by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet labeled the paper’s opinion page as “far left wing” and defended the hiring of columnist Bret Stephens, during a private meeting with members of Stanford University’s college newspaper, according to a student at the meeting.
Baquet addressed the staff of The Stanford Daily before his scheduled public event Tuesday night. One student who does not work for the paper, Elliot Kaufman, snuck in and took notes before giving exclusive access to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
When an attendee raised the topic of journalism in the age of President Donald Trump, Baquet discussed the controversial hiring of Stephens — a self-identified “conservative” and former Wall Street Journal opinion writer.
“We already have a far left wing opinion page,” said Baquet before explaining why he thought the paper could hire someone like Stephens without fundamentally altering the section’s partisan bent.
Baquet also criticized students at other universities for intolerant behavior. Baquet applauded the peaceful coexistence that the Hoover Institute shares with Stanford and called it “probably the most reputable conservative think tank.”
“If the Hoover Institute was at [the University of California, Berkeley], they’d burn it down,” he added. “If it was at Columbia [University], they might burn it down.”