NYT Editor Fired for Biden Tweet Had an Interesting Take on Cancel Culture

Posted: Jan 27, 2021 11:45 AM
NYT Editor Fired for Biden Tweet Had an Interesting Take on Cancel Culture

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Did you have déjà vu over this tweet? It brought back flashbacks of the 2008 election cycle when then-MSNBC host Chris Matthews said he got thrills up his leg when he heard Barack Obama speak. Well, for former New York Times editor Lauren Wolfe, she had one of those moments — and it got her fired. Leah wrote about this on the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration. As Biden’s plane landed, Wolfe said she got “chills” from the sight. Of course, this should bring scrutiny from a publication like The New York Times. Here at Townhall, we’re biased as hell. You know what you’re getting, whereas The Times still tried to keep this veneer of objective journalism alive. They’re not objective. They’re no better than the communications operatives that the Democratic National Committee contracts on a daily basis. Look, this is America. It’s fine to be biased but just admit it. To be honest, the liberal media war is over. Everyone knows the press is biased. Everyone distrusts the press as well. I read The Guardian. It’s a left-wing newspaper. It’s proudly a left-wing newspaper, but I read them because I respect that they’re open about it. They also do some good reporting as well, but back to Ms. Wolfe.

She got fired. The publication nixed her, but was she on a contract deal? Erik Wemple of The Washington Post, who covers all things media, delved deeper into The New York Times' dismissal of Wolfe and the statement they issued:

There’s a lot of inaccurate information circulating on Twitter. For privacy reasons we don’t get into the details of personnel matters but we can say that we didn’t end someone’s employment over a single tweet. Out of respect for the individuals involved we don’t plan to comment further. (To clarify something that has been incorrectly reported, Ms. Wolfe was not a full-time employee, nor did she have a contract.)

Okay, so Wolfe wasn’t on contract, but as Wemple noted—the publication just made more hay out of this firing:

What a dreadful statement: On the one hand, the Times wishes to limit “the details of personnel matters.” On the other hand, it clearly insinuates that there were unspecified instances of substandard performance by Wolfe. When the Erik Wemple Blog asked the Times to provide some specifics, spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha declined to comment further.

During an interview with this blog, Wolfe said that an editor at the paper contacted her after she published the “chills” tweet. The Times couldn’t be associated with such a tweet, said the manager, and that her gig with the paper would be ending. Months ago, recalls Wolfe, she received a warning from the same manager about her Twitter activity; as an example, he cited a tweet in which, Wolfe says, she’d connected the resistance of conservative men to wearing masks to “toxic masculinity.” She deleted the tweet. But, according to Wolfe, the manager said her posts in general were “borderline” and that other Times staffers had done “worse.” Last week’s tweet was “the only reason they fired me,” Wolfe says.

The controversy has upended Wolfe. The freelance arrangement was going well, she told this blog. She received a lot of praise from her colleagues, she says, and was awaiting a chat with her supervisors about joining the live team at the paper on a full-time basis.

Was it because conservatives lobbied hard for The Times to boot Wolfe? Columnist Karol Markowicz can’t find any evidence of that. Of course, conservatives would have highlighted it and criticized it. That’s the nature of Twitter regarding opinions, especially with the political folks on the platform. I truly don’t like it when people lose their jobs. I’ve made some exceptions for generally bad liberal writers, but Wolfe had one nauseating tweet. A reprimand, sure — but a total jettisoning from the paper? That’s a bit much. For starters, maybe the publication should just admit that they hate Republicans and are a de facto mouthpiece for the DNC. Then, they can avoid these PR nightmares.

I think where people are exhibiting a bit of schadenfreude is Wolfe’s past tweet marginalizing "cancel culture." Well, on that front, the call was coming from inside the house.

Yeah, I’m not going too hard on this one. There have been other reporters who have said far worse in print and on-air to dig deep on this incident. I mean, if Wolfe was fired for this tweet, Matthews should have been axed from MSNBC eons ago, before the "Me Too" stuff came out about him. There are white whales of liberal media bias out there, folks. Let’s stay focused on the bigger game.

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