Ex-NY Times Reporter: My Kenosha ‘Debacle’ Piece Was Held Until After 2020 Election

The Substack website of former New York Times editorial staffer Bari Weiss, former Times reporter Nellie Bowles revealed something fascinating: she was told a piece she filed on the “Kenosha insurance debacle” would not run until after the 2020 election was finished. 

An observation on Kenosha following the Kyle Rittenhouse trialThe mainstream liberal argument held that burning down businesses to enforce racial justice was good and beneficial until recently. The righteous anger could be expressed through burning, while the insurance companies for rebuilding the business were available. 

The time I was in the New York TimesThis was not the case. I found out when I visited Kenosha. People set fire to Kenosha’s poor and multi-racial district in riots. This area was home to small car yards, uninsured cellphone shops, and other businesses. It was heartbreaking to witness and hear the stories of those who suffered. The Zoom-class is constantly baffled by the fact that small stores are more than just a loss in financial terms.

After I submitted the story, something strange happened to it. It didn’t run. It just sat there.

It could also be because the piece wasn’t good enough. I’ve sent in bad ones before, and I’ll do it again. An editor informed me a few weeks later that I had filed. Times wouldn’t be able to run my Kenosha insurance debacle piece until after the 2020 election, so sorry.

It’s true! It was six days after Election Day that her article went online. It was headlined: 

Companies attempting to rebound from unrest face a challenge: not enough insurance
Some activists downplay the impact of looting and arson during racial justice protests across the country on businesses. However, small businesses are still struggling.

The following is written in small letters at the bottom. TimesYou can add where the article was published and when. Nov. 16, 2020, Section B, Page 5 of the New York edition with the headline: ‘After the Protests: Gaps in Small-Business Insurance.'” It was buried. Refer to Substack for her explanation of the delay 

There were a variety of reasons given—space, timing, tweaks here or there.

Finally, the election won. Biden was elected to the White House. My Kenosha story was published. The piece was held regardless of its purpose. It did not cover the pain and suffering that followed the riots. We reporters should not have to deal with the reality that drove Kyle Rittenhouse out onto the streets. His jaw was broken by the old man who attempted to light a flame at Kenosha stores. The top editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer had to resign in June 2020 amid staff outcry for publishing a piece with the headline, “Buildings Matter, Too.” 

It was not your responsibility to extinguish the flames if you lived in one of those areas. 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.

(Hat tip to Mark Hemingway

About Post Author

Follow Us