Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) appeared on Bari Weiss’ Honestly podcast this week, and the two had a compelling and interesting conversation. They talked about Scott’s inspiring story of his mother and grandparents overcoming poverty and racism to raise a U.S senator, his new book America, A Redemption Story, the state of the GOP, and the senator’s gentlemanly Southern manners.

Scott expressed his hope for the future of the U.S., even as bleak as things may look right now. He told Weiss that his book details how “pain really opens the door for promise, [and] how misery and a mess creates a message and a messenger.”

But the most fascinating moment came when Weiss revealed a story to Scott from her days at the New York Times. In the wake of the George Floyd riots during the summer of 2020, Scott proposed a sensible police reform bill that garnered bipartisan support but eventually fell apart because, as Scott put it to Weiss, “Democrats really wanted to issue more than the solution.”

When Scott’s office sent an op-ed to the New York Times, editorial staff chose to show the editorial to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for approval first. The newspaper ended up not publishing Scott’s op-ed.

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“Here’s what happened,” Weiss told Scott. “I was at the New York Times, and you or your staff sent me an op-ed about the bill and why it fell apart. And this is what I’m not sure if you know: there was a discussion about the piece and whether or not we should run it.”

“And one colleague, a more senior colleague, said to a more junior colleague who was pushing for the piece, ‘Do you think the Republicans really care about minority rights?’” she continued.

“Wow,” Scott interjected.

“And the more junior colleagues said, ‘I think Tim Scott cares about minority rights.’ And then here’s the pretty shocking part: the more senior colleague said, ‘Let’s check with Senator Schumer before we run it.’”

“Wow,” Scott reacted again.

“And the colleague, the younger one, refused because he said [that] it wasn’t an ethical thing to do,” Weiss concluded.

She asked Scott if he was disappointed by the news, and he replied:

I am disappointed to hear that. I’m not surprised to hear that. You have to remember that the Washington Post fact-checked my life. And I can’t tell you how disrespectful and dishonoring that entire process was. It went on for three or four months as they went through records to find out whether or not my grandfather actually dropped out of school in the third grade. Their record suggested he dropped out in the fourth grade but still didn’t learn to read. They wanted to know if I had somehow hidden my silver spoon and just was using a plastic spoon instead.

And the more they dug, the more they realized that there was no evidence that disproved the fact that I am who I say I am and that I experienced what I said I’ve experienced, so there is something in national media that wants to frame any conservatives, particularly black conservatives, as being disingenuous or insincere or a tool for the conservatives, when in fact, the black community is consistently as conservative as any community.

The New York Times denies Weiss’ allegation, of course. A spokesperson for the paper told the New York Post that “New York Times Opinion never seeks outside approval or consultation whether to publish guest opinion essays.”

The entire hour-long conversation between Weiss and Scott is worth a listen. Check it out.

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