Former NYT reporter claims paper withheld story about Kenosha riots until after 2020 election

Former New York Times reporter, Nellie Bowles, said the newspaper withheld her story about the devastating effects of the riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin on impoverished neighborhoods. She claimed the story was held until after the 2020 elections.

Bowles traveled to the city to report on the riots for racial justice following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020. Over several days, protest, riots, and unrest overwhelmed the city, which became the site of then 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse’s fatal shooting of two people.

Bowles said the newspaper sent her to report on the “mainstream liberal argument” that because businesses had insurance, vandalizing buildings while calling for racial justice was not detrimental. 

What she found, though, she said was the opposite. According to a Thursday post on Bari Weiss’ Substack channel Common Sense, Bowles wrote, “It turned out to be not true. The part of Kenosha that people burned in the riots was the poor, multi-racial commercial district, full of small, underinsured cell phone shops and car lots.” She continued, “It was very sad to see and to hear from people who had suffered.” 

Once Bowles filed her story, she said the editors told her it would not run until the election, saying “space, timing, tweaks” were the reasons for withholding the information.

“Whatever the reason for holding the piece, covering the suffering after the riots was not a priority,” she wrote in the post, adding, “The reality that brought Kyle Rittenhouse into the streets was one we reporters were meant to ignore.” The piece finally ran after Joe Biden was declared the victor of the race for president, Bowles said.




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