by WorldTribune Staff, July 20, 2020
New evidence shows the family that owns The New York Times is not only linked to the Civil War’s Confederacy, but that members of the extended family owned slaves, a columnist noted.
Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. became the publisher of The New York Times in 1992, and chairman of The New York Times Company in 1997, succeeding his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger.
In a July 18 op-ed for the New York Post, Michael Goodwin noted that the owners’ extended family included members who fought for the Confederacy; contributed to Confederate memorials after the Civil War; and perhaps even engaged in the slave trade.
Last Sunday, I recounted that Bertha Levy Ochs, the mother of Times patriarch Adolph S. Ochs, supported the South and slavery. She was caught smuggling medicine to Confederates in a baby carriage and her brother Oscar joined the rebel army.
I have since learned that, according to a family history, Oscar Levy fought alongside two Mississippi cousins, meaning at least three members of Bertha’s family fought for secession.
Ochs reportedly made contributions to rebel memorials, including $1,000 to the enormous Stone Mountain Memorial in Georgia that celebrates Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. He made the donation in 1924 so his mother, who died 16 years earlier, could be on the founders’ roll, adding in a letter that “Robert E. Lee was her idol.”
I have found compelling evidence that the uncle Bertha Levy Ochs lived with for several years in Natchez, Miss., before the Civil War owned at least five slaves.
He was her father’s brother and his name was John Mayer because he dropped the surname Levy, according to a family tree compiled by the Ochs-Sulzberger clan some 70 years ago.
Separately, there is also compelling evidence that the brother of a Revolutionary War-era ancestor of the Sulzberger branch of the family was involved in the slave trade.
The Times has largely celebrated the current state of unrest in the United States, leading Goodwin to ask: “[S]houldn’t such breathtaking self-righteousness include the responsibility to lead by example? Shouldn’t the Times first clean out the Confederates in its own closet?”
Goodwin noted that “the discovery of these lurid histories gives me no pleasure.”
Goodwin, who was employed by the New York Times for 16 years, said “it was a different paper then, one where standards of fairness were enforced and reporters’ biases were left on the cutting-room floor. Now the standards are on the cutting-room floor, with every story dominated by reporters’ opinions. The result is a daily train wreck that bears little resemblance to the traditions of what used to be a great newspaper, trusted because it was impartial.”
Read Goodwin’s full column here