February 9, 2021


The “resignation” of star New York Times science writer Donald McNeil Jr. has sparked a furious back-and-forth among Times staffers, many of whom are outraged over the Gray Lady’s handling of his departure.

The Washington Free Beacon reviewed a series of postings to a Facebook group for current and former Times staffers, where a tense debate is unfolding over McNeil’s exit. One camp argues that his dismissal was justified and another asserts it set a troubling precedent, which the New York Times union should have done more to prevent.

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Baquet’s statement in particular came in for scathing criticism in the Facebook discussion. “‘We do not tolerate racist language regardless of intent’ might be the most racist statement I’ve ever read,” said Lawrence De Maria, an award-winning crime and finance reporter. “It demeans ALL races.”

It is also untrue: “Larry Wilmore did not say, ‘You did it, my n***er,’” Hannah-Jones wrote in 2016, referencing the black comedian’s routine at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. There is a “linguistic difference b/w n***er and n***a.”

The Washington Free Beacon asked Hannah-Jones whether intent made a difference in her case. She responded by posting this reporter’s inquiry, including his cell phone number, on Twitter, in direct violation of the website’s terms of service.

Related: ‘She did what?’ Free Beacon reporter asks Nikole Hannah-Jones about her tweets violating NYT’s policy on racial slurs, so she doxxes him.

To be fair, that’s the Gray Lady’s raison d’etre in 2021.

Presumably, nothing will happen to Hannah-Jones after doxxing another journalist, but as Ed Morrissey writes, “Journalists should have some professional courtesy when fielding inquiries from other media outlets over issues. Even if they don’t want to respond, a simple “no comment” is all that is necessary. Doxxing another reporter over a reportorial inquiry should itself be a firing offense, especially after hearing over the last four years how dangerous their occupation had become under Donald Trump. Would Baquet tolerate that kind of reaction against one of his own reporters? Or would he demand that the person get fired? The New York Times appears afflicted in equal measure by both hypocrisy and entitlement. Both are at levels fatal to its credibility.”

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