Editor: I Should Have Edited ‘That One Sentence’ In Cohen’s Column ‘More Carefully’

The editorial page editor of the Washington Post largely defend a column by Richard Cohen that’s come under intense scrutiny on Tuesday, but acknowledged that he “erred in not editing” the sentence in the piece that’s drawn so much criticism.

Fred Hiatt told TheWrap that Cohen wasn’t being racist when he wrote, “People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children.” But Hiatt said that he should have edited that particular sentence “more carefully.”

“Anyone reading Richard’s entire column will see he is just saying that some Americans still have a hard time dealing with interracial marriage,” Hiatt said. “I erred in not editing that one sentence more carefully to make sure it could not be misinterpreted.”

While some at the newspaper including Ezra Klein have criticized Cohen, the Post’s publisher Katharine Weymouth hailed the column as “brilliant.”


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.