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When a paper publishes an editorial, it lends its authority & above all RESOURCES to the author. Not only does Tom Cotton get the IQ boost of Times typeface, he gets editors, copy eds, & fact-checkers who are charged with burnishing his argument to give it the best possible shot.
The NYT is very much the opposite of a “platform.” As someone who once had to rewrite...N*wt Gingrich...to make his argument even track, I can testify that it takes a lot of work to make a Gingrich or Cotton sound even just normal. Sound...fit to print.
If it was extremely important to showcase the extraordinary and challenging views & voice of Tom Cotton, it might’ve been enlightening to read a draft entirely written & reported by Cotton. No ghostwriter, no editing, no fact-checking.
One awesome place to see that Tom Cotton, no post-production, is on Twitter.
He freestyles a little more on this web site. Lots about how merciless he thinks the military should be with unspecific protesters.

Not so many carefully wrought concerns about racism and desegregation from @sentomcotton. That’s more for “by Tom Cotton, for the NYT.”
Just one point how fact-checkers & editors can backfill a hotheaded take like one of Cotton’s & make it seem like an editorial:
Cotton has been busting at the seams to say that “radical chic” “rioters” are plunging the cities into “anarchy” & must be put down. What separates a tubthumper from an editorialist is evidence. So for hisessay Cotton wd need evidence for 3 things: anarchy, rioting & chicness.
He’s been on this exact crusade for days (see: Twitter) but he didn’t have proof of “chicness” till someone found him a tweet saying “dozens of 200k Mercs” were part of the looting. Hm. Dozens? All of them looting? But bc this saved his radical chic point, the NYT used the link.
So he gets to call the “riots” “carnivals for the thrill-seeking rich” now. This lets him designate the poser urban superrich as the face of the protests, which gains everyman support for military intervention. Then: tanks roll in to take out the actual protesters—BLM.
That’s just one example of how a newspaper staff can, by doing their job, turn a raving loon — “This is radical chic! Abbie Hoffman! Let’s shoot up Kent State!”— into an astute polemicist who happened to notice 24 or more people in extremely expensive German cars were looting.
PS The most expensive car listed on mbusa.com is the absurd-looking “private jet for the road,” the Mercedes Maybach, at $173k. Maybe those dozens of looting radicals paid for extensive detailing to get their Maybachs to $200k?
Here’s my own effort @latimesopinion to call attention to the Cotton playbook.

Hint: it reeks of ashtrays, Brylcreem, desperation, & Nixon’s cologne.

latimes.com/opinion/story/…
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