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Tipsheet

NYT Actually Stands Up to the Woke Mob

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File

The New York Times pushed back against far-left activists and contributors who accused the paper of “irresponsible, biased” reporting on transgender issues over the last year. 

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In an open letter to Philip B. Corbett, associate managing editor for standards, over 1,000 contributors claim the Gray Lady is following “the lead of far-right hate groups in presenting gender diversity as a new controversy warranting new, punitive legislation.” 

“Plenty of reporters at the Times cover trans issues fairly. Their work is eclipsed, however, by what one journalist has calculated as over 15,000 words of front⁠-⁠page Times coverage debating the propriety of medical care for trans children published in the last eight months alone,” the letter states. “[T]he Times has in recent years treated gender diversity with an eerily familiar mix of pseudoscience and euphemistic, charged language, while publishing reporting on trans children that omits relevant information about its sources.”

The signers specifically call out a June 2022 NYT Magazine piece titled, “The Battle Over Gender Therapy,” and a piece published last month under the headline, “When Students Change Gender Identity and Parents Don’t Know.” 

A separate, coordinated letter was also sent to the paper from advocacy groups denouncing the Times’ transgender coverage. Those signers demand the paper stop printing anti-trans pieces, hire more transgender writers and editors in the next three months, and meet with transgender members of the community. 

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Rather than cave, however, the Times stood up to the mob. 

"It is not unusual for outside groups to critique our coverage or to rally supporters to seek to influence our journalism," wrote Times executive editor Joe Kahn. "In this case, however, members of our staff and contributors to The Times joined the effort. Their protest letter included direct attacks on several of our colleagues, singling them out by name.

"Participation in such a campaign is against the letter and spirit of our ethics policy," Kahn's response continued. "That policy prohibits our journalists from aligning themselves with advocacy groups and joining protest actions on matters of public policy. We also have a clear policy prohibiting Times journalists from attacking one another’s journalism publicly or signaling their support for such attacks."

He defended the paper's coverage of transgender issues, which he called “important, deeply reported, and sensitively written, and said the accusations are "demonstrably false."

“We do not welcome, and will not tolerate, participation by Times journalists in protests organized by advocacy groups or attacks on colleagues on social media and other public forums,” Kahn writes. 

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In a statement, the Times said the response applies to both letters. 

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