Friday, August 3, 2018

NYTimes Defends New Hire Despite ‘Racist’ Tweets

The New York Times is defending its hiring of Sarah Jeong, whose controversial Twitter posts have come to light in the wake of an announcement that she will be joining The Times’s editorial board.

According to The NY Daily News, Jeong, in September, will join The Times as the lead technology writer for its editorial board, from the Verge, where she’s a senior writer.

But she’s come under fire for a trove of old tweets that reveal a deep-seated animosity toward white people — men in particular.

“It must be so boring to be white,” reads another newly-unearthed comment.

She also suggested she wanted white people to disappear.

“White people have stopped breeding. You’ll all go extinct soon. This was my plan all along,” one of her old tweets read.

Jeong, who was born in South Korea and now lives in Portland, Ore., released a statement regarding the old tweets, saying they were posted in response to unrelenting online harassment.

“As a woman of color on the internet, I have faced torrents of online hate.”

According to The Daily Caller, Jeong is also responsible for extensive anti-cop and anti-men tweets.

 The NYT claimed that Jeong was “imitating” the behavior of people who harassed her online, but this does not explain why she was tweeting “fuck the police” and encouraging people to “kill all men.”

A search for “cops” and “police” on Jeong’s Twitter reveals an extensive history of anti-cop sentiment and a lack of sympathy for police who are injured on the job.

“I engaged in what I thought of at the time as counter-trolling. While it was intended as satire, I deeply regret that I mimicked the language of my harassers. These comments were not aimed at a general audience, because general audiences do not engage in harassment campaigns. I can understand how hurtful these posts are out of context, and would not do it again,” she said.

The Times stood by its decision to bring her on board, saying, “We hired Sarah Jeong because of the exceptional work she has done covering the internet and technology at a range of respected publications.”

Sarah Jeong
Although it doesn’t condone the tweets, The Times defended Jeong, arguing that she was targeted because of her work and her race.

Conservative columnist Daniella Greenbaum told Fox News that “the issue at hand here is not about whether Jeong’s tweets were racist or not.” Greenbaum says that hypocrisy is the real issue.

“Jeong claimed she was kidding. Good enough, I guess, although swap the word ‘white’ and insert black, Mexican, or Jewish in any of her tweets and I have a feeling we’d be having a very different conversation,” Greenbaum said.

Much like Jeong, Greenbaum is a young columnist who has garnered a lot of attention. But Greenbaum is a staunch conservative, who last month resigned from her job as a columnist at Business Insider after the website removed an already-published piece defending Scarlett Johansson for signing on to play a transgender man. The piece apparently offended some of her liberal colleagues and Greenbaum walked away from her job after being censored. Johansson later backed away from the role.

Greenbaum, who didn’t exactly receive overwhelming support during her own ordeal, noticed that many in the media industry have rushed to defend Jeong.

“The New York Times, and much of the media chose to believe that she was kidding, or to posit that even if she wasn’t kidding, her misguided beliefs are not reason enough to fire her. In other words, they extended her a brand of courtesy never offered to people who are right of center,” Greenbaum said. “That’s the issue here.”

High-powered liberal media members such as HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen and leadership at The Verge, where Jeong currently works, have defended her rhetoric.

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