writer Andrew Sullivan described her as an "unhinged Zionist", she responded saying she "happily plead[s] guilty as charged."[72] In 2018, she said she believed the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but questioned whether they should disqualify him from serving on the Supreme Court because he was 17 when he allegedly committed the assault against Christine Blasey Ford.[69] After backlash in the press, Weiss conceded that her sound bite was glib and simplistic, and said instead that Kavanaugh's "rage-filled behavior" before the Senate Judiciary Committee should have disqualified him.[6]

Following the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, Weiss was a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher in early November 2018. She said of American Jews who support President Donald Trump: "I hope this week that American Jews have woken up to the price of that bargain: They have traded policies that they like for the values that have sustained the Jewish people—and frankly, this country—forever: Welcoming the stranger; dignity for all human beings; equality under the law; respect for dissent; love of truth."[73] In 2019, The Jerusalem Post named Weiss the seventh most influential Jew in the world.[74]

In March 2021, she published an article criticizing top independent schools for their social justice curricula.[75] In September 2021, concerning COVID-19, she tweeted that proof of a negative test is far more meaningful than proof of a vaccine, contradicting experts who argue that testing is insufficient and should be considered temporary to allow more time for vaccine hesitancy issues to be addressed.[76][77]

Personal life[edit]

While attending Columbia University, she had an on-and-off relationship with comedian Kate McKinnon.[6][78] She also dated Ariel Beery, with whom she had co-founded Columbians for Academic Freedom.[9] From 2013 to 2016, Weiss was married to environmental engineer Jason Kass, the founder of Toilets for People,[6][79] a company designing and manufacturing waterless self contained composting toilets. Weiss prefers not to label her sexual orientation but has stated that she is mostly attracted to women, although she had been married to a man. Since 2018, Weiss has been in a relationship with Nellie Bowles, the Times's tech reporter.[80][81][82] As of 2021, the two are engaged.[83]

Works[edit]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "By Bari Weiss". The New York Times. 2020. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Izadi, Elahe; Barr, Jeremy (July 14, 2020). "Bari Weiss resigns from New York Times, says 'Twitter has become its ultimate editor'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Bari Weiss wird Kolumnistin für die Welt
  4. ^ "Weiss Lines - About".
  5. ^ "Inside Weisshouse, Shadyside's oldest furniture gallery | Lifespace". May 3, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Peretz, Evgenia (April 24, 2019). "Mad About Bari Weiss: The New York Times Provocateur the Left Loves to Hate". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on July 4, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Tabachnick, Toby (October 27, 2017). "Times opinion editor, 'Burgh native Bari Weiss, talks "news, Jews and views"". Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle. 60 (43). p. 1,16. Archived from the original on December 13, 2019. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  8. ^ Steinberg, Jessica (November 5, 2002). "Israel programs see huge decrease". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Archived from the original on February 26, 2019. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Campus Characters" (PDF). The Blue and White. 12 (1). September 2005. pp. 5–6. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 14, 2020.
  10. ^ "Editorial Board". Columbia Current. Archived from the original on July 8, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  11. ^ "Bari Weiss: A moderate in an era of extremes". Oregon Jewish Life. February 25, 2019. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  12. ^ "Bari Weiss". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on January 24, 2019. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  13. ^ "Columbia University Responds to Anti-Semitism Charges". NPR. April 1, 2005. Archived from the original on July 17, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
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  15. ^ Mishkin, Sarah (January 19, 2005). "Little bias in NELC, students say". Yale Daily News. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
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  21. ^ Weiss, Bari. "Archived copy". Twitter. Archived from the original on July 19, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  29. ^ Weiss, Bari (August 30, 2017). "Opinion | Three Cheers for Cultural Appropriation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  30. ^ Weiss, Bari (August 1, 2017). "Opinion | When Progressives Embrace Hate". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  31. ^ Weiss, Bari (June 27, 2017). "Opinion | I'm Glad the Dyke March Banned Jewish Stars". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on September 7, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  32. ^ "Opinion | On 'Intersectionality'". The New York Times. July 3, 2017. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  33. ^ "Oh Cute, the New York Times Is Endorsing Cultural Appropriation". The Muse. Archived from the original on June 10, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
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  35. ^ Cruz, About Crystal Contreras Crystal Contreras is from a tiny farm town in northern California She graduated from UC Santa; Rock, Has a Fondness for Classic. "Recent New York Times Opinion Piece, Citing Kooks Burritos, Completely Misses the Mark on Cultural Appropriation". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on July 12, 2020. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  36. ^ "Opinion | A Sexual Encounter, and a Dispute". The New York Times. January 19, 2018. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on February 1, 2018. Retrieved August 12, 2020.
  37. ^ France, Lisa (January 16, 2018). "Everyone is picking sides over the Aziz Ansari story". CNN. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  38. ^ Sergeant, Jill (2020). "Growing pains for #MeToo as Ansari tale sparks backlash talk". Reuters. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  39. ^ Tcholakian, Danielle (January 16, 2018). "On Aziz Ansari and rape culture's generation gap". Nylon. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  40. ^ Satlin, Alana Horowitz (March 8, 2018). "NYT's Bari Weiss Cites Hoax Twitter Account To Criticize Liberals". HuffPost.
  41. ^ Jones, Tom (July 15, 2020). "Breaking down the controversial resignation of New York Times opinion writer Bari Weiss". Poynter. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  42. ^ Selk, Avi (March 10, 2018). "A New York Times columnist blamed a far-left 'mob' for her woes. But maybe she deserves them". Washington Post.
  43. ^ Goldberg, Jonah (May 8, 2018). "Evaluating the 'Intellectual Dark Web'". National Review. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  44. ^ Sixsmith, Ben (May 8, 2020). "An autopsy of the Intellectual Dark Web". Spectator USA. Archived from the original on September 7, 2020. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  45. ^ Savage, Luke (July 13, 2020). "The Intellectual Dark Web's "Maverick Free Thinkers" Are Just Defenders of the Status Quo". Jacobin Magazine. Archived from the original on September 5, 2020. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  46. ^ a b c Beauchamp, Zack (June 5, 2020). "The New York Times staff revolt over Tom Cotton's op-ed, explained". Vox. Archived from the original on June 9, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  47. ^ Robinson, Nathan J. (May 9, 2018). "Pretty Loud For Being So Silenced". Current Affairs. Archived from the original on October 15, 2020. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  48. ^ Klar, Rebecca (June 7, 2020). "NYT editorial page director resigns after Tom Cotton op-ed controversy". TheHill. Archived from the original on June 9, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
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  50. ^ Darcy, Oliver (July 14, 2020). "Controversial opinion writer Bari Weiss resigns from The New York Times, blasting paper for". CNN Business. Cable News Network.Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  51. ^ Flood, Brian (July 14, 2020). "Trump Jr., Ted Cruz among conservatives celebrating Bari Weiss' 'stunning' NY Times resignation letter". Fox News. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  52. ^ Relman, Oma Seddiq, Eliza. "Donald Trump Jr., Ted Cruz, and other top Republicans praise New York Times editor Bari Weiss' resignation letter slamming the paper". Business Insider. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  53. ^ Sobel, Ariel (July 14, 2020). "Andrew Yang, Donald Trump Jr., and NY Times Staff React to Bari Weiss' Resignation". jewishjournal.com. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  54. ^ Miller, Judith (July 14, 2020). "The Illiberal Liberal Media". City Journal. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
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  56. ^ Criticism of Weiss's resignation letter:
  57. ^ Shephard, Alex (July 16, 2020). "The Self-Cancellation of Bari Weiss". The New Republic. Archived from the original on January 3, 2021. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  58. ^ Donegan, Moira (July 16, 2020). "Yes, social media can be asinine – but 'cancelled' pundits like Bari Weiss aren't the victims". The Guardian. Archived from the original on December 30, 2020. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  59. ^ Flood, Brian (October 27, 2020). "Bari Weiss joins 'The View,' pushes back against Sunny Hostin, Whoopi Goldberg on court packing". Fox News. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  60. ^ Wilstein, Matt (October 27, 2020). "'The View's' Sunny Hostin Battles Bari Weiss on 'Court Packing'". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  61. ^ Ellefson, Lindsey (February 1, 2021). "Ex NY Times Writer Bari Weiss Rails 'Against Woke Culture' in NY Post Op-Ed". Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  62. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 16, 2021). "Gina Carano Learned About 'Mandalorian' Firing On Social; Talks About Being Excluded From Season 2 Press By Disney". Deadline. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  63. ^ "Gina Carano claims she was excluded from The Mandalorian press events for refusing to share pre-written apology". The Independent. February 17, 2021. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  64. ^ Selk, Avi (March 10, 2018). "A New York Times columnist blamed a far-left 'mob' for her woes. But maybe she deserves them". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 13, 2019.
  65. ^ Barr, Elahe Izadi and Jeremy (July 14, 2020). "Opinion writer Weiss resigns from New York Times, says 'Twitter has become its ultimate editor'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  66. ^ Dolsten, Josefin (February 2, 2018). "How New York Times editor Bari Weiss found herself at the center of the #MeToo debate". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Archived from the original on April 23, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
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  71. ^ JRE Clips. "Joe Rogan on the "MAGA" Kids Controversy". Archived from the original on May 3, 2019. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
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  75. ^ Weiss, Barry. "The Miseducation of America's Elites". City Journal. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  76. ^ Weiss, Barry (September 22, 2021). "Proof of a negatist is far more meaningful than proof of a vaccine..." Twitter. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  77. ^ Smith-Schoenwalder, Cecelia (August 30, 2021). "More Companies Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines for Employees, but Is It Enough to Make a Difference". U.S. News & World Report L.P. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
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External links[edit]